Nightly News | November 22, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: President Obama was in the midst of a political storm in New Hampshire today, facing an uphill fight in that state in the race for president, with new polls now showing him running behind Mitt Romney is what is still, of course, a hypothetical match-up. And today, as the president arrived in New Hampshire , Romney went negative on the airwaves. Our report tonight from NBC 's Kristen Welker .
KRISTEN WELKER reporting: With his poll numbers down in New Hampshire , President Obama took his anti- Congress campaign and tried to win back support.
President BARACK OBAMA: If your members of Congress aren't delivering, you've got to send a message. Make sure they're listening. Tell them, 'Don't be a Grinch .'
WELKER: But he found himself under attack from Republican Mitt Romney , who hasn't even won his own party's nomination. Romney released this $134,000 commercial in the Granite State , slamming the president for his handling of the economy. But President Obama 's campaign says this key line from the ad is out of context.
Pres. OBAMA: If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose.
WELKER: Here's the original.
Pres. OBAMA: Senator McCain 's campaign actually said, and I quote, "If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose."
WELKER: Mr. Obama's campaign called the Romney ad deceitful and dishonest, but Romney's camp issued this defense, "Then-candidate Obama criticized his opponent for not wanting to talk about the economy. Today President Obama and his campaign are afraid to talk about the economy." Despite its size, New Hampshire could be pivotal in a close general election. The president won it in 2008 , but polls show Romney , who owns a house in the state, and who served as governor in nearby Massachusetts , is leading Obama in New Hampshire by as much as 10 points. But before Romney can actually take on the president, he still has a tough primary battle, and right now some polls show him running second to Newt Gingrich . As the polls have shifted, Occupy Wall Street protesters have targeted the candidates. Today it was Mr. Obama 's turn.
Group of People: Mr. President!
Offscreen Voice: Those are Fourth Avenue people protesters.
WELKER: Now Republican candidates have the chance to reshuffle the deck once again tonight. They face off in their 11th debate. One of the key topics will be foreign policy. And that's a topic that some of them have struggled
with. Brian: Kristen Welker back at the White House tonight. Kristen , thanks.
WILLIAMS: And at the other end
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: