Nightly News | May 27, 2012
>>> to politics now. president obama and mitt romney are taking a holiday break from the campaign, at least publicly. behind the scenes , however, may be another matter for their strategists as they map out a long summer and a tough fight until november. nbc's mike reports.
>> reporter: what did you learn? for mitt romney today, praise from a former rival.
>> he's tough. he's much tougher than i would have thought. he's prepared to do what it takes to win.
>> reporter: the race is already a dogfight, likely to be settled by independent voters in a handful of swing states . a poll shows a tightening race in three of those crucial contests, florida, ohio and virginia. with president obama holding on to a slim lead in each.
>> 50% is almost a safe haven , safe territory for an incumbent. president obama is almost there. but you see mitt romney has room to grow and make this a very competitive contest.
>> there are a lot of good relationships with a lot of groups.
>> reporter: mitt romney will appear with donald trump who last week raised questions about the president's place of birth. some republicans say the decision is a mistake.
>> the cost of appearing with this ignore a muss is obvious to me.
>> reporter: even after some democrats voiced misgivings, president obama kept up his early offensive.
>> the profits of some --
>> reporter: against bain capital .
>> he's saying, well, 25 years in private sector gives me a special understanding of how our economy works. well, if that's true, why is he peddling the same bad ideas that brought our economy to the brink of collapse.
>> reporter: and giuliani was a candidate in 2008 saying it didn't measure up to his own record in new york. giuliani offered romney a backhanded endorsement.
>> they had a growth of jobs and about 40,000, we had about 500,000. i was comparing what i thought was my far superior record to his. otherwise, decent record, but the numbers weren't as great. that's all part of campaigning.
>> reporter: now, lester, both president obama and mitt romney will observe memorial day tomorrow. and commemorating 50 years since the u.s. got involved in the conflict. and mitt romney appearing with a vietnam veteran , john mccain .
>>> mike, thanks very much.