Nightly News | September 20, 2012
>>> and now a critical time for both candidates, appearing head to head, hours apart in a forum designed for a spanish-speaking television audience. they have given interesting answers, including defensive remarks from the president, and a dramatic tactical change from mitt romney . our report from chief correspondent chuck todd . good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, brian, the closest thing we get to a debate until the two meet, they made back-to-back appearances at a forum that was designed to speak to a crucial voting block , hispanics. it didn't take long for the president to find himself on the defensive, starting with immigration reform .
>> a promise a promise, you promised that. and with all due respect, you didn't keep that promise.
>> i am happy to take responsibility for the fact we didn't get it done, but i didn't make a promise that i would get everything done, 100 president, when i was elected president.
>> reporter: later, he first listed immigration as a failure, at the top. and then said this.
>> obviously, the fact we haven't been able to change the tone in washington is disappointing. i think that i have learned some lessons over the last four years. and the most important lesson i have learned is that you can't change washington from the inside. you can only change it from the outside.
>> reporter: mr. obama did acknowledge his comments, and when he was asked the question who was the real mitt romney ?
>> when you express an attitude that half the country thinks of itself as victims, they want to depend on government, my thinking is maybe you have not gotten around a lot.
>> reporter: he was asked about the division.
>> first of all, this is a campaign about the 100%. my campaign is about the 100% of americans. i have demonstrated my capacity to help the 100%.
>> reporter: most notable about romney's appearance, he struck a more including tone.
>> it is time to put the politics aside, and i will actually reform the immigration system the make it work. i have experience in health care reform . now and then, the president says i'm a grandfather of obama care. i don't think he means it as a compliment, but i'm take it.
>> reporter: at times it was like a circus, but today he seemed focused and fired up.
>> today, he threw in the white flag of surrender again, he said he can't change washington from inside, only from the outside, well, we'll give him the chance in november. heavy is going outside.
>> reporter: three new battle ground polls, iowa, colorado, wisconsin, it mirrors his national lead, take a look, they acknowledge the president is moving the state much closer in that direction than some of the other battleground states . one thing to note, mitt romney 's likeability is at risk in these sta states.
>> all right, chuck todd , with all things political thank you.