Nightly News | October 24, 2012
>>> good evening, i'm lester holt , sitting in for brian tonight, with the presidential race locked in a tie for the polls, president obama and governor romney are engaged in a fast and furious campaign blitz, the president launching an assault in some of the places vital to his election. he is on a two day trip , it will take him to eight states spen spending the night on air force one. romney is calling it a sign of being desperate, even as romney was racking up his own air miles . we'll check in with the romney camp, but first, brian williams has been given full access to the campaign swing. he checks in tonight from denver.
>> reporter: well, lester , good evening, having approached both campaigns about getting access and spending time with them as we get close today finds us in the middle of roughly 24 hours riding along during several stops with the obama campaign . earlier today that meant a stop in iowa. we had an opportunity to sit down with the president, all of that, by the way, for a special package on tomorrow evening's broadcast of "rock center." i started out today asking him where he finds himself in this race right now. how is it that with what 13 days to go -- you are fighting for your life in a 47-47-race?
>> well, actually, i think that you know, we always knew this was going to be a close race from the start. and what we have right now is a lead that we have maintained throughout this campaign, and we are going to just continue to drive home the message that there are two fundamentally different choices in this message about where we take the country.
>> so after the power of 2008 , give the power of being an incumbent, you got osama bin laden being an cummins, you got osama bin laden , not expecting to be in a more substantial race than we were today. not expecting to be in a more substantial race than we were today listen, you guys have short memories, fo
>> listen, you guys have short memories, folks in your business were writing me off years ago, saying there was no way i would win. so you know these things go in ebbs and flows, so the one thinglk i have tried to be is just steady, in terms of what i believe in, who i am fighting for. and you know, i think that one of the qualities i bring to bear in this campaign is that people see, what did i say i was going to do in 2008 , and what have i delivered? and they can have some confidence that the things i say i mean.
>> mr. president, this document you have put out struck a lot of people as something very basic for an incumbent president to issue very late in the game, combined with this trip we're on, 48 hours , 5300 miles. it could be viewed as increasing evidence you sure didn't intend to be in this spot at this point.
>> brian, i don't know why you say this is late in the game. this is exactly what i laid out in my convention. every point we laid out there is what i said when we accepted the democratic nomination is what we do to build up the middle class in this country. and it has been on our website for weeks. and i hope that everybody takes an opportunity to read it. because as folks now narrow their focus on the election, in fact, people here in iowa are voting, you know, the more informed voters are, and the more engaged they are about how big the stakes are, the better i think we're going to do.
>> what is the dynamic like between you and mitt romney ?
>> you know, i think when you're candidates, that you -- and you haven't really interacted before, you can't say that you have a real relationship there.
>> so the reports, especially just the observations, watching the two of you, you don't appear to like each other very much. you appear to tolerate each other because you have to.
>> you know, i don't think that any -- relationship between me and mitt romney is different from previous presidential campaigns. i mean, john mccain , i knew him because i had served with him in the senate. but i think if you look at george bush and john kerry , or george bush and al gore , first president bush or bill clinton , i don't think that anybody would say that while you were in the middle of a campaign that you felt deep affection for the other guy, because you know, look, you're fighting for competing visions. but what i think the american people understand is that this is not about two individuals or even two political parties. this is about two different visions for the country and how we are going to make sure that every single person in america who is willing to work hard, is going to have a shot at a better life .
>> so lester , a bit of our conversation earlier today, the day continues into tonight. into tomorrow, the obama campaign covering 5300 miles in all, on just this trip. we'll have much more tomorrow night, and of course on "rock center" tomorrow evening, back to you lester .
>> all right, brian williams on the campaign trail tonight. as