Obama and Romney know how to gamble

Two of Mitt Romney's fiercest former rivals, Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani, defended him Sunday against the Obama campaign's attacks on his business record. But the Republicans' earlier -- and lingering -- criticisms of the presumptive GOP nominee gave the president and his surrogates more ammunition in an ongoing battle over Romney's economic credentials.

Giuliani, the former mayor of New York who ran against Romney in the 2008 Republican primaries, called Romney "the perfect choice for a period of time in which we have to revive the economy" during an interview on CNN, informs Boston.com.

Republican and Democratic presidential candidates have been happily copying each other since a group of Democratic governors (including Bill Clinton) started the school accountability movement in the 1980s and several Republican governors (including George W. Bush) joined in. Many of Romney's advisers, like Nina Rees and Bill Evers, have been a part of that bipartisan effort, but don't crow about it.

Instead the two parties pound each other with an education issue that makes them look tough to their most partisan supporters. That convenient weapon is vouchers, tax-supported scholarships for students who want to attend private schools. Obama has cut funds for a voucher program in the District so Romney embraces it. "I will be a model for parental choice programs across the nation," he said in the speech, reports Washington Post.

But Obama and Romney are men who know how to gamble: Obama decided to run for president after just two years in the Senate, launched an ambitious health care overhaul effort while the economy was still on shaky ground, and gave the "go" order on the Osama bin Laden raid. Romney entered politics after a career in private equity, where risk is part of the job description.

Despite their backgrounds, their caution as candidates extends well beyond personal style, says STLtoday.com.

An Obama campaign official fired back on Sunday afternoon at Mr. Romney, saying the Republican challenger hasn't shown he has the judgment needed to handle a crisis like Syria.

"Once again, he has come off the sidelines to take a cheap shot at the president's foreign policy without offering any realistic solutions of his own," the Obama official said. "These kind of political attacks from Gov. Romney can't mask the fact that his ideas about national security are reckless and backward-looking. He has said we should leave our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq indefinitely and has criticized our closest allies on the campaign trail. And he has surrounded himself with advisors like John Bolton, who weakened America's standing in the world over the last decade and make American less safe and secure. American can't afford a Commander-in-Chief like Mitt Romney.", according to New York Times (blog).

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