Obama visits storm victims while Romney campaigns

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by Laura Matovina

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is emphasizing his incumbent's role for a third straight day in the neck-and-neck presidential race.

Obama is skipping battleground states Wednesday to visit victims of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, a state he's confident of winning.

The president's actions have forced Republican Mitt Romney to walk a careful line. Romney must show respect for the superstorm's casualties all along the Eastern Seaboard. But he can ill afford to waste a minute of campaign time.

Romney tamped down his partisan tone Tuesday in Ohio. He plans three full-blown campaign events Wednesday in Florida. Sandy largely spared Florida, the biggest tossup state.

Obama will meet Wednesday with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The GOP governor often criticizes Obama, but he praised the president's handling of Sandy's aftermath.