RICHMOND, Va. — Broadening his attack on administration foreign policy, Mitt Romney accused Vice President Joe Biden on Friday of "doubling down on denial" in a dispute over security at a diplomatic post in Libya that was overrun by terrorists who killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
"The vice president directly contradicted the sworn testimony of State Department officials," the Republican presidential candidate said, eager to stoke a controversy that has flared periodically since the attack on Sept. 11 "... American citizens have a right to know just what's going on. And we're going to find out."
President Barack Obama had no campaign appearances during the day, leaving it to White House press secretary Jay Carney to defend Biden's assertion in a campaign debate Thursday night that "we weren't told" of an official request for more security at the site.
The spokesman rejected Romney's claim of a contradiction. Biden "was speaking directly for himself and for the president. He meant the White House," Carney said.
The Republican challenger was campaigning across a pair of battleground states during the day, first in Virginia, and then in Ohio.
Biden was in Wisconsin, Ryan's home state, and one where polls give Obama a narrow lead despite a debate performance last week that was so poor it fueled a Republican comeback nationally.
Now, officials in both parties describe a race that has largely returned to the competitive situation in effect last summer.
Still struggling to blunt Romney's rise in the polls, Obama's campaign launched a new ad in several of the contested states that shows Romney being asked in a "60 Minutes" interview if it's fair that he paid federal tax of about 14 percent last year on income of $20 million, while a $50,000 wage-earner paid a higher rate.
"I think it's the right way to encourage economic growth," he says, and the narrator adds: "Lower tax rates for him than us. Is that the way to grow America?"