The apparent change of heart arrives in concert with a grander appeal to Latino voters. Kantar Media reports that the Romney campaign ran more Spanish language ads in the first three weeks of September – 2,855 – than it did from mid-April, when the primary race effectively ended, through the end of August.
While Romney was trying to fill the pre-debate vacuum with some new policy revelations, the Obama campaign spun some noise into the cycle with a cutting new ad that mocks Romney's past promises to be tougher on China.
"Since when?" is the name of the spot and the question is tied to accusations Romney and his Bain Capital partners bought a Chinese factory even after observing the dire conditions inside.
The company "maximized profits by paying its workers next to nothing under sweatshop conditions in China," the ad says. Romney has not denied making the purchase.
"This is another 'overboard' ad from a president who is trying to distract from his failure to stand up to China," Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg shot back. "Four years ago, then candidate Barack Obama promised to take China to the mat, but refused to label China a currency manipulator because he didn't want them to be embarrassed."
The ad is running in six battleground states, including Colorado and Nevada, where Obama and Romney are doing their final round of debate drills ahead Wednesday night's one-on-one.
Elsewhere on the trail, Michelle Obama is in Ohio, where early voting began this morning. The Buckeye State polls are scheduled to remain open from now until Election Day, Nov. 6. A new law would have cut off early access to the polls on the Friday before, but a federal judge declared it unconstitutional.