WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney are taking time off the campaign trail to prep for Tuesday's presidential debate, a sign of the importance of their second face-off, which comes just three weeks before Election Day.
Obama is spending three days huddled with advisers in the battleground state of Virginia, hunkering down at the luxury Kingsmill Resort along the James River in historic Williamsburg. Romney, meanwhile, is preparing in the Boston area.
After his lackluster showing in Denver, advisers say the president is looking forward to answering questions from the American people in round two, which adopts a town hall format.
"The question is not just which candidate connects with the questioner, but who has the better policies for the American people for the next four years and on that front the president has a great advantage," a senior Obama campaign adviser said.
Over the last two weeks, the Obama campaign has launched more aggressive attacks against Romney, casting him as an extreme conservative trying to reinvent himself as a moderate just weeks before the election.
"Governor Romney has been making pitches all of his life," the adviser said. "He knows how to say what people want to hear, whether that was during his time at Bain [Capital] or during the dozens of town halls he did during the primary."
While both candidates are forgoing campaign events and rallies to study for the debate, both campaigns launched new campaign ads over the weekend.
- Mary Bruce and Jake Tapper