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Romney, Obama camps attack rival candidate's leadership before final debate

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Oct. 20, 2012: Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. with supporters after a campaign rally at the Valley View Campgrounds in Belmont, Ohio. (AP)

The Obama and Romney campaigns stepped up their attacks on each other Saturday, just days before the final presidential debate, with each saying the other candidate is adrift on how to fix the economy and other problems in America.

“It takes leadership. The president has been ducking these issues,” Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan said at a rally in Belmont, Ohio. “Romney is a man with a plan. … It is not just enough for us to say how we oppose the president's reckless agenda.”

The campaign also announced a new ad Saturday that criticizes the president's policies on debt, health care, taxes, energy and Medicare, arguing that Obama is simply offering more of the same. The campaign did not say where the spot would air.

With the final debate on Monday, Obama and Romney have retreated from the campaign trail for the weekend to study foreign policy while their running mates continue to make stops in battleground states.

“We have enormous chances in this country, but the president continued to kick the can down the road,” Ryan also said at a rally Saturday morning in Moon Township, Pa., outside Pittsburgh.

The debate in Boca Raton, Fla., comes just 15 days before the election.

Vice President Joe Biden was in Florida on Saturday, first making an unannounced visit to a campaign center in Orlando before attending a rally in St. Augustine where he attacked Romney, then the Republican presidential ticket.

“He’s out of touch where I think this country is, where we move,” Biden said. “They decimate education. They eliminate help for middle class families who want to send their kids to college.”

Biden also touted the administration’s mortgage-modification proposal in a state among those hit hardest by the housing crisis and suggested that if elected Romney and Ryan would impose their private views on women’s public health-care issues.

“They don’t believe women have the right to control their own body,” he said.

Obama left Friday for Camp David, the presidential hideaway in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains. He was to remain there with advisers until Monday morning. Romney is spending the weekend with aides in Del Ray, Fla., preparing for the debate.

On Friday, Romney accused Obama of running an “incredible shrinking campaign” and tried to turn the tables on the president by saying he has failed to provide details on a second-term agenda.

Romney slammed the president for “petty attacks” and playing “silly word games” instead of addressing the country’s looming challenges that include a stagnant economy, high unemployment and a growing debt crisis.

 “Have you been watching the Obama campaign lately?” the Republican presidential candidate asked the crowd, including motorcycle enthusiasts in town for the annual ‘Biketoberfest’ event. “They have no agenda for the future, no agenda for America, no agenda for a second term”

“It’s a good thing they won’t have a second term,” Romney continued to applause. “We have big ideas, bold ideas, a strong agenda. We are going to get America working again and that’s why you’re going to help elect the two of us.”

The Obama campaign immediately shot back, outlining the president’s pledges and accusing Romney of “empty promises, sketchy math, and blatant falsehood

“Mitt Romney’s spent the last month hiding his true positions from the American people to win votes, but the truth is he’d take us back to the same failed policies that devastated the middle class in the first place,” campaign spokesman Danny Kanner said in a statement. 

Romney’s comments came after the president coined a name for what thinks are Romney’s shifting positions -- “Romnesia.”

After months of attacks from Democrats – and even some members of his own party – for lacking specifics on his plans for the country, Romney is trying to capitalize on recent momentum. 

His strong performance in the first presidential debates led to a tightening in polls both nationally and in critical swing states.  Two polls released Friday showed Romney with a slight lead in Florida, but within the margin of error.

At a campaign event Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla., Ryan, argued that Obama continues to use attacks because he no new ideas and an unsuccessful presidency.

"Let me give you a quote that he said just four years ago: ‘If you don’t have any fresh ideas, use stale tactics to scare people.’ If you don’t have a record to run on, paint your opponent as someone people should run from. Make a big election about small things,” Ryan said. "That’s what Barack Obama said when he was running for president in 2008. That’s exactly what Barack Obama has become now that he is president in 2012, and we’re going to change it."

Ryan then gave a shout out to the throngs of motorcycle riders clogging the streets of Daytona Beach, approving of the Wisconsin-made bikes.

"I saw a lot of our Milwaukee-made Harleys running all around town here,” Ryan said. “We know how to build things in America. We know how to create jobs in America."

Fox News' Joy Lin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.