US President Barack Obama noted how Americans were pulling together after superstorm Sandy and called on voters to unite behind his campaign as he turned his focus to next Tuesday's elections, DPA reported.
"There are no Democrats or Republicans in a storm, just fellow Americans," Obama, 51, emphasized, before gradually shifting to a more strident tone against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, 65.
The president has received high marks for his handling of the disaster, with 8 in 10 Americans saying he had done an "excellent" or "good" job in a Washington Post-ABC News poll released late Wednesday.
Obama and Romney, however, remain tied in an average of national polls compiled by the website Real Clear Politics, in a race that is coming down to the wire before voters head to polling stations on Tuesday. The men also remain tightly locked in the swing states that will determine the outcome of the election.
The election is expected to come down to how Americans feel about the direction of the economy. Unemployment figures due Friday could provide fodder for both campaigns, as Obama points to improvements since he took office and Romney likely says the president has not gone far enough.
At a Roanoke, Virginia rally, Romney declared he is the candidate of change and said four more years of Obama would be damaging to a still weak economy.
"We really can't have four more years like the last four years," he said. "I know the Obama folks are chanting, 'four more years,' our chant is 'five more days.'"
He attacked Obama for his remarks in an interview earlier in the week that the US needed a "secretary of business" to manage government interactions with the private sector.
"I don't think adding a new chair in his Cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Street," he said. "I mean, unfortunately, what you've seen before your very eyes is a campaign that keeps on shrinking and shrinking and shrinking to smaller things."
Obama also went on the attack against Romney, saying his brand of change was not what was needed.
"In the closing weeks of this campaign, Governor Romney's been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up the very same policies that failed our country so badly, the very same policies we've been cleaning up after over these last four years," Obama said in Las Vegas. "And with a straight face, he's offering them up as change. He's saying he's the candidate of change."
The men were in an all-out push for every vote with just five days until election day. Obama also held events in the swing states of Nevada and Colorado Thursday, while Romney campaigned in Virginia. The Green Bay, Wisconsin event was originally to have been held Tuesday, but had to be rescheduled due to the storm.
Both candidates would be in Ohio Friday and, along with their vice presidential candidates and wives, have packed schedules before final rallies on Monday.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg meanwhile lent his support in the presidential election to Obama on Thursday, praising him for the response to superstorm Sandy and noting he was the best equipped to deal with climate change.
"The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast - in lost lives, lost homes and lost business - brought the stakes of Tuesday's presidential election into sharp relief," Bloomberg wrote in an editorial published on his eponymous news service.
The mayor who is registered as an independent pointed to two hurricanes, Sandy and Irene, that have hit the city in the past year as a sign that the climate is changing and said elected leaders must take "immediate action."
While Romney took some steps to address climate change while governor of Massachusetts, he has since reversed course on issues such as establishing a cap and trade system for carbon output, Bloomberg noted.
Obama welcomed the endorsement, saying: "While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time - that the key to a strong economy is investing in the skills and education of our people, that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy, and that climate change is a threat to our children's future, and we owe it to them to do something about it."