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President Barack Obama speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at the White House, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, in Washington.

Days before the GOP convention, President Obama grabbed the political spotlight by attacking Mitt Romney’s “extreme positions” in an AP interview. “He has signed up for positions, extreme positions, that are very consistent with positions that a number of House Republicans have taken,” Obama said. “And whether he actually believes in those or not, I have no doubt that he would carry forward some of the things that he’s talked about.” Among the highlights:

  • Obama touched on the abortion issue recently revived by Todd Akin, and said Romney wouldn’t “stand in the way” of a bill that reduced women’s reproductive rights.
  • “We aren’t where we need to be,” he said of the economy. “But Gov. Romney’s policies would make things worse for middle-class families and offer no prospect for long-term opportunity for those striving to get into the middle class.”
  • Obama is “prepared to make a whole range of compromises” with Congress if re-elected. He predicted that Republicans would also compromise because “the American people will have voted” and the GOP won’t have to concentrate on beating him.