Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, right, and running mate… (Jamie Sabau / Getty Images )
LANCASTER, Ohio — Mitt Romney and Paul D. Ryan reunited on the campaign trail Friday, on a surge of fresh momentum from their debate performances and gains in the polls.
“You know what, there’s a growing crescendo of enthusiasm. People recognize this is not an ordinary campaign, this is a critical time for our country,” Romney told 5,000 supporters gathered in the picturesque town square here. “There’s more energy and passion, people getting behind this campaign. We’re taking back this country, going to get it strong again.”
Against a backdrop of a billowing, three-story-high American flag, and the brick Romanesque-style municipal building and stately trees with leaves that were changing colors, Romney and Ryan both pointed to their debate performances as benchmarks in their White House bid.
PHOTOS: Mitt Romney’s past
Romney offered a strong performance against President Obama last week, and will face off with him again on Tuesday. Ryan debated Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday evening.
“We have a huge choice to make,” Ryan said. “You know, I think we saw a sign of it last night, just like we saw a week ago. You see, they are offering no new ideas. The president is simply saying more of the same. Hope and change has become attack and blame.”
PHOTOS: President Obama’s past
The ticket-mates derided Obama and Biden for their handling of the terrorist attack on the consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans, as well as their handling of the economy. If the Democrats are reelected, Romney and Ryan argued that would harm the nation’s prospects domestically and overseas.
As a massive video screen displayed the hours of local early-voting sites, Romney implored them to vote.
“We need your help,” he said. “We need to win Ohio.”
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The Obama campaign deemed the candidates' focus on Wednesday’s debate as a sign they were on defense.
“It’s no surprise why -- Vice President Biden unmasked their real agenda,” such as cutting taxes for the rich on the backs of the middle class and shifting Medicare toward privatization, said spokeswoman Lis Smith. “And when the time came for Paul Ryan to reassure women that Mitt Romney wouldn’t work to take away a woman’s right to choose, his first response was a sigh. This is the real Romney-Ryan agenda and it’s one that Americans can’t afford.”
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