Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at Jet Machine in Cincinnati,… (Justin Sullivan / Getty…)
CINCINNATI — Taking a page from President Obama’s campaign four years ago, Mitt Romney adopted a new refrain Wednesday, telling voters he was the candidate of “big change” and casting his rival as the candidate of the “status quo.”
At his first of three rallies on a bus tour across Ohio on Wednesday, Romney mentioned the phrase “big change” no fewer than a dozen times and argued that Obama had taken the country backward with his economic policies. He listed the nation’s current challenges: underperforming schools, the debt and joblessness.
“These challenges are big challenges. This election is therefore a big choice, and America wants to see big changes, and we’re going to bring big changes to get America strong again,” he said.
Romney described Obama’s agenda as “the status quo path” that said that his policies had failed to get the economy moving.
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“The president has the same old answers as in the past – he wants another stimulus, he wants more government workers, and he wants to raise taxes. There is no prospect whatsoever that that path will help our economy grow and put people to work and raise take-home pay,” he said.
The Obama campaign put out a statement ridiculing Romney’s new slogan.
“Here’s the ‘big change’ Mitt Romney is offering: going back to the same failed policies that caused the economic crisis and empowering the extreme voices in his party like Richard Mourdock,” spokeswoman Lis Smith said. “Americans recognize that we can’t afford to raise taxes on the middle class to give tax breaks to the richest Americans and let Wall Street write its own rules again.”
Romney rolled across the state in his campaign bus Thursday with Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who recently helped him prepare for the three presidential debates. They made a morning stop at a Cincinnati diner, where Romney ordered an omelet with peppers and onions, breakfast potatoes and grits, and ate lunch together during the two-hour trip between Cincinnati and the second rally of the day in Worthington, Ohio.
With polls tight here, Romney urged his supporters to vote early and to spend election day getting other voters to the polls: “We need to make sure Ohio is able to send a message loud and clear: We want real change. We want big change.”
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Earlier Thursday, Romney’s campaign announced that he raised $111.8 million over the two-week span between Oct. 1 and Oct. 17 — the quickest clip of the Republican’s campaign so far.
While Obama is expected to raise as much a $1 billion for his effort, Romney has exceeded the goals set by his campaign. His much-praised performance at the first debate in Denver brought a surge of donations, including online from small donors—an area where Obama has long bested Romney.
On the night of the first debate, aides said Romney received two donations a second — ultimately raising $12 million in donations in less than 48 hours following the debate.
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