Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally… (Mike Munden / Associated…)
MARION, OHIO — Mitt Romney made a direct appeal to Democrats at his final stop on Sunday, telling thousands of supporters to reach out to those across the aisle.
“Your friends may have voted last time, perhaps in the Democratic primary. They may have voted for, who knows? They may have voted for Hillary Clinton or they may have voted for Barack Obama,” Romney said. “… but I need you to convince them to vote for Paul Ryan and me.”
He urged them to ask their friends whether they believe the nation is on the right course, or whether it needs a major course correction.
Romney and Ryan were highlighting this theme at every stop of their all-day Ohio campaign swing, that a second Obama term would be marked, like his first, by joblessness and economic instability.
“We know that if President Obama got another term, it’s nothing more than four more years of the same, or we elect a proven leader who knows how to turn things around, who knows how to get things done, who knows how to put America back on track,” Ryan said. “So, that’s the choice. Four more years until change or nine more days till we get real change.”
During the day, Romney did not mention the federal auto bailouts, which he opposed and which the Obama campaign has used against him with some success in Ohio.
But in an indication that Romney’s campaign is worried about the impact of the bailouts, he is airing an ad claiming that Obama took car companies into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to a company that plans to start producing Jeeps in China. The implication is not true: Fiat is making Jeeps in China for the Chinese market but did not eliminate any American jobs or stop making Jeeps in the United States,
The evening rally was the final event of a three-stop day during which Romney visited rural cities in deep red parts of Ohio. But as he courts independent voters, who polls show have warmed to him in recent weeks, he emphasized the importance of bipartisan cooperation at every stop.
After reiterating his five-point plan that he says will create 12 million jobs, Romney said he would have to work with Democrats to accomplish his goals.
“We're going to have to find good Democrats -- by the way, Democrats love America too,” Romney said. “We've got to reach across the aisle, find ways to bring in people from the other party, work together, collaborate, meet regularly and fight for the American people. And we will."