“I do not want an intrusive, massive, larger debt spending government that crushes the American dream,” Romney said. “You guys, this matters. Look, this matters — this really matters. The choice we make is going to determine what kind of take-home pay people in America have. It’s going to determine what kind of jobs we have. It’s also going to determine whether our kids are confident and you’re confident in your kids and in their future.”
The bus trip comes as fresh polls show Romney trailing Obama here, as well as in other key battleground states. Later Wednesday, Romney toured a manufacturing facility in the Cleveland suburb of Bedford Heights with Mike Rowe, the host of Discovery Channel’s reality series “Dirty Jobs,” and made a similar pitch to supporters on American Spring Wire Corp.’s factory floor.
“I think the president loves America; I love America,” Romney said. “I think the president cares about the people of America; I care about all the people in America. But I know how to help the people of America and make sure our future’s bright and prosperous for our kids and protect liberty and he does not.”
Tuesday morning in Westerville, after a warm introduction by legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, an Ohio native, an energetic Romney addressed about 2,000 supporters in a high school gymnasium in a suburb of Columbus, a critical swing area. Romney drew sharp distinctions between his and Obama’s policies on energy, health care, taxes and government spending.
Gesturing to a ticking electronic debt clock at the morning rally, Romney warned that if Obama wins a second term, the $16 trillion national debt would grow to $20 trillion.
“That clock up there shows our national debt,” Romney said. “When I began this campaign, it started with $15 trillion. I mean, what is a trillion? It’s a thousand billions. It’s an unthinkable amount. . . . When [Obama] came into office, there was just over $10 trillion in debt. Now, there’s over $16 trillion in debt. If he were reelected, I can assure you it will be almost $20 trillion in debt.”
Yet despite weeks of promises from his campaign that he would lay out specific policy prescriptions, Romney stuck to his existing talking points. He spoke largely about his overall principles and policy goals but did not give details.
The Obama campaign responded to Romney’s speech by saying that he offered “more of the evasiveness and half-truths that his campaign has become known for.”
“With 41 days left, Mitt Romney has limited time to level with the American people about his record and plans for America,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement. “As each day passes, he continues to fail to do that.”