MORRISON, Colo . — With his eye on the finish line, Mitt Romney appealed to his enthusiastic supporters to turn out in big numbers on Election Day and urged them to find friends and neighbors who voted for President Obama and persuade them to back the Republican ticket this time.
On the day after the last of his three debates with Obama, Romney concluded a blitz through two Western states Wednesday with an evening rally at the spectacular Red Rocks Amphitheater just outside of Denver.
Special lighting turned the red rocks blue, with the Romney campaign-styled “R” projected on the side. Awaiting Romney and running mate Paul Ryan were 12,000 people, many with thunder sticks, who responded with chants and applause throughout his speech.
“The president’s status quo campaign, you know, going forward with the same ideas as we’ve seen over the last four years, is why he’s slipping and it’s why our campaign is gaining,” Romney said. “It’s why this movement is growing across the country and it’s why we need you to go out and get other people and recruit you to this cause because we need to take back America.”
Romney made repeated efforts to court Democrats who may be disappointed with the president’s leadership. Standing behind him on the stage was a Latino family holding placards that read “Democrats For Romney.” “I love that! I love that!” Romney said.
The GOP nominee pledged that, if elected, he would cooperate with Democrats in Congress to get the economy moving. “Paul and I have a few things in common. One is, we both learned how to reach across the aisle in our elected office, to find ways to work with Democrats, Republicans, Independents to get the job done.”
Minutes before, however, he laid out an agenda of big spending cuts and the repeal of Obama’s health care law that likely would provoke big partisan differences with the opposition if he tried to implement them in a prospective Romney administration.
Romney said that, in contrast to the president, a Romney-Ryan administration would bring real change to Washington and the country but he told the Colorado audience he needed their help first.
“We need you to reach across the neighborhood to Democrats and Independents as well,” he said. “Make sure they understand that this is a year to vote for real change if you want to have real recovery. I need you to get those folks to vote for us!”
Before arriving in Colorado, Romney campaigned in Nevada. Of the two, Nevada is significantly more difficult for him, in part because of the sizeable Hispanic vote and the power of organized labor there.
Colorado remains one of the most closely contested of all the battleground states. Obama, who held his convention in Denver four years ago, easily won the state in 2008. But he has struggled this year to rekindle that enthusiasm. He returns Wednesday afternoon for a rally, part of his 48-hour round-the-country campaign swing.