EUCLID, Ohio — Mitt Romney is trying to reach out to Americans who may have supported President Obama four years ago but have grown disillusioned with his presidency with a simple message: I’m one of you.
It’s not quite that simple, of course. Romney campaigned hard for Obama’s 2008 opponent, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), and is the presumptive Republican nominee this time.
But during a visit Monday to the Cleveland area, Romney opened his remarks at a town hall meeting here by trying to connect with swing voters by saying that he, too, remembers Obama’s promises of hope and change.
“The American people are good-hearted people with the desire for good things to happen to one another, and we hope that this president would be able to be successful,” Romney said. “I sure did. And he has not been.”
At that, Romney transitioned into his practiced prosecution of Obama’s economic record. Romney has been adjusting his message in recent months amid some signs of an improving job market. He now argues that slight improvements in the unemployment rate are not satisfactory and points to other economic indicators, including declining home values and incomes and rising gas and food prices.
“I want not only to see a low unemployment rate,” he said. “I want to see more people working in good jobs who can afford good mortgages.”
Romney added: “We don’t have enough people that have got good jobs. Incomes have dropped. … This is at the same time that the costs have gone up. Health care costs up, gasoline costs up, food prices have gone up. It’s harder. Americans in the middle class are feeling squeezed, even if they have a job.”