Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on the campaign trail (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
"Look beyond the speeches and the attacks and the ads. Look to the record, the accomplishments and failures and the judgment. Words are cheap. A record is real and earned with effort. Change cannot be measured in speeches. It is measured in achievements," Romney said in what could be his final appearance in hotly contested Wisconsin. "Four years ago, candidate Obama promised to do so very much, but he has fallen so very short… Obama promised change, but he could not deliver it. I promise change, and I have a record of achieving it."
Making many of the same points he's emphasized in stump speeches over the last month, Romney also framed President Barack Obama as a president who has burned too many bridges in Washington to be able to overcome the partisan gridlock that has hobbled the nation's capital. Obama had campaigned to be a "post partisan president," Romney said, but he argued Obama has become "the most partisan--blaming, attacking, dividing."
"You know that if the president is re-elected, he will still be unable to work with the people in Congress," Romney continued. "The president was right when he said he can't change Washington from the inside. In this case, you can take him at his word."
Romney played up his record of working with Democrats as a Republican governor of Massachusetts and vowed to offer similar outreach if elected to the White House. He said he would work to find both Democrats and Republicans who "care about the country than about the politics" and get the economy back on track.
"When I am elected, the economy and American jobs will still be stagnant," Romney said. "I won't waste any time complaining about my predecessor. I won't spend my effort trying to pass partisan legislation unrelated to economic growth. From day one, I will go to work to help Americans get back to work."
His speech came just a week after he delivered what aides billed as a "closing argument" speech in Iowa. Worried that that speech was overshadowed by superstorm Sandy, Romney chose to deliver another closing message here in Wisconsin, kicking off a weekend in which he and his surrogates will fan out across 11 battleground states in a final bid to win support ahead of Election Day.
Romney is set to travel to six states over the weekend: Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. He's expected to go back to Florida, Virginia and Ohio on Monday before wrapping up his campaign with another rally in New Hampshire, where he officially kicked off his campaign in June 2011.
Speaking to voters here, Romney called Election Day "America's moment" and a chance to "start anew."
"We are four days away from a fresh start. Four days away from the first day of a new beginning. My conviction that better days are ahead is not based on promises and hollow rhetoric but solid plans and proven results and an unshakeable faith in the American spirit," Romney told voters here. "That better life is out there, waiting for us. Our destiny is in your hands."
- Politics & Government
- Mitt Romney
- President Barack Obama