(Evan Vucci/AP)TOLEDO, Ohio—Mitt Romney projected confidence Wednesday that he's going to win Ohio, in spite of a recent spate of polls showing him trailing President Barack Obama in this crucial swing state.
"I'm going to win Ohio," Romney told NBC's Ron Allen in an interview. "I'm going to become the next president."
In a separate interview with ABC's David Muir, Romney downplayed several recent polls that suggest he's losing ground to Obama in Ohio and other battleground states.
"Polls go up, polls go down," Romney told ABC. But, he added, he was "absolutely convinced" that people would support his campaign after watching his first debate with Obama, scheduled for next week.
Romney's comments came as he wrapped up a quick bus tour in Ohio with a rally at a convention center here—vowing he will create new jobs and turn the economy around "when I become president."
Fueled by the cheers of more than 3,000 supporters, Romney repeatedly slammed Obama, linking him to increased gas prices—which he claimed had doubled under Obama's watch—and accusing the president of wanting to raise taxes on small businesses.
"He wants to raise the tax rates on them. That'll kill jobs," Romney said. "I'm gonna lower the tax rates. He wants to raise them. I'll create jobs. He'll kill 'em."
For Romney, it was an upbeat end to what has been a rough 24 hours for his campaign, thanks in part to two new polls that suggested the GOP candidate is losing by as much as 10 points to Obama in Ohio.
At one point, Romney simply paused for almost a minute, basking in the glow of an adoring audience that wildly cheered the candidate throughout his 20-minute speech here.
"I believe in America, and I believe in you," Romney said, as supporters waved campaign signs and red-white-and-blue pom-poms. "I believe you're going to help me win Ohio."