The Romneys at Lake Michigan (Evan Vucci/AP)
HOLLAND, Mich.—Mitt Romney wrapped up his five-day bus tour of key battleground states here, ending the trip just as he began it: Trashing Barack Obama as an out-of-touch president whose policies have made it more difficult for the economy to recover.
"He's failed on the promises he's made," Romney told a crowd of several hundred people gathered at a beach rally here along the shores of Lake Michigan. "He's going to try his darndest to explain to all the people in America how it is that his policies he's put in place have helped the economy. But let me tell you, he doesn't deserve any credit for the recovery. As a matter of fact, he deserves the blame for it."
Romney cast himself as the man who can turn things around.
"We've gone through some tough times after the last three and a half years, and that's about to end," Romney declared.
[Slideshow: Romney's swing state bus tour]
It was Romney's 14th event on a tour that took him through six battleground states, beginning in New Hampshire last Friday. Over the weekend, he toured Pennsylvania and Ohio before heading to Wisconsin and Iowa on Monday. He spent the final day of his tour Tuesday traveling through Michigan, his home state and a key battleground he told reporters he believes he can win this fall.
Romney did not stray from the stump speech he's been delivering to voters across the country in recent days, focusing exclusively on jobs and the economy. Afterwards, the Republican nominee and his wife, Ann, took of their shoes and walked down the beach to stick their feet into Lake Michigan—an event that had Romney's traveling press corps sprinting down the beach to catch up with the candidate.
Eyeing huffing and puffing reporters who seemed dangerously on the verge of collapse, Romney seemed amused.
"This has been a lot of fun," Romney said.