By Marc Kovac
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney contrasted his plan for the country with that of President Barack Obama on Thurs- day, saying the latter will bring more of the same while the former will face “big challenges” and create “big opportunity.”
Speaking before a crowd of several thousand at a suburban Ohio manufacturer and surrounded by rolls of steel and propane tanks made at the plant, Romney smacked the incumbent for seeking another four years in office without offering viable economic solutions to the voting public.
“The president’s campaign is slipping because he can’t find an agenda,” Romney said. “He’s been looking for it. There are only 12 days left. He hasn’t had a chance to defend it or to describe it to the American people in our debates, and so the American people now have to recognize that, given the big challenges we have and the big election we have, it’s time for a big change.”
He added, “We’re going to finally tackle the problems politicians have spoken about for years but haven’t been willing to deal with. We’re going to finally get America strong again, with an economy to compete with anyone in the world.”
The Obama campaign hammered back Thursday that Romney’s background would hurt workers.
“As a corporate buyout specialist, Romney invested in companies that pioneered the practice of shipping jobs to places like China, shutting down American plants and firing workers — all while he walked away with a profit,” Jessica Kershaw, spokeswoman for the president’s Ohio campaign, said in a released statement. “It’s no wonder that Mitt Romney’s tax plan — including his support for eliminating taxes on American companies’ foreign incomes — would create 800,000 jobs in other countries. These jobs are likely to come at the expense of American workers in cities like Cincinnati, and that’s why the people of Ohio will not be supporting Mitt Romney this November.”
Romney made several campaign stops across the state Thursday, starting out in Cincinnati and ending in Defiance in northwestern Ohio. He and his running mate, congressman Paul Ryan, will make other appearances in the state today, with Ryan scheduled to take part in a bus tour over the weekend.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made their own swing through the state earlier in the week, with all of the candidates and their surrogates likely making additional stops through Election Day.
As he’s done during other appearances in Ohio, Romney touted his five-point plan — an energy policy that takes advantage of the country’s oil, gas, coal and other resources, a trade policy that creates a level playing field with China and other countries, an education policy that gives students choices in where they attend school, an economic policy that reduces taxes and regulatory burdens on small businesses, and a work-force training policy funded federally but controlled by states.
“This is a critical time for us, folks,” Romney said, adding, “When it comes to the economy and jobs, the president’s agenda is more of the same. He wants to continue doing what’s been done over the last four years. He calls that going forward, I call it forewarned. We’ve seen the last four years. We don’t want four more years like that.”
Romney also criticized the president for focusing on “smaller and smaller and smaller things,” a reference to Big Bird and other campaign rhetoric in recent weeks.
“He wants to talk about protecting characters on Sesame Street and ... silly word games,” Romney said. “And of course, he spends a lot of time attacking me. Attacking me is not an agenda for America’s future, and that’s why his campaign is having a hard time.”