Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) - Twenty weeks before and less than a mile away from the site of the Democratic National Convention, Mitt Romney said that this time around, President Obama would not be able to repeat any part of his 2008 convention speech.
As the Bank of America stadium and convention site towered nearby, the presumptive GOP nominee criticized the president Wednesday for falling short on his campaign promises.
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"We're a trusting people, we're a hopeful people, but we're not dumb," Romney said. "It's time that we've learned who Barack Obama is and what he's capable of doing, that he's over his head and he's swimming in the wrong direction."
Romney pointed to an array of economic indicators – unemployment, small business growth, even the country's fiscal future – which he said have suffered under Obama's presidency.
And, though the campaign's elaborate outdoor, made-for-TV photo-op in front of the convention site was forced inside by a rainstorm Wednesday, Romney took a shot at the widely-mocked Greek-style columns that framed Obama during his Denver convention speech in 2008.
"One thing I am convinced that you are not going to see at the Democratic Convention," Romney said. "You are not going to see President Obama standing alongside Greek columns. He is not going to want to remind anybody of Greece."
Meanwhile, a new poll showed Romney's numbers has rebounded after all-but-securing the nomination and he was tied with Obama in a head-to-head matchup. But the former Massachusetts governor still faces an uphill battle against Obama when voters are asked which man is more likeable.
Romney seemed to nod to that likeability gap and promote his own message of economic turnaround.
"Even if you like Barack Obama, we can't afford Barack Obama," he said.
The presidential candidate heads next to Ohio, where he will rebut Obama's Wednesday speech in the crucial swing state.
On a Romney campaign conference call, a press spokesman said the appearances in Charlotte and Cleveland were part of a deliberate strategy.
"We're going to be waging a very vigorous campaign to highlight the clear and sharp contrast between Gov. Romney's understanding of the economy, his pro-jobs policy and this president's failed three years in office," said Ryan Williams.
Wow, is this all he's got? This GOP presidential campaign is going to be lame.
I cannot remember a worse candidate since...well he's making Walter Mondale look good.
President Obama was given a Bush republican near depression, two unfunded wars, a GDP of negative 9.8%, a loss of 8 million jobs in the last three years of the Bush experiment, a U -6 unemployment from Bush at 14.2%, a loss of 750,000 jobs in Bush's last month, TARP, so I think he has done remarkably well with out a single republican vote.
We need Mitt. The more I research Obama, the more I see a Manchurian candidate. Why can't Dems. see this?
...because Dems are clowns who have never worked a day in their life...
let me see, europe is in shambles with the repubs "push money to the rich, austerity on middle class and working family movement". i wonder what will happen to the america and the world when mitten takes over and push the same european austerity movement.
Go on wit your majic underwearen bad self!!!
I cannot stand this man. Do not vote for the human screwdriver. This guy is such a fake tool, stands for nothing, has no ideas, believes in an idiotic made up story of a religion. He's a frickin manager, just like Bush was. Not a president. Neither is Obama but at least Obama has some indication that he has principles. Not Romney. I have no idea what the man believes. The only thing I know is that he hates Obama because that's all I ever here him say.
What is wrong with people? Mittens doesn't create jobs, he wrecks companies and lives and sends the job overseas. Go ahead, vote him in, if you're not rich, you're screwed. So many people lost everything during the Bush years, yet you want to go back to more of the same. You gave Bush 8 years to ruin us, but you expect President Obama to turn all of that around even with the rethugs/tea baggers blocking everything he tries to do in 3 years?? People, his name is Barack Obama, not Jesus Christ. He is a mere man, not the Messiah.
Etch-a-Sketch Mitt is trying to play catch up....where ever President Obama leads, Mitt follows like a clues idiot!!!
Mitt is already spouting off gibberish and the president hasn't said a single word to attack this lame GOP FLIP FLOPPER!!!!!
I am looking forward to the debate's between Obama and Romney.
It's decided even before Mit start speaking.
Romney's right we are not dumb, not dumb enough to vote for him. I live near Charlotte and got a invite yesterday to the free event today. I would rather watch paint dry or the grass grow than attend a Romney event. Romney needs to do his homework. Charlotte is the largest city in NC and the new south. President Obama won the city of Charlotte and county of Mecklenburg in 2008. In this region we don't like negative ads.
@Republican Latino (Salvadorian) voting for Romney – "We need Mitt. The more I research Obama, the more I see a Manchurian candidate. Why can't Dems. see this?"
Yawn... socialist, communist, marxist, muslim, birthers, etc. Why is it that instead of acting like 4 yr olds and name calling in the school yard, you can't come up with some serious alternatives to what ails the country. Mittens and the GOP aint it – given that they have been instrumental in the massive fiscal collapse, subsequent deficits, bailouts and REQUIRED Govt spending to prevent a 1930's-era RECESSION (economics 101 bud). Obama is doing a fine job with the recovery. It's not over and will take longer. However, he's had NO HELP from the do-nothing GOP Congressional caucus on over THREE yrs. If you want to blame anyone for our current state, feel free to BLAME the GOP. Obama has done everything in his power to right the boat. It's really hard to do when crew refuses to help. Mittens is NOT a valid alternative to the current POTUS.
Well said! America cannot afford Obama nor his mistakes anymore!!
Romney is Right for America.
Believe in America
A reply to "Republican Latino" - you've been watching too many movies...
The more I see of Mittens, the more I see a puppet of the Kochs and Wall Street.
Romney has been unfortunately heavy on criticisms, short on any solutions.
Gotta ask if anyone actually thinks Mitt Romney thinks Mitt Romney is "electable"....
Mitt is just kinda silly really. He's not funny when he thinks he is and he is funny when he's not trying to be. More importantly, he's not what the country needs right now.
Why would he repeat a 4 year old speech? And I KNOW that Romney couldn't repeat a 4 MONTH ols speech because his positions have all changed since then. And somebody please enlighten me as to which politician has ever been able to accomplish ALL of the goals that they set during a campaign, and while you're at it, tell what President has ever had a political party promise to do nothing but work to make the President fail. What with reality and the deck being stacked against him I say that President Obama has done an outstanding job. Let's give him some help this year.
Democrats are scared of Romney...look at them froth on CNN here.
If you look at the record, President Obama has done a very good job bringing this country back from a very low point. Could it be better, yes. Does he get any help from the other party, no. None the less, we are on our way back and for those who make comments about dems never working. Remember it is the dems that gave the chance for people to build a middleclass, and I for one recent it when I worked for over 40 years and still work part time in the Winter.
"Republican Latino (Salvadorian) voting for Romney
We need Mitt. The more I research Obama, the more I see a Manchurian candidate. Why can't Dems. see this?"
Bogeymen and grumpkins are invisible precisely because they are imaginary. What are you, four years old?
Obama has proven with %5 trillion of new national debt, a more expensive a nd bureaucratic government and three years of political folly that he is not the guy to fix anything. He is a political hack with no plan. He is in over his head.
Mistakes are made by GOP idiots 2wars, 20 billions to Pakistan, trickle down nonsense, ok. Yes, GM alive Bin Laden killed. Obama2012.
I wouldn't exactly call constant criticism that has no basis in fact "taking it to the President." I'd call it empty, shallow and sophomoric – "I know you are, but what am I"? Yeah, real impressive Willard.
Here's a novel idea Willard...how about giving people a reason to vote for you? How about letting us all – not just wealthy donors – in on what your plans are, what you plan to cut. Or are we just not worthy? I've heard enough criticisms, lies and distortions from Romney to last me a lifetime.