Cincinnati (CNN) – Saturday was game day for huge swaths of college sports fans across the country, and for the Republican ticket in Ohio the focus was not much different.
"It's time for America to see a winning season again, and we're gonna bring it to 'em," Mitt Romney told an enthusiastic audience at a Cincinnati train station.
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The GOP presidential nominee – a fan of the New England Patriots – likened President Obama's record on job creation to that of a losing coach.
"One of the promises he made was he was going to create more jobs. And today, 23 million people are out of work or stopped looking for work or underemployed," Romney said. "Let me tell you if you have a coach that's 0 and 23 million, you say that it's time to get a new coach."
Meanwhile across the state, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan tail-gated in Columbus as he prepared to cheer for his alma mater – Miami University of Ohio – in the season opening weekend. The school will play against Ohio State University, which hasn't lost a home opener in 34 years.
Ryan met up with former brothers from his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta. He played a game of corn hole with an 11-year-old and flipped burgers at a tent hosted by the Columbus Hospitality Group.
Ryan's mother, Betty Ryan Douglas, who was with him, said it was "just like he did at McDonalds," where he worked in high school.
Before kick-off, Romney's running mate spoke briefly to the Miami University Redhawks in the locker room, but the campaign wanted this to be just a photo-op so the candidate's remarks would not be reported.
Romney's rally in Cincinnati drew thousands of raucous supporters, who cheered for 40 seconds when the candidate promised to repeal and replace Obama's health care law.
"We recognize what a great responsibility you've given us," Romney said after taking in the applause. "How much you expect from us to be able to get back the White House and get America back on track."
Romney continued to tick through his five-point plan to create jobs. He did not mention his plan would include cutting a government subsidy to Amtrak – whose trains run through the Union Station where Romney spoke.
A spokeswoman for Obama's re-election effort said Romney would raise taxes on middle-class families and make "deep cuts to critical investments in education and infrastructure."
"Those are the same failed policies that crashed our economy and devastated the middle class in the first place and are promises the middle class just can't afford," Lis Smith said.
In his remarks to an overflow audience of about 600 people, Romney made reference to his Democratic opponents' convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, which kicks off on Tuesday.
"It's not going to be as happy as ours was," Romney said.