Denver, Colorado (CNN) – Mitt Romney blamed President Barack Obama for mischaracterizing his positions and forcing him to spend more time fund-raising, as the GOP presidential candidate looked to turn around his campaign trajectory and end a difficult week.
The Republican standard-bearer did not push back when asked Sunday whether he had fallen behind the president in key swing states, but said he expected the upcoming trio of debates would help him set the record straight.
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"He's trying to fool people into thinking that I think things that I don't," Romney told reporters on his campaign charter plane. "And that ends at the debates."
The first debate is scheduled for October 3 in Denver.
On his plane, Romney said Obama had incorrectly portrayed his policy positions on issues as diverse as the automobile industry bailout to abortion to tax proposals.
"He says I was in favor of liquidating the automobile industry - nothing could be further from the truth… He says I'm in favor of lowering taxes on wealthy people. No I'm not," Romney said, and he criticized Democratic campaign commercials. "He keeps running these things even though he knows they're wrong and saying them in rallies even though he knows they're wrong."
Romney, who in the past week was hit by the release of a covertly-filmed video in which he said 47% of Americans were dependent on government and by criticism from within his own party over the direction of his campaign, said as the election neared his role was to tell voters about his plans for the country.
As for public opinion polls, Romney said he did not pay much attention.
"I know in the coming six weeks they're very unlikely to remain where they are today, he said. "I'll either go up or I'll go down. It's unlikely that we'll just stay the same."
The Republican White House hopeful, who spent much of last week raising money in California, Florida and Texas, blasted Obama for opting out of public financing and forcing both candidates to spend more time wooing donors.
Last month Obama's campaign surprised political analysts by hauling in more money than Romney.
Romney said as his campaign moves forward he expected to be doing less fund-raising. The campaign has announced public events planned in Colorado and Ohio early this week.
"I don't expect this to be a contest of who can say the cutest phrase, I think it's a contest of very different directions for the country," Romney said. "And the president's direction will be spoken in the context of his record because he has a record. And my pathway forward will be spoken in the context of my record."
The Obama campaign quickly fired back a statement.
"It's odd that Mitt Romney, a former CEO, won't take personal responsibility for his campaign's troubles," said campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith. "And it certainly takes a lot of chutzpah for him–after his campaign bragged that it wouldn't be dictated by fact checkers–to shed crocodile tears over a legitimate discussion of his record and policies."