Westerville, Ohio (CNN) – As he attempts to reverse a polling deficit against President Obama in Ohio, Mitt Romney had a message for that swing state's voters Wednesday: he feels their pain, and he knows how to fix it.
The GOP presidential candidate told 2,000 voters in a high school gym outside Columbus they could trust him to know his strengths – righting the economy, he said, as well as tackling the national debt.
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"I've been across this country. My heart aches for the people I've seen," Romney told the enthusiastic supporters seated on folding chairs around a high school gym. "And the difference between me and President Obama is I know what to do and I will do what it takes to get this economy going."
Recognizing that many small business owners pay taxes on their business through their personal income filing, Romney aknowledged that his tax reforms would affect the personal income system.
"By the way don't be expecting any huge cut in taxes because I'm also going to lower deductions and exemptions," Romney said. "But by bringing rates down we'll be able to have small businesses keep more of their money so they can hire more people."
Though Romney lags behind Obama in a handful of recent polls taken in Ohio, polls from The Washington Post and Quinnipiac University showed voters here trust Romney more than the president to do a better job handling the budget deficit.
"When [Obama] came into office there was just over ten trillion dollars in debt. Now there's over 16 trillion dollars in debt. If he were reelected I can assure you it will be almost 20 trillion dollars in debt," Romney told the audience, as he stood next to a digital debt clock the campaign has used at some previous events. "By the way, those debts get passed on to our kids. It's not just bad for the economy, it's not just bad for our job creation it will – in my opinion it is immoral for us to pass on obligations like that to the next generation."
Romney's appearance here Wednesday came as part of a three-day joint bus tour with running mate Paul Ryan designed to shore up support for the Republican ticket in the last 40 days of the White House race.
Golf legend Jack Nicklaus delighted the audience with an appearance, and introduced Romney by saying the two men shared family values. In turn, Romney called Nicklaus "the greatest athlete of the 20th century."
"When he said this election is not about him, but about his kids and his grandkids I knew just what he felt, that's what this campaign is all about," Romney said.
He also ruefully joked with the audience about what he called one of his weaknesses – athleticism.
"When I got the job to help organize the Olympic Winter Games in 2002, I knew that it was a bit ironic for a guy with such little athletic ability as myself to be able to be responsible for the largest athletic event in the world," Romney joked. "My boys also saw the irony in it."
– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.
Yeah Right Mr. "Those People", & MrsAnne"You People"
Go home and get that car elevator built!!
Yeah Yeah his heart aches for the 53% of American, but he doesn't care about the other 47%.......remember that in November......the 53% is the people of HIS middle class that makes between $200K and $250K and his rich friends....that's his middle class the rest of us hard working people that make $45K and up are in the 47% that he said (from his own mouth) he doesn't care about......so don't give us your BLEEDING HEART CRAP that you care......as long as you can get into the WH and give yourself more opportunities to send more of your money to overseas banks so you don't have to pay taxes on it and do the same for your elite rich buddies thats all that matters to you.....Lowing your Charity deductions this last year so it made it look like you paid more in taxes is as lame and shows what a cheat you are.....your not only a tax evader your a draft dodger........OBAMA 2012
His heart aches only because HE'S LOOSING! Romney cares less and WE ALL KNOW IT!
OBAMA 2012 the way forward!
My heart aches for the people I've seen,"
No amount of words can express the disgust I feel about this man after this statement. It is NOW up to the American people, to show him just how much we resent this liar who believes with all his heart, we are this ignorant and easy to fool.
Romney 'my heart aches' for those struggling" But, I'm not concerned with those folks because they are the 47% that I can't stand to look at. What makes my heart ache, is that, I so desperately need at least 10% of their votes to have half a chance of putting the head of the presidency on my home office mantle. Then I would have out done my old man. You know my dear old dad started this whole curse of a tax thing which has become the bane of my existence" Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Is his heart aching for the 47% that he wrote off as losers?
He says he has a plan and is the only one who can fix the economy but so far all we know about his plan is that will will automatically add 5 trillion dollars to the debt. I'm afraid he is going to have to do a lot better than that.
Repeal of Obamacare has "help for the struggling" written all over it. Starve the beast budgetary principles have "help the struggling" written all over it. The political battle in America is between the Makers and the Takers (the folks who would rather receive government benefits than work and who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives) has "help for the struggling written all over it." We built it (and you had nothing to do with it) has "help for the struggling" written all over it. The sheer weight and frequency of such pronouncements from Messers Romney and Ryan put the eloquent lie to this particular claim.