Ames, Iowa (CNN) - Mitt Romney renewed his bid for independent voters Friday, pledging in a formal speech to unite a fractious Washington and deliver "big change" to reset the country's course.
"This election is a choice," Romney told more than a thousand voters on a windy Iowa afternoon, saying Americans faced "a choice between the status quo - going forward with the same policies of the last four years - or instead, choosing real change, change that offers promise, promise that the future will be better than the past."
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.
The speech, billed by aides as a major address on the economy, was largely a repeat of remarks Romney had given on the stump at rallies across Ohio a day earlier. The GOP presidential nominee did not outline new policy positions, instead using lofty rhetoric to make his final pitch to undecided voters.
Reading remarks from a teleprompter – an aid the campaign uses only during formal speeches – Romney criticized the president for focusing on "the small and the petty" in his campaign and failing to capitalize on America's great potential during his term in office.
"President Obama frequently reminds us that he inherited a troubled economy," Romney said. "But a troubled economy is not all that he inherited. He also inherited the greatest nation in the history of the earth."
In response to a slightly better-than-expected third quarter economic numbers released Friday, Romney said the nation's rate of growth was still "discouraging" and fell far short of what Obama had promised four years ago.
And the Republican nominee continued to moderate his appeal to voters in a key swing state in the final days of the election, focusing particularly on the theme of bipartisanship and saying he would make good on Obama's promise in 2008 to tame partisan rancor in the nation's capital.
"The President's campaign falls far short of the magnitude of these times. And the presidency of the last four years has fallen far short of the promises of the last campaign," Romney said. "Four years ago, America voted for a post-partisan president, but they have seen the most partisan and political of presidents, and a Washington in gridlock because of it."
Even before Romney gave his remarks, Democrats were predicting he would deliver little that was new.
In a statement released after the speech, Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith sought to tie Romney to "the same failed policies that crashed our economy in the first place."
"True to form, Mitt Romney's most recent 'major policy speech' included dishonest attacks and empty promises of change, but no new policy," Smith said. "That's because all Mitt Romney has is a one-point economic plan that he's been running on for two years: the very wealthy get to play by a very different set of rules than everyone else."
Yeah, Romney is really big on wonderful promises, but very short on specifics.
Maybe he will just borrow Christine O'Donnell's magic wand, mutter an incantation, and make everything better ... you know, the way it was before Bush got in office.
That's Called: "Same ol Same ol" down here in Georgia.
I totally agree we all of you. I was at the rally excited, but it was the same song he was singing. To hell we this guy. I just went and vote for Obama in Ohio today. Good bye CEO Willard Mitt Robmen.
If that be the case, then the media could be partially the blame - are we too believe that the public accepted media-sponsored side shows of two bags of hot air fighting in the center ring -as we the 100% awarded points?
I was supporter of democratic party but not now.. But Democratic party run very negative campaign. People wants specific on what you will do in next 4 years when you have not kept up to your promises. They don't do it.
Then they hide stuff because it impact chances of winning.. Benghazi.. Auto bailout (what they did ,..), how many jobs did they actually create, how many renewal energy companies did they funds who have gone bankrupt.
They don't deserve lots of people vote because of that.. Lots of people who were supporting them in 2008 no longer support them..
Worst candidate for President EVER! He's a buffoon, a carnival barker!
So what's new? Romney never has offered specifics on anything! He just goes with "trust me" as if he's shown himself trustworthy in the slightest! He wants to be president so badly that he'll do or say anything. I can't imagine why ANY woman, senior, disabled or gay person would vote for him. And he keeps throwing out this "I'll create 12 million jobs" again, without any indication of how he thinks he will accomplish that. There are some things on which I disagree with President Obama, but Mitt Romney would be a total disaster for this country. Yet people will vote for him because he says (now) that he's pro-life. It's frightening.
depressing thought - election will be all about which bag of hot air the electoral majority likes and trusts the most
Romney criticized the president for focusing on “the small and the petty” in his speech. Yes you're correct our president cares about the 47%! We ALL are important. Lindajean
i believe romney is the better man –he just needs to put more meat in with the potatoes :)
Love the plan finally someone with sense and a vision, not the same failed policies over the last 4 years. We know what bulls**t we will get from OBama. Romney has a plan that I like.
SENSATA....When will we see this story CNN
Details Willard! We want Details!
Oops, again. (Time to call it a day). Should have been Romney "offers" and "many" suggesting ...
Yes, the "big change" is likely to be that Romney would again change his policies, abandoning all the centrist things he's been saying in order to get elected, and returning to the extremist GOP party platform.
Where is the CIA "STAND DOWN" story on CNN?
Careful Willard. Don't set the counties expectations too high unless you can wave a magic wand to fix things FAST.
"blacks need to take the initiative and ask romney what exactly he will do for them that bush and obama did not do"
I'm sorry, but did you just blame "blacks" for Mittens not suplpying any specifics or details of his alleged "plans"?
You realize that medication was perscribed to you for a reason, right?
@Ancient TEXAN,read up ignorent one on his so called working across anything.Everything he pushed while governor was over ruled at least 700 times by Democrates who were in majority.If you TEXAN know so much than why is Pres.Obama leading by over 20 points in Massachusetts as in Michigan and NewYork,know something we don't old Ancient One!!Because as you're republican you really don't!!
He's offering economic slavery.
Here is the big change Romney and the Republicans are talking about. It doesn’t matter how Romney and the Republican try to spin their policies, the American people know how disastrous those policies have been for this country, especially for the Middle Class and less fortunate.
Americans are not stupid. How can anyone even thing Romney’s policies will be better for this country. Romney and the Republicans policies from 2001 to 2008 brought this great nation to its knees, their policies caused the Great Recession, their policies wiped out almost 10,000,000 jobs as a direct result of the Great Recession, their policies wiped out retirement savings for tens of millions of Americans as a direct result to the Great Recession, their policies took a $1 trillion surplus to a $13 trillion deficit, their policies resulted in the decline in the percentage of Americans that are in the middle class, their policies resulted in tens of millions of Americans without healthcare, their policies resulted in millions of Americans losing their homes, their policies will be detrimental to Latinos and all other minorities, their policies will result in another war in the Middle East, and the list goes on.
No Americans in their right mind will believe that Romney/Ryan policies will be better for the Economy. The only way for anyone to think that is if they are suffering from total amnesia. People will remember what happened in 2007/2008 and the years leading up to the Great Recession. It was the exact same policies that Romney is advocating now that caused the Great Recession. We are not that dumb to think that these same policies that caused the Great Recession will somehow magically make the economy better.
I guess Romney/Ryan think we are all stupid and don’t know the truth and can’t remember the dark days of the great recession of 2007 and 2008 and the years leading up to it.
The choice is clear. Do we want to go back to the exact same policies (Romney/Ryan current policies) that brought America (this great Nation) to its knees or do we want to continue to build on the recovery.
No DUH! Few Specifics? I'm tired of giving excuses of why I should vote for him. And he insulted me because I am the 47%.
Romney and the Republican idea of change and to make things better is to do the same things that caused the problem. I am sure they would have no problem rehiring a financial advisor whose investment policies almost wiped out most Americans life savings. Basically that is what the Republicans are proposing. They are saying lets fire the guy that stabilized your investments and grow it to almost what it was prior to 2007 and let’s rehire the guy whose policies almost wiped it out. Do they think most Americans are stupid?
Here is the real hoax. The Republican idea to make things better is to do the same things that caused the problem. Here is something to think about. Republicans would have no problem rehiring a financial advisor whose investment policies almost wiped out their life savings. Basically that is what they are proposing. Republicans are telling us to fire the guy that stabilized and grow our investments to almost what it was worth prior to 2007 and rehire the guy whose policies almost wiped it out. We have to be really stupid to listen to them and rehire a guy whose policies wiped out investment in the first place. I would hope that Americans are smarter than that.
Here is a simple way of looking at who is best for the economy. Would you invest with a guy whose investment policies wiped out your investment portfolio or would you invest with a guy whose investment policies stabilized your investment portfolio and is currently growing your portfolio. Even Romney wouldn't invest his own money with the guy whose policies wiped out everyone’s investment and now he wants us to do it. So why would anyone even consider voting for any Republican.
How can any Americans think that Romney/Ryan policies would be better for the Economy. The only way for anyone to think that is if they are suffering from total amnesia. Have people forgotten what happened in 2007/2008 and the years leading up to the Great Recession. It was the exact same policies that Romney is advocating now that caused the Great Recession. Are we that dumb to think that these same policies that caused the Great Recession will somehow magically make the economy better.
The hope for R/R is that the American people are dumb!!! Outstanding, horrific premise. Clearly, Americans are hip to this guy and his party. ANYONE who can put party first ahead of the neighbor is committing treason!!! God, country and family!!! Nowhere does it mention party as a monicker. The people on this page exemplify intelligence and knowledge. R/R are GW Bush and comp incarnate. We saw what that lead to. God help us all... Rev M...
Biased Reporting and Voter Manipulation killing Democracy! SHUT IT and do some honest reporting! You want to interject your personal politics.... Start your own blog or websit with YOUR name on it and put that crap their! Quit abusing your stage