West Allis, Wisconsin (CNN) – In a speech billed as the "closing argument" of Mitt Romney's year-and-a-half long presidential campaign, the GOP nominee Friday presented the case that four years of President Barack Obama had produced few of the economic results that were promised at the beginning of his term.
"The closing hours of a campaign have a dynamic of their own," Romney said in a speech outside Milwaukee, describing how some people were just beginning to tune into the presidential race as the contest comes to a close.
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"We ask you to look beyond the speeches and the attacks and the ads. Look to the record, the accomplishments and failures, and the judgment. Words are cheap. A record is real and earned with effort. Change cannot be measured in speeches; it is measured in achievements," Romney said, before launching into a list of areas he said Obama had failed to live up to his vows as a candidate in 2008.
The Republican candidate said if he were president, "Every entrepreneur, every small business person, every job creator will know that for the first time in four years the government of the United States likes business and loves the jobs and higher wages businesses can bring."
The visit marked Romney's first stop in Wisconsin since the day after he announced Rep. Paul Ryan, a native of the state, as his running mate. The vice presidential choice effectively put Wisconsin in play, but recent polls show Romney slightly behind Obama.
According to a CNN Poll of Polls in the state, an average of three Wisconsin polls of likely voters conducted over the past week, Obama has a 51%-44% advantage over Romney.
He also promised to be an effective partner with Congress, saying Obama was guilty of rebuffing legislators during the three-and-a-half years he's been in office.
"I mean he has ignored them. He has attacked them. He has blamed them," Romney said. "The debt ceiling will come up again and shut down and default will be threatened, chilling the economy. The president was right when he said we said he can't change Washington from the inside. In this case you can take him at his word. We are going to put him outside soon."
Describing his campaign as a "movement," Romney said the "shared conviction" of his supporters motivated him to become a better candidate.
"It has made me strive even more to be worthy of the office, to campaign as I would govern, to speak for the aspirations of all Americans," Romney said.
Prior to taking the stage, Romney got a big cheesehead boost from NFL Hall of Famer Bart Starr. The former Green Bay Packers quarterback began to tear up as the vocal audience gave Starr a big welcome.
"This is quite a thrill for my wife and me to be here today with you," he said, wiping away tears. "We lived here in Green Bay for 31 years. It will always be our adopted home."
Starr cracked open a book written by coaching legend Vince Lombardi, who wrote about the qualities of leadership.
"If you read inside this," Starr said, "He is talking about a Mitt Romney."
The former football star read a few passages, including a list of what Lombardi considered to be excellent characteristics. They boiled down, he said, to two traits: "integrity and excellence."
"That's quite frankly, ladies and gentlemen, what I have seen in Gov. Mitt Romney," Starr said.
After the event, Romney walked over to greet an overflow crowd of supporters, to whom the GOP nominee stressed the importance of turning out the vote.
"This will probably be a turnout election," he said. "Let me tell you, one vote times a hundred thousand is a hundred thousand. We need a lot of votes."
With four days left, Romney made one final prediction: "We're going to do something that surprises a few people in the White House that are there right now, and that is we're going to win Wisconsin on Tuesday."
– CNN's Rachel Streitfeld and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.
Integrity and excellence are certainly not two words that would describe a dishonest man who stands for nothing. Mitt Romney's vision is more a fantasy. I seem to remember how he governed in Massachusetts and that he didn't play well with others. He vetoed 844 bills and he claims he can reach across the aisle. The only time we have heard the truth from the deeply regilious Romney was on the tapes describing how he feels about 47% of Americans. Mitt Romney is not a man of character and conviction and must be kept out of the White House. I've voted Obama and hope the majority of this country does the same.
You can go ahead and close up your campaingn, fool I have already voted early and our president got my vote. You see, I have not been able to trust you since the second and third debates. During that second debate you dropped your mask for a moment and I saw raw hatred for President Obama. During the third debate you appeared to "agree" with President Obama, but I felt that your sneering face was mocking him. You have finally made me truly dislike you.
Romney is accusing Obama to the same thing he is doing. Wake up voters. Romney mades millions off Delphi in OH when the plant was closing due to the Auto industry. Romney and his wife bought thousands of shares of stock at 67 cents a share. After the auto industry was saved Delphi sold part to the auto companies at double of before. So Romney has tens of millions of dollars off shore. Romney does his best when he can make his millions, but as President it will be different. He has no SOLUTIONS for jobs, the economy.
Let's see, who do I vote for? I could vote for Romney and get a growing economy, lower taxes, more job, and a better future for my kids and grandchildren….OR….I can vote for Obama and get taxed more, less pay, weaker military, behind the door deals with Russia, and a climate of hate I have never seen before. Tough choice.
""We ask you to look beyond the speeches and the attacks and the ads.""
"....because I lied in all of them."
Romney is a 'Sever Liar' but in no way a 'Sever Conservative'.
USA needs a real leader, not someone like Obama who blames others for his failures but claims bredit for others doings.
Don't trust him. He lies. and lies, and lies, and lies.
My 401K is up, my savings is up, my friends all have jobs, things are good. Mitt lies.
Do not fall for the nonsense Romney and the Republicans are selling. They will lie, cheat and steal to get into the White House. The Republican idea 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.
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.
@gademocrat cant agree w u more. Rep dont like looking at facts-but as long as the undeciders do. Doubled stock market, job growth, health care reform etc. I hate 2 tell u rethugs that if a man can blatantly lie 2 u n yr face knowing dang gd and well he is and YOU KNOW thru facts that he is 2 and u still vote 4 him, u deserve what u get. I'm hopeful the country wont hv 2 endure that nightmare. 2 bad we dont live on a parrell universe. We get our guy and u get yrs. And no u cant come 2 ours. U chose it u get it! Lol 2 bad we couldnt hv done that w bush/gore also. What a world we'd b n now.
ROMNEY/RYAN 2012! America has a bright future!