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.
Sorry Mittens. I don't believe in LYING on anything to get your way in this world. I hope the American people think about this come election day. No one will trust you because they think you are LYING to them. Not only we Americans, but the world will not trust you.
Obama/Biden ALL THE WAY!!!!!!
Loved reading this! "integrity and excellence" Go Romney/Ryan!!!!!
Great closing speech from our next President. Tired of the 'hope and change' that didn't deliver. Unemployment at 7.9 %. Great work, Obama.
Oh wait, it was somebody else's fault, huh? Enough is enough.
LOL – coming from the flip-flopper extraordinaire, this is HILARIOUS !!!!!!!!!!!!!
"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"
Words ARE cheap Mr..Twit. you should thank about what you say BEFORE you say it. You've alienated the 47%, refused to release taxes (might whow profit from the GM bailout perhaps), upset our allies (Brits and Israel), campaigned with donors in Israel, and generally CHEAPENED the whole Presidential campaign. Wealth, family and business succes are irrelevant as President, but you'll never know that because the majority of the American people simply DON'T TRUST YOU !!!!!
How can they... you change your mind and position with the wind.
VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN 2012
"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." Robmey said that, however why does he run from his own record?
1. His own healthcare for MA is the healthcare for the country, he will repeal it. hmmmm
2. His record as Governor, never heard much about his accomplishments but do remember the "binders full of women".
3. Why is he waiting to give plans until after the election?
4. Did not know what the Liilly Ledbetter act is. Said he would get back to the "press".
5. He would love to see the demise of Planned Parenthood, wants to cut Sesame Street, and the poor and middle class are nothing but moochers in the 47% of Americans that he loathes.
Hussein Obama is going DOWN.
ROMNEY / RYAN 2012
I am from Canada Mitt and you are the worst candidate i have ever seen.You have no character and are dishonest.My parents taught me to speak the truth cost it what it may and all i hear from you are lies and changes in position based on where you are and who you are talking to. I would not vote for you if my life depended on it because i dont believe anything you say..Goodbye Mitt and Congratulation on your second term Pres Obama. Canada Loves you.
I agree with Gov. Romney – he WILL win Wisconsin and effectively the White House! Ladies and Gentlemen, you are witnessing the end of the disastrous Obama presidency and the beginning of successful Romney presidency. Our country deserves as much.
@Martha in CF....You "think" Romney is lying to you Huh? Well you know Obama is lying to you! I make decisions on reality not hyperbole. Also, I suppose you "think" the administration is telling you the truth about Benghazi? Tell that to the families that lost loved ones and cannot, repeat, cannot get a straight answer from our "transparent" President. The "liar" must go!
We cannot afford to reverse the productive course charted by Obama to build a future where ALL Americans have access to health care, retirement, homes, environmentally sound energy, education, modern infrastructure and equal job opportunities on a level playing field.
We cannot afford to return to the corrupt Republican/"Rob-me" policies that brought our country to the brink of bankruptcy in order to curry favor to those stealing American jobs, homes and retirement funds in order to line their own pockets!
We the people will elect a government for the people, of the people and by the people to serve ALL Americans – not just the 1%-ers!!!
89-year-old Lester Aldrich in Michigan makes a great case for why Mitt Romney must not become President.
Google: Mitt Romney Must Not Win – A Plea From An Old Man
How even Republicans can trust, much less vote for this lying, flip flopping, chicken hawk is beyond comprehension. If this guy fools enough people to vote for him, expect a huge amount of buyers regret to follow...
Don't buy the Obama marketing BS and lies again America. Obama, the Democrats and the LSM lied to you in 2008 and are lying to you again. THEY HAVE NO CLUE about how to get this country moving again. They have proved that fact over the last 4 years.
Romney/Ryan – proven, successful, ADULT leadership without the excuses, fingerpointing and blame game. The ONLY SANE CHOICE.
I hope Mitt Romney has began drafting his congratulatory speech. He will loose the presidential election. I want this on the record please
"Integrity and excellence?" Mitt Romney should not include that in any part of his life because its never been there!
1st you are an conservative with conservatie ideas. You then moved to the center to become a moderate, now you are a conservative. This is why Mittens you won't be elected in 4 days. You are a notorious flip-flopper!
When is his parade of loser rally today with Deputy Dog Boehner and Condi Rice, with "Getting Tommy Lee used goods" Kid Rock all on stage together? Frankly I really don't care. If I was Mitts, the last 2 people I would want to be seen with is Boehner, congress approval ratings is in the toliet and Rice, one of the architect of the Bush Doctrine, which helped shape the way America went into the toliet too!
Good luck Mitts parading around with these bunch of losers. After November 6, you will be another footnote in history and the President, Mr. Obama will resume his work for another 4 more years
"We ask you to look beyond the speeches and the attacks and the ads."
Romney, but wait, thats all you have....
Romney sees government as a business. It is not. Period.
What a mouth full of it! The only thing they want is to Divide and Rob!
I think Mitt and his thinking are what brought the economy down. If he is elected, the working people in America will suffer more. America is not a business and should not be run by a by a For Profit only leader.
Mitt Romney tell LIE, LIES and more LIES. This man can't be trusted, just reminder he was CEO of Bain that Destroy America Company and did away with American Jobs. He doesn't know how to Created Jobs ,all he know Is how to Destroy Jobs and send them oversea to China and India. Wake up people and vote for the person that care about the Middle Class and below and vote for President Obama.
Wisconsin.........home of Ryan. Obama leads 51 to 44.
RYAN / romney 2012...........We're a little behind in Wisconsin, but we'll still say anything to win.
This hopefully is the last word from lying Romney – ever. He was a joke, he is a joke and will forever remain a joke.
Romney is a closet moderate
He WILL raise taxes
He WILL betray conservatives
He won't succeed
If Mitt Romney wins Wisconsin on Tuesday it will have nothing to do with integrity or excellence. Just ask Scott Walker or Kathy Nickolaus or the Koch brothers or the Einhorns about how it's really done.