CINCINNATI – Mitt Romney on Thursday unveiled a new election homestretch mantra in this crucial swing state—“big change.” He used the expression more than half a dozen times in a speech in which he also pushed the idea of early voting.
“America wants to see big changes, and we’re going to bring big changes to get America strong again,” Romney told a crowd estimated at 3,000 at Cincinnati’s Jet Machine, a machining and welding company.
He said President Obama’s campaign, by comparison, “is slipping because he's talking about smaller and smaller things despite the fact that America has such huge challenges and that this is such an opportunity for America, and that's why on Nov. 6, I'm counting on Ohio to vote for big change.”
The former Massachusetts governor, who was joined by Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, also incorporated the theme into his call for early voting.
“Go out there and find some people. Bring them to the polls. And, by the way, if there’s someone who doesn’t have a ride to the polls, help them get to the poll,” he said. “We need to make sure Ohio is able to send a message loud and clear: We want real change. We want big change.”
Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith scoffed at the Republican’s new rhetorical tack.
“Here’s the ‘big change’ Mitt Romney is offering: going back to the same failed policies that caused the economic crisis and empowering the extreme voices in his party like Richard Mourdock,” she said in reference to the Indiana GOP Senate candidate who has caused a firestorm with his recent remarks about rape.
Recent Ohio polls have shown Obama with a small lead, although some have the race in a tie. Romney has two more events scheduled in the Buckeye State on Thursday.
In another sign of how seriously it takes Ohio, the Romney campaign on Thursday released a memo from Rich Beeson, its national political director, and Scott Jennings, its Ohio state director, projecting confidence about its chances in the state.
"Our ticket has more enthusiasm, has a better ground game, is leading among independents by a wide margin, and is crippling President Obama’s early voting strategy by significantly slicing into his 2008 margin of victory in that category," the memo said. "Further, a steady upward trajectory among key voting blocs indicates a close race, but one that is unmistakably moving in Mitt Romney’s direction."
It said that Romney enjoys a lead among independent voters and that in the last five major statewide races, the candidate who has won that bloc has won the state. And it cited a Quinnipiac University poll showing Republicans there are more energized than Democrats.