GOLDEN, Colo. - Mitt Romney appeared in Colorado today and promoted his bipartisan work as governor of Massachusetts. He told supporters at a rally that Americans need a president in DC who "buries the hatchet."
Hopping onto a park bench outside, Romney spoke to an overflow crowd prior to his grassroots events, telling the crowd he wanted them to know he wasn't a "dismembered spirit" on a microphone but a "real person."
"I worked in a state. I found a way to work across the aisle, by the way. And when I look - we've got to have someone that goes to Washington that buries the hatchet and says you know what, there are good Democrats, there are good Republicans that care about America, let's work together to get the American people working, get some growth again. This is important. Getting America working, this isn't a statistic we're talking about. 23 million Americans out work or underemployed. 23 million. It's a tragedy. It's a moral failing for a country as successful as successful and wealthy as ours to have had policies that kept people from going to work. I want to get people back to work that want to work. Put them in good jobs with more take home pay."
President Obama has found it difficult to find support for any of his proposals among Republicans on Capitol Hill. He passed his landmark achievements - health reform legislation and wall street reform - without any help from Democrats. That national health reform law was in part based on the bipartisan law enacted by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. But it never gained popularity nationally. One Congress watcher, Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute said recently that Republicans are more to fault for the gridlock in Washington than are the Democrats.
Romney today unveiled a presidential accountability scorecard today, telling the crowd here that voters should look how President Obama's promises from four years ago stack up on his report card today.
"Ever since I was in elementary school we had report cards," Romney said. "When I was younger they used to give us A, B, C, D, E, F and then there was a period of time where they said well he's doing well, or not so well, or he could do better. We got a little soft in the grading. But I'm going to be a little bit more straightforward with grading today."
"When the president was here as a candidate accepting the nomination four years ago in Colorado, he had laid out the report card on which he hoped to be judged by," Romney continued, outlining how President Obama has failed to keep the promises he put forth four years ago.
Romney described the five criteria of the scorecard which both President Obama and Romney himself must meet if he becomes president. The scorecard will set goals of achieving energy independence in North America by 2020; provide Americans with the skills they need to succeed, including K-12 education, affordable higher education and job training; create a trade environment that works for America; cutting the deficit; and championing small businesses to foster job creation.
The 2020 goal for achieving energy independence in North America is a new timetable set by the campaign, which says it will work toward the goal by improving the regulatory climate in the energy industry and promote increased production of domestic energy through natural gas, oil development and coal.
While much of the plan has been laid out over the past year, Romney's advisors said they will be "reintroducing" policy proposals this Fall as voters pay closer attention to the election.
Romney also met with a victim of the Aurora tragedy this morning prior to his event in Golden, a city just over 25 miles from the spot of the deadly shooting two weeks ago.
Romney told the crowd at a grassroots event here that he met with McKayla Hicks, a survivor who was hit by a bullet in the theater next door to the shooting, calling her a "Colorado girl with a big heart."
"Across the country people are thinking about Aurora and the tragedy there and the lives that have been lost and the lives changed. We love you and we pray for you. You're in our hearts and you're in our prayers," Romney said to the crowd.
Romney is the first presidential candidate to hold a campaign event in the state since the shooting on July 20 th, although President Obama traveled to Aurora to meet with victims several days after the tragedy occurred.