ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:
DENVER — Even Mitt Romney’s most ardent supporters in this key swing state have a message for him heading into the final month before Election Day: “Play a little more hardball.”
That’s what 73-year-old retiree Ken Carpenter told ABC News in an interview this week in which he called the last four years of the Obama administration a “disaster.”
“I’m definitely against Obama and everything about him,” Carpenter said. “He’s destroying America, so Romney’s the other choice.”
In a state where polls show the race between Romney and Obama extremely close, Carpenter said he could not predict how Romney would ultimately fare.
“There’s an awful lot of liberals in this state from New York, California,” he said. “They call themselves independents, but they’re really not.”
Then-candidate Obama won Colorado by a 9-point margin over John McCain four years ago, and at a rally in Denver on Monday night, Romney told his supporters he had a “request” for them.
“I’d like you to go out and find one person who voted for Barack Obama — or maybe two or three or four or five — and convince them to come join our team,” Romney said to a crowd of nearly 6,000. “I need you to go out and find people and say ‘You know what? It’s not working.’ It’s time to get America going again.”
At a campaign event in Littleton, Colorado on Tuesday, Ann Romney made the same request of her audience. Michelle, a mother of two from Parker, Colorado, said she would be happy to oblige.
“I’m going to go out and tell five more people to vote for him,” she said in an interview.
When asked at the “Women for Mitt” event what Romney should do to close what a Quinnipiac University poll released this week showed as an 18-point edge for Obama with women voters nationally, Michelle demurred: “I don’t believe in the polls,” she said.
It was a sentiment shared by Candy Lewis of Denver, a registered independent voter in Colorado, who also turned out to hear Mrs. Romney speak.
“I don’t believe it,” she said of recent public opinion surveys that show Romney trailing Obama with women, in particular.
“I don’t like the false advertising that Obama’s doing that Mitt Romney’s against women and that women’s rights are going to go back 50 years — not true,” Lewis said. “I think that he’s campaigning on fear, and that’s the wrong thing to do.”
Voters in the battleground state that on Wednesday plays host to the first of three presidential debates were also not shy about offering up some advice for the Republican hopeful.
“I would like personally to see him stick it to Obama more,” said Joannie, who lives in nearby Aurora.
Beverly Noble and her husband, Cliff, who recently moved from California to Colorado Springs agreed: “Don’t be defensive, get on the offensive,” Cliff said.
“He doesn’t need to defend his record, he needs to defend this country,” he added. “I really need to hear Mitt say more about the jobs — less about four more years — because we’ve all heard it — and more about the jobs.”
For the Nobles, jobs is their biggest concern for a reason. Beverly was a high school math teacher but has been out of work for two years.
“It has just been a nightmare,” she said, placing the blame squarely on President Obama’s shoulders. She has already made up her mind about who to vote for on Nov. 6.
“The definition of insanity is keep doing the same thing and expect different results,” she said. “It doesn’t take two terms if you have the right strategy.”