AMES, Iowa - Mitt Romney delivered a closing argument here today, repackaging his familiar talking points into a prepared speech that promoted his idea of a "big change" election.
"This election is a choice, a choice between the status quo - going forward with the same policies of the last four years - or instead, choosing real change, change that offers promise, promise that the future will be better than the past," said Romney, who delivered his remarks outside a construction company on a blustery, cold day in Central Iowa.
The speech was previewed by campaign aides as an opportunity for Romney to outline the "stark" economic job and policy differences between the Republican candidate and President Obama. And for a candidate who has stayed relentlessly on message since announcing his presidential campaign in the Spring of 2011, much of Romney's remarks here today were identical to those made over the course of his campaign as he's weaved in and out of swing states across the country.
"This election is about big things, like the education of our children, the value of our homes, the take home pay from our jobs, the price of the gasoline we buy and the choices we have in our health care," Romney said. "It's also about the big things that determine these things, like the growth of the economy, the strength of our military, our dependence on foreign oil and America's leadership in the world."
Romney placed particular emphasis on his promise to work across party lines if elected, telling the crowd here that he would "work tirelessly to bridge the divide between the political parties."
"The president's campaign falls far short of the magnitude of these times. And the presidency of the last four years has fallen far short of the promises of the last campaign. Four years ago, America voted for a post-partisan president, but they have seen the most partisan and political of presidents, and a Washington in gridlock because of it," said Romney.
Romney said that he and his running mate Paul Ryan would meet with Democratic and Republican leadership "regularly" if elected.
"We're going to look for common ground and shared principles, and put the interests of the American people above the interests of the politician," said Romney. "I know it because I've seen it. Good Democrats can come together with good Republicans to solve big problems. What we need is leadership to make that happen."
The Obama campaign released a statement in response to Romney's speech, saying that "True to form, Mitt Romney's most recent 'major policy speech' included dishonest attacks and empty promises of change, but no new policy."
"Romney has started promising 'big change,' but the only change Romney's offering is to take us back to the same failed policies that crashed our economy in the first place," wrote Lis Smith. "That's not the change we need, and with every 'major speech,' Mitt Romney just reminds voters that's all he's got to offer."