VP Shortlister Rob Portman Comes Out Swinging in Colorado

Al Behrman/AP Images

JOHNSTOWN, Colo. - Sen. Rob Portman, R-OH, arrived here right on time at Johnson's Corner this morning for his first event of the day bracketing President Obama in Colorado.

With the Romney bus behind him, the Ohio senator greeted supporters before popping inside the gas station and restaurant briefly where he greeted diners and ordered four cinnamon rolls.

"These are world famous right?" Portman asked the cashier as he checked out.

Portman kicked off his remarks outside highlighting a new Quinnipiac University-CBS News-New York Times poll that shows Romney out up on Obama, 50 percent to 45 percent.

"Guess what's going to welcome President Obama to Colorado today? Some new polls that show Romney up," Portman said. "They've outspent us but they can't out work us because of people like you."

When asked about today's new ABC News/Washington Post poll that shows 49 percent of American's view Romney unfavorably, Portman pointed to a tough Republican primary and the negative attack ads of the Obama campaign.

"President Obama has been attacking relentlessly," Portman told ABC News. "In 2008 he said that if you're out of fresh ideas you use stale tactics against your opponent - you try and make your opponent unacceptable and that's what he is trying to do."

Portman again pointed to polls out today showing Romney up in Colorado saying, "Today is a good day for Governor Romney here in Colorado. You'll see we're trending in the right direction."

While President Obama is in Colorado today touting his health care law, Portman has come to what he calls the "ultimate swing state," on a five-stop bus tour to highlight what he called the president's failures in addition to promoting Mitt Romney's plan for the middle class.

Portman told the crowd of around 50 at Johnstown the economy was weakening, largely because of Obama's failed policies.

"Things are not getting better. They are getting worse," Portman said. "We need to elect Mitt Romney to turn things around."

Portman pointed to a number of "compelling promises" Obama made to bring the country together.

"And that's probably why he won," Portman said. "He said he'd bring the country together. Did he do that?"

"No!" the crowd yelled back.

"The president said his economic plans are working. When he pushed through that trillion dollar stimulus package, he promised unemployment would be at 5.6 percent. That didn't happen either," Portman said.

Portman ripped the president on his health care law, reminding his audience of the president's promise that health care costs would drop under Obamacare. Portman noted recent numbers out from the non-partisan Congressional Budget office that show the cost of health care increasing for families $2500 on average.

"Promises made. Promises not kept," Portman said.

Portman will make stops in Thornton, Lakewood, Denver, and will finish in Pueblo where President Obama is slated to make his last stop as well.

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