Total Pageviews

Friday, October 26, 2012

Romney Tries to Take Up the Mantle of \'Change\'

AMES, Iowa â€" Mitt Romney intensified a new â€" and, aides said, final â€" line of attack against President Obama on Friday, arguing that the incumbent who once stood for historic change has run a re-election campaign built around small ideas and trivial attacks.

Mr. Romney, speaking from a teleprompter to a crowd of 2,200 at a factory here, offered himself up as a 2008-like alternative to Mr. Obama.

“Four years ago, candidate Obama spoke to the scale of the times,” Mr. Romney said. “Today, he shrinks from it, trying instead to distract our attention from the biggest issues to the smallest - from characters on Sesame Street and silly word games to misdirected personal attacks he knows are false.”

“The president's campaign falls far short of the magnitude of these times,” he said.

It was the second day that Mr. Romney sought to take up the mantle of change, seeming to delight in borrowing a slogan that Mr. Obama rode to the White House b ut now finds challenging to embrace.

“We recognize this is a year with a big choice, and the American people want to see big changes,” he said. “Together we can bring real change to this country.”

Aides had said the speech would be a significant one, though Mr. Romney offered no new policy proposals. Mr. Obama's campaign seized on that omission.

“True to form, Mitt Romney's most recent ‘major policy speech' included dishonest attacks and empty promises of change, but no new policy,” said Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for the president.

“That's because all Mitt Romney has is a one-point economic plan that he's been running on for two years: the very wealthy get to play by a very different set of rules than everyone else.”

In a bit of wordplay, Mr. Romney mocked Mr. Obama's current campaign slogan, “Forward,” as misleading.

“To the 23 million Americans struggling to find a good job, these last four years feel a lot more li ke ‘backward,' ” he said.

Follow Michael Barbaro on Twitter at @mikiebarb.