EUCLID, Ohio -- Campaigning in a key battle ground state, Mitt Romney said Monday that President Barack Obama has failed in his promises to reduce unemployment, improve the nation's housing market and right the nation's economy.
"At the convention, the Democratic convention about four years ago, the president got up and spoke about hope, change and together we can do anything. But he hasn't lived up to those kinds of expectations," Romney told hundreds of people gathered in a heavy gage-stamping warehouse just outside of Cleveland. "The American people are good-hearted people with the desire for good things to happen to one another, and we hoped that this president would be able to be successful. I sure did. And he has not been.
"I know how many people are struggling. I want to do my very best to help them, and I'm convinced that my experience will help me get this economy going and get people back to work and good jobs, which they need."
Romney made his remarks while campaigning in Ohio, a state that has picked every president since 1964 and where Obama officially kicked off his re-election bid on Saturday. Romney's remarks, six months before the election, come on the same day as two new polls showed the men in a statistical dead heat, and on the day that Obama launched a $25 million monthlong television ad buy in Ohio and eight other swing states.
Romney did not mention the ad or Obama's appearance here over the weekend, but he argued that by Obama's own benchmarks, such as getting unemployment below 8, as well as a drop in median incomes and rising health care, food and fuel costs show that his policies have not worked.
"Americans in the middle class are feeling squeezed, even if they have a job. And obviously most of our citizens have a job, but boy, these are tough times," Romney said.
A Romney backer who introduced the presumptive GOP nominee said Obama does not understand the middle class.
"I'm tired about hearing him talk about the middle class as though he knows anything about us," said state auditor Dave Yost to loud applause, before reeling off a list of vacations the Obama's have taken since coming to the White House, saying they totaled 17 vacations including one in Christmas 2011 that cost $1.5 million. "Mr. President, that's not middle class. And you stop lecturing us about our lives!"
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