Romney Makes His Campaign's 'Closing Argument'
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Mitch Romney, too, is making his closing argument. In fact, that's how advisers repeatedly described the speech the Republican made today, as we hear today from NPR's Ari Shapiro who was there.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: At fairgrounds outside of Milwaukee, Mitt Romney took a step back from the daily ping-pong match of the campaign to describe in broad strokes why voters should choose him over President Obama.
MITT ROMNEY: So look beyond the speeches and the attacks and the ads. Look to the record, to the accomplishments and the failures and the judgments.
SHAPIRO: He said Mr. Obama has fallen very short of this promises. And then Romney made some promises of his own, if he's elected. First, he said, he won't complain about his predecessor.
ROMNEY: I won't spend my effort trying to pass a partisan legislation that's unrelated to economic growth. From day one, I'll go to work to help Americans get back to work.
SHAPIRO: The overarching theme was that this president is unfit, unqualified, and that Romney offers an experienced, tested alternative.
ROMNEY: I'm not just going to take office on January 20th. I'm going to take responsibility for that office, as well.
SHAPIRO: This speech was more formal than a typical campaign rally. Romney wore a dark suit and striped tie. He read prepared remarks instead of riffing off notes as he usually does. The candidate stayed relentlessly optimistic. Romney talked about building a new future, refusing to settle and renewing the American dream.
ROMNEY: The only thing that stands between us and some of the best years we've known is lack of leadership, and that's why we have elections after all.
SHAPIRO: Romney also mentioned today's unemployment numbers, though only briefly. He says that the recovery is just too slow.
ROMNEY: Unemployment is higher today than when Barack Obama took office. Think of that, unemployment today is higher than on the day Barack Obama took office.
SHAPIRO: It was 7.8 percent when he took office.
As Romney flew to Wisconsin this morning, many of his staffers slept in their seats. Towards the end of the flight, he stood up, took out his iPhone and started to film the scene, capturing a routine moment that, in just a few days, will be gone.
Ari Shapiro, NPR News, traveling with the Romney campaign. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.