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Romney Pitches 'Big Change' In Swing State Ohio


Mitt Romney has also been flying all over the country, hitting as many battleground states as he can. But today, the Republican left his plane behind and boarded the big, blue Romney bus; to focus on just one state, Ohio. NPR's Ari Shapiro has this story about Romney's tour of one of the most contested states in the campaign.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: At a manufacturing plant in Cincinnati, Mitt Romney was introduced by three women who own small businesses. Each gave a testimonial about the tough times they've experienced under President Obama - starting with the owner of a window company, Laura Derger-Roberts.

LAURA DERGER-ROBERTS: The demand, in our industry, for windows has dropped dramatically over the past four years, as American families don't have the disposable income they once did.

SHAPIRO: Then Kelly Hollis took the mic. She owns a company that sells orange barrels for road construction sites.

KELLY HOLLIS: It's absolutely despicable, the amount of money that I pay in taxes every year. I could employ a large handful of people.

SHAPIRO: Finally, Mitt Romney took the stage, and adopted the mantle that his opponent made so famous four years ago.

MITT ROMNEY: I mean, do you want real, big change in this country? Well, you're going to get it on November 6; you're going to make it happen. We're going to get America on track again.

SHAPIRO: He used that phrase "big change" a dozen times in 20 minutes.

ROMNEY: Americans want to see big changes, and I'm going to bring it to this country.

SHAPIRO: Romney had another phrase that he used to describe President Obama. Like "big change," it popped up in his speech again and again - status quo.

ROMNEY: The path we're on - the status quo path, is a path that doesn't have an answer about how to get our economy going.

SHAPIRO: The Romney campaign is putting all its muscle into showing that it has momentum in these final days. This morning, the campaign offered some evidence to bolster that narrative. They raised more than $111 million, in the first two weeks of October. If that pace continues for another two weeks, it would be a new monthly record in a race that has already shattered fundraising totals on both sides. The Romney team also released a new three-minute Web video, called "Momentum."


SHAPIRO: Democrats say Romney's momentum refrain is a euphemism for "we're still behind." President Obama holds a slim polling edge in crucial swing states like Ohio, and an advantage with early voters. Several Romney supporters, at this Cincinnati event, said they don't believe the polls.

DREW MORGAN: I think it's going to be a landslide.

SHAPIRO: Retired investor Drew Morgan likes a conservative website that claims conventional polling organizations are under-sampling Republican voters.

MORGAN: It shows a substantial lead for Romney, even more than Gallup and Rasmussen. So I think now, we're going to start seeing some accuracy in the polls.

SHAPIRO: Bob Muterspaw used to work in the steel industry.

BOB MUTERSPAW: I don't necessarily believe a lot of the polls because you can make them say what you want.

SHAPIRO: Ohio is close to a must-win state for Romney. Without it, he has to practically run the table on other swing states, to reach the White House. That explains why he spent the last couple of days pinballing around to smaller states like Nevada, Iowa and Colorado - so he has a backup plan, if Ohio goes blue. And it explains why he's spending all of today in this one state. Because if he can win Ohio, many of the others may be unnecessary.

Ari Shapiro, NPR News, traveling with the Romney campaign. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. During his first two years on the program, listenership to All Things Considered grew at an unprecedented rate, with more people tuning in during a typical quarter-hour than any other program on the radio.

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