Mitt Romney embarked on a swing of Florida Saturday by pledging to work in bipartisan fashion with Democrats and by seeking to demonstrate that he has empathy for families who are struggling economically.
To a remarkable degree, Romney in the home stretch of the 2012 campaign is sounding like President Obama during the 2008 race. In emotional terms during a stop in Pensacola, he expressed his connection to the economically disadvantaged.
``I think of single moms today who are scrimping and saving to have a good meal on the table,’’ Romney said.
He followed that up with an image of couples deciding not to exchange Christmas gifts, so that their children could have something under the tree.
He also called for ``big change’’ in the election. The former governor also cited his ability to work across the aisle with the Democrat-dominated Legislature in Massachusetts to get the state’s budget gap under control.
The remarks are a part of a continuing effort to soften his image and refute charges from Obama that he a steely-eyed corporate raider who shuttered factories and put people out of work when he led Bain Capital, the Boston private equity firm.
Romney also planned stops in Kissimmee and Land O’Lakes Saturday.
Obama appeared at a rally in Nashua, N.H., Saturday and said Romney is making ``a lot of promises’’ on the campaign trail. But Romney, Obama said, cut taxes for the wealthy in Massachusetts when he was governor while raising fees on businesses and individuals.
Obama said Romney’s proposals for leadership are the same ones that caused the economic crisis of 2008.
``We can’t go back to the policies that got us into this mess,’’ he said. ``We’ve got to continue with the policies that are getting us out of this mess.’’
Before heading for Nashua, Obama visited a campaign call center in the basement of a Teamsters hall in Manchester. He noted the possibly crucial role New Hampshire could play in the presidential race, which is essentially tied in national polls.
“These four electoral votes—right here—could make all the difference in the world,’’ he told the volunteers.