DES MOINES, Iowa – GOP president candidate Mitt Romney told cheering Iowa supporters Sunday he's counting on them to help punch his ticket to the White House on Tuesday.
"I need your vote, I need your work, I need your help," Romney told about 4,500 enthusiastic Iowans who turned out at Hy-Vee Hall for a Sunday morning campaign rally that featured the Oak Ridge Boys as a warm-up act. ""I need Iowa.. I need Iowa so we can win the White House and take back America. I'm counting on you. Will you get the job done?"
Romney hammered familiar themes in promising to chart a new direction for the country that gets Americans back to work, improves their economic plight, "tames" growth in government, and bolsters America's international position. He said he would change direction by promoting bipartisan change that President Obama promised four years ago but never delivered.
"With the right leadership, America can come roaring back," Romney said in making his closing argument in one of the key swing states that could decide Tuesday's election outcome.
"The only thing that stands between us and the best years we've ever had is new leadership," the former Massachusetts governor said over crowd chants of "two more days."
"We can do better. A stronger America is ahead," Romney said. "Our destiny is in the hands of the people."
Romney took aim at Obama – who will finish his 2012 campaign with a Monday evening rally at the site of his 2008 Iowa campaign headquarters – saying the president is trying to convince Americans that the last four years have been a success even though 9 million people are without jobs and the economy is not recovering like the president promised. The GOP challenger said he would bring change "from day one" and would not spend his time blaming his predecessor for his lack of progress.
Obama is seeking re-election of the "Forward" banner, but Romney said "I call it forewarned."
"You measure change in achievements," Romney added. "His record is very different from his words," Romney said, pointing to higher health care costs, higher gasoline prices and lower take home pay as vestiges of the president's White House term.
"From day one, I'm going to go to work to get people back to work," he said. "I'm not only going to take office Jan. 20, I'm going to take responsibility for the office as well."
Romney's running mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, is slated to make a final stop in Des Moines on Monday afternoon – a few hours before Obama, his wife, Michelle, and rocker Bruce Springsteen wrap up their campaign at a Monday evening rally.
In what could be his last direct message to Iowa voters, Romney urged Iowans to convince as many people as they can to cast their votes for the Romney-Ryan ticket on Tuesday.
"This is a campaign about America and the future we're going to leave our children," he said. "We urge you to stay with it all the way to our victory