Romney hits ‘Obamacare’ in Ohio

September 27, 2012

TOLEDO, Ohio — Facing falling poll numbers in Ohio, Mitt Romney reconfigured his stump speech here, ratcheting up his attack on President Barack Obama’s health care law and returning to his once-abandoned talking points about the Founding Fathers and the debt clock.

Obama “thinks that government can do a better job than you in the way you live your life and Obamacare is point No. 1,” Romney said in Westerville. “He wants to put bureaucrats between you and your doctor. He believes that government should tell you what kind of insurance you have to have. He believes government should have a board of people who tell you what kind of care you can receive.”

Instead of simply vowing to repeal the health care overhaul, Romney spoke more about the danger it poses to American freedoms.

“My view is that we fight for freedom in this country,” Romney said. “I do not want an intrusive, massive, larger debt spending government that crushes the American dream.”

As public polls showed him down by as many as 10 points in the Buckeye State, Romney exhibited a new enthusiasm here, exuding a more positive and boisterous attitude than he normally does on the stump. His advisers have pushed back on the public polls, insisting Ohio isn’t a must-win state and that their internal polling — which they won’t reveal — shows different numbers.

“If instead I — no, instead when I become president,” Romney said here, dramatically correcting himself, which prompted cheers from the crowd. “We’re going to get this economy growing again. We’re going to do the things that ignite this economy.”

In Westerville, he was joined by former pro-golfer Jack Nicklaus, prompting Romney talk about his own lack of athletic ability.

“When I got the job to help organize the Olympic winter games in 2002, I knew that it was a bit ironic for a guy with such little athletic ability as myself to be able to be responsible for the largest athletic event in the world,” Romney said. “My boys also saw the irony in it. My oldest son called and said, ‘Dad, I saw the paper this morning and I’ve talked to the brothers. We want you to know there’s not a circumstance we could’ve conceived of that would put you on the front page of the sports section.’ But there I was.”

After weeks of talking about foreign policy, Romney fell silent on the topic here in Ohio, never mentioning the issue that was partially at the center of his recent campaign woes.

Romney bused across Ohio this week, holding a joint rally with Paul Ryan in a Dayton suburb on Tuesday afternoon and then setting out on his own leg of the tour Wednesday without Ryan.

He held an early-morning rally outside Columbus, a business roundtable in a Cleveland suburb and capped the tour off with a rally in downtown Toledo. Rain moved Romney’s events indoors, but he still filled a high school gymnasium in Westerville and addressed a boisterous crowd here in Toledo.

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