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Romney says he's the candidate of 'big change' while barnstorming Ohio

While stumping in Cincinnati, Ohio, GOP candidate Mitt Romney stressed that his campaign was about 'big things' and promised he was going to bring the 'big changes' that Americans want.


CINCINNATI, OH -- Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he was the candidate of "big change" at the outset of three-event bus tour of battleground Ohio on Thursday.

Slideshow: On the Trail

The former Massachusetts governor cast President Barack Obama as a figure of the "status quo," and made clear that the Republican ticket represented "big change" by contrast -- repeating that phrase throughout his speech.

"This is a critical time for our country and the choice of paths we chose will have an enormous impact. We have huge challenges," Romney said, ticking off issues ranging from job creation to education. "These challenges are big challenges. This election is therefore a big choice. And America wants to see big changes and we’re gonna bring big changes to get America stronger again.”

Recommended: First Thoughts: Examining Ohio's key counties (and margins)

Romney repeated his mantra of "big change" more than 10 times in his roughly 30 minute remarks, hammering the point home again and again and melding it into his broader critique of Obama.

"The Obama campaign doesn't have a plan," Romney said. "The Obama campaign is slipping because he's talking about smaller and smaller things despite the fact that America has such huge challenges and that this is such an opportunity for America, and that's why on November 6th I'm counting on Ohio to vote for big change!"

Al Behrman / AP

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at Jet Machine, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, in Cincinnati.

A senior Romney adviser said that the focus on "big change" would continue in the race's final days.

"Highlighting our campaign's focus on big issues and contrasting that with the smallness of President Obama's campaign will be something we make clear with voters today and through the rest of the campaign," Romney senior adviser Kevin Madden told NBC.

“Here’s the ‘big change’ Mitt Romney is offering: going back to the same failed policies that caused the economic crisis and empowering the extreme voices in his party like Richard Mourdock," Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement.

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Romney also continued to highlight how his policies might be better for individual families than Obama's,

Thursday's Deep Dive featured a look at Ohio's key counties and their election histories in 2004 and 2008. Which way will they vote this year? The Daily Rundown's Chuck Todd reports.

"This election is not about me. It’s not about the Republican party. It’s about America. And it’s about your family," Romney said after running through a series of scenarios like caring for an aging relative or getting a good education for a child, and how those experiences would differ under a second Obama term or a Romney presidency.

Related: Obama and Romney project early voting bravado in battleground Ohio

The GOP standard-bearer also launched into an extended riff this morning about how a voter's hypothetical daughter -- a play toward prized women swing voters -- might suffer from Obama's proposals.

Interviews with female voters at Romney's event suggested this strategy could be part of the right prescription to close the gender gap with women in Ohio.

"I don't think that women are any different from any other voters in particular, and I think that what women are concerned about is they have a dual concern," explained Romney supporter Emilia Pater, a homemaker from Cincinnati who attended this morning's rally. "They're concerned about the economy and their families, because most women are caretakers of their families and they are the ones that are looking toward the future and saying what's going to be left for my children?"