ENGLEWOOD, CO — Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney implored Colorado voters for "one final push" in his final rally Saturday, making his entreaty to the largest and most boisterous crowd of the day.
"One final push is gonna get us there. We’ve had a lot of short nights and long days and now we’re close," Romney told a crowd of more than 17,000 supporters gathered at an outdoor amphitheater. "The door to a brighter future is there – it’s open, waiting for us. I need your vote, I need your work, I need your help."
Colorado voters have turned out in large numbers for Romney at recent rallies here, and he'll need the kind of high energy he received tonight to move this state, which most polls show knotted up, back into the Republican column on Tuesday.
In his fourth and final campaign stop of the day, Romney continued to appeal primarily to independent voters with his "closing argument" stump speech, telling his assembled crowd that the president had failed to live up to his lofty promises of change, and would continue to fail to work with Republicans in Congress should be he granted a second term.
"Change can't be measured in speeches; it is measured in achievements. And four years ago, candidate Obama promised to do so very much. But he has fallen so very short," Romney said. "He promised he would be a post-partisan president, but he has been most partisan — dividing, attacking, blaming."
Romney also added a local touch to his final Colorado appearance. Retelling the tale of a Boy Scout group's flag — thought lost in the Challenger space shuttle explosion, but later recovered unharmed and returned to them — Romney invited a special guest out onstage: Maj. William Tolbert, the US Air Force officer and scoutmaster from Monument, Colorado who figures so prominently in the story, carrying the flag itself, encased in glass.
"That," said Romney as Tolbert stood beside him and the crowd cheered its approval, "is a great flag, representing the greatest nation in the history of the Earth."