Romney Takes Message To Key Battleground States

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney takes his campaign to the swing states of Ohio and Florida. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Right now, we're in a lull between two big political storms. The Republican convention in Tampa ended on Thursday. The Democratic convention in Charlotte starts Tuesday. In between, President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have both been traveling the country, rallying support.

In a moment, we'll have a report on the Obama campaign. First, here's NPR's Ari Shapiro, who's traveling with Mitt Romney.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: It's the opening weekend of college football. And in baseball, the Cincinnati Reds have the best record in the majors. So Romney decided to go with a sports metaphor in Cincinnati. He often says 23 million people are out of work, underemployed, or have stopped looking for a job.

MITT ROMNEY: Let me tell you, if you have a coach that's zero and 23 million, you say it's time to get a new coach.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

SHAPIRO: He said it's time for America to see a winning season again. Romney is still riding a wave from his convention speech. In Cincinnati, he repeated a line that got a lot of applause Thursday night in Tampa.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: Now, he famously said that he was going to slow the rise of the oceans.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: And he was going to heal the planet. And our promise to you is this, we're going to help the American people and help the families of America.

(APPLAUSE)

SHAPIRO: Romney's tone at the convention was one of disappointment in his rival. He said he had hoped for a successful Obama presidency. But this weekend, the expressions of sadness were gone.

ROMNEY: We do not have to have the divisiveness and bitterness and recriminations we've seen over the last four years. I will bring us together. I'll...

SHAPIRO: Romney was joined by House speaker John Boehner of Ohio, who may not have gotten the anti-divisiveness memo.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: And, you know, while we've done all this good work in the House and done what the people have asked us to do, Harry Reid has blocked everything we've sent over there.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOOING)

SHAPIRO: Reid is Senate majority leader, and a Democrat.

From Ohio, Romney flew to Jacksonville, Florida, to meet up again with his running mate Paul Ryan. Romney led the crowd in a chant in a sweltering plaza along the St. John's River.

ROMNEY: Romney-Ryan. Romney-Ryan. Romney-Ryan. That's quite a welcome, thank you. Thank you.

SHAPIRO: Romney is taking the rest of Labor Day weekend off. He's at his New Hampshire house with family. On Tuesday, he heads to Vermont for debate practice behind closed doors. He'll be joined by Ohio Senator Rob Portman, playing the role of President Obama in the mock debates.

Ari Shapiro, NPR News, traveling with the Romney campaign.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: