Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters following a speech Sunday morning at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines. <span style="font-size: xx-small;"><em>Daily Times Herald photo by </em></span><br /><span style="font-size: xx-small;"><em>Douglas Burns</em></span>
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters following a speech Sunday morning at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines. Daily Times Herald photo by
Douglas Burns
Monday, November 5, 2012

DES MOINES — Pausing his remarks at times as supporters in Des Moines chanted “go, Mitt, go!” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney Sunday promised smaller government and bigger job numbers.

“The president thinks government is the answer,” Romney said. “No, more good jobs, that’s the answer.”

Romney spoke to an Oak Ridge Boys-warmed crowd of about 5,000 people at Hy-Vee Hall just before 10 a.m. Sunday with less than 48 hours until the general election. The former Massachusetts governor’s message centered largely on the economy.

“I know how to change the course that the nation is on,” Romney said.

Romney mocked President Obama’s campaign slogan “forward,” saying voters should interpret that as “forewarned.”

The latest Des Moines Register Iowa Poll showed Obama leading Romney 47 percent to 42 percent. Real Clear Politics lists six of seven polls taken in Iowa since Oct. 28 showing Obama with winning margins. The president leads by an average of 3 percent in those polls.

For his part, Romney said Obama has spent too much time talking about the George W. Bush administration.

“I’m not going to waste any of my time complaining about my predecessor,” Romney said.

He added, “I’m not just going to take office on January 20, I’m going to take responsibility for the office as well.”

Romney said he would act to boost small business, designate China a currency manipulator and work to take full advantage of a mix of energy resources in the United States.

“Do you want four more years like the last four years, or do you want real change?” Romney asked.

With the right leadership the nation can come roaring back from economic woes, the Republican said.

“Unless we change course, we may be looking at another recession,” Romney said.

Introducing Romney, Gov. Terry Branstad said Americans can’t be certain how the president would use a second term.

“He spends his time blaming others and attacking Mitt Romney,” Branstad said, charging that Obama “has been the most divisive president we’ve had.”

Branstad said Iowa has generally favorable economic conditions compared to the nation as a whole. But that’s the result of Republican leadership in the Hawkeye State, not Obama, Branstad said.

“If Obama wants to take credit for the economy, let him do it in Illinois, but not Iowa,” Branstad said.

According to Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 percent in September from 5.5 percent in August. The comparable rate for September 2011 was 5.9 percent. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate for September also decreased by 0.3 percent, falling to 7.8 percent from 8.1 percent in August, Workforce Development reports.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama plan to finish the campaign Monday night in Des Moines, hours after GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is scheduled to appear in the state’s capital city. Both the president and Romney campaigned in Dubuque on Saturday.