CINCINNATI - Mitt Romney vowed Saturday that the economic plan he and running mate Paul Ryan have developed will give the nation a "winning season" once again.
"America is going to come roaring back," he said. "We're taking this country back. We're going to get America strong again for you, for your children, for the future."
The Republican presidential hopeful's comments came during a rally at Union Terminal attended by 3,000 enthusiastic supporters.
It was the first campaign appearance by the former Massachusetts Governor since he accepted the GOP nomination last Thursday in Tampa.
Romney said that preparation for that speech included reviewing acceptance remarks from other Chief Executives, including President Barack Obama. He said he noted a lot of promises made, but not kept, such as job creation.
"Today, 23 million people are out of work, stopped looking for work or are unemployed," he said. "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."
The Romney/Ryan five-point plan is designed to create 12 million jobs with 460,000 of those coming in Ohio, according to Romney.
* Energy independence
* Open up trade markets
* Make sure children and workers have the skills they need to succeed
* Support entrepreneurs, innovators and small businesses
* Reduce the federal deficit and balance the budget
In a one-on-one interview after the speech, Romney said an aggressive energy policy by itself could create 3.6 million of those 12 million jobs. One million would come in manufacturing.
Romney said many others could find work if taxes on small business are reduced, regulations are designed to help companies and President Obama's health care plan is repealed.
"Those things combined lead to about four percent Gross Domestic Product growth per year and about 12 million new jobs," he said.
Asked how he'd ease the gridlock in Congress if he's elected, Romney said he worked with a legislature in Massachusetts that was 87 percent Democrats.
"It was not lost on me that if I wanted to get anything done, I had to work with people across the aisle," he said. "We established a relationship of respect and trust between Republicans and Democrats, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House and myself."
That led to balanced budgets ever year, taxes cut 18 times, the unemployment rate down to 4.7 percent and a state more attractive to businesses.
"It can work and I intend to bring that kind of approach to Washington," he added.
President Obama won Hamilton County and Ohio in 2008 and Romney said that was because when Republicans had the lead in Washington, they didn't do the job they said they'd do and didn't honor the promises they made.
"What I think people recognize today that they've elected a President who had a campaign slogan of hope and change, but that hasn't happened," he said. "They're disappointed and they're going to make sure there are consequences when people don't honor their promises."
Romney said people in Hamilton County and Ohio recognize it's time for a change and many Democrats and undecideds will head toward the GOP.
One thing Romney said bothers him is what he terms the bitterness and divisiveness coming from President Obama's campaign.
He said he will do everything in his power to bring the nation together because a united America built the strongest economy on earth and can do extraordinary things. He cited the late astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, as an example.
"What a champion," Romney said. "The courage and character of one man combined with the unity of so many who came together to help achieve a great accomplishment, it's a model for our nation."
From Cincinnati Romney was scheduled to meet Ryan for a rally in Jacksonville, then head to New Hampshire with family members.
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