In Ames, Romney promises to bring 'real change, big change' as president

3,500 turn out to hear comments from Republican presidential candidate

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UPDATE: Republican Mitt Romney told cheering Iowans Friday he will confront the problems that politicians have avoided for more than a decade if elected president, not shrink from challenges as President Obama has done the past four years.

“This is an election of consequence,” the GOP presidential contender told an outdoor rally of 3,500 supporters at Kinzler Construction Services. “Our campaign is about big things, because we happen to believe that America faces big challenges. We recognize this is a year with a big choice, and the American people want to see big changes. And, together we can bring real change to this country.”

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and businessman, said Obama and Vice President Joe Biden did not propose any new direction to address the crippling national debt, control spending, bolster the economy or rein in government during the four head-to-head debates held earlier this month. Instead, he said, his Democratic opponent has a plan to raise taxes that will not grow or ignite the economy but likely will destroy existing jobs and impede growth.

“Four years ago, candidate Obama spoke to the scale of the times. Today, he shrinks from it, trying instead to distract our attention from the biggest issues to the smallest--from characters on Sesame Street and silly word games to misdirected personal attacks he knows are false,” Romney said.

“What this requires is change,” he added, “change from the course of the last four years. It requires that we put aside the small and the petty, and demand the scale of change we deserve: we need real change, big change.

“Our campaign is about that kind of change -- confronting the problems that politicians have avoided for over a decade, revitalizing our competitive economy, modernizing our education, restoring our founding principles. This is the kind of change that promises a better future, one shaped by men and women pursuing their dreams in their own unique ways,” Romney said. “This election is a choice between the status quo -- going forward with the same policies of the last four years -- or instead choosing real change, change that offers promise, promise that the future will be better than the past."

Romney said if he and running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, prevail in the Nov. 6 balloting, they will go to work to restore America by saving and securing Medicare and Social Security, both for current and near retirees and for the generation to come, reform healthcare to control costs and assure access for every American has access to healthcare, and replace government choice with consumer choice.

“A new stimulus, three years after the recession officially ended, may spare government, but it will not stimulate the private sector any better than did the stimulus of four years ago. And cutting one trillion dollars from the military will kill jobs and devastate our national defense,” Romney said. “This is not the time to double down on the trickle-down government policies that have failed us; it is time for new, bold changes that measure up to the moment, that can bring America's families the certainty that the future will be better than the past.”

Outside the entrance to the Romney rally, Obama supporters wearing masks of “Mitt Romneys from the past” waved signs “to protest whichever current version of Mitt Romney decides to show up.” Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa, noted that the company which hosted the GOP presidential candidate had received federal stimulus funds “undercutting his entire economic argument."

Iowa Democrats issued a statement saying the Romney event billed to be a “major economic speech” was a presentation of a series of “top-down, trickle-down policies that have never worked, crashed our economy and hurt the middle class.”

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