The former Massachusetts governor pointed to the first presidential debate — one week from tonight — as a potential turning point in the race.
“We have a chance during the debate to make our message clear to the American people,” he told ABC’s David Muir in an interview in Toledo, Ohio.
“And I’m absolutely convinced that when people see the two of us talk about our direction for America they’re going to support me because I know what it takes to make the economy going again, and the president has proven he does not.”
A New York Times-CBS News-Quinnipiac University found Wednesday morning that Obama is leading the presidential race in the crucial state growing to double digits, 53 percent to 43 percent. That’s up from the president’s 50 percent to 44 percent lead in a similar poll released on August 23.
“I’m tied in the national polls, both Gallup and Rasmussen have the numbers at even,” Romney commented the news.
He continued: “State by state, you’ve got some advertising going on from the Obama people, which expresses their views on my positions which frankly, I think are inaccurate, and in some cases, dishonest,” he added.
The Republican candidate’s political director Rich Beeson said Tuesday the campaign was using its “trusted” internal data instead of independent outside polls. “The public polls are what they are,” Beeson said. “I feel confident about where we are.”
However, Mr Romney avoided responding directly to the voices of critics, including some members of his own party, who have been urging him to shift his strategy after several trying weeks for his campaign.
“There are critics and there are cheerleaders, we have people of all different persuasion,” Romney said, noting that “every day there are improvements and new messages that come out.”
“What the president said just the other day about ‘bumps in the road’ with regards to the events in the Middle East,” he added. “That obviously was a whole new area to be discovered and discussed.”
Romney went on, adding that there is potential for him to make gains, such as when he criticized Obama’s recent speech on “bumps in the road.” At the time the Republican candidate claimed that the president dismissed the death of a U.S. ambassador and three embassy staffers as just a “bump.”
“Every day there are improvements and new messages that come out,” Romney said. “What the president said just the other day about ‘bumps in the road’ with regards to the events in the Middle East. That obviously was a whole new area to be discovered and discussed.”
In the interview, Romney also commented on his wife Ann’s recent claims that running a presidential campaign “is hard” and that fellow Republicans should not be too quick to criticize her husband.
“She doesn’t like it when people go after me, but I’m just fine. I got broad shoulders, and I’m happy to fend off the attacks that come my way,” Romney defended her.
“And frankly, all of this is diversion from what the people of America care about. What they want to know is, who’s going to make their life better, who’s going to make sure we have more jobs, who’s going to make sure we have more take home pay, who’s going to keep America strong abroad?”