still has a chance to define himself for voters at several key junctures left in this campaign, in spite of the Obama campaign’s furious efforts to paint the presumptive GOP nominee essentially as a corporate raider and out-of-touch millionaire.
President Obama’s team has poured millions into advertising that voices suspicions about Romney’s personal wealth and his time at Bain Capital in hopes of priming voters’ perceptions of the former Massachusetts governor. In turn, the Romney campaign has been knocked off-message in recent weeks by questions surrounding his departure from Bain and demands that he release additional years of tax returns.
The presumptive GOP nominee renewed his attack launched Monday, in which he accused Obama of rewarding political contributors and supporters with political stimulus funds and access to federal loans.
"I'm ashamed to say that we're seeing our president hand out money to the businesses of campaign contributors," Romney said at one point.
But Romney largely focused on the larger picture of what he called Obama's hostility toward business—which he argued has been a setback to efforts to revive the economy and has, in turn, made life tougher for struggling Americans. He accused Obama of "crushing economic freedom" in the country with burdensome regulations.
"I'm convinced he wants Americans to be ashamed of success," Romney declared. "I want Americans to welcome and celebrate success and to encourage people to reach as high as they can. … I don't want government to take credit for what the individuals of America accomplish."
Romney called the upcoming election a "defining choice about what America is going to be"—a choice, he said that will not only impact future generations of Americans but the "world."