In his first public event since his less-than-smooth overseas trip, Mitt Romney sought to return the focus back to President Barack Obama's record, arguing that Obama hasn't delivered on his promises to turn the country around.
Ahead of Friday's much-anticipated monthly jobs report, Romney trashed Obama for the nation's high unemployment rate and for fostering an environment he described as hostile to job creators.
"This isn't a statistic we are talking about. Twenty-three million Americans out of work. Twenty-three million!" Romney said during a rally in Golden, Colo., just outside Denver. "It's a tragedy. It's a moral failing."
Citing Obama's 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention just a few miles from his Thursday rally, Romney said the president had failed "by his own measure" to deliver on the promises he made during the last campaign. To prove it, the GOP candidate held up a "report card" listing what he described as Obama's "failed" promises.
"I want to get people back to work," Romney said. "I care about this. I want to help the American people. … His policies just haven't worked to get people working again. People are hurting and suffering."
The presumptive Republican nominee spoke in front of new signage touting his plan for a "stronger middle class." But Romney did not unveil any new policy. Instead, he focused on ideas he's championed previously on the campaign trail, including tax cuts, cutting the deficit, and creating new job training and education programs.
Romney talked up his time as governor of Massachusetts, emphasizing that he worked with a state legislature dominated by Democrats and has a record of bipartisanship. In a dig at Obama, he argued that the White House needs someone who can "bury the hatchet" in Washington and get things done.
"His policies have not worked," Romney said. "My policies will work, and I know that because they have worked in the past."
Coming off a foreign trip that was dominated by bad headlines, Romney made no mention of his overseas travel—focusing most of his remarks on the economy and Obama's record, subjects that Romney is clearly more comfortable talking about.
In a line that he frequently repeats on the stump, Romney urged voters not to be fooled by Obama's rhetoric on the campaign trail.
"In campaigns, talk can be cheap. You can say anything," Romney said.
Pointing to Obama's record, he said, "Look at the results."