AMES, Iowa (AP) — Mitt Romney is promising to revitalize the nation's economy with "bold ideas" and a senior aide said the Republican presidential candidate would not cut ties with an Indiana Senate candidate who said pregnancy resulting from rape is "something God intended."
As President Barack Obama took a break from the campaign trail, Romney delivered what his campaign billed as a major economic address in swing state Iowa on Friday to help win the dwindling number of voters yet to make up their minds. While the speech did not break new ground, it was designed to help crystalize the differences between his and Obama's economic approaches less than two weeks before Election Day.
"If Paul Ryan and I are elected as your president and vice president, we will endeavor with all our hearts and energy to restore America," Romney said. "Instead of more spending, more borrowing from China and higher taxes from Washington, we'll renew our faith in the power of free people pursuing their dreams."
Minutes before the speech, senior strategist Eric Fehrnstrom said Romney would not call on Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock to remove TV ads featuring Romney's endorsement. Fehrnstrom said Romney disagrees with the Indiana Republican's recent comment about rape, but would not interfere with Mourdock's advertising.
"That's his decision," Fehrnstrom said when asked whether the campaign wants Mourdock to remove the ads. He added that Romney feels he has addressed the matter and doesn't plan to discuss it further.
Romney has not spoken about Mourdock's comments directly, despite repeated questions from reporters about it in recent days.
The candidate was focused on the economy as he addressed several hundred supporters on a cold autumn day outside a local construction company.