"President Obama and I both care about poor and middle-class families," Romney says. "The difference is my policies will make things better for them."
And Romney's new insistence that he's the better candidate to help middle-class families comes after his campaign's recent announcement that he'll do more to describe what he would do as president. At his morning rally, Romney focused on Obama's handling of the debt and the interest piling up.
"The interest that you're paying on that debt every year is more than we pay for housing, for agriculture, for education and transportation combined," Romney said.
"What's going to happen when those interest rates go up? That bill's going to get bigger and bigger. It's crushing," Romney said.
Romney's comments follow a Washington Post poll that shows the federal debt and deficit are the one set of issues on which he has an advantage over Obama with likely voters. In recent weeks, Romney has lost his polling edge on the economy generally, with more people saying they now trust Obama to fix the nation's economic woes.
In the Ohio gymnasium, Romney ran through his five-point plan to help fix the economy. He recounted meeting a woman who was struggling amid the prolonged recession. He said he told her: "I'm going to do my very best to help you and millions like you."
The gym couldn't hold all the people who came to see Romney at Alum Creek Park, and he stopped by an overflow room to shake hands with those who couldn't get in to see him in person. As he was leaving, one supporter told him: "Please get us out of this mess."