BEACHWOOD, Ohio -- Three days before the election, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan scrambled through battleground states Saturday, promising change they said President Barack Obama failed to deliver.
Romney and Ryan stumped in states Obama won in 2008, needing to flip enough to win 270 electoral votes -- with battleground polls giving neither Romney nor Obama decisive leads, setting the stage for a potential nail-biter Tuesday night.
"In 2008 President Obama made all these lofty promises, it sounded so good," Ryan said at a Marietta rally -- deep in southeastern Ohio coal country.
A big sign behind Ryan was headlined "Real Change." In the closing weeks of the ferocious battle, the Romney team has appropriated the "hope and change" slogan that helped propel Obama win in 2008.
Romney, in Newington, N.H., appealed to disappointed 2008 Obama voters, asking supporters to "spend some time in the next three days to see neighbors and maybe ones with an Obama sign in front of their home and just go by and say, look, let's talk this through a bit because, you see, President Obama came into office with so many promises and he's fallen so far short and just remind them of some of the things they may have forgotten."
Romney hit New Hampshire, Iowa and Colorado. Ryan was dispatched to Ohio, Virginia, Florida--and in a late bid to put another state in play, touched down in Pennsylvania.
The Romney ticket pounced on Obama for telling backers during a Friday rally in Springfield, Ohio --when the crowd was booing Romney -- "Vote. Voting's the best revenge."
Seizing on the single word, Romney in Dubuque, Iowa, said, "yesterday the president said something you may have already heard that I found troubling. He spoke to an audience and said voting is the best revenge. He's asking his -- he's asking his supporters to vote for revenge. I'm asking you to vote for love of country."
Ryan in Marietta said, "In 2008 he appealed to our highest aspirations, now he's appealing to our lowest fears. Just yesterday he was asking his supporters at a rally to vote out of revenge.
" . . . We don't believe in revenge. We believe in change and hope," Ryan said.
While Romney and Ryan--as does Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and all their surrogates--are flooding the major media markets in the battlegrounds for a final free media splash with their rally speeches, slashing radio ads fly below the radar.
Romney has been betting that he can run up votes in southeast Ohio--where coal, oil and gas production are major economic engines-- by portraying Obama as leading a "war on coal."
A Romney ad playing on local radio slamming Obama asked, "imagine what he would do if he never had to come to coal country again, pretending to be on our side."