Romney Aims For The Offensive

By: CNN Posted By: Stephanie Schultz
By: CNN Posted By: Stephanie Schultz

Mansfield, Ohio (CNN) -- As Republicans braced for news of a post-convention bounce for President Obama Monday, Mitt Romney sought to reclaim the offensive in the race during a speech to Ohio voters.

Romney mocked the president's campaign slogan at an enthusiastic rally in a Mansfield, Ohio factory, warning if Obama were reelected Americans would face more years of high unemployment, a high deficit, and "more years of a nation at the cusp of the kind of crisis you're seeing in Europe."

"'Forward' is his campaign slogan.' I think 'Forewarned' is a better term," Romney told about a thousand cheering supporters. "We're forewarned and that's why we're not going to re-elect this man. Instead we're going to America on track to create jobs and prosperity."

The GOP presidential nominee assailed the president over foreign policy flaps and the upcoming defense cuts - called sequestration - consuming Washington this fall.

"He won't describe all the jobs that are going to be lost - no, not probably until after the election," Romney said of the congressionally-mandated cuts triggered to kick in next January. "It seems we've found one secret relating to national security that he's willing to keep."

After a beat, the audience laughed at Romney's veiled swipe at unidentified national security leaks regarding the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

Romney then resurrected his criticism of an Obama open mic gaffe, when the president was overheard telling the Russian prime minister he would have "more flexibility" after the November elections.

"There's another secret he's willing to keep related to national security," Romney joked.

Romney's offensive on foreign policy came after Democrats attacked him over the issue at their national convention, mocking the Republican standard bearer for his gaffe-filled overseas trip and foreign policy credentials.

The GOP candidate's Monday rally was only one in a handful of public events for Romney over the past week, as he prepares for a trio of debates against Obama this October. Speaking with reporters, a Romney adviser dismissed the notion Romney had not been keeping a vigorous campaign schedule.

The adviser, Kevin Madden, also confronted a controversy over remarks Romney made on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, when he seemed to indicate a softening of his position on President Obama's health care plan.

Madden said Romney's support for pre-existing coverage for people who have continuously carried health insurance were "solution-oriented" remarks.

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