POWELL, Ohio -- Republican White House hopefuls Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan rallied a crowd of more than 5,000 supporters in this battleground state Saturday morning, seeking to drive home their critique of President Barack Obama's leadership on the economy in their final joint appearance before the Republican National Convention.
Taking the stage with Ryan for the first time in Ohio since the Wisconsin congressman became his running mate two weeks ago, Romney launched a pre-emptive strike against Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention early next month.
Romney argued that the president will have "all sorts of marvelous things to say" but that voters should heed his record, not his rhetoric.
"They've experienced the last four years, and they know if they re-elect him they'll get four more years of the same," Romney told supporters gathered at the Village Green Park in this upscale suburb northwest of Columbus. "It is not his words that people have to listen to. It is his action and his record, and if they look at that, they'll kick him out of the office and put people into the office that will actually get America going again."
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After a week dominated by news of embattled Missouri Senate nominee Todd Akin's remark that "legitimate rape" rarely leads to pregnancy, Romney also sought Saturday to issue a sharper appeal to women.
"Just a word to the women entrepreneurs out there," Romney said. "If we become president and vice president, we want to speak to you, we want to help you. Women in this country are more likely to start businesses than men. Women need our help."