U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney headed out on the campaign trail Friday, with a renewed attack on what he said were the failures of President Barack Obama in trying to boost the country's sluggish economy.
Hours after accepting his party's presidential nomination, Romney told a rally in Florida that despite Obama's promises of four years ago, the Democratic incumbent had failed to cut the country's budget deficit or create as many jobs and new businesses as he said he would.
"Almost every measure he described he has failed to perform upon. And the reason for that is not that he wasn't trying, in my view. It's he was pulling in the wrong direction. He didn't know what it takes to actually make the economy work," Romney said.
Romney later planned to visit the Gulf Coast state of Louisiana, where Hurricane Isaac left wide swaths of the state in murky floodwaters and killed five people. Obama is visiting the state on Monday, the day before Democrats start their national convention to officially nominate him for a second four-year term.
Romney - a one-time venture capitalist and former governor of Massachusetts - says he can boost the country's sluggish economy with lower taxes and less government regulation. Obama, who was to visit the key state of Texas Friday, says a Romney presidency would result in a return to policies that led to the country's worst economic downturn since the 1930s.
Nationwide voter surveys show the two candidates in a virtual tie 10 weeks ahead of the November 6 election.
Romney said that if elected president, he will use a five-step plan to improve the economy and create 12 million jobs. He also promised "less flexibility and more backbone" in global diplomacy, along with "more loyalty" to U.S. allies such as Israel.
The convention night included an appearance from film star Clint Eastwood, who received a roar from the crowd when he referred to politicians as "employees" of citizens who need to be let go when they do not "do the job."
Mitt Romney, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R) and Campaign Manager Matt Rhoades pose for a staff portrait on the steps of the stage at the Republican National Conventionm in Tampa, Florida, August 30, 2012.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan wave to delegates after speaking at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 30, 2012.
Mitt Romney hugs his grandchildren after his speech, August 30, 2012.
Actor Clint Eastwood speaks to an empty chair on the final night of the convention, August 30, 2012.
The Republican National Convention main stage at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. (B. Allen/VOA)
The Texas delegation reacts to speeches at the convention. (J. Featherly/VOA)
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addresses the crowd, August 29, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
Ann Romney hugs her husband after she addressed delegates during the second session of the Republican National Convention, August 28, 2012.
Montana delegates on the floor of the convention. (J. Featherly/VOA)
Dona Poelman from Racine, Wisconsin accessorizes her shirt at the RNC.
Delegates cheer as an image of Mitt Romney is displayed during the opening session, August 27, 2012.
Texas delegate Clint Moore and the rest of Texas delegates fashion their cowboy hats on the floor.
Men prepare food in a protest camp called "Romneyville" outside the convention center.
Delegates on the floor watch speakers during the second session. (J. Featherly/VOA)
Delegate Sol Grosskopf from Shawano, Wisconisin wears cheesehead hat on the convention floor.
Convention goers pause in the prayer room.
A sudden, heavy rainstorm surprises protesters outside near the convention center.
A worker walks down the aisle to collect trash on the floor at the convention.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.