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Beleaguered Romney gets back on offense

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DENVER -- Seemingly on the defensive since the conventions ended two weeks ago, Mitt Romney finally shifted gears on Thursday and went on offense during a campaign stop in Florida.

Seizing on a comment President Barack Obama made just before he took the stage in Sarasota, Fla. for his first rally of the day.

"The President today threw in the white flag of surrender again," said an energized Romney. "He said he can’t change Washington from inside. He can only change it from outside. Well, we’re going to give him that chance in November. He’s going outside.

"I can change Washington. I will change Washington. We’ll get the job done from the inside – Republicans and Democrats will come together. He can’t do it. His slogan was ‘Yes, we can.’ His slogan now is ‘No, I can’t.’ This is time for a new president."

Romney's new line of attack came in response to an answer from the president, who was harshly questioned about a number of his unmet promises and other current issues at a Univision forum in Miami earlier Thursday.

"I think that I've learned some lessons over the last four years," Obama said. "And the most important lesson I've learned is that you can't change Washington from the inside. You can only change it from the outside."

Romney advisers have already indicated that they plan to stick with that line, which is likely to be repeated as the candidate increases his appearances on the stump.

On Sunday, Romney will make his first campaign appearance in Colorado since Aug. 7, more than seven weeks ago.

While some Colorado Republicans have wondered why the candidate would go so long without a visit to this critical swing state, which remains a top pickup opportunity for the GOP, political analyst Eric Sondermann told FOX31 Denver Thursday that no number of appearances will move the needle until Romney hones in on a sharper message.

"Their message has been light from the get-go," Sondermann said. "They thought they could just say 'jobs, jobs, jobs' and not be Barack Obama and it would be enough. I think they're finally realizing that it's going to take more than that.

"He has to articulate a stronger message and he has to do it every day. And you need to play offense, where Romney, more often than not over the last couple weeks, has been playing defense."