LITTLETON, Colo. -- Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the national face of the Republican Party in 2012, looked to rally support for Colorado's 2014 GOP ticket before a few hundred people at Heritage High School Tuesday afternoon.
As Democrats have sought to focus the election on local issues and the positions of their Republican opponents, the GOP continues to look to national this year's races, which they hope will serve as a referendum on President Barack Obama, whose approval rating is just under 40 percent near the end of his sixth year in office.
Romney, who lost Colorado by five points to Obama in 2012, looked to evoke some buyer's remorse among voters here, saying, essentially, that 2014 can serve as a do-over and a chance to send Democrats a clear message.
"Over the last several years as we watched the president, a lot of us have been even more disappointed than we expected during the election," Romney said, criticizing the White House for its policies on ISIS, containing Russia and Obamacare.
"It was his signature piece of legislation and he couldn't even get that right.
"You know, when he was running the first time he went around the world and apologized to the world for America. I think it's time he now apologizes to America."
Romney also sought to contrast Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who he criticized for being indecisive, with GOP challenger Bob Beauprez, who he called a "decisive man and a good man."
The rally was organized by Beauprez, who is close with Romney and served as his chief Colorado surrogate during the 2012 campaign.
Beauprez told the crowd the election boils down to a simple question: "Do you believe and trust in government or do you believe and trust in people?
"This Obama-looper regime we've been under for too long, they don't trust you. They want to regulate and constrain you in every way they can.
"In 36 days, we'll prove again that elections matter. Elections have consequences; we're dealing with that now."
Senate candidate Cory Gardner, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, and other Republican statewide candidates also appeared on stage ahead of Romney and Beauprez.
It's instructive that Republicans are seemingly eager to campaign alongside with Romney, while Democrats this cycle are running away from being seen with the president who beat him soundly just two years ago.
Coffman, one of the most vulnerable incumbents, ripped his Democratic opponent Andrew Romanoff for being the hand-picked candidate of Nancy Pelosi.
"He only moved into my hometown because he wants to live in Washington," Coffman said, framing the choice in the state's competitive 6th Congressional District as that between "an Ivy League liberal or a Marine."
Gardner, following suit, framed his race as a chance to take control of the Senate away from Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.
"We can remind Mark Udall that he has spent his entire career in office rubber-stamping the policies of Barack Obama," Gardner said. "He has voted with Barack Obama 99 percent of the time."
Democrats took the opportunity to tie Beauprez to Romney.
"Its no surprise that Governor Romney is campaigning with Congressman Beauprez, they're practically identical twins," said Rick Palacio, the chairman of the Colorado Democratic Party.
"Both made millions by playing by the Wall Street rules that drove millions into bankruptcy, both think 47% of Coloradans are freeloaders who are "perfectly happy" that someone else is paying the bill."
Democrats also questioned the appropriateness of using Heritage High School, a public school, for the political rally.AlertMe