CINCINNATI -- Mitt Romney began a two-day swing through the crucial swing state of Ohio on Thursday by repeating a phrase that got big roars from a rally with several thousand supporters.

"Do you want real big change in this country?" Romney asked the crowd. "Well then you're going to get it on Nov. 6!"

The Republican nominee for president mentioned the phrase "big change" at least four other times in a roughly 20-minute speech.

"Americans want to see big changes, and I'm going to bring it to this country," Romney said, at the beginning of his remarks.

Each time Romney used the phrase, the crowd -- estimated by the Romney campaign at 3,000 people -- stood and yelled its approval. It is one sign of how the Republican base is energized by an intense disagreement with President Barack Obama and a desire to remove him from office.

Cincinnati, in southwest Ohio, is one of the strongest Republican parts of the state. Cincinnati's Hamilton County went for Obama in 2008 after voting for George W. Bush twice, but the three counties around Hamilton -- Butler, Warren and Clermont -- are solidly Republican.

The Obama campaign quickly responded to the Romney campaign's new message focus.

"Here's the ‘big change’ Mitt Romney is offering: going back to the same failed policies that caused the economic crisis and empowering the extreme voices in his party like Richard Mourdock," Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith said Thursday in a email to The Huffington Post.

This story has been updated to include the Obama campaign's response.


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