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The speech here at Kinzler Construction Services coincided with news reports that said Kevin Kinzler, the owner of the company, had received a $1.25 million loan from the Small Business Administration through the stimulus package in 2009.

The speech also followed the quarterly report the Commerce Department that showed the nation’s economy grew at a slightly faster clip of 2 percent annual growth over the summer — better than the 1.3 percent annual rate it posted in the spring and better than many economists had been expecting.

The report is seen as welcome, though far from stellar, news for Mr. Obama. Mr. Romney, though, dismissed the latest growth numbers in Friday’s speech as “the latest round of discouraging economic news.”

“After the stimulus was passed, the White House promised the economy would now be growing at 4.3 percent, over twice as fast,” Mr. Romney told the crowd. “Slow economic growth means slow job growth and declining take-home pay. This is what four years of President Obama’s policies have produced.”

Despite being billed by aides as a “major” economic speech, Mr. Romney stuck close to the same retooled stump speech that he unveiled Thursday in Ohio, arguing that Mr. Obama represents the “status quo” and the GOP ticket offers real change in the form of lower taxes, less business regulation and more military spending.

“This election is a choice between the status quo — going forward with the same policies of the last four years — or instead, choosing real change, change that offers promise, promise that the future will be better than the past,” Mr. Romney said.