Poll: Plurality believe Romney best to break partisan gridlock

“We have to build bridges to people in the other party," Romney continued. "We have to recognize this is not a time in America for us to pull back, and to divide and to demonize. It’s a time in America for us to come together, to look for common ground, for places where we have agreement.”

An campaign ad in which Romney touts his bipartisan record as governor of Massachusetts has played heavily in swing states in recent weeks, and top surrogates have also touted the Republican nominee as willing to reach across the aisle.

During an interview Thursday with CBS News, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said one of the biggest applause lines during Romney's trio of campaign stops in the state on Wednesday was when he pledged to work with congressional Democrats.

"I was struck by their response to his appeal to bipartisanship and his commitment to do so," Bush said. "I think the country, irrespective of ideology, is yearning for political figures to be creative and innovative and determined to find common ground. I think the president has spent most of his time explaining away why it hasn't worked the way he wanted to and dividing the country."

But the Obama campaign has repeatedly questioned Republican characterizations of Romney's record as governor.

“The American people shouldn’t trust a word Mitt Romney says on his promise of bipartisanship,” Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, said in a statement. “Over the last six years he’s been running for president, he hasn’t stood up once to the most extreme voices in the Republican Party — in fact, he catered to them.” 

And the president has touted his willingness to work with Republicans while on the stump. The president has frequently joked he would be willing to ‘‘wash John BoehnerJohn BoehnerClinton maps out first 100 days The Hill's 12:30 Report Boehner on Cruz: 'Lucifer is back' MORE’s car’’ or ‘‘walk Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellProgressive group changes tone on Kaine Trump hits Kaine on TPP: He supports a 'job killer' Clinton maps out first 100 days MORE’s dog’’ in order to strike a budget deal.

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