Romney spoke in Youngstown, Ohio.
"What the president, the Democrats, always do is, they want to make Republicans look like they're heartless," Romney said. "Actually, we care about people. We care about education. We care about the students more than the teachers' union, alright? So we put our kids first."
CBS said among the examples he cited was the healthcare plan he instituted as governor of Massachusetts, which he said was different from President Obama's.
"How come you [the president] forced through your plan without a single Republican vote?" Romney asked rhetorically. "How come you didn't listen to the fact that the people of Massachusetts voted for [Sen.] Scott Brown to stop Obamacare? How come, Mr. President, you imposed this on the American people when we didn't want it?"
He also said he would be an underdog in a potential head-to-head election with Obama in November.
"Today, Medicare and Medicaid are running into financial distress," Romney told a crowd of about 500, the Youngstown Vindicator reported. "Social Security will be around if I'm president, and they will be solvent. I would raise the age for Social Security. To make Social Security and Medicare solvent, those with lower incomes will get higher benefits, and those with higher incomes will have lower benefits. That will balance Social Security."