Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney rallied with Republicans in Dubuque early this afternoon.

“We’ve come a long way, you guys. We’ve been here a few times before, right in this wonderful city, with great friends all around us. We’ve had some long days and some short nights and we are almost there,” Romney said. “The door is open. We’re going to walk through it.”

Romney was speaking to fellow Republicans this afternoon, but he touted bipartisanship — tailoring his message to independent voters who may provide the winning margin in Iowa.

“I won’t just represent one party,” Romney promised. “I will represent one nation.”

Near the end of his speech, Romney blasted President Obama for merely “offering excuses” rather than offering a plan to resuscitate the economy.

“He wants to settle. Look, Americans don’t settle. We aspire. We reach. We dream. We achieve,” Romney said, to cheers from the crowd, “and so on November 6 we’re going come together all across the country for a better future and on November 7 we’re going to go to work.”

President Obama is due to speak in Dubuque later this afternoon.  In a written statement issued early this afternoon, after Romney’s rally in Dubuque, an Iowa-based spokeswoman for Obama’s campaign blasted Romney’s bipartisan pitch.

“Mitt Romney can’t be trusted to work across the aisle as president because he’s never done it before,” said Obama for America spokeswoman Erin Seidler. “…Mitt Romney’s proven he’s willing to say anything to win, but the American people understand Romney will never bring ‘real change’ – just the same failed policies that created the economic mess in the first place.”

AUDIO of Romney’s appearance in Dubuque.