Romney and Republicans were counting on the American people to be "so worn down by all the squabbling, so tired of all the dysfunction that you will actually reward obstruction and put people back in charge who advocate the very policies that got us into this mess," Obama said.
"In other words, their bet is on cynicism," he added. "But Wisconsin my bet is on you. My bet is on the decency and good sense of the American people because despite all the resistance, despite all the setbacks, we have won some great fights."
Maria Cardona, a Democratic strategist and CNN contributor, said she expected similar attacks on Romney in the final days of the race.
Referring to the Republican challenger, Cardona said "the dissonance between what he is saying now, what he has said in the past, and what his policies will actually do is something that voters are going to continue to hear about from the Obama campaign and their surrogates, as they should."
Vice President Joe Biden followed that script Thursday, telling an Iowa crowd that Obama "says what he means and he means what he says, and no one can say that about Gov. Romney."
Earlier, Romney told cheering, sign-waving supporters in Roanoke, Virginia, that Obama's policies have failed to bring the kind of economic growth the nation should be experiencing, asking if people wanted "four more years like the last four years" with high unemployment, trillion-dollar deficits and political gridlock in Washington.
"I know that the Obama folks are chanting four more years, four more years. But our chant is this -- five more days," he said.
He also accused the Obama campaign of "shrinking to smaller things" through personal attacks against him.
His speech included now familiar references to offering a new direction for the country in what has been a more positive and personal touch for a candidate considered aloof and wooden during the Republican primaries.
"It's exactly what he needs to do these last few days of the campaign -- get his base enthused, get them out to work," said Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and CNN contributor. "It's all about the ground game right now."
While Romney has been unable to overtake Obama so far in most swing state polls, some of the polling data suggests the president could be vulnerable.
For example, an NBCNews/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll released Thursday showed voters under 30 in New Hampshire -- an important demographic for the president -- were less enthusiastic about the election than older demographics that tend to be more supportive of Romney.
Obama needs to repeat his strong support in 2008 from young voters as well as minority voters -- especially Latinos and African-Americans -- to win on Tuesday, and that means making sure the turnout on Election Day is as large as possible.
Compounding the turnout issue are logistical problems along the East Coast due to the devastation by Sandy, and expected legal issues including tightened voter eligibility standards in some states that Democrats complain were intended to suppress the minority vote.