Now is the time for Americans to come together, not a time for the nation to fall apart. That was at the heart of Mitt Romney’s message as he formally accepted his party’s nomination for president of the United States at the Republican National Convention Thursday night in Tampa, Florida.

For months on the campaign trail, Romney has tried to convince Americans he is better for the country than his Democratic counterpart, President Barack Obama. Through his message Thursday night, Romney hoped the way to the American people's hearts was through the economy.

“What is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound,” he said. “It doesn't take a special government commission to tell us what America needs. What America needs is jobs. Lots of jobs.”

To a full house in Tampa, and households across the country, Romney pledged to create 12 million new jobs through a five-step plan:

1) Making North America energy independent by 2020
2) Giving parents a choice about what school their children attend
3) Forging new trade agreements with other nations
4) Cutting the deficit and balancing the budget
5) Championing small businesses in America by reducing taxes and repealing the Affordable Care Act

While Romney maintained a positive tone of unity throughout his speech, he didn’t hesitate to throw a few punches, saying in 2008, hope and change had powerful appeal.

“You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had, was the day you voted for him,” Romney said.

Romney defended his point criticizing President Obama’s policies saying they would eliminate jobs rather than create them, send more jobs overseas stifle innovation and put national security at risk. Thursday night, Romney told Americans they have a choice for real change this election cycle.

“I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division,” Romney said. “This isn't something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we can do something. With your help we will do something.”

Romney said he’s running for president not to fundamentally change America, but to restore it to its founding principles making way for “a future where everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon.”

An August Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has Romney and his newly minted running mate Paul Ryan with 44% of the vote – four points behind President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Follow Victoria Craig on Twitter @VictoriaCraig.