Mitt Romney needs to a lay out a clearer, more encompassing vision of what he will do as president and not get sidetracked by small controversies, businessman and author Jack Welch said.
With Romney under media fire for several remarks made along the campaign trail, former General Electric CEO Welch said the Republican nominee needs to focus instead on big-picture issues of where he wants to take the country.
"Lay each one of these out in a big speech, over and over again and to big crowds, packed stadiums. Do anything," Welch said in a CNBC "Squawk Box" interview. "It's so clear, it's so simple. The Republicans should be winning this election and with this economy, this situation. It's frightening."
Romney has struggled to overtake President Barack Obama in the polls despite a wobbly U.S. economyand a firestorm of troubles abroad.
The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal pollgives Obama a five-point lead.
Most recently, Romney has generated negative headlines for saying in a private conversation months ago that he essentially was writing off the 47 percentof the population that pays no federal income taxes.
Last week, liberal pundits as well as some in his own party chastised Romney for criticizing Obama's handling of rioting in Libyaand elsewhere that left four American citizens dead, including ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
"The challenge for Republicans is that they've got to get this thing out of whether or not Romney said '47 percent' or Obama said Egypt was an ally. We've got to get to the big picture," Welch said. "He's got to take America and he's got to paint 2016 with him there and with Obama there."
Welch said Romney needs to tell voters that he'll veto any middle-class tax increases, improve education in a way that "will put teachers first, not unions first," and maintain a strong military that will ensure peace.
Otherwise, he said the country "absolutely would" be in worse shape if Obama wins a second term.