Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney pledged to support American farmers Tuesday in a speech heavily tailored toward his rural audience, while scolding the President for focusing on trivial matters.

“These are tough times with real serious issues,” Romney told a crowd of about 500 who braved the blustery and chilly temperatures. “So you have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about Big Bird.”

“I actually think we need to have a president who talks about saving the American people and saving good jobs and saving our future,” he continued.

Speaking on a picturesque family-owned farm in Madison County, Romney promised to act as a bridge between rural America and lawmakers in Washington — lessening regulations, lowering taxes, and increasing trade opportunities abroad.

He highlighted his plan North American energy independence through opening up more federal lands to drilling, which, he said, would result in lower fuel and fertilizer costs. However, Romney made no mention of wind energy credits, a popular subsidy in Iowa that provides thousands of jobs, which he has vowed to let expire.