(CBS News) -- Mitt Romney issued a broad attack on President Obama on Tuesday night, criticizing everything from the president's position on women's issues to his foreign policy stance to his politicization of the killing of Osama bin Laden while framing himself as the "underdog" fighting against a behemoth of a campaign.
Speaking on Fox News' Hannity, Romney expressed relief that the hard-fought primary season was finally coming to a close and that the GOP establishment had finally begun to coalesce around him.
"We've got a long way to go. The first chapter of the process seems to be over and we're coming together," he said. Though former opponent Rick Santorum endorsed Romney late Monday night, the former Massachusetts governor dismissed rumors of a tour of former opponents in support of him.
He said, though, that he's "got a long way to go," and admitted that Obama's war chest and organization was formidable.
"Against an incumbent with a billion dollars he's raising, with an extraordinary machine that'll be attacking me on a personal basis day by day, that we're the underdogs. That we're gonna have to fight very, very hard to break through the clutter of the charges and the attacks and the efforts to dissuade people from looking at his record," he said.
Those charges, Romney said, were part of an "incendiary effort on the part of the Obama team" that he doesn't expect to "connect with the American people" - they'll merely rile up Obama's base. Romney's indictment of Obama's negativity comes amid a $25 million ad buy just made by the Obama campaign that is marked by a concerted effort to paint Obama in a positive light, while avoiding -- thus far -- Romney attacks.
Romney later went on to lambast Obama for trying to "make friends with some of the world's worst actors," rather than what he says he sees as the right path for America internationally: "Communicate our strength, our determination, and indicate if people want to be friends with America, that they're going to have to hold to the principles that we find dear." And for Romney, Syria is "one of the great opportunities for America, and for the world, right now," and a place where America should lead to take down Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
And he said it was "misguided and wrong and dishonest" to suggest that Republicans didn't have respect for women of all walks of life, saying instead that it was Obama's policies that had failed women. Romney offered as evidence Obama's decision to deploy a cartoon, rather than real women, to tout his policies.
"I think this little cartoon they have on the life of 'Julia' really reveals the weakness of the president's policies. I think to have to defend your record by coming up with a cartoon character, as opposed to real people, suggests that he doesn't want to talk about his record at all," he said.
On his running-mate pick, Romney remained mum, only echoing familiar criteria.
"You have to make sure the person who is vice president, number two in line, is a person of capacity that could lead the country if necessary," he said.