Romney rolls out on six-state bus tour

Republican Mitt Romney kicked off a six-state bus tour Friday across what he called the "backbone of America," as he cast himself as more in touch with struggling voters than President Barack Obama.

The multi-millionaire challenging Obama for the White House in November's election is being joined by several top backers, including two potential vice presidential picks, on a journey taking him from New Hampshire through the industrial heartland of Ohio and up to Wisconsin.

His message at the first stop on his five-day "every town counts" journey reflected his longstanding view that Obama was in over his head in his efforts to turn the economy around.

"I have the experience and the vision to get us out of this mess," Romney told several hundred flag-waving supporters gathered on a pasture of picturesque Scamman Farm in the small town of Stratham.

Romney has focused recently on urban events or fundraisers as he gears up for what is certain to be a monumentally expensive White House race, and his shift to a week of engaging with small-town America is seen as a new tactic of retail politics less than five months from the election.

"For so many Americans, the distance between their town and the city of Washington has never seemed so far," Romney said.

"The federal establishment has never seemed so hostile or remote, so disconnected from economic reality and yet so willing to use restrictions and regulations, taxes and fines, commissions and czars to direct our daily lives."

Romney went down the list of points he normally hits on the stump: the need for lower taxes and smaller government, fewer restrictions on energy firms and small business and a repeal of the president's landmark health care reform law.

And he sought to connect with America's struggling middle class, many of whom are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.

"I think it's nice he gets out to see some of us regular folks, and not just the well-off donors and supporters in the big cities," Michael King, a retired businessman now receiving Social Security benefits, told AFP as a plane with the message "Romney every millionaire counts tour" circled overhead.

"I'm a conservative and I feel that our country is way off base on the type of spending we're doing," the 63-year-old Vietnam War veteran added.

Romney's wife Ann encapsulated the sentiment when introducing her husband, telling the crowd that in the months of crisscrossing the nation, the Romneys began to get "a sense that something has gone wrong."

"People feel like the American dream is sifting through their fingers," she said.

The Romney campaign is describing the tour's six states as "some of the key battlegrounds of this election."

Senior campaign strategist Russell Schriefer noted to reporters that the states were won by Obama in 2008, "so we're certainly campaigning on their turf."

Scamman Farm is clearly friendly Romney territory. He launched his presidential bid last year from the sprawling property, owned by former New Hampshire house speaker Doug Scamman.

But Romney insisted the backroads tour "will take us along what I call the backbone of America," where he would meet the men and women who shape the country.

Appearing with Romney was US Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who has been mentioned as a vice presidential prospect.

"If you believe we are on the wrong road, I have the man for you, the man who can turn this country around, who will be a strong, courageous leader," she said in introducing Romney.

He headed next to the town of Milford, where he and Ann Romney served ice cream to supporters and he was joined by former Massachusetts governor Tim Pawlenty, who is generating VP buzz.

Pawlenty lit into Obama, saying his "teleprompter speeches" do nothing to improve the economy.

"We've had enough of him flapping his jaw," he told a crowd gathered in the town square before Romney spoke.

"We need somebody who's actually going to do the job and gets results, and that's Mitt Romney."

On Thursday, Obama said he and Romney presented Americans with a clear choice -- between his program, which he says favors the middle class and would invest in the future, and what he calls Romney's "top down" economics favoring the rich.

On Saturday, the Romney tour shifts to Pennsylvania and then moves Sunday to Ohio, where the Republican candidate will make an appearance with US House Speaker John Boehner.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao
    Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao

    An Indonesian cargo vessel that was hijacked a month ago in North Sulawesi, Indonesia has been found stuck in the waters off Mati, Davao Oriental, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported yesterday. PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said the PCG- Southeastern Mindanao district was informed on Feb. 23 that the M/T Rehoboth was found aground off Barangay Cabuaya. Four personnel from the local PCG district office were sent to verify the report. The vessel was reportedly hijacked by …

  • 'Jihadi John' relatives under watch in Kuwait
    'Jihadi John' relatives under watch in Kuwait

    Kuwaiti authorities are closely monitoring several relatives of "Jihadi John" who live and work in the Gulf emirate where the Islamic State executioner was born, press reports said on Sunday. A number of relatives of Mohammed Emwazi, named as the militant who has beheaded at least five Western hostages, are working in Kuwait and like him hold British citizenship, Al-Qabas newspaper reported. "Security agencies have taken the necessary measures to monitor them round the clock," the paper said, …

  • Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf
    Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf

    Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. has ordered the sustained campaign against the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) following the successive offensives against the armed groups last week. A total of 24 Abu Sayyaf bandits and two soldiers were killed in recent clashes in Sulu last week. The Joint Task Group Sulu has received information that Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron was wounded during one of the encounters but this is …

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • Interview: Australia says hunt for missing MH370 jet may be called off soon
    Interview: Australia says hunt for missing MH370 jet may be called off soon

    By Matt Siegel CANBERRA (Reuters) - The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 cannot go on forever, Australia's deputy prime minister said, and discussions are already under way between Australia, China and Malaysia as to whether to call off the hunt within weeks. No trace has been found of the Boeing 777 aircraft, which disappeared a year ago this week carrying 239 passengers and crew, in what has become one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. The search of a rugged …

  • Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA
    Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA

    Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday supported proposals to put Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo under house arrest. “Government prosecutors are opposing house arrest for… Enrile. Binay issued the statement after the 91-year-old Enrile was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday due to pneumonia. House arrest for him would be the compassionate thing to do,” he added. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options