Romney at ITR/ICA forum: “I became a Democrat…”

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney brought his wife, Ann, and middle son, Josh, up on stage with him to being his appearance.  Romney joked that Josh "is the short, ugly one."  Josh has commited to visiting all 99 counties in Iowa, according to his dad.

Romney began by stressing his own commitment to Iowa.  "I believe in the Iowa process all the way from the Ames Straw Poll to the Caucuses….The people in Iowa perform a service to the people of America," Romney said.  While Brownback got applause for a similar declaration, there was no applause from the crowd to Romney’s pro-Iowa statement.

Romney then launched into his standard stump speech, focusing first on runaway spending in DC.

"Every year we keep on spending more than we take in….We’re spending too much money on oil…from other countries. .We must be energy independent."

Next up, the immigration bill in the US Senate.

"The guys in Washington got together…They were not in touch with the American people and thank heavens that bill went down to defeat," Romney said.  The crowd applauded.

"At a time like this is is essential for Washington to act but Washington is broken.  Washington is incapable of acting…It is essnetial that we have new leaders in Washington," Romney said.

Romney touched on his private sector biography. After briefly mentioning his work on the Olympics, he talked about running for office in Massachusetts. "Then I became a Democrat," Romney said, misspeaking.  Murmurs ran through the crowd, then some laughed.  As you may know, Romney’s guiding poliical principles have been quesitoned by rivals who primarily point to his change of position on abortion.  Romeny continued:  "I became governor of the most Democratic state in the nation…."

Romney talked about his budget record as Massachusetts governor, then quoted Ronald Reagan:  "It’s not that liberals are ignorant, it’s just that what they know is wrong."  The crowd laughed and applauded.

Romney continued with his normal stump speech themes:  govt is not the source of our strength.

He talked a spurring the economy from a variety of fronts, including tort liability reforms and better schools,

Romney ridiculed a speech Hillary Clinton gave recently.  "They wouldn’t allow her to be elected president of France, let alone president of the United States," Romney said.  A few people gasped, but then the applause built through the room.

Rommey got good crowd response from another standard line: "I am convinced that there is no work in America that is more crucial to the future of America than the work that goes on within the four walls of the American home."

He talked about gay marriage battles in Massachusetts. "I believe that instead every child deserves a mom and a dad," Romney said, then called a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage "critical."  The crowd applauded.

Romney also offered a defense of W.  "I know it’s popular now to criticize President Bush but don’t forget, following 9/11, he has kept us safe," Romney said to applause.  Then Romney mentioned Bush’s appointments to the Supreme Court — Alito and Roberts — and drew more applause from the crowd.

:It is essential that we have a Republican president who is pro-life," Romney said, then added a bunch of "pro" items to the list.

Romney closed by talking about values of the heartland and he told one of his flag stories (the one about the Boy Scouts, not the one about the Olympics).

He had the forum sponsors ask him their six questions and offered his responses to each. 

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.