Romney: “fully committed to Iowa”

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is making his first visit to Iowa this year.  He’s currently speaking at a forum staged in the State Historical Building.

Earlier today, during a stop in Ankeny, Iowa, at a software company, Romney answered a few questions about his Iowa intentions.  And he’s not revealing whether he will compete in the Iowa GOP’s Straw Poll this August, Romney said his campaign would give it “good consideration.”

“I’ll be back in Iowa a number of times before the contest is complete,” Romney said. “As to the tactics of the campaign and where you devote your financial resources and time resources, that’s something we’ll figure out as we go along.”

Romney won the Iowa Straw Poll in 2007, but wound up finishing second in the 2008 Caucuses.  Romney indicated “different candidates (campaign in Iowa) in different ways” depending on the dynamics of the campaign cycle.

“But I’m here and hope that I will be able to build on the goodwill of a number of my friends from last times around and hopefully add some more friends this time,.” Romney said.

During his speech at the forum sponsored by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Romney called President Obama “misguided” and “inexperienced.”  And Romney focused on his “private sector” experience.

Romney said government was “far more forgiving” of bad decision-making than government.

“Ultimately, the piper has to be paid….We’ve been borrowing too long,” Romney said. “…At some point soon, we’re going to hit that wall.”

Romney said American voters in 2008 had chosen a president with “no experience in the private sector, no experience in the economy.”  This was the concluding line that drew applause:  “To create jobs, it helps to have actually had a job.”

Romney answered questions from moderator Lynn Campbell of who started by asking him why he hasn’t been in Iowa. “It almost felt like home I was here so often,” Romney said of 2007, adding of 2011:  “I’ll be here plenty.”  Romney said he would do what is best to win, and that means campaigning in many states.

He promied a “lean” campaign in 2011 & 2012.

“I’m not going to be flying all over the country and making a big falderol,” Romney said of his announcement scheduled in New Hampshire. “…I care about Iowa.  I care about every state in this country and I care about the American people.”

At 12:30 the building’s fire alarms began sounding.  “I wasn’t trying to get out of touch questions, I promise,” Romney joked.

The moderator asked him another question about the Iowa Caucuses and his chances. Romney turned to the crowd:  “Can I win Iowa?”

The crowd responded in the affirmative.

Romney then interjected, saying: “I think we ought to be very careful and go outside.  Thanks for being here.”

All are exiting.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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