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Romney Hopes for Home-Field Advantage

Romney campaigns in a Grand Rapids, Mich., furniture warehouse. (Reuters).

By Juliet Eilperin
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Speaking in an office furniture warehouse here this morning, Mitt Romney told roughly 100 supporters he was counting on Michigan voters like themselves to help jump-start his presidential campaign.

"We're going to do it today," Romney declared, standing below blue-and-white "Washington Is Broken" placards. "We're going to get it going today."

The former Massachusetts governor -- who came in second in both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary -- is counting on Michigan to deliver him his first major primary win despite the serious challenge he faces here from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Romney has consistently highlighted his Michigan roots while campaigning here over the past week, and today his wife Ann introduced him by saying that as they watched the snow fall this morning, it reminded them of growing up in the state.

"I remember so many snowy mornings," she said. "This is our home, and this is our heritage."

Today's event, conducted in a storage facility for a company owned by Michigan's former lieutenant governor Dick Posthumus, was aimed more at rallying Romney's allies than at winning over undecided voters. Peggy Adams and her husband Jerry, who live in St. Louis, traveled to Grand Rapids to make calls on his behalf today.

Adams, who also volunteered for Romney in Iowa, said she viewed her candidate's chances of winning the GOP nomination as "awesome," despite the fact that he came in second place in both Iowa and New Hampshire. "You just keep working and keep the faith," she said, moving away to sign up more volunteers.

Romney, wearing a casual blue-and-white plaid shirt and matching blue jacket with khakis, delivered his usual stump speech before the crowd, saying he wanted to fix a failed federal government. He pointed to the "to do list" he said he compiled after listening to voters on the campaign trail, and declared, "You'll see number thirteen was taped on. That was added at the last meeting." In fact, he made that same comment on Jan. 7 in New Hampshire.

"We have real problems in this country and real opportunities, and Washington is just fiddling and diddling, as an old announcer from Boston would say," he told the group. "I will go to Washington to stop the bickering, the sniping, the partisanship and the score settling. I will go to Washington to get the job done for America."

Romney generated his biggest applause line of the morning speaking not about Michigan specifically, but of his commitment to curbing illegal immigration to the U.S. "There's no special pathway for illegals," he said, eliciting cheers.

And then, after speaking of how Americans are united in their support for the troops and joking to supporters, "make sure you vote once or twice, three or four times, whatever it takes," Romney left the stage, to the sounds of the Forest Hills Northern High School jazz band.

By Washington Post editors  |  January 15, 2008; 11:19 AM ET
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McCain is the only Choice America has, Mich. has many of her best men and women who volunteered and are over sea's fighting for America. America Michigan needs a Warrior in the Oval Office to Win this War her Best People are Giving Everything for. Michigan only has one choice for her Men and Women McCain !

Posted by: nicklan | January 15, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

jeffboste-Straight Talk? You could not be meaning It is not really an Amnesty, because we make them pay a small little fine to illegally Invade and cut in front of all the millions of others we want here, and are doing it legally, McClown, could you?

Posted by: rat-the | January 15, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee visited the North American International Auto Show, paying homage to the industry.

Pandering hmmmmmm. No!!

What could be of more value to Michigan voters?
Mr. Straight Talk
or Slick Business Experience


Posted by: jeffboste | January 15, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

If Mr. Romney loves Michigan so much, where has he been for forty years? Proof will come if he doesn't get elected and still keeps his promise to Michigan!

Posted by: akbriskwood | January 15, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

by John Gizzi
Posted: 01/14/2008

As most polls of likely primary voters in Michigan now show a near-tie between Republicans Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and John McCain, the Romney camp got a jolt Saturday as a key backer announced he was switching his support to Huckabee.

With three days to go before the primary, State Rep. Fulton J. Sheen of Allegan County, introduced Huckabee at the Amway Grand Hotel and announced he was changing to the former Arkansas governor from native Michigander Romney. In an exclusive interview the evening before his announcement, stalwart conservative Sheen -- namesake-nephew of the legendary Roman Catholic bishop in the 1940's and 50's -- said that Romney's attacks on Huckabee's Fair Tax proposal convinced him to switch to the Arkansas man.


I am jumping up and down!!!!!!!!! Huckabee all the way!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: marinepatriot | January 15, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Why don't so-called Reporters, actually REPORT just WHAT Mitt Romney is openly Claiming he is Going to "Fix". I have a hard time believing we are actually for once getting a candidate being Specific, and not just "Parroting" Change-Change-Change(Edwards), and the "REPORTERS" somehow decide NOT to REPORT IT!

Oh, Wait! My bad! THAT, would mean doing something other than Spinning the events!

What was I thinking!

Posted by: rat-the | January 15, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

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