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Mitt's Soapbox Speech

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R) used the famed "soapbox" at the Iowa State Fair to highlight his bipartisan record of accomplishment and to urge listeners to make the trek to Ames tomorrow and cast a vote for him in the state Republican straw poll.

"We need to find people on both sides of the aisle who love America," said Romney speaking to a large group including some seated on bales of hay. He noted that he had worked closely with Sen. Ted Kennedy (D) -- a liberal icon -- to pass a universal healthcare plan in Massachusetts, and urged Democrats and Republicans to "find common ground."

It was the red meat in Romney's speech, however, that drew applause. He called for lower taxes and the elimination of the estate tax, the recruitment of an additional 100,000 troops in the military and for a concerted effort to "clean up the water of filth a lot of our kids swim in."

Although the sun was beating down unmercifully, Romney remained cheery, commenting at one point that "this is a cool day in Baghdad." He also won the award -- hands down -- for most appropriate giveaway of the state fair: hand fans with his name and the slogan "Starting in Ames....finishing in Washington" plastered across them.

That's it from Des Moines. The Fix will be making his way 40 minutes north to Ames tomorrow morning. Look for regular reports in this space on the goings-on at the straw poll.

But, before we leave you, here's the final summary of The Fix at the Iowa State Fair:

FOOD
2 pork chops (one on a stick)
1 fried Oreo
1 corn dog (in honor of The Fix's wife -- a corn dog lover)
2 Diet Pepsis
1 "Ice Cold" Root Beer

SIGHTS
2 miniature donkeys
1 "Ron Paul Revolution" t-shirt (pink)
4 Romney sons
Too many cows, calfs and pigs to count

SWEAT
2 Gallons (at least)

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 10, 2007; 5:55 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Straw Poll Expectations Setting

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