DUBUQUE, Iowa – Mitt Romney, continuing his practice of focusing on President Obama instead of his Republican opponents, on Monday alluded to the one year remaining before Election Day 2012 in seeking to contrast himself with the president.
"About a year from now, you’re going to wake up and turn on the TV and it’s going to say one of two things,” Romney told an audience at the Giese Manufacturing steel plant in Dubuque. “One, it’s going to say President Obama has been reelected to a second term. If that’s the case, you know what the next four years look like; they look like the last four years we've just endured.... The alternative, of course, is that you turn on your TV about a year from now and instead of seeing the Obama camp celebrating you'll see something on the TV that says, ‘Mitt is it.’ And I will have won.”
The former Massachusetts governor made no references to his embattled co-frontrunner in the polls, pizza executive Herman Cain, whose bid has been tarnished by accusations of sexual harassment. He again touted the spending policy he has been promoting over the last several days, which includes cutting programs and the size of the federal workforce while giving states greater rights.
In a subsequent stop in Davenport, Romney again did not address Cain and focused on criticizing Obama on economic issues.
Romney cited several programs he would cut even though he favors them, including Amtrak and the National Endowment for the Arts. Answering a question from a man in the audience, he said he also would cut funding for Planned Parenthood.
Romney also signed a piece of paper brought by a youth named Ethan Herring by Herring’s father, and read aloud from the note, which included the line, “Why do I have to pay for the debt when I can’t vote?”
"The answer is he shouldn’t have to.... The best thing that Ethan can do is get his dad to vote for someone who can balance budgets," Romney said.
In Davenport, Romney mingled with some of the 200 supporters who came out to hear his speech. One admiring man in the crowd told him: "You're not only the best candidate for president of the United States; you're also the best dressed. I want to know if [Romney's wife] Ann buys you clothes."
"No, I do!" Romney responded. "I just got this shirt this weekend."