BELLEVUE, Iowa (CNN) – Mitt Romney sounded increasingly upbeat Monday heading into the final days before the Iowa caucuses, telling a group of reporters here: "I think I'm going to win."
"I'm not going to forecast that necessarily," he said. "But I think I'm going to win, and that would be enormously powerful for my campaign. I'm confident I'll get either the gold or the silver, but at this stage I'm feeling pretty good."
Romney - who also told reporters that any finish in the top three would be acceptable - has refused to acknowledge a series of fresh criticisms levied at him by his main rival in Iowa, Mike Huckabee, while speaking to audiences in recent days.
Instead he has stuck firmly to a stump speech emphasizing his optimism about the future and urging supporters to "bring a friend or two" to caucus.
"Get in there and do your thing," he said in Bellevue, one of six campaign stops scheduled for the day across eastern Iowa. "The whole nation is watching Iowa … I can't wait for Thursday night. I have been working for this for a long, long time."
His campaign has also added a new, positive ad to the TV rotation, featuring Romney looking into the camera and re-emphasizing his resume as a problem-solver.
The former Massachusetts governor said the "closing ad" was part of a final push where he will emphasize his own message instead of blasting Huckabee, which his campaign has been doing steadily for the last month.
"This is a time to talk about my message," Romney said, asked by CNN why he has refused to mention Huckabee on the trail in recent days. "My closing ad and my closing speeches are about the positive vision I have for my campaign."
Still, while Romney avoids mentioning Huckabee in front of crowds, he remains eager to criticize the former Arkansas governor when speaking to the press.
He opened a session with reporters here by saying that as president, he would impose strict guidelines regulating pardons and commutations for convicted criminals, which he did as governor.
The comments were clearly aimed as a contrast to Huckabee's record on the issue, which Romney said will hurt Huckabee with voters, along with illegal immigration and taxes.
Val Davydov – Predict all you want about NH, but the Concord Monitor and other papers have all supported McCain (not that I think he's a winner either).
Sorry – Romney will do and say anything to get elected. He's made a mockery of any progress he ever made in MA, is a total hypocrite (hello – up until a few weeks ago he used a landscaping company who hired illegal aliens – and he knew it). Still can't get over stapping his dog to the top of the car in its crate – how inhumane!! The dog was deficating all over itself, yet he continued on his cross country journey! And let us all not forget his lying about being in the NRA – or actually ever hunting in his life (which I think hunting is totally cruel unless you live in a place where you need to hunt to get your own food – but still, he's lying).
Sorry...I'm glad to see him spending all of this money on a campaign for nothing. He will not get elected. Even if he is the Repub. candidate...the Dems. will certainly win over him.
Romney – I can't wait to see you FAIL here in NH!!
Yeah, Mitt, and I'm the tooth fairy.
Go Romney! You've got my vote! And my sisters, and my mothers, and my boyfriends and my dads and.......You rock!
And I think you are delusional. But please, keep spending your fortune around the country. Gawd knows, our economy sure as hell needs it.
Oh - so now we'll be pleased with "any finish in the top three?"
Right, and they just sustained me as the new Prophet, Seer and Revelator of the LDS Church.
Only from Mitt Romney: flipping before the flop.
People who say Romney is not real has never met him. He is the real deal.
He is presidential, brilliant, and very respectable.
Huckabee is a nice guy, but not presidential material. He lacks the academics for one thing. He lacks organizational skills for another. He can't handle criticism well and he doesn't want to be president, he just wants to "beat a Mormon".
McCain is also an American Hero, but should have been president before now. The world has changed because of this Iraq war. We need someone who can interact with other countries and not be linked to the current administration. Mitt has the qualifications for that.
Romney is the only one wiith intergrity and morals. Most of the other candiates have smoked weed and not inhaled. slept araound but never had sex: practiced priestcraft , but claims he is working For GOD.
Romney is the only qualified candidate!! I commute from the state of Washington to Massachusetts and I've seen what Mitt has done in that state. He is highly organized and chooses his teams wisely. Look how prepared he has been with his campaign! That's the kind of person who makes a great leader. my vote is for ROMNEY!!! It's time we had someone with business experience take the lead!!
ROMNEY ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What we need in the White House right now is somebody who knows how to fix a broken economy and broker alliances between both parties. You may think the Mormon religion is weird. You have that right. You may think Republicans are Jesus freaks that are going to continue to ruin our country. That's fair, too. BUT, Mitt has nothing but the best interests of the country in mind as his reason for running for President. His business background is impeccable. Ever heard of a little company called Staples? Yeah, that was in the tank before his company turned it around. The 2002 Olympics? Same thing. He has made millions off of his hard work and he is putting his hard earned cash where his mouth is! As for his partisan record, what does it say about a man who had successful term as a REPUBLICAN governor in a notoriously DEMOCRATIC state? He's had to taylor some of his policies to better match the desires of his constituents, but isn't that what a politician is supposed to do? He has made some mistakes and has admitted them. Heck, he's even LEARNED from them! What a novel idea! In sales there is a saying, "Results don't lie." You can think what you want about the man, but his results don't lie!
I've been watching presidential politics for over 40 years and I'm thrilled to see such a diverse and qualified group of candidates on both sides.
I'm guessing Romney will do very well in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Whether he will make it to the While House is anyone's guess at this time; but I am very impressed by his business experience and what he did for the Olympics; and being a Republican governor in a largely Democratic state speaks to his ability to bring both sides together for progress.
Good luck, Mitt!
When I imagine the mess the next President is going to have to get us out of with the rest of the world, I get a much better feeling picturing Romney sitting in the Oval office (organized, credible, gets things done) than any of the others. We need credible, we need organized, we need leadership. I think we need Mitt.
You could take any politician who ever voted on legislation and use it against them. And what politician hasn't tried to use his opponents weakness against them? I say give the man a break. Take a look at how he is handling his opponents right now, and then imagine him in two years dealing with Bin Laden the same way. Wouldn't you want someone who isn't afraid to take the gloves off a bit?
shut up, freak. you're not going to win, no one wants a freak like you in the white house
Romney is a corporate guy and he is from the corporate wing of the Republican Party. They believe that America should be a nation in which corporations are the only citizens and human beings are useful only as producers and consumers.
The wings of the party are
1. Corporatists, who are concerned about making a lot of money on the global market and nothing else.
2. Goldwater Conservatives, who believe in a small federal government, strong local governments that exist primarily to keep the economy strong, and self-reliant people who work hard and don't expect any help from the government.
3. Libertarian dingbats, who believe that the government will wither away and the world will be ruled by Adam Smith's "invisible hand."
4. Evangelical social conservatives who worry about abortion, strip clubs, and manger scenes in the park but never think about global warming, poverty, or foreign policy
5. Southern racists, who want to use the doctrine of a weak federal government to prevent federal activism in the civil rights area.
This truly unholy marriage of political philosopies is unraveling, because it is slowly dawning on groups 2, 3, 4, and 5 that group #1 has no intention of paying any attention to their agendas. Romney is trying to put together a majority using plenty of corporate money. He needs votes from Goldwaterites and evangelicals since he doesn't appeal to Libertarians (Paul has them) and there aren't many southern racists in Iowa and New Hampshire. But, Huckabee is stealing the evangelical votes Romney had counted on, and evangelicals have a theology problem with Mormons.
I would like Romney if it wasn't for his association with the LDS church, which in my opinion, shows a lack of good judgement.
Your response was very educated. I applaud your exceptional use of vocabulary.
Terry in El Paso,
I probably hadn't ever tried to break it down in such candid detail before, but I have to say your assessment of the Republican Party is amazingly spot on. Yours was one of the most useful posts I've come across on any number of blogs lately, as it has given me some food for thought to help clarify my own views.
I'd be really interested in how you'd categorize the Democratic Party, as well.
P.S. Fred Thompson in '08!
Jeff Burke, the LDS church is where his family went for their spiritual growth throughout his life. This wasn't a "judgment" on his part. This has nothing to do with how he turned the Olympics around, reached across party lines in Massachussets and successfully turned very large companies around. It did provide for him a strong upbringing with an excellent work ethic, an extremely strong family value system and an esteemed kindness that accompanies his desire to help people. I know when I was younger, my Baptist uncle tried to convince me and my peers that Mormanism was a cult, as was Catholicism. That got blown away when I made a friend in college who was Morman and one of the nicest people I'd ever known. If Mitt were raised as a Muslim would you give him a moment to explain that? How about a Catholic? An Atheist? A Presbyterian? He is a GOOD MAN and he is worthy of the Presidency. You need not fear his faith, he's not the pastor.
As a member, in good standing, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I prefer to refrain from making judgments regarding Mitt Romney’s eternal salvation. I can, however, submit that Romney, in my view and based upon the intimate knowledge I have regarding Romney’s Latter-day Saint faith, is an unethical and dishonest politician. I cloud go on and on about the many dishonest and unethical things Romney has said and done as a politician. Suffice it to say, for Latter-day Saints, being honest in our dealings with our fellow man is considered a fundamental standard of behavior necessary to attend the temple and be a member in good standing. According to the late Bruce R. McConkie, the most renowned and highly respected Mormon theologian of the 20th century, “honesty is one of the characteristics exhibited by all who are worthy to be numbered with the saints of God. Honest persons are fair and truthful in their speech, straightforward in their dealings, free from deceit, and above misrepresentation or any other fraudulent action.” I have been utterly shocked and dismayed as I have witnessed Mitt Romney – arguably the most well-known Latter-day Saint in the United States – mock and disregard some of the most sacred and fundamental principles of his own faith for worldly gain and glory. I implore all good Christian men and women to abstain from voting for Mitt Romney. Those who do vote for Romney will share the responsibility for promoting a corrupt and dishonest man to the highest office in our land.
Bravo, Terry! You analysis is absolutely correct.
If you want the dirty truth about 'The Mittster', it is very easy to dig up. He 'firmly' believes he hasn't any dirt we can see obviously, so he merely chops it up and spreads it thinly atop the now fertile ground. Just get up in Air Force One and you can see it clearly, CRAP, from coast to coast. See to shining black eye see.
Mitt is poised and ready for success after a lifetime of service and outstanding leadership!
To Republicans against Romney: And WHO is the Perfect Candidate that you are supporting? I have never in my life seen such an unreal expectation of someone who has done MUCH for so MANY! You will NEVER find an extremely successful person who has not been what we call HUMAN. You are looking for perfection and I'm sorry to let you in on this, but there is no such thing. I suspect some strong envy is where your energy is deriving from. What does your LDS faith say about envy?
Romney: 'I think I'm going to win':
He has every right to THINK that he will win but Huckabee's last positive stand on his "attack ad" was worth millions in wasted ad money. My vote is with Huckabee which might propel him into the Republican nomination and a certain Hillary win in 2009!
Go Hillary44 08! http://hillaryis44.org/
The truly sad point about the Mormon issue is this: There are now and have always been hard polarities in Mormonism. Those who truly believe in the beauty, goodness and holiness of this lovely faith vs those who use it for political and monetary gain. Unfortunately, most of the latter reside in Utah and therefore smear a stain on the land, the place, the people, and the faith. But, one of them lives in Massachusetts and he is trying to tell us he has always been a member of ‘The Church‘. Well, Mitt, which church, really?
I will vote for Mitt! He is the most qualified candidate. His life, experience and family value that he demonstrated through his family with five sons
exemplify what America needs in this challenging time and age.
God bless America! Go Mitt!