BOCA RATON, Florida (CNN) – Less than two hours before he was set to take the stage for the Republican debate Thursday night, Mitt Romney said he thought he'd be the main target.
"Tonight I predict that most of the guns will be aimed at me. I predict they’re going to be shooting shots one after the other and they’re going miss,” Romney told a Florida crowd packed into a local restaurant. “They’re going to shoot time and time again but you know, if they’re shooting at me that means I’m the guy they’re worried about and for good reason, because we are going to win Florida!”
The former Massachusetts governor appeared with some of his family. Eldest son Tagg told the audience they wouldn’t let him talk too long, so he could keep his voice for the debate.
Romney kept up his recent "change" theme, and continued his jabs at chief rival John McCain, “the only way [Washington] is going to change is by sending someone there who hasn't lived the last 25 years there."
Romney and the Arizona senator are locked in a tight race for first place in most recent Florida polls.
Riling up the crowd, Romney slipped into boxing metaphors – a favorite of politicians and pundits – saying he was going to adopt Muhammad Ali’s “rope-a-dope” strategy. “Go ahead and just hit, hit, hit and I’ll just keep on talking, talking, talking, and the more they hit me, the more I’m able to talk and describe my vision for the future.”
– CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt
Mitt in 08!!!
Counter Top Wisdom – Hearing the old black man sitting at the restaurant counter rave about how Bush is driving the train over the cliff, I moved from my booth to engage the philosopher.
Asked him who he supported for President. Said they were all sorry. Asked about Romney. Could he get the nomination rejecting Jesus being God just the son of God? Fella said he's got a bigger problem than that. He (Romney) doesn't think us black folks exist at all – We're just an apparition. Can't vote for him.
After ranting about religious fanatics, I asked the fella who was worse – Evangelicals or Muslims. He said that he was married to an evangelical and always kept one eye open but he wouldn't let a muslim in his house.
Had to leave.
There is a reason the other candidates will target him – he should not be president.
romney your "i'm not washington" logo is so tired. I hope you win the gop nomination so the dems can have you for dinner.
Romney for President '08!
Guys ... chill. You Republicans have a much better outlook than we Democrats! We have to face the Clinton Clan with all their dirty tricks. How bad can it be for you ?
English only? What about the AD in Spanish. PHONY
How will he get Spanish-speaking people to vote for him if they don't understand him? Romney isn't an idiot.
i think Romney is the right guy for the job. McCain seems like he is trying to please everyone at times.and Huck-a-buck is over zeals religious man who reminds me why people left England.
Go Romney!!!! If you want to get a jump on the competition start pressing improvements to FEMA to respond better to natural disasters. Do like the Senator from Idaho and widen your stance.
Romney is a fraud. He has no intention of doing anything for anybody but his cronies. If American votes him in we deserve the repercussions. Of course by then we will be the targets. Since Romney has already said he will expand guantanamo. It won't be for anything but squelching opposition.
McCain is jealous of Romney because he can't raise the money Romney can.
Huckabee made harsh remarks about Mormons. So what? Romney carried
a blue state which is something they'll never do. Go, Mitt, go!
Go home Rommey let huckabee take charge, then let Obama gracefully defeat him. GO HOME WE DONT LIKE YOU.
The Republicans have been civil tonight..the democrats should learn from this!
Hillary will crush Mitt Romney if she gets the chance. I hope he doesn't get the nomination because I am already weary of his garbage but it would be funny to see her chew him up & spit him out.
Romney doesn't need endorsements from corrupt political dealmakers and purchased newspaper editors...he just needs votes from people who support improving our nation, our living standards, our schools, our national security, our government, our image abroad!
I appreciate McCain's service to our nation, but he is not an agent for changing a system HE HAS BEEN A PART OF FOR SO MANY YEARS!
Romney will bring change, efficiency and respect to the oval office!
Romney 2008-2016 !!
It's OK if they shoot at you Mitt. You can shoot right back because you have the endorsement of the NRA, right? And you have shot many a varmint in your day, right?
Sorry, no self-respecting Republican claims to have shot "varmints."
Romney would crush Hillary...shows what Michelle knows.
He has more brains in his pinkey than she does in all her wrinkles...
Obama is a fraud. All he does is talk fluff (very slowly I might add...)
Edwards is the only viable democrat in the race. He would beat McCain or Romney. I can't believe the democraps are dumb enough to nominate Billary or Obama.
And if Romney isn't viable, why is he winning? And why is he about to win Florida? And why is he about to win every Super Tuesday contest except California? Republicans know McCain is a democrat and should vote like it.
From what I have seen Romney is the only serious candidate out there. McCain and Huckaboo rely on old action stars to try and carry the message that somehow they are just a good ole' boy that wants to wear plaid and go fishing sometime if you've got some time Opey.
If Romney is so bad, why without the endorsement of a single liberal newspaper is he leading the republicans (I'd say conservatives, but he is the only viable conservative running for first spot on the GOP ticket). When a liberal paper endorses a "Republican" candidate it is not a good sign.
Romney has more delegates and has won more states than any of the others. It looks like a movement for positive change in our country has started. Go Romney in '08! As for McCain, it is time to have a conservative senator represent Arizona instead of a Flagstaff Kennedy. As for Huckamoo, he should go back to pumping gas in Mayberry, Wally needs his help and Barney needs advice with talking to the ladies.
McCain would definitely get serious consideration from all the voters in this house.
Romney-after hearing these debates there is no way he will get my vote. If Romney gets the nod I will be looking at the democrats and listening to what they have to say. Romney completely turns me off.
If the Republican party isn't smart enough to see that they really need McCain
to beat the democrat choice wow do they need to look in the mirror.
Go Mitt Romney!
The only 2 candidates that can reach across the party aisles to re-unite this country!
They have Integrity, high Intelligence, Solid family values and a willingness to look at what they can do for ALL our country.
Will in the West
Did you just say he would win every super tuesday state BUT california? Right now he is only 4 points behind McCain and if he wins Florida, he would destroy McCain
Don't sell your candidate short!!!
All the candidates from the repuplican party will be big losers at the end of general election .There is no single person can compare to any candidate of the democrat party who will try to fix the mess that George Bush created in his administartion ; Therefore , it's time to save your time , effort , and money for the poor citizen . You will be better off and better chance to win the presidency within 8 years. Good luck to you all.