December 31st, 2007
03:05 PM ET
14 years ago

Romney: 'I think I'm going to win'

 Romney says he’s feeling more confident as the caucuses approach. (AP Photo)

Romney says he’s feeling more confident as the caucuses approach. (AP Photo)

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.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Iowa • Mike Huckabee
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Jordon Sumner. Ames, IA

    Romney is about as duplicitous as candidates come, except for maybe Huckabee. I wouldn't trust either of them as President.

    December 31, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. STB

    Huckabee said: “Mitt Romney is running a very desperate and, frankly, a dishonest campaign”. But, Huckabee never refuted the things in Romney's ads. Maybe because they're true?
    Also, Bill Clinton was at a middle school in western Iowa recently saying how much he likes Huckabee... Why would he do that? Because he knows Huckabee isn't a threat to his wife's campaign, and Romney is.

    December 31, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    I also think Romney will win Iowa. I further predict that he will win New Hampshire as well. The rest is history, when in November of 2008 he will be elected President of the United States of America.

    Romney 08!

    December 31, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Chris, Middletown, CT

    two things this country doesn't need....another right winger running the country – or a woman touting socialism as a new direction for the US...

    A recent poll asked people to label themselves...right...left....or moderate -70% chose moderate....fiscal liberal....only one candidate fits that bill....Giuliani...

    December 31, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |

    The nice thing about Romney is that if you do not like his positions he will gladly switch them for you !
    How can a person be true to America if they cannot be true to themselves ?

    December 31, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. Mike, Fredericksburg, VA

    Romney was a one-term governor who takes both sides of every issue. The candidate who has the most experience as a chief executive of a state and has a reputation as a straight-shooter is Mike Huckabee. Romney spends millions of his own money distorting the record of others because he doesn't want to talk about his own record. And frankly, when the Democrats are going to try to paint the Republican party as the party of the weathy and corporations, nominating somebody associated with wealth and corporate buyouts would play right into the Democrats' hands.

    December 31, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. norm san diego

    Sorry, Mitt, you're just not man enough for the job. Stay in Taxachusetts.

    December 31, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  8. Mark Murray UT

    I'm from Utah. Romney did a good job running the Olympics, but he will make an awful president.

    December 31, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Morgan Norfolk VA

    And SO Modest! Sound's like Hillary's attitude of entitlement to the throne! Throw the rascals out!

    December 31, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  10. alan

    Romney will not win the Republican nomination. If Romney does win the Republican nomination, Hillary win beat him in a landslide that will surprise the pundits of every persuasion. McCain is the only Republican with a chance to beat Hillary, but the Republicans won't have the cojones to nominate him either. Guiliani will prove easier to beat than even Romney or Huckleberry. When it is all over and the dust settles and the Republicans will be looking for the license number of the truck that ran them down.

    The Karl Rove legacy will prove to be a disaster for a generation of Republican candidates to come. The vast middle of the American Bodily Politic has had enough of Karl, George, and his parade of liars, (Gonalez, etc.), hacks (You're doin' a great job, Brownie!" and sycophants (Miers).

    December 31, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  11. Patty Atlanta GA

    Only if Satan and his brotherhood control the election. NO WITCHES IN THE WHITEHOUSE!!!

    December 31, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  12. Mario

    Maybe he will, Clinto has to lose, she sucks!

    December 31, 2007 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. David, Oregon City

    OK Romney, time to put up or shut up! Mike Huckabee has asked you for a last one on one discussion before the Iowa caucus. Just you and him…. Are you ready to defend your allegations against Huckabee or hind under your desk?

    December 31, 2007 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. Brian

    We love you Romney, We'll be there. You're a great man, a man of integrity, and we are proud of your persistence. We know you'll lead America for America!

    December 31, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. McFox CA

    If the American people truly love and care about there country, like they claim they do. Then I urge those Americans to check out this website, to take an in-depth look at Mr. Romney.

    December 31, 2007 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  16. Kurt Walters

    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!

    Is it true he has committed to give his presidential salary to charity?

    Romney will bring change, efficiency and respect to the oval office!

    Romney 2008-2016 !!

    December 31, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  17. Lynn Jensen

    This greasy liar plays fast and loose with the truth, and he has an ego the size of Russia! He is physically and morally unattractive.

    December 31, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. Aware

    You can't buy the presidency this time. Bush already did that. We Americans are smarter this time around!

    December 31, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  19. sal

    Does getting involved in politics for a year or 6 months give the american people something to do? I cant figure out any other reason why they would even support Hillary or Obama Or Bloomberg or anyone like this...You cant say with a straight face that you read the news everyday, you wouldnt be saying half the things people have been saying for the past few months about any of these people...Just like the american people as a whole these politicans are generican biproducts of each other formed out of the corportate mold...Dosnt anyone want america to do something again someday? Dosnt anyone want to make money again someday, not have college loan scams when the future is right around the corner and you HAVE to go to college, fictitious morage rates, interest rates, houseing slumps, illegal taxation, over taxation of individuals, the illegal income tax for individual citizens, corporations not saying any taxes at all, america the consumer welfare state, putting into power and supporting numerous dictators throughout south america and the middle east, not moving forward technologicly, crumbling infustructure,poor poor poor education, poor moral values, a violent society, unneccessary school shoots, gun deaths, teachers constantly having sex with their students, the world bank, nafta, cafta....The excuses this country has given in the last 20 years as "progess" or change is untrue..There selling everyone out on this page and across this country, they want you to starve, they want you to be poor, they want to make sure you need to work to pay off all your debts so at least you never ask for a raise in pay, while they pay you 22,000 a year in a market requiring a college degree. Ceo's in this country are getting multi year bonus's of 100 million dollars, people are paying 37% intrest on credit cards, paying 30 % on morage rates, giving people locked in "rates" knowing full well people arnt reading the fine print, the federal reserve charging us for buying money from them, bombing other countries and forming an economy dependent on going to war as a source of capitalism while calling it spreading freedomism, spreading constant lies and letting the meida continue them on without doing anything about it, not saving energy,not caring about the enviroment, health care scams, price of drugs, quality of drugs, quality of science, cost of science, cost of drugs that arnt safe for you, the dangers of legal drugs, the war on drugs, sending money out to leaders murdering their own people because we want to trade with them, letting captialism get out of control and take over the govnt, people being blind to what others are doing to them and using them for...This could go on forever, as far as i know im still free and so is everyone else should probably try and enjoy life a little in this new year and really get some things done

    December 31, 2007 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. K Wilkinson Texas

    Mitt has run an excellent campaign. Like everything he does, it has been highly organized. He would make an incredible president and I hope that he does win Iowa, but like he said, he's not going to forcast success. He certainly has done the work though.

    Good Luck MItt 2008!

    December 31, 2007 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. Cade Clements, Midland

    Well said....

    "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!

    Romney will bring change, efficiency and respect to the oval office!"

    Romney 2008-2016 !!

    December 31, 2007 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  22. Jeff, Huntington Beach, CA

    This guy is scary. According to reports, he helped his clients set up off shore tax shelters, neither he nor any of his family have made the kind of sacrifices our military men and women have been making though he supports President Bush's war policy, (another man who asks others to make sacrifices that he was not willing to make) and now we find out he is distorting the truth and slandering others for political gain. (again, like the current administration) Before this revelation, a piece came out of his hometown press saying that he is deceitful and not to be trusted. What more do we need to know about Mit Romney? We are scraping the bottom with the line up of presidential candidates, but do we really want another flim flam man (or women) in a long line of them. America cannot stand another 4 years of charade. This guy carries his character in his wallet and will sell out the American people for he and his kind's "greater good." (again, like the current administration) Let us lose him in a sea of his broken political dreams so he can go back to where he came from. (finding ways to screw the American taxpayer in obscurity) This is no joke people...

    December 31, 2007 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  23. AJ, IL


    Come on Romney!

    Nothing better than to guarantee a Democratic presidential win in 2008 than a Romney candidacy. Even Hillary could beat this guy. Why? Even though both are flip-floppers, Romney is more of a flip-flopper than Hillary, and Romney will lose Republican votes (i.e. conservative and evangelical Republicans won't show up to vote) and Hillary would win because Democrats and Independents are fed up with BUSH!

    December 31, 2007 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  24. Mike, New Braunfels, TX

    I get a queezy feeling every time I hear Romney speak. I'm a conservative Republican, but this guy reeks of dishonesty, corruption, and hypocrasy. He's swimming in money (mostly his own), thinks he can buy the presidency, and will say or do anything to get elected. He also slanders his fellow Republicans, bending and distorting the the truth–feeding his lies to the public through his millions of dollars worth of commercials and other media...just to get elected. Do we want a guy who runs his campaign and spends money like its going out of style to be our president? If he runs his campaign like this, how is he going to run our country? We need honest hard-working men, with integrity like Huckabee or McCain.

    December 31, 2007 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  25. Marge

    Go Mitt !
    I loved your Dad when he was governor of Michigan, and now it is your turn.
    God Bless.

    December 31, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
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