January 5th, 2008
10:30 AM ET
13 years ago

Romney again paints McCain as Washington insider

Mitt Romney is attacking his main Granite State rival on pork-barrel spending.

Mitt Romney is attacking his main Granite State rival on pork-barrel spending.

DERRY, New Hampshire (CNN) - Mitt Romney, his back to the wall in New Hampshire, is focusing on his Washington outsider status in an attempt to brush back Sen. John McCain's resurgent campaign here.

"We need new faces and new voices," Romney said at an "Ask Mitt Anything" town hall here, emphasizing his record as a reformer from the private sector.

At the event, Romney unveiled never before seen campaign signage: a large, blue banner reading "Washington is Broken" and a 15-item "To-Do" list that included "Cut the Pork," "Reduce Taxes" and "End Illegal Immigration."

Romney covered familiar ground by hammering McCain on immigration policy and his lack of early support for the Bush tax cuts. But he also challenged the Arizona senator on one of his long-time priorities – cutting pork-barrel spending.

"We have great mavericks and champions who are going to fight the pork, but somehow its always there," Romney said.

In consecutive events, Romney has spun the results of the Iowa caucuses as a call for change and said that Washington needs more than just "a gadfly or somebody fighting for this or fighting for that."

Romney has lumped himself in with Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama as outsiders who won in Iowa.

"There were two people running for office who had around in Washington a long, long time – Hillary Clinton and Senator John McCain – and both of them were rejected pretty handily by the voters," Romney said Friday evening.

Asked about the new strategy, Romney press secretary Eric Fehrnstrom said "we are focusing like a laser" on the idea that change in Washington won't come from an insider like McCain.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: John McCain • Mitt Romney
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Rufus, Milwaukee, WI

    Mitty is just so plastic, insincere and fake... and just plain sort of like an overused credit card.

    McCain's only claim to fame is allowing himself to be captured and held as a POW for 5 years – other brave soldiers killed themselves before being allowed to be captured – it's called: "Death before Dishonor."

    Mitty will appeal to REPUBLICONS, because they ultimately like that kind of thing.

    McCain has used up the sympathy vote – although I do honor his service – but his lack of ANY real STRAIGHT TALK and obvious pandering leaves him as a real non-viable candidate.

    January 5, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  2. MS

    McCain was trying to tell the American people that the pharmaceutical companies block legislation that would allow us to buy cheaper medicine, such as from Canada.
    That's when Willard Romney interrupted and defended the pharmaceutical companies. He told McCain to stop picking on the pharmaceutical companies because they do a lot of good things for us.

    January 6, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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