Romney campaign flexes muscle in New Hampshire
December 3rd, 2011
03:19 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney campaign flexes muscle in New Hampshire

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - With Newt Gingrich newly ascending in New Hampshire polls and only weeks to go before the state's primary, Mitt Romney's campaign flexed its organizational muscles Saturday and sought to dispel any notion that the former Massachusetts governor might be taking the state's support for granted.

Romney's campaign deployed 500 volunteers to make 12,000 calls and knock on 5,000 voters' doors - including the candidate himself, who spent the better part of an hour pounding the pavement in a neighborhood in Manchester's north end. The campaign dubbed the coordinated effort "Earn it with Mitt," and Romney took every opportunity to remind his supporters and the media of that message.

"I am proud to be here with so many friends who are willing to knock on doors and make the calls and do the hard work that it takes to win elections," he told reporters.

Romney was repeatedly pressed by the media for his views on Gingrich, the former House Speaker, who has presented himself as an alternative to Romney and has been the latest Republican opponent to threaten the longtime front-runner's path to the nomination.

Romney declined to directly attack Gingrich, and when asked, offered only a few policies on which the two candidates differ. He mentioned one aspect of tax policy and a controversial idea Gingrich had proposed involving loosening child labor laws. But Romney said he would not criticize Gingrich's statements on immigration that some conservatives have called similar to amnesty - a claim Gingrich staunchly denies - until the former speaker lays out more specifics.

Romney did, however, point to his consistency in a remarkably fluid presidential field.

"Over the past year, as you know, there have been various people who have surged and I've been steady throughout the storms," he said. "And I'm happy to see people come and get a chance to be carefully viewed. As those comparisons have been made, I've been able to withstand the scrutiny and still remain a strong contender."

There was an awkward reminder of Romney's challenge in New Hampshire as he walked through a tony neighborhood knocking on voters' doors. On the street the candidate ran into New Hampshire Union Leader Publisher Joe McQuaid, who recently endorsed Gingrich in a highly-watched move.

"I'd try and hit you up, but you're no longer undecided," Romney told McQuaid as video cameras surrounded the pair.

Romney also mused to the press following him that knocking on doors reminded him of his time spent as a Mormon missionary in France.

"That was knocking on thousands and thousands of doors without much success," he said.

He seemed enjoy more success Saturday, being warmly greeted by several families up and down the street.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Woman In California

    I absolutely HATE Williard and will vote for ANYONE other than this self serving stiff.

    December 3, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    He already looks old and tiired and it's not even time to start officially campaigning for president yet. He won't make it.

    December 3, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. T'sah from Virginia

    Testy Romney – His hair is falling apart in this photo – Is that an indication that he's "breaking at the seams???" I mean, hair out of order says a lot about MITTens!!!

    Obama 2012

    December 3, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Must have been in a wealthy Mormom neighborhood if he was greeted warmly.

    December 3, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Muscle or Money ?

    No spine !

    Just like his five sons who avoided volunteering for military service in a time of war .

    December 3, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. Squigman

    What makes no sense at all to me, is the fact that Romney, is being treated like dirt by his own party. The reason for most of this is because of his chosen faith. Doesn't this smack of bigotry, prejudgeous, hypocracy, and downright religious intollerance by the same party that embraces religion as a pillar of their platforms? And what makes even less sense, is his ability to view this as no big deal.

    December 3, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. Obayashi

    Romney is a typical flip flopper.One blogger likened him to a flip flopping fish out of water, another one said he is a robotic flip flopper. Barney Frank in an interview mentioned Romney flip flops many times faster than a man changing

    December 3, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. diridi

    He is going to be front runner, by he is a joke for America...that's it. Obama2012.

    December 3, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Obayashi

    Jon Huntsman could rise to the top, that is after his one-on-one debate against Gingrich. And Romney will have two adversaries till the finish line of this primary.

    December 3, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. Indy

    The second Romney gos on the Donald Trump reality show is the day Romney is done as a Presidential candidate, as well as anyone who is stupid enough to join Trump in making a mockery of the Presidential process, no one should ever cast a vote for someone that falls into Donald Trumps scams

    December 3, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Tough USA

    Looks mixed up even in the pic above. Is Flip Flopping and Lying allowed in the White House LOL

    December 3, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  12. Republican

    Go Get em Mitt..... This is the guys we need to vote into Office! He would get America back on top....We cannot let Obama get relected!!!!!!! We as republicans especially can't vote for Newt because look at who he is and what he stands for. Look at his personal life it's scary that we would even consider voting for a man like this........

    December 3, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  13. BeverlyNC

    His "flip-flop" muscle???

    December 4, 2011 12:22 am at 12:22 am |