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.