Romney in Mississippi: 'I like grits'
March 8th, 2012
08:44 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney in Mississippi: 'I like grits'

Pascagoula, Mississippi (CNN) - Mitt Romney swept into Mississippi Thursday to make his case in a state where he doesn't expect to win.

The former Massachusetts governor, who has struggled to woo voters in the South and faces a string of upcoming contests below the Mason-Dixon line, appealed to a group of about 120 Mississippians by feeling their pain.

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Romney rattled off three stories of people he had met at campaign events - a father worried about health care costs for his special needs child, another man who wondered how he would pay for his daughter's education and a soldier back from Afghanistan who struggled to find work.

"A lot of people hurting right now," he summed it up, and blamed President Obama for not following through on his campaign promises of economic turnaround from 2008.

"Since this president has been president, the cost of gas has doubled," Romney said. "Not exactly what he might have hoped for, and he says 'well it's not my fault.' By the way, we've gone from 'yes we can' to 'it's not my fault.'"

The re-jiggered lines in Romney's speech come a day after a campaign aide acknowledged the candidate was "working to establish a stronger connection with lower-income voters, with voters who are struggling."

In Ohio's primary, which Romney narrowly won, exit polls showed him trailing rival Rick Santorum among voters who made less than $50,000 a year.

The swath of Southern states that will vote in the upcoming days – Kansas, Mississippi and Alabama – have been hard hit by the economy. In Mississippi, where Romney makes another appearance Friday, the unemployment rate is over 10%.

Faced with an uphill climb in the South, Romney asserted in an interview with radio station WAPI that he hoped to walk away with some delegates in states such as Alabama, where he is not favored to win.

"That's of course what this is all about, getting the delegates necessary to become the nominee," he said, echoing his campaign's relentless focus on a numbers game they say Romney's opponents have no chance of winning.

In Mississippi, Romney did try out some Southern charm, telling his audience he was "an unofficial Southerner."

"I am learning to say y'all and I like grits, and things," he joked. "Strange things are happening to me."

But the ultimate compliment came from Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who endorsed Romney in Pascagoula.

"He just has a warm, comfortable way about him," Bryant told reporters. "I like to see a man when he's holding a baby. And he looks like he's held a baby before."

Also see:

Obama and Romney ahead in ad fight

First on CNN: Santorum super PAC hits Alabama and Mississippi airwaves

Obama releases movie trailer a week before campaign film's debut

Cindy McCain defends Palin over HBO film

Filed under: 2012 • Mississippi • Mitt Romney
soundoff (224 Responses)
  1. Expat American

    Romney likes to his grits with caviar and truffles...and he likes to eat them wearing his plantinum flip-flops.

    March 9, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. ChiViking

    I wouldn't hire Romney as my dog walker let alone President!

    Maybe as an investment consultant, though....

    March 9, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. Taylor

    OMG what makes you think that Unfit Miitt feels your pain. Come on people Unfit Mitt doesnt feel no pain. Some of you need to put your thinker cap on. Unfit Mitt does not care, he dont know how to care. Don't do what some did in 2010 and voted all of those Rep in, you see what happen. If you care anything about yourself and the country you will vote for Obama. Please listen and learn. Just because you dont like the man , it take a reason not to vote for him. Unfitt has done nothing except proven that he is Unfit to run the country. He really don't what to be President of the US, he just wants the power (like all rich). and he wants to prove to his family that his dad did not make it so he can . Its a game and he is playing games with the people and the country. For those who talked about Obama like a dog, he must be doing something right. Unfit Mit is not fit.................people do not connect with him and there is a reason because he just saying anything to please . Unfit Mitt will start a WAR on women and a WAR (battle). Because all of the money that is flowing in for him he has to pay it back............ think about what is really going on.

    March 9, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. sensible

    @Meriam..... the United States is NOT a business(yet), honey. There is a little thing called 'PROTECTING THE PEOPLE' not firing them. You can balance the budget tomorrow, but what does it accomplish if people are starving and homeless? I guess you do not have any heart, Meriam, if you indiscriminately fire people and cause them to starve JUST to protect your bottom line!!!

    March 9, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. John Henson

    Yeah, buddy. Nothin' like seein' a man holdin' a baby to see how qualified he is to be Prezdent!

    March 9, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. sbssue1

    I have to say, from the sounds of the trash talk, no wonder our country is in dire straights. If you all vote how you say and write, shame on you all.

    March 9, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. monk

    I like grits with my Kobe Steak that I eat every night. I prefer them aldente!

    March 9, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Calvin - Romney is the 1% of the 1%
    JFK was too. What's your point? Are you complaining that one of the OWS losers isn't running for president?

    March 9, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Illeagle-j1

    Kissing babies and eating the local cusine is one thing, but grits?? That is taking Pandering to a whole new level

    March 9, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. sene

    I don't know who in their right mind would hire this man or republican. He is faker than a 2 dollar bill. He will say and do anything to become president.. i wouldn't be surprised if he sold his soul then asks for it back. Give me a break.

    March 9, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. anagram_kid

    First off, our country is not in the terrible condition that the GOP would like us to believe it is. But I will admit we have a lot of problems. Some of these are due to the fact that we have a large segment of the population that do not understand the complexities of things like taxes, large economies, troop levels, our role in the modern world...etc. But they think they are knowledgeable because being an American automatically makes one exceptional. You know, like how some people don't know the difference between 'straight' and 'strait'.

    March 9, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. Taran

    I see the new dance that has become so popular with the left, The Liberal FactTwist, continues.

    March 9, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. Jake

    if the GOP machine continues to suppress the poor vote, and continue to encourage the wealthy to vote with tax cuts and incentives, then Romney may just have a shot at winning. and that's disgusting!

    March 9, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. Larry

    I like grits, too. It doesn't make me the president...............

    March 9, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. FLIndependent

    @Truth – "Obama had ZERO skills and experience yet you had no problem with that. What's the issue all of sudden?
    Romney couldn't do any worse than Obama has done. I have come to understand why he always wants to lead from behind. It is much easier for him to push our allies under the bus from that position."
    Obama may not have been a businessman or a governor but he is very intelligent, has common sense, is for ALL of us, and shows his integrity and diplomatic skills every day. He has a heart and is genuine. I know you're going to dispute all of this but Obama was elected because of his character and his ideas for progression to take us into the 21st Century, of which the Repubs have none! Now, he is our President so that makes him much more experienced than any of the candidates running against him. Get over it – he will get 4 more years!

    March 9, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  16. sensible are confusing left and right again.....maybe you should go on that show "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?".....but then, you would probably lose!

    March 9, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Taran wrote:

    I see the new dance that has become so popular with the left, The Liberal FactTwist, continues.
    Yupper. Running rings and doing doughnuts around your misleading statements and deceptions.

    March 9, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. mannycl

    Anybody but Comrade Obama will serve this country much better. Liberals have nothing better to offer but more of the same.

    March 9, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. Just Say No to Flipper

    Just to complete the critique of Rmoney's idiotic pandering, imagine the reaction if he'd said this before a predominantly African-American audience:

    "I am learning to say whassup homie and I like watermelone, and things," he joked. "Strange things are happening to me."

    March 9, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. sensible

    Ahhh, politics....the only place where 'right' is WRONG!!!

    March 9, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. wgf

    Romney could give lessons to cameleons.

    March 9, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    That angry looking guy in all the Rmoney pictures must be his Secret Service agent. Chances are he's mad because Rmoney has already told him he intends to privatize the Secret Service and cut their wages and benefits,

    March 9, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. The-Least-Unelectable

    The easiest way to win the GOP primary is to buy HOMES in 50 states (Rmoney's 50 home states).

    March 9, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. sensible

    @mannycl(ueless).....way to steal our slogan (more of the same). That refers to your stupid policies.....just where do you think there is the 'same'?

    March 9, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. Mark

    Yes, who cares about balancing the budget? Let's just keep on racking up the debt. Sorry, but it's the tough truth that the government can't take care of everyone's needs, people need to have some personal responsibility and take care of themselves. It sounds to me like you are thinking the government can just continue pulling money out of the. Romney is the only sensible person who knows how the economy works. If you want the government to take care of you move to Sweden where 80-90% of your income is taken as taxes.

    March 9, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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