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. Taran

    @Rudy NYC-–Yupper. Running rings and doing doughnuts around your misleading statements and deceptions.
    Possibly, but only to your fellow blind. Facts are facts and you cannot dispute them no matter how many doughnuts and rings you run, (you sound like my jack russell when he gets excited, that is what he does).

    March 9, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. sensible

    Yeah Mark....maybe it will be YOUR job that gets outsourced. I see what YOU care about. Good Christian!

    March 9, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. sensible

    .....and the Swedish do NOT pay that much in taxes. It is another lie from Faux News.

    March 9, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    @ Taran: your " facts" are in dispute when your sources are questionable. Your sources are questionable because they rely on innuendo, masquerading as fact to make you feel good. Those sources you showed me cast a lot of doubt as to how interested you are in the truth.

    March 9, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |

    @ Taran

    Trolling is not the same as posting a comment relevant to the discussion at hand.

    March 9, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. DIANA

    Are the gritts the right size Mittens? Feel their pain – really. The only pain he's ever felt is when he had to choose which of his houses he would visit over the weekend.

    March 9, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. Woman In California

    Rudy NYC said,
    "He always has an nervous, almost agitated undercurrent of near panic in his demeanor when he is on the stump. You know what I mean?"

    Rudy, I have been saying this for months but not quite in such an elequoent manner. I also say this about Jon Huntsman (he acts the same way). You can KEEP both of them as far as I am concerned. Willard is too weird and too uncomfortable around people for me.

    March 9, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Taran

    @Tom really???? When someone says a thing, perhaps the author of a program, it sounds like you call it suspect because someone that does not believe the same way you do, quotes it??? You just lost some cool points. (not that they matter to you coming from me)

    March 9, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. Taran

    @sensible, you are partially correct. Swedes' personal income tax can be as little as 29 per cent of their pay(for the more poor), but most people (anyone earning over £32,000) will pay between 49 and 60 per cent through a combination of local government and state income tax

    March 9, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    i want a mega rich Mormon who hides money overseas, and a master tax evader as president

    I live to vote against Mr magic underwear man. Nov, cannot come soon enough.

    You and I both.

    March 9, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. Joshua Ludd

    When he heard grits he thought they were talking about the grittiness of his special magic mormon underwear.

    March 9, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    I try to listen to people based on the strength of their arguements, Taran, not based solely on their ideology. I like George Will because he can at least site sources that don't come from some rightie propaganda mill. I don't pay much attention to an Ed Schultz or a Rachel Maddow for the same reason: fitting information to suit their viewpoint. As a point of interest, I base a lot of my historical information on books from Niall Ferguson and David Hackett Fischer, people who go to great lengths to talk about their conservative bona fides. Just thought I would clear that up for you. Bottom line is, I hate sloppy arguements: If I think you are sloppy, I will call you on it. I recently found common ground with Truth on a topic, a realization that almost sent him/her into a coma.

    March 9, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. sensible

    @ Taran....and that is 90% in right wing talk, yes?

    March 9, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Taran

    @sensible,,,,,I was backing you up with facts,,,,so why the dig?

    March 9, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    "Facts are facts and you cannot dispute them"

    Unfortunately you've proven you're unable to distinguish between facts and uninformed opinions.

    March 9, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    All I know is this, Mit Romney still has the lead on funniest quote of the day, maybe even for the week.

    "....I like grits, and things." then, just a few moments later "Strange things are happening to me."

    I would guess that he's never eaten them before, much less for breakfast.

    March 9, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Taran wrote:

    ...(you sound like my jack russell when he gets excited, that is what he does).
    Well stop feeding your poor dog those imitation meat snacks. Give him some real meat, and i'll bet that he'll sit up to beg, and start talking..

    March 9, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. Taran

    @Rudy, actually a good portion of our dog's diet is chicken gizzards/hearts, and ground beef 80%lean. He gets excited and he runs/spins in a circle. He has become more vocal as he has gotten older. He might be trying to talk, who knows.

    March 9, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Ace

    Has there ever been a phonier person than Romney?

    March 9, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  20. Chumlee

    Romney's fake Southern accent will be great fodder for late night entertainment

    Obama 2012

    March 9, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Dang, I'm missing a good back and forth today!
    I see Taran is getting trounced and bounced as usual!
    Mitt's eating grits and I'm working the "back forty".
    Hold the fort Obamanites!!!
    Obama 2012.

    March 9, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. Lolo

    This man knows nothing about grits or anything else that normal people do. He has been sheltered all of his life. He only wants to be president because his father failed to make it and to leave a legacy for his sons. People get real. If you want to vote for this fraud go ahead, but you had better be part of the 1%.

    March 9, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. native new yorker

    He's "learning" to say he likes grits. ANOTHER forced error?

    March 9, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Jim in San Mateo

    Of course the Governor endorsed him. Do you think the Republican party would let him endorse anyone else? I'm sure the Governor is also looking for assistance in his reelection, which he could kiss goodby if he had endorsed anyone other than the "frontrunner".

    March 9, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. Lolo

    He even looks fake in his picture with this article.

    March 9, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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