IOWA: Cold Weather Crowds Give Warm Welcome to Romney & Gov Chris Christie

Romney and NJ Gov Chris Christie rally a stalwart crowd in windy, rainy weather at Hy-Vee Grocery in Des Moines, IA this morning.

Romney buzz is building in Iowa…

Neither wind, nor rain, nor a wind chill of 26 degrees could stop a very large crowd of excited Iowans from greeting Mitt Romney, wife Ann, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie this morning in west Des Moines. The rally was was supposed to be held inside a Hy-Vee grocery, but due to the large numbers, the event was moved outside to the parking lot.

The Washington Times

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Standing on a stage in a chilly, wet field in Iowa, Mitt Romney on Friday mocked President Obama for being on vacation in Hawaii.

“We’re out in the cold and the rain and the wind because we care about America. He just finished his 90th round of golf,” Mr. Romney told the crowd of hundreds that came despite the temperature which, with the windchill factored in, felt like 24 degrees.

Even as the rest of the Republican presidential field takes aim at each other, Mr. Romney, a former one-term governor of Massachusetts, has been mostly focused on the president …

Governor Christie stumped for Mitt:

President Barack Obama came out to Iowa three years ago and he talked to you about hope and change. Well, let me tell ya. After three years of Obama, we are hopeless and changeless and we need Mitt Romney to bring us back, to bring America back.”

C-Span livestreamed this morning’s rally. View the entire event here.

Attendee observations:

Des Moines Register

Urbandale retiree Norman Hjelmeland, who attended the rally, said he is among the Iowa Republicans deciding to back Romney at the last minute because Romney appears to have the best chance at beating Obama.

Hjelmeland said Romney probably is less conservative than many Iowa Republicans, but he has good leadership skills, business experience and character. Hjelmeland also likes rival candidate Newt Gingrich, but he said Gingrich’s personal and political baggage could be a target for Democrats if he became the nominee.

“I want the election to be about Obama’s record, not about our candidate,” Hjelmeland said.

Hjelmeland said he was untroubled by critics’ contention that Romney is a flip-flopper for changing his stances on abortion and other issues. “He’s been on both sides of some issues, but so have I,” he said, adding that President Ronald Reagan also switched his abortion stance.

Herman Blau and his daughters, Savannah, 15, and Laney, 17, drove eight hours from their Missouri home to see Romney in West Des Moines.

Wearing what he called a “vintage” stocking cap from the 2008 election, Herman Blau said he supported Romney because of his business sense.

I own a couple small businesses and we need help,” he said. “We need someone who knows what they’re doing, so that’s why I’m supporting Mitt Romney.”

John Dutcher of Johnston is a longtime Romney supporter. He brought his daughter, Charlotte, 20, along to this morning’s rally. It’s her first year voting and caucusing.

This is really exciting,” she said. “I saw Mitt in 2007 and it’s nice to see he has the lead in Iowa. I think he has a really good chance at being our next president.”

Frances Kelly of Waukee already had her mind made up. She came out in the freezing temps to get her first glimpse of the former governor of Massachusetts.

“I hadn’t seen him in person ever,” Kelly said. “I’m going to caucus for him on Tuesday. I’ve got my mind made up.”

(emphasis added)

Romney’s IA bus tour kicked off in Davenport on Tuesday evening with a stop at the Hotel Blackhawk, a coffee shop in Muscatine, and a plastic molding manufacturer in North Liberty. The tour continued to Music Man Square in Mason City, a construction company in Ames, and this morning’s grocery store rally in Des Moines.

After this morning’s rally, Governor Romney hustled back to New Hampshire to host a spaghetti supper this evening in Merrimack, then, a breakfast event on Saturday morning for supporters in Hampton. He’ll be back in the Hawkeye State in about 30 hours time to continue barnstorming. Governor Christie will continue to rally voters for Romney in Iowa today.

For schedule details and more photos, continue reading after the fold.

Schedule details for Romney – Friday, December 30, 2011:

Event: Mitt Romney Holds Romney for President Rally
When: 8:05 AM CST
Location: Hy-Vee Westlakes Shore
1725 Jordan Creek Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa

Event: Mitt Romney Hosts Romney for President Spaghetti Dinner
When: 5:55 PM EST
Location: Merrimack VFW
Post 8641
282 Daniel Webster Highway
Merrimack, New Hampshire

Gov Christie’s schedule – Friday, December 30, 2011

Event: Governor Chris Christie Meets with Voters
When: 8:05 AM CST
Location: Hy-Vee West Lakes Shore
725 Jordan Creek Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa

Event: Governor Chris Christie Meets with Voters
When: 1:00 PM CST
Location: Spring House Family Restaurant
3980 Center Point Road Northeast
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Event: Governor Chris Christie Meets with Voters
When: 5:20 PM CST
Location: Catfish Charlie’s
1630 East 16th Street
Dubuque, Iowa

Follow @ZacMoffatt on Twitter for amazing photos like this one:

Mitt Romney and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are pictured inside the Romney campaign bus this morning in Des Moines, Iowa.Gov Christie will spend the day campaigning for Romney. Dec 30, 2011

Dec 29, 2011 - A huge crowd gathers to hear Mitt Romney speak at Music Man Square in Mason City, Iowa.

Dec 29, 2011 - Romney's bus tour in Iowa stopped at J's HOmestyle Cooking restaurant in Cedar Rapids. Romney is pictured answering a question from Richard Pint (left) of Waterloo, IA. (Photo AP/Matthew Putney)

Mitt and Ann Romney enjoy the large gathering of Iowa voters at Music Man Square in Mason City, IA. Dec 29, 2011

► Jayde Wyatt

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One Response to IOWA: Cold Weather Crowds Give Warm Welcome to Romney & Gov Chris Christie

  1. Hungarian Crusader says:

    When is the Romster coming to Chicago?

    I need an answer…