GOP Presidential Debate at Reagan Library: Eyes on Romney, Perry, Bachmann

A look at impressive Air Force One Pavilion at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA, where the GOP presidential debate will take place this evening at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT. Sept 7, 2011

Air Force One Pavilion is where it’s happening this evening!

Located at the magnificent Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the pavilion will be the setting for the presidential debate at 8:00 PM ET. Eight Republican presidential candidates will battle it out as they kick off a busy month of debating. The debate is sponsored by NBC News, Politico, and the Reagan Library Foundation; NBC News Anchor Brian Williams and Politico Editor-in-Chief John F. Harris will moderate.

Eyes will be on the Romney/Perry/Bachmann trio. Perry’s debut on the national debate stage will afford us the opportunity to see if his reputation of employing smiling deflections on significant matters of controversy in his record is true. Bachmann is on the line to win back ground she has lost to Perry since he overshadowed her Iowa Straw Poll win. It goes without saying that the other candidates will be poised to create breakout moments for themselves, as well.

Romney has already had a stellar week with his strong performance at Senator Jim DeMint’s Palmetto Freedom Forum and his grand jobs creation speech yesterday in Nevada (“Your pay phone strategy doesn’t work in a smart phone world, Mr. President!“).

We are looking forward to seeing The Gov at tonight’s show down!

Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum

Options to view the debate (starting time 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT):

MSNBC cable channel


Cell phone livestream – Politico Mobile appsMSNBC iPhone and iPad app and Droid app, Blackberry app

Romney supporters are invited to join the fun here at MRC chat throughout the debate!

Knock it out of the pavilion, Mitt!

► Jayde Wyatt

Public Policy Polling: Romney Preferred Over Perry in South Carolina

We’ve got results from another poll today – Public Policy Polling.

We like it!

Romney outperforms Perry in South Carolina

As long as the Republicans nominate one of their co-front runners, Mitt Romney or Rick Perry, they’re likely to keep South Carolina in their column pretty easily next year. That’s no surprise. What makes the Presidential numbers in the Palmetto State more interesting though is that despite Perry being the overwhelming favorite of Republican primary voters in the state, Romney actually does 7 points better than him against Barack Obama.

Romney leads Obama by 15 points, 53-38, while Perry’s lead is only 8 points, at 49-41. They win Republicans by almost identical margins- 91-4 for Romney and 89-4 for Perry. And they lose Democrats by pretty identical margins too- an 88-9 deficit for Perry, an 86-10 one for Romney. But the real disparity is with independent voters. Romney leads Obama by 16 points with them, 44-28. Perry wins them only narrowly by 3 points at 37-34. This has been a theme in our recent polling. GOP voters like Perry better than Romney. But independents are a lot more willing to vote for Romney than Perry. In a state like South Carolina the 7 point difference between how Perry and Romney fare in the general doesn’t matter that much. In the Floridas and Ohios and Virginias of the world it matters a lot. It’s going to be interesting to see whether the gap continues and whether Romney has any luck making an electability argument with Republicans voters if it does.

Obama’s actually pretty competitive with the other three Republicans we tested head to head with him in South Carolina. He ties Sarah Palin at 45% and ties Michele Bachmann at 44% as well, while trailing Newt Gingrich by only a single point at 45-44. He leads all 3 of them by double digits with independent voters.

(emphasis added)

Check out how Romney fares against Obama… SWEET!

H/t Karen

► Jayde Wyatt

The Political Soda Can: Will Mitt Romney Fizz or Fizzle?

Almost overnight the political soda can has been shaken and the top has popped off. The question talking heads are asking is: Will Mitt Romney fizz or fizzle?

Inside the political soda can

Governor Mitt Romney re-worked his schedule so he could participate in Senator Jim Demint’s Palmetto Freedom Forum, likewise on taking part in a Labor Day Tea Party Express Rally. Then, Governor Sarah Palin announced she will also be at the same Tea Party rally (glad to hear she’ll be there) and *Freedom Works has decided to protest Romney’s appearance at the Tea Party. In the meantime, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) told the Tea Party folks where to go and unvetted Rick Perry remains in the spotlight.

Romney said he’d shift gears when August became a summer memory. That’s exactly what he’s doing. There’s a whole lot of speculation going on out there on how he adapts to the present GOP carbonation:

Rick Perry’s surge in the polls is prompting some high-profile Mitt Romney backers to urge the former Massachusetts governor to step up his efforts before it’s too late.

Romney’s high command said that was always the plan – and that they expect to engage Perry during next month’s debates, which will usher in the stretch run of the GOP presidential campaign.

The former Massachusetts governor will also accelerate his pace starting this Labor Day weekend, say campaign officials.

Romney will attend a Tea Party rally in Concord, New Hampshire, on Sunday, a Monday morning pancake breakfast in Manchester and then fly to South Carolina to attend a candidate forum put on by Sen. Jim DeMint.

Romney had originally indicated he would not attend the DeMint event, but he changed his mind after having a conversation with the influential conservative.

“He’s a good friend and we wanted to do what we could to make it work,” said senior Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom of their change of heart. DeMint was a key Romney backer in 2008, but is holding out this election cycle. Romney’s reconsideration suggests that the South Carolinian hasn’t ruled out endorsing the former governor again.

Fehrnstrom said Romney will also conduct a more aggressive media strategy beginning next month, appearing more frequently on cable TV news and conducting local TV interviews in early primary states.

“You’ll see him take it up a notch,” said the adviser.

Further, Romney aides said the campaign plans to roll out more endorsements, and work internally to bolster their grassroots effort, identifying more committed voters and building coalitions.

September will also likely mark the first open skirmishing between Romney and Perry, as they prepare to face off, along with the rest of the GOP field, for the first time at three debates.

A lot of the comparing and contrasting will take place on stage at the debates,” said Fehrnstrom, adding that Romney’s primary focus will still be “President Obama and his failures.”

But Romney officials believe it’s inevitable that they’ll clash with Perry – in part because the brash Texan will give them an opportunity.

“Perry will throw the first punch,” predicted a top Romney aide. “He can’t help himself.”

Others weigh in

“Perry has certainly changed the mix of the race,” said former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, a Romney supporter and fundraiser. “I do think [Romney] needs to step it up several notches. The low-key campaign has served well him well to this point, but coming out of Labor Day he needs to be a lot more aggressive. The low-profile strategy is not going to work this fall.”
“The world has changed in the primary,” said veteran GOP consultant Mike Murphy, who worked for Romney in his 2002 gubernatorial race. “They have to decide how and where they beat Perry. The passive strategy – where they have name ID and none of their opponents do – is not working anymore.”

Playing it by ear…

But Romney’s gurus point to three important but as yet unknown factors to explain why they’re not ready to reach for their rifle.

As long as the final field remains uncertain, the caucus and primary calendar unset and Perry’s ability to hold up over a series of debates and heightened media scrutiny unknown, they say they’re reluctant to make any hard and fast strategic decisions.

In state-by-state terms, this means they’re going to keep playing wait-and-see in Iowa and South Carolina, where they’ve limited Romney’s presence this year, until it becomes more clear who will be in the mix.

Should Sarah Palin decide to run and Bachmann and Rick Santorum hang in the fight, for example, Iowa could be more appealing to Romney since the GOP’s social conservative bloc would be splintered among several candidates.

“It’s all a parlor game until you know who’s in,” said a senior Romney aide of Iowa.

Romney is ready

[…] Romney used an appearance at the national VFW convention in San Antonio, Perry’s backyard, to say: “Career politicians got us into this mess and they simply don’t know how to get us out.”

That’s the message his campaign will carry against Perry: the Texas governor is a government lifer who lived high on the public tab and doesn’t have the private-sector experience necessary to run the country.

What career politician has done well with the Tea Party?” asked one Romney official.

The danger for Romney, however, is that if they don’t move soon it may be too late to dissuade conservatives from backing Perry.

“In general, most tea party activists are focused on big things, like the country heading in the wrong direction, the debt, or leaving behind a weaker nation than we inherited,” said unaligned GOP strategist Todd Harris. “That’s what matters to them most, and if a candidate is right on those things, activists can be awfully forgiving of everything else. The kinds of attacks that might sink another candidate are written off as just politics as usual and virtually ignored. Once tea party activists line up behind someone, they can be awfully hard to peel off.”

(emphasis added) Continue reading here.

Mitt Romney is in solid alignment with Tea Party fundamentals. It’s up to us to ‘pop some tops’ because Romney is ready to ‘fizz’.

Contact Tea Party Express to let them know in a friendly way that you’re happy Governor Romney will be part of their ‘Reclaiming America’ bus tour and why he is worth listening to:

Website –

Contact –

Facebook –

Twitter –!/ourcountrypac

*Drop a line to Freedom Works, while you’re at it.

Contact –

Tweet from Tea Party Express:

All POTUS candidates have open invitation to TPX rallies. We have Bachmann, Romney, Gary Johnson…where is Paul, Cain, Perry, Gingrich etc?less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney in Perry Territory Today, Delivers Speech to VFW in San Antonio, TX

Governor Mitt Romney was in Rick Perry territory today. He delivered an impassioned speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) at their 112th convention in San Antonio, Texas.

What’s interesting is that Perry was invited to speak at the same event three months ago and didn’t respond – until the VFW called him out.

Politico’s Maggie Haberman reports:

“The VFW also has a tradition of inviting the governor of the host state where its annual convention is being held to come and welcome and greet our convention delegates. Although Governor Perry was similarly sent an invitation 3 months ago, apparently our invitation was deemed not important enough for the governor’s office to at least accept or decline the invitation. Governor Perry’s candidacy for president does not provide him an excuse for bad manners. The White House and Governor Perry can rest assured that the 2 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries will remember this discourteous treatment for a very long time to come.”

Obama never changed course on attending, but Perry did the next day, and the VFW took note of it in a press release.

Jennifer Rubin from the Washington Post watched Romney’s address and was impressed. Here are a few of her comments:

A bolder Romney

Jennifer Rubin, before picking at the substance of Rick Perry’s VFW speech from yesterday, reports that the group had actually slammed him and President Obama for not attending in a press release on its web site on Aug. 22:

As those in and around the Mitt Romney campaign have explained privately and on the record, the frenzy about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s surge in the national polls hasn’t panicked them. They, of course, lived through the 2008 race when Sen. John McCain came from far behind, Rudy Giuliani melted and Fred Thompson turned out to be much to do about nothing. That isn’t to say they intend to sit back. Their game plan was in full view at the VFW speech today in Texas.

Whoever Romney has fired or hired to assist with speechwriting, the change was somewhat dramatic. Gone were equivocations and recycled stump speech lines. This is a more aggressive and more colorful Romney.

He began with the list of enemies — “Some are jihadists, some are communists, and some are simply tyrants who clothe themselves in any convenient political manifesto. And so once again, American heroes are called upon to defend liberty.” Notice “liberty,” a word that’s fallen out of fashion with many conservatives. If Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s speech was limiting (not “military adventurism” and only fight when “vital national interests” are at stake), Romney’s (again, not his usual style) was anything but.

Then came the quick shift to the economy, which remains Romney’s focus and, his team contends, his best issue. He told the crowd:

25 million Americans are out of work, or have stopped looking, or have only part time jobs but want full-time work. Home values have dropped more than they did during the Depression. National debt is almost as large as our entire economy, and we owe a huge chunk of it to China. Incredibly, unfunded government promises now total about $530,000 per American household. This cannot possibly stand as the legacy we will leave the next generation.

And the peril of this mismanagement may even be more imminent. We stand near a threshold of profound economic misery. Four more years on the same political path could prove disastrous.

I am a conservative businessman. I have spent most of my life outside of politics, dealing with real problems in the real economy. Career politicians got us into this mess and they simply don’t know how to get us out!

And that is his pitch both in the primary and the general election. He doesn’t mention Perry by name, and until the debates, I wouldn’t count on him doing so. But the message is that pols don’t get how the private sector works. They know about bailouts, crony capitalism, borrowing and spending. Expect to hear a whole lot about that in Nevada next week when he rolls out his jobs speech and in the fall debates.

Then it was back to foreign policy. Here, he put some meat on the bones. That’s going to be another theme you’ll see more of: He’s got answers, the other guys and gals have rhetoric.

Romney’s team has insisted that as voters turn the attention back to the campaign and the fall debates dominate the political news, we will see some robust policy pronouncements. This had the feel of a warm-up, an effort to lay down some markers and begin to introduce some themes. It was a different sort of speech than Perry’s, more specific and more attention paid to the economy. Expect more of that and a clearer delineation between the candidates, if not on ideology then on experience and capability.

(emphasis added) Read entire article here.

To see VIDEO of Mitt’s speech and read the TRANSCRIPT click here.

If you’d like to watch a quick little video of Mitt behind the scenes before speaking today, click here.

Proud to have the opportunity to speak today at the 112th #VFW National Convention in San Antonioless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

► Jayde Wyatt

Mitt Romney Heads to Florida: Addressing National Hispanic GOP Convention, Opening Campaign HQ in Tampa

Mitt Romney is in San Antonio, Texas today delivering a speech to the VFW. We now have the video posted here.

Looking ahead, The Gov will be in The Sunshine State on Friday (Sept 2nd) to address the National Hispanic Republican Assembly Convention. Then, he’ll officially open his Florida campaign headquarters in Tampa and YOU’RE INVITED:

We’re looking forward to hearing Romney’s jobs creation plan which he will unveil on September 6th in Nevada. Then, with all the attention being given to Rick Perry these last couple of weeks, we’re really looking forward to the showdown the very next day at the GOP presidential debate which will be held at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA.

September debate schedule:

September 7th, 2011 8pm EST on MSNBC and CNBC
Location: Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA
Sponsor: Reagan Library, NBC News and Politico
Participants: Romney, Perry, Paul, Huntsman, Santorum, Gingrich, Bachmann, Cain

September 12th, 2011 8pm EST on CNN – Submit Questions
Location: Florida State Fair Grounds in Tampa, FL
Sponsor: CNN and the Tea Party Express
Participants: TBD

September 22nd, 2011 Air time TBD on Fox News
Location: Orlando, FL
Sponsor: Fox News and Florida Republican Party
Participants: TBD

► Jayde Wyatt

Rick Perry’s ‘Total Debacle’ Comment Re Romney, Ignores ‘Total Debacle’ of His Own

Governor Gardasil (R-Merck)

Rick Perry.

There’s only so much one can hear from him regarding Mitt Romney.

Following the example of Governor Romney, we’ve made allowances for Perry here at MRC the last couple of weeks. Today, my Perry measuring cup reached ‘full’ so let’s be clear, this is a Jayde Wyatt article.

I’m responding to a conversation the Texas Governor had yesterday with Laura Ingraham on her radio program about Mitt Romney and the private-market health insurance program in Massachusetts:

Perry told Ingraham the law was a “total debacle” and would be a “huge problem” for Romney.

“I think Mitt is finally recognizing that the Massachusetts healthcare plan he passed is a huge problem for him,” Perry said. “It was not almost perfect.”

Perry then went on to offer a curious statement:

[T]he answer to our healthcare problems can be found in our states.”


I know Governor Romney will address Rick Perry’s criticisms on the debate stage; I look forward to it. Extensive articles on the private-market health care insurance program in Massachusetts have been posted here at MRC, so I won’t rehash the details today. Although there is MUCH to be discussed about Rick Perry’s background and record, let’s learn a little about one glaring, alarming stain on the Texas Governor’s record – his very own health care “debacle”:

Perry’s Gardasil Problem

Why in early 2007 did he [Governor Rick Perry] sign an executive order mandating that 11- and 12-year-old girls in Texas be given the vaccine Gardasil?

Gardasil was developed to prevent the human papillomavirus (HPV), the most commonly transmitted sexual disease in the United States. In June 2006, the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug, which is made by the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. The treatment was initially hailed as a breakthrough in protecting against four strains of HPV that are responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancer cases and 90 percent of genital warts.

In January 2007, Gardasil was put on the “recommended” immunization schedule issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control. Merck immediately mounted a massive lobbying effort of state legislatures around the country to get Gardasil added to their respective lists of state-mandated vaccines.

But in Texas, Gov. Perry chose to

    bypass the legislature

and on Feb. 2, 2007, he issued an

    executive order

making Texas the first state in the country requiring all sixth-grade girls to receive the three-shot vaccination series (which cost about $120 per shot). The move generated a fierce public debate. Conservatives slammed Perry for promoting what they saw as an intrusion by the state into private health decisions of parents and their children. Some also complained that the mandate would encourage promiscuity among teenagers.

Many doctors, including Bill Hinchey, the president of the Texas Medical Association at the time, questioned the wisdom of rushing to mandate a drug that had been on the market for less than a year.

“We support physicians being able to provide the vaccine, but we don’t support a state mandate at this time,” Hinchey told the Houston Chronicle. “There are issues, such as liability and cost that need to be vetted first.”

The controversy over Perry’s decision deepened as it came to light that his former chief of staff was a lobbyist for Merck and that his chief of staff’s mother-in-law, Rep. Dianne White Delisi, was the state director of an advocacy group bankrolled by Merck to push legislatures across the country to put forward bills mandating the Gardasil vaccine for preteen girls.

Surprise! Perry received a $6,000 donation from Merck lobbyists just days before the executive order was issued.

When the New York Times praised Perry’s actions, he figured he needed to do some fancy PR work. He quickly penned an op-ed to paint his actions as being ‘pro-life’. USA Today published it.

Perry’s attempt to frame his action as both an urgent public health necessity and the work of a “pro-life” politician failed to dissuade those who felt he had shoved this vaccine down the throats of the public without a full airing of the potential benefits, costs and long-term health implications of the drug.

Roughly 60 state lawmakers called on Perry to rescind the order. He refused. Just six weeks after Perry put pen to paper, the Texas House rebuked him on March 14, 2007, passing HB 1098, overturning his executive order by a vote of 119-21. The Senate followed suit the following month by a vote of 30-1.

(emphasis added) Read more here.

Now, that’s what I call a total debacle.

  • More on gardasil (article includes footnotes):

    Governor Rick Perry’s Gardasil ‘Mistake’ Cost Girls their Lives

    PRLog (Press Release) – Aug 22, 2011 – According to VAERS analyst and SANE Vax team member Janny Stokvis, Governor Rick Perry should have been aware and taken action on the mounting injuries from Gardasil in Texas before an attempt to mandate the vaccine. VAERS reports one girl died post-Gardasil vaccination, there were 14 life-threatening situations and 31 girls became disabled after Perry’s attempt to issue an executive order. The effort to introduce the drug into Texas schools turned into one of Perry’s greatest defeats. His admission of a ‘mistake’ five years later is reprehensible.

    Perry’s order would have become effective in 2008 and girls would be involuntarily immunized unless they ‘opted out’ upon entry to the 6th grade. Texas was the first state to require that schoolgirls get vaccinated against a multi-strain virus to prevent ‘cervical cancer.’ Unfortunately, the National Cancer Institute has not directly linked the virus to cervical cancer.1

    Is this poor judgment from a man running for president?

    During a 16 month investigation of Gardasil, side effects were documented in a disturbing number of cases to VAERS including 3,589 during a 16 month period.2 Even though thousands of girls reported adverse reactions to the vaccine, Perry found no reason to modify or withdraw his executive order. Those numbers have now risen to over 22,000 and yet, it took political posturing for Perry to admit his ‘mistake.’
    According to VAERS, Texas has had its fair share of reports of adverse reactions:
    As of July 12, 2011 the total number HPV vaccine adverse events reported to VAERS is 22,619 – with an estimated 1 to 10% of the HPV vaccine injured population reporting.4

    19,170 reports are from the U.S. – 3,127 of those events are from unknown locations.
    914 reports out of the 19,170 reports are from Texas. But considering the fact that 3,127 reports have an unknown location, this number could be higher.5

    Gardasil Adverse Events in Texas:

    • One death report of a 26 year old woman who died Nov 20076
    • 67 reports are listed as serious7
    • 14 reports of Life threatening situations8
    • 433 reports of emergency room visits9
    • 45 reports of hospitalization10
    • 10 reports extended hospital stay11
    • 174 reports where the girls did not recover from their injuries12
    • 31 reports of girls now disabled13

    Rick Perry: Merck Shill

    ► Jayde Wyatt

  • FL Poll: Romney Passes Obama, Romney Preferred Among GOP Field

    Polling news from the key battleground state of Florida by Sachs/Mason-Dixon shows President Obama continuing to fade behind Mitt Romney. And, Romney is at the had of the GOP field.

    The poll was taken August 18-22:

    Barack Obama continues to fade in Florida, with a new poll showing Mitt Romney holding a 51-43 lead over the president and Obama in a dead heat with Rick Perry.

    “Unlike 2008, if the election were held today, President Obama would face a stiffer headwind to hold on to Florida and its 29 electoral votes against a top-tier Republican challenger — and that could cost him re-election,” said Sachs Communications president Ron Sachs, citing the Sachs/Mason-Dixon Poll taken Aug. 18-22.
    Romney led all Republican hopefuls with 28 percent, with Perry garnering 21 percent, Bachmann 13 percent, Herman Cain 7 percent, Newt Gingrich 5 percent and Ron Paul 4 percent.

    The survey of 625 registered Florida voters also found 56 percent of respondents disapproving of Obama’s job performance vs. 41 percent approving.

    (emphasis added)

    At a glance:

    Sachs/Mason-Dixon Florida GOP Primary

    Romney – 28%
    Perry – 21%
    Bachmann – 13%
    Cain – 7%
    Gingrich – 5%
    Paul – 4%
    Santorum – 2%
    Huntsman – 0%
    Undecided – 17%

    General Election

    Romney – 51%
    Obama – 43%
    Perry – 46%
    Obama – 45%
    Obama – 46%
    Bachmann – 44%

    Further details may be found here.

    ► Jayde Wyatt

    Reason-Rupe Natl Poll: Romney Tops Perry

    Governor Mitt Romney has the edge over Rick Perry in new Reason-Rupe Poll. Aug 25, 2011

    We’re posting data today from a new poll today called the Reason-Rupe Poll. The poll is part of a project from the Reason Foundation to measure attitudes toward government.

    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a 20 percent to 18 percent edge over Texas Gov. Rick Perry among Republicans and Republican-leaning voters in the latest Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey.

    Two potential candidates not currently in the race, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (12%) and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (8%), placed third and fourth among Republicans asked to name whom they would favor if the GOP primary were held today. They were followed by Rep. Michele Bachmann (8%), Rep. Ron Paul (7%), Herman Cain (4%), Newt Gingrich (3%), former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (2%, but no longer in the race), former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (1%), former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (<1%), and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (<1%). Approximately 16% of Republican voters are undecided.

    Emily Ekins, Reason Foundation polling director, discusses findings of the poll:

    Responses to “If you were voting today in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, which one of the following candidates would you favor?”

    Mitt Romney 20%
    Rick Perry 18%
    Sarah Palin 12%
    Rudy Giuliani 8%
    Michelle Bachmann 8%
    Ron Paul 7%
    Herman Cain 4%
    Newt Gingrich 3%
    Tim Pawlenty 2%
    Jon Huntsman 1%
    Rick Santorum <1%
    Gary Johnson <1%
    Undecided 16%

    (emphasis added) Additional info here.

    ► Jayde Wyatt

    Check out Mitt handle a tough question in the video posted below the fold Click here to continue reading

    Romney in New Hampshire: Packed Town Halls, Tough Questions, Endorsed by Fmr NH Senate Pres Tom Eaton

    When Mitt Romney finally called it a day yesterday in New Hampshire, he must have felt a satisfied exhaustion. He’d had the kind of day which is likely to be more the norm as his presidential campaign heats up.

    The Gov worked non-stop – hosting packed town hall meetings in Keene and Lebanon and a business roundtable in in Claremont. He enjoyed taking the tough questions and handling hecklers. And, in the midst of it all, he received an impressive endorsement from former NH State Senate President, Tom Eaton (R-Keene):

    Tom Eaton has been a staunch supporter of the traditional New Hampshire principles of lower taxes, limited government and less spending,” said Mitt Romney. “I am honored to have Tom’s support and am proud to have him join my campaign to create jobs and turn around our struggling economy.”

    “With 25 years of experience in the private sector, Mitt Romney knows how our economy works and how to promote pro-growth policies that will produce jobs,” said Eaton. “Mitt is the strongest candidate to take on President Obama and he has the skills needed to rein in spending, control our exploding deficits and bring fiscal sanity back to Washington. I am proud to support his campaign and look forward to helping him spread his pro-jobs message across the Granite State.”

    12:00 PM – Town Hall meeting at Keene Recreation Center

    At a town hall here on Wednesday, Mitt Romney reiterated a controversial statement he made earlier this month at the Iowa State Fair — “Corporations are people, my friend,” he said at the time — voluntarily alluding to his corporations-as-people comments in a response to a question about what he would do to fix the economy.

    “I made the point the other day,” Mr. Romney said. “Corporations, they’re made up of people. They’re just groups of people who come together for work.”

    He explained: “And when you say tax corporations, the steel and the vinyl and the concrete, those things don’t pay taxes. Only people do. So high taxes on corporations is high taxes on people, and people are going to go places where taxes aren’t too high.”

    Romney addresses a crowded room at Keene Recreational center (opening remarks):

    Romney is local, he’s battle-tested and to many, he looks like a president. “People here know Romney,” said Tom Rath, a veteran state Republican strategist and Romney adviser.

    They sure do.

    I liked how he balanced the liberal Massachusetts Senate and House and got things done,” said Isaac Matson, a Baldwinville, Mass., college student.

    For additional VIDEOS of Romney’s remarks on the economy, reducing U.S. debt, taxes, national defense, and much more, click here.

    3:00 PM – Hosts business roundtable event at The Common Man, Claremont

    CLAREMONT, N.H. — Former Bay State Gov. Mitt Romney, feeling the heat as Texas Gov. Rick Perry creeps up on him in the polls, worked to bolster his socially conservative credentials while highlighting his job creation chops while touring the must-win Granite State yesterday.
    He took pains to contrast his private-sector experience against Perry’s 27 years in elected office — even though he didn’t name the pistol-packing Lone Star pol.

    “There will also be some differences, and in my case I won’t just have been somebody who watched jobs be created, I actually created jobs. I’ve had that experience,” Romney said, echoing his comments earlier in the day at a Keene, N.H., Town Hall.

    I spent my life in the private sector. I’m a business guy; I’m a conservative businessman; I’m not a lifelong politician,” Romney said. “I spent four years in government. I joke that I didn’t inhale.”

    Continue reading here.

    5:30 PM – Hosts a town hall meeting at Lebanon Senior Center

    Asked about global warming at a town hall meeting in Lebanon, New Hampshire, Romney said he believed the world is getting hotter and humans contribute in some way to the change — but could not judge to what extent.

    “Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that but I think that it is,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans.”

    What I’m not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don’t know the answer to.”
    A Romney aide said the candidate has not altered his position on climate change

    He criticized a bill backed by President Barack Obama that would have capped carbon emissions and allowed polluters to buy and sell rights to emit carbon.

    “I do not believe in cap and trade and I do not believe in putting a carbon cap” on polluting industries, Romney said.

    Read more here.

    A portion of Romney’s town hall in Lebanon, NH (amateur video/shaky):

    UPDATE from Romney’s blog: Mitt focuses on jobs in New Hampshire (good pics!)

    (emphasis added to articles)
    ► Jayde Wyatt

    Gallup Poll: It’s Romney Over Obama

    It’s been a while since we’ve posted a presidential poll, so we’re checking in with Gallup today:

    Gallup – Obama trails Romney, ties Perry

    Aug 22, 2011

    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) would beat President Obama among registered voters, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) would tie the president if the election were held today, according to a new Gallup Poll.

    Obama leads GOP Reps. Ron Paul (Texas) and Michele Bachmann (Minn.) among registered voters, but by 2 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

    The numbers reflect a worrying slide for Obama heading into the 2012 campaign season[…]

    Obama leads each Republican among national adults, but his lead narrows or disappears among registered voters.

    Romney is the only candidate leading Obama among registered voters, 48 percent to 46 percent, with 6 percent undecided, according to the new Gallup poll. Perry and Obama are tied at 47 percent among registered voters, also with 6 percent undecided.

    Obama would beat Paul, 47 percent to 45 percent, and best Bachmann by a 4-point margin, 48 percent to 44 percent.
    Just as worrying for the president is that all the Republicans except Bachmann lead Obama among registered voters who consider themselves independents. Romney leads among independents 47 percent to 44 percent, Perry leads 46 percent to 44 percent and Paul leads 46 percent to 43 percent. Bachmann trails Obama, 48 percent to 42 percent.

    (emphasis added) At a glance:

    Additional details here.

    Speaking of Rick Perry, a fellow Texan thinks he isn’t suited to be president

    ► Jayde Wyatt

    ~UPDATE from Ross
    This morning, Rasmussen is reporting that Obama’s Presidential Approval Index rating of -26 is the lowest Approval Index rating yet measured for President Obama.