Romney Exudes Confidence In Nevada, Iowa

Oct 25, 2012



Mitt Romney has also accelerated the pace of his campaign. Yesterday, he was in four states and four time zones, as the endurance test intensifies.

NPR's Ari Shapiro is traveling with the Romney campaign.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Mitt Romney woke up in Colorado and flew to Nevada. His event there was just across the street from a resort called Circus Circus - not a bad metaphor for this final election season hullaballoo. The Republican candidate catapulted back and forth across thousands of miles yesterday, holding his first rally of the day in Reno.


MITT ROMNEY: I think the choice that you make here in Nevada and perhaps right here in Reno will make a difference for the nation, will make a difference for the families of the nation and will make a difference for your family.

SHAPIRO: He tried to make this election personal for the audience, describing how his presidency would impact each member of a family. He gave specific examples for seniors, working parents and a girl graduating from college.


ROMNEY: How could she get a mortgage when she's paying back student debt and paying back $50,000 in debt to the government? And the president's plan: more spending, more borrowing.

SHAPIRO: Housing is one reason Republicans feel good about their chances in Nevada. The foreclosure crisis hit the state hard, and stories like this one from Joe Lovin are easy to find.

JOE LOVIN: My stepson, he's in Las Vegas. He's been hurting for several years now. In fact, my wife gave up a house in Las Vegas because it was underwater. He couldn't afford it. He had to walk away from it. So that's probably too common a story.

SHAPIRO: Romney said if this president knew how to fix the problem, he would have done it by now.


ROMNEY: If he's reelected, I'm convinced you're going to see the values of your homes continue to bump along in the basement.

SHAPIRO: Democrats are trying to remind voters that Romney said the answer is to let the housing market hit bottom. That position does not faze Romney supporter Betty Hennig.

BETTY HENNIG: I think that's just bunk. I think that if people had jobs - and I think Romney can get us jobs, and I think that's what's important. We won't lose houses if people have jobs. They can pay their mortgages.

SHAPIRO: Unemployment and personal bankruptcies in Nevada are way up, too. Democrats point out that the state already has some of the lowest taxes and regulations in the country. They say if Republican policies worked, Nevada would be booming. But Republicans think the state's tough situation gives Romney an opening. He insists he can bring the economy back where the president has not.


ROMNEY: Nevada and Reno and the whole country have a choice to make. It's a choice to make about what we're going to give ourselves to, whether we're going to be able to provide a great future to our children and to their children.

SHAPIRO: Both candidates are emphasizing early voting, here and across the country, to bank as many votes as they can before Election Day.


ROMNEY: Early voting has begun. I need you to vote. I need you to get your neighbors to vote. I need you to find one person who voted for Barack Obama last time and get them to come out and vote for us this time.

SHAPIRO: In this tight election, even Nevada's six electoral votes could make a difference. The next place Romney visited has six electoral votes, too, and, like Nevada, it could have a large impact despite its small size.


ROMNEY: That is one heck of a Cedar Rapids welcome. Thank you so much.

SHAPIRO: In Iowa, Romney's plane with the big R on the tail pulled right up to a massive airplane hangar. When he stepped up to the podium inside, he once again tried to make this race personal.


ROMNEY: Now, let me ask: Are any of you like any of those families I described? Any seniors here or families having a tough time making ends meet or young people who are thinking about coming out of school that wonder if they're going to get a good job at graduation? Who in this audience here - yeah, that's what I thought.

SHAPIRO: Romney's also striking a more confident note in his stump speeches. He told this cheering crowd: We are going to win. Then he returned to his plane for a flight to Ohio, having spent a total of 80 minutes on the ground in Iowa. Ari Shapiro, NPR News, traveling with the Romney campaign.


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