THE VILLAGES, Fla. -- For weeks on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney has been reciting verses from "America the Beautiful," which he calls his favorite patriotic hymn.
On Monday night at a rally here, Romney tried to one-up himself. He actually broke into song, belting out an entire verse of "America the Beautiful." The crowd of a few thousand snowbirds sang along with him.
It was a jubilant end to Romney's Florida campaign, as the former Massachusetts governor came here to The Villages, a sprawling retirement golf community in Central Florida that his campaign team considers one of Romney's strongholds.
Reporters could not recall another instance when a presidential candidate performed a song on the eve of an election.
After being introduced by a full roster of Florida elected officials, as well as his wife, Ann, and a young grandson, Parker, Romney delivered a brief stump speech in the town center. Supporters, some of whom had been in position most of the day to see him, swelled around the stage. A huge banner declared: "Florida Is Romney Country."