Romney, who has intensified his efforts in Iowa as polls have shown he could win the caucuses, campaigned today across the state’s northern tier.
In Mason City, Romney urged voters to think carefully about which candidate could beat President Barack Obama in the general election.
“This is a process not just of putting your name or your hand next to someone who you kind of like,” he told several hundred voters gathered at the town’s Music Man Square. “It’s also selecting who our nominee ought to be, who you think could beat Barack Obama.”
Continuing his newly aggressive push in the state, Romney unveiled a busy schedule of events for the final days before the caucuses. After traveling tomorrow to New Hampshire -- site of a Jan. 10 primary -- he plans to return to Iowa the next day for a series of appearances and remain in the state through the caucuses.
His campaign also announced he will remain in Des Moines the morning after the caucuses to do a number of television interviews, a sign of confidence that they will perform well in the voting.
“Sure I want to win Iowa. Everybody wants to win Iowa,” he told voters standing in front of a replica of the set from the 1962 movie version of “The Music Man,” a story set in a fictionalized version of Mason City.
Romney took questions from the audience. “Is it hard running for the president?” asked eight-year-old Ben Navratil.
“The answer is yes, and no,” Romney responded. “Ha, ha, ha. Sounds like a politician, I apologize.”
Romney, who also sought the Republican nomination in 2008, said it’s hard for him to wake up early in the morning after staying in a different hotel every night.
Still, he called running for president “the greatest opportunity” to meet new people and expand his network of friends.
“So if you get the chance to do it, make sure and do it,” he said. “Win or lose, it’s a great thing to do.”
in Des Moines, Iowa, at email@example.com; Lisa Lerer in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at firstname.lastname@example.org