Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at the Verizon Wireless Center… (Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg )
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Mitt Romney returned to this state that set his course to the nomination, promising late Monday night that America was “one day away from the first day of a new beginning” and that his plans would ensure America “comes roaring back.”
Romney’s late-night rally at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., kicked off about an hour before voting began in the tiny town of Dixville Notch, which is always the first to vote (at midnight) in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary. In a possible harbinger of the closeness of Tuesday’s race, the 10 voters of the hamlet were evenly split in today’s contest: five votes for Romney and five votes for President Obama.
For Romney, the visit to New Hampshire -- his fifth rally of the day in four swing states -- was a nostalgic one, taking place near his home state of Massachusetts. The former Bay State governor has always had a formidable ground organization in New Hampshire, and on Monday night crowds packed the arena here. The added draw was a concert by Kid Rock, who sings Romney’s “Born Free” anthem, which plays at the beginning of all of the candidate's rallies as he takes the stage.
Introducing her husband, Ann Romney said she was moved by the size of the crowd. Romney himself called it “quite a welcome.”
“This is a special moment for Ann and for me because this is where our campaign began,” Romney said. “You got this campaign started a year and a half ago at the Scamman farm. And then your primary vote put me on the path to win the Republican nomination. And tomorrow your votes and your work right here in New Hampshire will help me become the next President of the United States!”
Romney, whose campaign announced two last-minute stops on election day in Ohio and Pennsylvania, offered a fierce critique of Obama’s policies -- arguing that Americans have a choice between two paths on Tuesday.
“Paul Ryan and I will limit government instead of limiting the dreams of our fellow Americans,” Romney said. “If the president were to be reelected, he still won’t be able to work with the people in Congress, of course, because he's ignoring them, he’s attacked them, he’s blamed them. The debt ceiling will come up again. And then there’ll be a threat of shutdown or a default. And if that happens, the economy will become frozen. We’ll have a harder time having jobs. “
"The president was right when he said he can’t change Washington from the inside, only from the outside,” Romney said “Let’s give him that chance!”