Mitt Romney speaks with the news media after visiting with veterans in Concord,… (Evan Vucci / Associated…)
CONCORD, N.H. — Mitt Romney may be the subject of much talk at the Democratic National Convention— all of it of the negative variety — but he said Thursday that he hadn’t watched any of it.
“I haven't watched so far,” he told reporters after stopping in Concord to meet with New Hampshire veterans who are making calls on behalf of his campaign. When asked whether he would watch President Obama’s remarks tonight, he said, “Don’t plan on it.”
Romney has spent the last few days intensively preparing for October’s presidential debates with his advisors and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who is serving as the stand-in for Obama (as he did for 2008 Republican nominee John McCain). The sessions took place at the home of Romney’s former lieutenant governor in Massachusetts, Kerry Healey, at a secluded estate near Woodstock, Vt. Aides said they selected the spot so that Romney would be able to escape the distractions of the campaign trail — including his rival’s convention.
PHOTOS: Scenes from the DNC
The Republican nominee was headed past Concord on the way to his lakeside vacation home in Wolfeboro, N.H., on Lake Winnipesaukee. The campaign had scheduled a news conference with veterans and their families at a legislative building near the New Hampshire statehouse. Romney’s campaign bus rolled up as that event was wrapping up. Romney jumped out of his SUV to meet briefly with veterans who had been ushered on to the campaign bus to make calls for his campaign.
One member of the small pool of reporters traveling with Romney asked why he had not mentioned Afghanistan in his convention speech last week. He noted that he spoke at the American Legion— to a much smaller audience — the day before the convention. “I’ve been very clear — about my commitment to the military, as shown here and at the American Legion. The president was also invited to the American Legion and he was too busy to go.” Obama, who was campaigning elsewhere, addressed the American Legion via video.
Romney added that in his American Legion speech he talked about “keeping our military commitment high, unlike our president, who was planning on cutting it.”
Though he told reporters he did not plan to watch Obama’s speech, he turned back just before getting in his van to say that he’d heard the president would report tonight on the promises that he’d made and how he had kept them.
PHOTOS: Protests of the DNC
“I have no interest in seeing him, because I saw the promises last time. Those are promises he did not keep, and the American people deserve to know why he did not keep his promises,” Romney said. A few minutes earlier he had said that Americans deserved an explanation of why 47 million people were now on food stamps and how the national debt had climbed to $16 trillion.
“I think this is the time not for him to start restating new promises, but to report on the promises he made,” Romney said. “I think he wants a promises reset. We want a report on the promises he made.”
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