Romney: McCain Would Struggle In Obama Match-Up

(CBS)
From CBS News' Scott Conroy:

STRATHAM, N.H. -- For most of the GOP campaign, Rudy Giuliani has been the candidate who has pressed the argument that he is the most electable Republican. But in light of Barack Obama's sweeping victory in the Democratic caucuses, Mitt Romney is arguing that his own message of change would be strongest in a general election, while a long-serving senator like John McCain would have a difficult time winning.

"And I frankly don't think that Senator McCain, despite his service and his length of experience, that that's going to be able to stand up to the message that Barack Obama has brought forward," Romney said at a morning press conference. "I think Barack Obama would be able to do to John McCain exactly what he was able to do to the other senators who are running on the Democratic side."

Romney made his remarks after touring the Timberland Corporate Headquarters and then speaking to a group of over 300 people. The former Massachusetts governor said that although his stump speech has been focused on the idea of change from the beginning of his campaign, his recently altered wording has sharpened its focus.

"As you may know, those of you who have listened for some time, I was very taken with this idea of speaking about the inflection points in American history," Romney said. " … but I've found there's more positive reaction to saying, 'Washington is broken' than there was to, 'There are inflection points in American history.'"

Romney said that he hoped his performance in last night's debate would help him with New Hampshire voters, who are famous for making up their minds very late in the game.

"I know the polls show Senator McCain and I in a very tight race here," Romney said. "My wife told me I did real well last night, and if that's the case, we could be closing that gap and perhaps surging ahead, I certainly hope so, in the waning hours."
  • Scott Conroy On Twitter»

    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.

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