Romney Almost Pulls a Howard Dean

From CBS News' Scott Conroy:

MARION, IOWA -- After today's Des Moines Register debate, Mitt Romney traveled to Marion, IA, where he spoke at Linn-Mar High School and became emotional as he thanked the people of Iowa he has met throughout the campaign.

"I'm planning on winning this, and I can't predict it with 100 percent certainty, but I can predict with 100 percent certainty we will not forget you," Romney said. "We will not forget the people who've opened their doors to us, who've welcomed us into their hearts and their homes. We won't forget the people who've made the phone calls."

Romney then alluded to recent polls showing Mike Huckabee has taken the lead in the state by painting his candidacy—long seen as the prohibitive favorite—as one that will pull off a big upset on January 3.

"And I'm convinced the world will remember as well because you're going to do something which people don't expect, which is give me a victory," Romney said. "And then I'm going to New Hampshire where I'm pretty solidly in the lead in New Hampshire, and I'm gonna be in Nevada, and I'm gonna win Nevada, and I'm gonna be in Wyoming, and I'll win that one and Michigan. And we're gonna do pretty darn well—that's at least what I plan."

Realizing he was beginning to sound like a certain Democrat who finished third in Iowa in 2004, Romney joked that the man next to him was afraid he was going to scream and have a "Howard Dean moment."

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