ROCK RAPIDS, IOWA -- Mitt Romney is kicking off his final push toward the Iowa caucuses with a four-day bus tour across the snowy state.
The two bus caravan – one for the candidate, one for the press – headed out from Sioux City before 6:00 this morning. First stop, the B&L Vintage Brew and Sugar Shack on Main St. in Rock Rapids.
A homey crowd – about 50 people – pressed into the small café to hear the former Massachusetts governor and his wife, Ann. Dressed casually in khaki pants, a blue shirt and blue sweater, Romney started off recounting how he's had over 200 events with Iowa voters in this run up to the caucuses, then he hit his new theme: the future – so new, or perhaps it was so early, he tripped over his words.
"We don't vote for tomorrow," he began. He then caught himself, "Got that wrong. We DO vote for tomorrow," he said. "This election is about the future."
He then went on to deliver his standard stump speech – with a peppy delivery. He outlined the challenges the nation faces: global violent jihad, challenges in education, energy, health care, economic competitiveness. But these challenges, he said, are no reason for pessimism. Because of the hard-working, God-fearing, opportunity-loving people of the U.S., the future is bright.
Ann Romney took the microphone and told the crowd she wanted the voters of Iowa to see the man she knows - a man with the character and competency to be president - and urged them to all turn out for the caucuses January 3rd and help put him in the White House.
Mitt Romney again took the floor and told the small group this is a time of change for America. Then he said, I believe for the first time in Iowa, "I've had the experience of changing almost everything I've touched."
Bold words, some might say, for a man who has been battling charges that he's changed his positions along the campaign trial.