Romney kicks off Iowa caucuses


Photo: Nicole Wiegand/Iowa State Daily

Mitt Romney, former Republican governor of Massachusetts, addresses a crowd of several hundred during a campaign stop at Kinzler Construction in Ames on Thursday, Dec. 29. Romney, who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination in August, has several stops planned around Central Iowa leading up to the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3. 

Katelynn Mccollough

Mitt Romney started the day of the Iowa caucuses at the Temple for Performing Arts in downtown Des Moines with a speech to encourage supporters and those still undecided to cast their vote in his favor.

Romney focused much of the speech on President Barack Obama and his ideas on major issues, while mentioning none of the other six republican candidates competing for the GOP nomination.

“This has been a failed presidency,” Romney said as he spoke of the size of the nation’s debt and unemployment figures. “I will go to work to get Americans back to work.”

As Romney continued to address the gathered audience, consisting mainly of journalists, students from outside the state of Iowa and a few scattered supporters, he quoted both the Constitution and “America the Beautiful.”

Romney spoke of his hopes of becoming a more “energy independent” nation, of cutting funding to programs such as Public Broadcasting Service and the humanities, of lowering the deficit and of finding jobs for the unemployed.

“I’m going to ask the American people to sacrifice,” Romney said.  He said the United States is an “opportunity nation” in reference to the idea of each Americans “pursuit of happiness.”

Romney began the speech by introducing his family and giving his wife, Ann, an opportunity to address the crowd.

“This is a great — it’s an exciting day,” said Ann Romney, who has been married to Mitt Romney since 1969. “I am anxious for this process to get started, for I believe that Mitt will be the nominee and will beat Barack Obama.”

Many of those in attendance of the speech were youth observers from states such as Louisiana, Tennessee and Minnesota, who are in Iowa learning about the caucuses.

“We’re getting an idea of the caucuses,” said Erin Morris, a senior in high school from Minneapolis. “It’s cool to be on the other side of the camera instead of just watching it on TV — to actually be here is pretty interesting.

Morris said she and the other members of her group have attended multiple events from nearly every candidate over the past few days in Des Moines.