EXETER, NH -- The Romney campaign debuted two new attacks against President Obama this morning, with a side of alphabet soup.
In a release this morning, Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney rated the president's approach to the budget "Triple A" -- for arrogant, absent and alarming.
At a lunchtime town hall stop here, the critique expanded to the entire Obama presidency, with Romney telling an audience of around 75 people the Obama presidency would become known for three D's -- Debt, Downgrade and Delay.
The line drew applause from a supportive crowd in the town, where, party legend has it, the Republican Party was first named in 1853. Attendees questioned Romney on health care, the economy, and on his stated desire to have the Lockerbie bomber extradited by a new Libyan regime.
"I'd like to see him extradited and face justice in the United States, and whether that's a military tribunal or a criminal trial and where it's held... I mean Guantanamo always serves a useful purpose in settings like this," Romney told a questioner, who asked if bringing the bomber to U.S. soil would make Americans less safe.
Romney also made news with a question he did not answer: who among his colleagues currently running for president would he be most likely to choose as a running mate.
As he has in the past, Romney called such speculation presumptuous, but said that the most important quality he would consider in selecting a running mate if he got the chance, would be that the person selected be "unquestionably capable of becoming president." He alluded to a belief that he had more confidence in some of those running than others, but added that any one of the other candidates running for president would, in his view, be a better president than President Obama. He continued, saying the Republican Party has a deep bench of talented governors, senators and legislators, many of whom aren't running for president -- a line that drew a few laughs.
Also notable on the candidate's first of two campaign stops of the day, a new, more personal, opening anecdote. Romney, who has long been criticized by some as being unable to relate to regular folks and those hurt by the economy due to his personal wealth, told the story of how his father returned to the U.S. from Mexico to find work as a lath and plaster carpenter, before eventually rising to become governor of Michigan. He also explained that his wife's ancestors immigrated to the U.S. from Wales, where her grandfather had been a coal miner, and how his father-in-law became the first in their family to attend college.