HAMPTON, N.H. -- Mitt Romney, campaigning in Hew Hampshire on Saturday morning, focused his attacks on President Obama before returning his focus this afternoon to his Republican foes in Iowa.
The Hawkeye State's caucuses are just three short days away, but the former governor of Massachusetts, in a brief overnight trip, wanted to let New Hampshire voters know that he hadn't forgotten about them, either. He assailed Obama before a crowd of 450 at one last breakfast stop this morning before returning to Iowa this afternoon.
Showcasing his front-runner status, Romney bypassed his GOP rivals and went straight for the incumbent president. He argued Obama would be remembered as "a footnote in history" to a roaring applause at the cozy Old Salt restaurant on New Hampshire's coast.
"I don't blame him for the recession," Romney said. "But I blame him for keeping it going for so long.”
Calling Obama a failure, Romney pointed out his support to increase the national debt, calling the move "simply wrong and inexcusable."
"People will look at us at the worst generation," Romney warned.
Interestingly, Romney did concede that the economy may see an uptick during the course of his campaign.
"I presume the economy will get better," he explained, before throwing more jabs at Obama. "I just think he is overwhelmed and in over his head."
Politicking aside, the lion's share of Romney's visit was focused on showing off his softer side. Flanked by his son Craig and former New Hampshire governor and surrogate John Sununu, Romney shared a swath of patriotic stories and childhood memories before slowly wading through the sprawling restaurant and even the restaurant's kitchen like a professional, hugging supporters close, calling out to old friends and kissing babies. One supporter tapped his shoulder and urged him to choose Rep. Michele Bachmann as his running mate, to which Romney responded, "She's a great lady."
Closing out his pitch on this raining morning, Romney asked supporters to "find a friend" and vote for him in groups on January 10. As his black Suburban pulled away from the restaurant, a handful of protesters heckled him among supporters and staff.
"See you in a few days. Happy New Year!" he waved.