WEST LEBANON, NH -- Mitt Romney emerged from debate rehearsals in Vermont today to pick up some pizzas, and to deliver his own analysis of the first night of the Democratic National Convention, which he said could not make the claim Americans were better off after President Obama's first term.
"You've heard no one stand up and say that people are better off than they were four years ago," Romney told reporters traveling with him as he picked up several extra large pies at a pizza joint here. "They really can't say that. They can't say it in all honesty. Particularly with the news that has come out this week."
Wednesday: David Gregory previews tonight's speech by Former President Bill Clinton at this week's Democratic Convention in Charlotte.
"That news: The national debt tripping $16 trillion dollars for the first time, and the number of Americans receiving food stamps topping 47 million, up 15 million from when President Obama took office," Romney said.
Recommended: Ryan tries to draw wedge between Clinton, Obama
"The American people are not doing better and this president understands that and I think that's why people are reluctant to even talk about it because they know the American people know better," Romney said, echoing his campaign's latest line of attack against the Obama administration, after several top Obama advisers fumbled the "are we better off" question on last Sunday's talk-show circuit.
The comments to reporters marked Romney's emergence from a day of strenuous debate preparation at the secluded Vermont estate of his former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey. Romney and a small coterie of aides gathered at the house yesterday morning for a series of mock debates with Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who is playing the role of President Obama for Romney.
"I'm just glad I won't be debating ... Rob Portman in the final debates," Romney said. "He's good."
Slideshow: Democratic National Convention
Here in the mountains, with limited cell phone and Internet service, Romney said he did not watch Michelle Obama's address to the Democratic convention in Charlotte last night, and that regardless he only had praise for the first lady.
"I didn't see her speech, but I certainly respect the first lady and think she's, she's done a fine job as our first lady," Romney said. "Lovely person and I respect her."