By Steve Peoples, Associated PressBy Jon Keller

LONDONDERRY, N.H. (AP) — Republicans have yet to cast a single vote but Mitt Romney is starting to sound like he’s already won his party’s presidential nomination.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports.

The former Massachusetts governor ignored his GOP rivals while speaking to New Hampshire voters Tuesday. With Iowa Republicans set to begin voting in exactly one week, Romney focused instead on President Barack Obama.

WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller Is At Large

“What this president is doing is trying to turn us into an entitlement nation,” Romney said inside the packed dining room of the Coach Stop restaurant, hours before he was to head to Iowa to spend the next several days campaigning across that state by bus. “That’s a deadening approach to a nation that has always been powered by the pursuit of happiness.”

Even when asked about his GOP opponents, Romney avoided any direct criticism and pivoted to the broad issues likely to win over independents, a voting bloc expected to play a critical role in next fall’s general election.

“I’m not exactly sure how all this is going to work, but I think I’m going to get the nomination if we do our job right,” he said, while promising to reach across the aisle to Democrats if elected. “I’m not going to spend my time bashing the Democrats and attacking them day in and day out, because that makes it impossible to sit down and work together.”

In a nod toward the country’s surging Latino population, Romney added that he’s open to expanding legal immigration.

“It is a great source of vitality,” he said. “And to protect legal immigration, and potentially make it larger, we want to stop illegal immigration.”

Romney also teased a hypothetical general election sales pitch against Obama in which he’d ask voters, “Do you think you’re better off than you were four years ago?”

“We know the answer to that one,” he said with a smile.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Jon Keller

Comments (4)
  1. tssal says:

    The real news will be when Romney actually says something concrete about his plans rather than criticizing everyone else’s .

  2. fred says:

    When has any politician this early in a race ever been specific? He currently leads in the polls. Why would he share his game plan this early if he doesn’t have to? Right now he has perhaps the best organization. He will, to use a football term, play prevent defense as long as he feels comfortable with his lead. Why show the other side your playbook too early. Once he gets the nomination (if he gets the nomination) he will begin to broadcast his ideas more specifically to the electorate and it should be quite a contrast to Obama’s positions. It should be great theater for politcal junkies.

  3. BostonIrish says:

    My issue with Romney is he wants to be president just like a kid wants to be a captain in sports. The kid wants the selfgratification of being the first to pick sides. That’s what I see in Romney. I don’t see a true leader. I see someone who wants it because he can’t have it. Like Obama, I don’t think he’d know what to do with it if he became president. He certainly hasn’t rolled out much of a detailed plan or platform of approach with specifics. Just fence-jousting.