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Romney Formally Files For N.H. GOP Presidential Primary02:43
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Former Speaker Newt Gingrich is filing his papers for the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary Tuesday. On Monday, it was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's turn.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talks to supporters in front of the State House in Concord, N.H., Monday. (AP)
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talks to supporters in front of the State House in Concord, N.H., Monday. (AP)

Romney was chased by a parade of reporters through a gauntlet of supporters along the halls of the New Hampshire State House. He addressed fans and volunteers outside.

"President Obama came into office and had one job to get done immediately," Romney told the gathered crowd, "and that was to turn around the economy, and now, over 1,000 days later, he's still talking about a stimulus plan. We looked at his first stimulus. Did it work?"

"No!" The crowd responded.

Romney is raking in the endorsements in New Hampshire, for what they're worth. Monday, it was former Gov. John Sununu who stood by him. Romney used the occasion to distinguish himself from Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other Republican rivals on one point: as Perry gets ready to propose a flat income tax, his version of Atlanta talk show host Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan, Romney is resisting the idea.

"We'll look at a system to see which way provides the best way to reduce taxes on middle-income Americans," Romney told reporters, "and it'd be nice if a very simple and flat code, but what I want to make sure is that any kind of tax system that's ultimately put in place is one that reduces the burden on middle-income Americans."

New Hampshire is Romney's bastion, his make-or-break state. One of his top New Hampshire advisers said that essentially, the Romney campaign in New Hampshire never stopped after his first presidential run in 2008.

Romney has consistently led in the polls in New Hampshire. The state's former Republican Party chairman, Fergus Cullen, pointed out that Romney is doing well even though he's actually spending a lot less time there than he did four years ago.

"Whenever somebody runs for the first time, there’s the sense that whenever there are 20 activists gathered someplace, you know, the East Haystack Picnic, you as a candidate ought to be there, and Romney has done much less grassroots campaigning here than last time, but I think he’s made much better use of his time," Cullen said.

In recent weeks, the Republican race has been dominated by broadcast debates, in which Romney has performed well.

The next few weeks bring retail politics in New Hampshire and other key early states. The New Hampshire primary will probably be on Jan. 10, one week after Iowa.

On Tuesday, Romney is raising money in Washington, but his campaign says he'll be back in New Hampshire this Friday.

This program aired on October 25, 2011.

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reports on politics and higher education for WBUR.

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