CONCORD, N.H. – A crush of supporters, media and protesters met Mitt Romney today at the New Hampshire Statehouse, where the presidential candidate filed his paperwork for the state’s primary and scooped up the coveted endorsement of former Gov. John H. Sununu.
Stopping to shake hands on his way into the office of Secretary of State Bill Gardner, Romney said, “Big day today, we have to make sure it takes this time.”
After signing his papers in Gardner’s packed office and making his run in the Granite state official, Romney and Sununu held a rally on the steps of the statehouse.
“I want to thank you all for taking the time to come out this morning and since I like to be as efficient as possible, let me introduce the gentleman I believe will be the next President of the Unites States and the man I’m endorsing in that endeavor, Gov. Mitt Romney,” Sununu said to cheers from the crowd.
Romney then took the podium, railing against big government and vowing to bring change to Washington.
“This team of people around me, this is the volunteer team that will turn out voters on Primary Day, which by the way, will be the first primary in the nation as it ought to be,” he said.
Gardner has yet to set the date for the New Hampshire primary and has said he won’t until the filing deadline, which is Oct. 28. But it is widely expected that he will choose Jan. 10 as the date, securing New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation status.
“President Obama and his friends believe America should be a nation led by government. They’re wrong,” Romney said. “Government has become too intrusive, too big, too fat and that’s why it’s been so difficult for this government to turn around.”
Protesters tried to interrupt Romney several times, at one point screaming, “Romneycare” as Romney, 64, said, “When we say too intrusive, we mean when government tries to tell us what kind of health care we can have, or when government tells us we have to join a union.”
But the protesters didn’t seem to catch Romney’s attention, who continued on to say, “I go across the country I see time and time again people who love America like I do, who recognize we’re not just another place on the planet with a flag, we’re instead an exceptional nation.”