MOLINE, Ill. - Both Mitt and Ann Romney turned their attention to the concerns of women voters at a pancake breakfast in western Illinois this morning, focusing on issues such as spending and high gas prices.
"Is there anyone in here that is going to vote for Obama next time? Is there anybody? I mean, we're really upset," said Ann Romney, who took the stage at the American Legion Post 246, where her husband Mitt had doled out pancakes to a crowd of about 200 before making remarks.
"And I love it that women are upset, too, that women are talking about the economy, I love that," she said. "Women are talking about jobs, women are talking about deficit spending. Thank you, women. We need you. We all need you in November, too. We have to remember why we're upset and what we've got to do to fix things."
Ann Romney had made a similar appeal to women voters earlier this month at her husband's Super Tuesday event, where she remarked: "Women care about the economy, they care about their children, and they care about the debt. And they're angry, they're furious about the entitlement debt that we're leaving our children."
Mitt Romney, seemingly following his wife's lead, mentioned mothers who have to fill their gas tanks to drive their kids to school during his criticism of President Obama being "out of touch with the American people" and the struggles they face, particularly at the gas pump.
"You've got a lot of - you've got moms that are driving their kids to school and practice after school and other appointments and wonder how they can afford putting gasoline in the car, at the same time putting food on the table night after night," he said. "The American people are struggling. This president doesn't understand the economy. He's an economic lightweight and he's made decisions that have hurt the American people. It's time to put in place an economic heavyweight, and I am, and I'll get that job done."
Romney also went after his chief GOP rival, Sen. Rick Santorum, saying the former Pennsylvania senator was also an "economic lightweight," like Obama.
"There are some other good fellows in this campaign. And you know Senator Santorum, Speaker Gingrich, and Congressman Paul," said Romney. "Senator Santorum I think has the same characteristic as the president in terms of his background, spent his life in government. Nothing wrong with that, but right now we need someone who understands the economy fundamentally.
"Senator Santorum has the same economic lightweight background that the president has," he said.