FITCHBURG, Wis. - Mitt Romney predicted victory in the upcoming primary in Wisconsin during a visit at Gov. Scott Walker's phone bank, describing his campaign in the state for the Republican presidential nomination as an "uphill battle" that now looks like its "going to win."
"I have to tell you this. It feels better and better," said Romney, who dropped by the call center alongside Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. "The support for my campaign is growing stronger and stronger. This was an uphill battle for me if you look back three or four weeks ago, and now we're looking like we're going to win this thing on Tuesday.
"But I've got to have you guys get out and vote," Romney added.
Asked what a victory in Wisconsin will mean to him, Romney said that his focus is shifting toward President Obama but he's not assuming the nomination yet.
"You know, I think all of us in the contest are focusing more and more on President Obama, as we should," Romney said. "I think his failures are becoming more glaring to the American people. He's begun his national campaign from what I read, he's making speeches that sound like the start of a campaign, and I think you're seeing all four of us that are in the race still focusing on him.
"I've got a ways to go before I get 1,144 delegates, so I'm not counting the delegates before they hatch," he said. "But I'm going to keep working very hard and hope I get a good strong sendoff from Wisconsin. I got a good boost from the folks in Illinois, and if I can get that boost also from Wisconsin, I think we'll be on a path that will get me the nomination well before the convention. Sure hope so."
As Romney and Ryan entered the call center, a group of about 30 protestors stood behind barricades yelling.
Romney and Ryan, stepping out of an SUV, turned and waved at the group, who chanted "Shame! Shame!" and then "Recall Walker!"
Walker will face a recall election this June after after he orchestrated a law that cuts public employees' collective bargaining rights in the state.
Romney, who earlier this week spoke encouragingly about Walker's chances, repeated the praise today.
"And I applaud your governor. What an extraordinary man. What a guy, what a guy. I had the privilege of campaigning for Scott Walker, and caring very deeply about his election," said Romney.
"It would have been a lot easier for Gov. Walker just to go along and get along, just kick the ball down the field and give people whatever they want, but he has convictions and his convictions are focused on the interests of the people of Wisconsin," said Romney. "And for that reason, he's going to get re-elected in June by the work you're doing."