MIDDLETON, Wis. - Mitt Romney ended a weekend of campaigning in Wisconsin sounding confident ahead of the state's primary, predicting that the Republican nominee will "probably be him."
"This president can't run on his record," said Romney, answering a question about how he will appeal to women and Latino voters. "And so he's going to try in every way he can to divert to some other kind of attack and try to have people disqualify our nominee, which will probably be me, and instead of talking about where we've been, and where we're going as a nation."
Romney addressed a packed ballroom - as well as an addition overflow room - during a town hall meeting just outside of Madison, where he took several questions and was accompanied by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who has been by his side for much of the weekend. While Romney often says on the stump that he "hopes" to be the nominee, tonight's remark was resoundingly more confident and certain than his previous statements on the nomination.
The question that provoked Romney's confident answer was about persuading voters that issues like jobs and debt are issues that affect the crucial sector of voters such as women and Hispanics.
In answering, Romney evoked his wife, Ann, who is currently taking a break from the trail.
"And I wish Ann were here, my wife were here, for a lot of reasons, I wish she were here. But I wish she were here to answer that question in particular," Romney said. "She says that she's going across the country and talking with women, and what they're talking about is the debt that we're leaving the next generation and the failure of this economy to put people back to work. She says that she talks to women and they're concerned about the jobs that their kids are going to get.
"And they wonder whether their future is going to be prosperous and bright, as have been our lives," he said. "And that's what they're talking about."