NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Standing in a merciless downpour, Mitt Romney said today it was the dedication of supporters like the ones who waited for him in the rain here today that make him certain he'll win this November.
"People wonder why it is I'm so confident we're going to win," said Romney, the heavy rain soaking him just moments after he took the stage."I'm confident because I see you here on a day like this. This is unbelievable! Thank you so much!"
Romney did not mention a new Pew Research Poll released today that has him leading Obama, 49 to 45 percent among likely voters, the data taken in the days immediately after the presidential debate last week.
But Romney did continue to tout his strong debate performance.
"Now, you may have noticed that earlier in the week we had a debate - that was last week," Romney said to the crowd of about 400, many of whom used ponchos and garbage bags to try and keep dry. "That was a good debate. I enjoyed that debate. There were some places where we agreed and some places we disagreed. Some of the places we agreed were associated with the fact that we would take America in different directions."
Romney, who has been reluctant to discuss the decline in the nation's unemployment rate, which clocked in under 8 percent - at 7.8 percent - last week for the first time in four years, still brought up the long span of months when unemployment remained high.
"I just read that if you look back 60 years, and you look at all the months we had with unemployment about 8 percent before President Obama, there were 39 months in all 60 years with unemployment above 8 percent," he said. "With this president, there've been 43 months under one president alone. He does not understand what it takes to create a real recovery. I do."
Romney cut short his remarks to give the crowd a break from the weather, joking that he wasn't going to go "through all this in great detail because you've been here for a little while in this sunshine."
"You guys you're the best! We are going to win this," Romney said, before working the rope line. "We're taking back the White House! Virginia is going to help us do it! I need your help. Get out there and vote! Thank you so much! Your courage encourages me."