COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – Mitt Romney went on the attack against President Obama during a campaign stop in this large Omaha suburb, jokingly comparing Obama’s promises to the broken wedding vows of reality TV star Kim Kardashian.
“I’ve been looking at some video clips on YouTube of President Obama, then candidate Obama, going through Iowa making promises,” he said. “I think the gap between his promises and his performance is the largest I’ve seen, well, since the Kardashian wedding and the promise of ‘til death do we part.”
Romney, appearing alongside his wife Ann and son Craig, seemed comfortable and relaxed on the stump in one of his strongholds. The area has many small business owners and suburban, economic-minded voters, the types of voters most likely to support Romney, and is less dominated by hard-line social conservatives than many other parts of the state. The county Council Bluffs gave Romney one of the strongest margins of victory he had in the state in 2008.
There are just 48 hours until the Iowa caucuses occur Tuesday evening, and after seeking for months to minimize his campaign's effort in Iowa to downplay expectations, Romney has campaigned hard in the state in the last few weeks. He currently holds narrow leads in most recent polls and with a win would cement his front-runner status for the nomination.
Most of the dozens in the crowd The Hill talked to said they’d supported Romney last time. His campaign’s plan is to keep the backers they had four years ago and hope that the large number of social conservatives in the state remain fractured between multiple candidates.
That seemed for months to be happening, but former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) is quickly closing in on Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) at the top of the polls, and the election is expected to be tight.
Romney repeated his promise to eliminate any government programs that weren’t worth “sending money to China to pay for,” and singled out subsidies for Amtrak and PBS as examples. “Big Bird, get ready to see some advertisers,” he joked.
Romney also argued that Obama has failed to reach across the aisle and said he had done so effectively as governor of Massachusetts, and said there are Democrats who “love America too.” That argument was absent in his stump speeches the last few days in more conservative parts of the state.
Romney promised to repeal “Obamacare,” a strong applause line with any GOP audience. After criticizing Obama for failing to initiate any new trade agreements since he became president he also went after China, promising to label it a “currency manipulator.” The attack on China drew strong applause.