TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney was exultant Monday night in his final pitch to Florida voters before a crowd of about 5,000 retirees.
"This really is a campaign, in my view, about the soul of America," Romney said.
"This is such an exciting time," Romney told the crowd in The Villages, Fla., a retirement community.
For weeks, Romney has been reciting verses of "America the Beautiful" on the campaign trail in a monotone; on Monday, for the first time, Romney led his crowd in singing the iconic hymn.
In another variation, Romney made no references to top rival Newt Gingrich, whom he has attacked during campaign events in Florida with increasing intensity.
Instead, he kept his focus trained on Democrats and President Obama, whom he'll face if a victory in Florida leads to the GOP nomination.
As his wife, Ann Romney, welcomed him to the stage, she summoned her grandson, Parker Romney, to repeat to the crowd what he had remarked when he saw the number of people who had turned out to support his grandfather's presidential ambitions.
"It looks like Papa is gonna win."