AMHERST, NH: Romney said he thinks the U.S. needs to give the current troop surge a chance, and "look for any news you can get that it is helping."
"In my opinion, we have to increase our military," said Romney. He said he thinks the U.S. should add "100,000 more troops in order to spare some of those" on long tours of duty.
Mitt Romney entered a country store in Amherst in the second district of New Hampshire, where voters in November elected Democrat Rep. Paul Hodes to replace Republican incumbent Charles Bass, who had served the district since 1994. The former Massachusetts governor arrived on time and spoke quickly, wanting to get to questions for the majority of the event.
"I'd like to show a surge of support in our country for our troops," said Romney. "Let's stand united and show our support as their families are showing their sacrifice."
Romney cited an article than ran in Sunday's New York Times where Brookings scholars, who had spent eight days in Iraq, reported that 'It's too early to say but the surge might be successful.' Romney pointed out that these are scholars who have been critical of the war, and said their impression is significant.
Asked about health care, Romney said the legislation he approved in Massachusetts could be a model for other states. It's "no one size fits all... let states create their own plans," said Romney, and look for public-private partnerships to improve access to health care.
Romney said he thought the Senate and the president were right in not signing the Kyoto Treaty. "They don't call it American warming, they call it global warming," said Romney, saying the U.S. can't do this unilaterally.
Romney thanked the crowd for coming, saying there are not a lot of places in the country where people would gather to meet the candidates they way they do in New Hampshire. "It is a service you provide the nation," he said, pointing out that New Hampshire voters don't just watch 30-second ads to tell them how well Madison Avenue is doing, but instead come see for themselves how well candidates are doing.