03/02/2012 04:50 pm ET Updated May 02, 2012

Leaked Copy of Romney's Ohio Speech Surfaces

The author came into possession of a first draft copy of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's proposed speech to Ohioans, which is reprinted here:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for having me here in the great Buckeye State of Ohio. We feel really good about our chances next week, and with your support, I think we can get one step closer to firing Barack Obama. I'd like nothing more than to do that right now, let me tell you. Trust me, if it weren't for the Constitution, firing President Obama would be easy as sailing a multihull catamaran in Christmas winds off Tortola, as we like to say around the Romney household. (Smile.)

Ah, but it's so nice to be here in Ohio, where the corn is just perfectly grown. (Pause for sincere effect.) I think I can safely say that I've always loved corn from Ohio. It's the very best corn there is. Two months ago, I thought the corn in Iowa was the best, and I said so. But we flew in here late last night and some of my advance men came rushing out to the Gulfstream with fresh stalks of corn, and they said, "I think you ought to taste this Ohio corn, Mitt. It just might be the best corn you've ever tasted." So we sat there in the corporate hangar, peeling the ears and nibbling on delicious Ohio corn, fresh from the husks. And by gosh if it wasn't the best corn ever. What corn you have here!

I grew up in Michigan, as many of you know, your friendly neighbor to the North. (Point North, or straight UP, but careful NOT to imply that Michigan above represents the Celestial Kingdom, and Ohio below represents the Outer Darkness of Hell.) I'll never forget the college tours I made with my father, when we came down here together to the Birthplace of Aviation. Some of the very best safety schools are right here in Ohio. I remember at the time -- now this is going back a few years -- that the closest airport to Kenyon College was in Columbus -- an hour away. We got ourselves a car and made that long drive. We felt like pioneers. My dad and I in the back seat together, marveling at the beauty right outside the windows. I honestly remember thinking that if things don't work out, I could do four years in Ohio if I had to -- with your beautiful state flowers, your state gemstones and your state birds in the sky. And Ohio coal! The coal here is just as good as the corn, don't you think? I do.

I can't forget to mention the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Are we ready to rock, Cleveland? (Hand Gesture: heavy metal sign of the horns, as practiced -- NOT Mormon Distress Signal!) I love Cleveland. And rock and roll, too. The very first rock concert I ever attended was in Ohio. Ah, the crowds. And all those notes in the air. What a thrill. The mood in our box was electric. I remember I got up from my seat to grab a Buckeye Beer from the refrigerator, and when I looked up at the television in the kitchen area, Hootie had just taken the stage. That's right. Hootie! Hootie! (Wait for audience excitement to simmer. Take deep breath. Sing quick bar like Obama does.) "I'm only gonna be with yoooooou." (Wait for applause to die down.) Ah, Hootie was rockin' that night. And the Blowjobs were terrific.

If I may be serious for a moment. One of the big concerns we all share about Ohio is the current state of Lake Erie -- the big lake they call Gitche Gumee. Erie is famous for being one of the five Great Lakes in this land. But let's face it, folks. You and I both know it. In the Obama economy, Lake Erie isn't what it once was. It's not even a Good Lake now. An Okay Lake, at best. There's nothing Great about it. When I'm president, that's going to change, Ohio. Education, taxes, defense, health care, and the price of gas at the pump. Yes, sir! Lake Erie can be a Great Lake once again. But I can't do it with Ohioans on the sidelines. You proud Buckeyes have to step up, and step off the sidelines! Like Woody Hayes in the 1978 Gator Bowl. I need you to jump onto the field and punch Rick Santorum hard in the throat so we can end this nightmare once and for all! Thank you, and may God Bless Ohio! (Do not stay for questions.)