Romney's nod to N.H.

Last modified: 10/25/2011 12:00:00 AM
Mitt Romney dropped by the Secretary of State's office yesterday to make official what has been impossible to miss: He's running for president in New Hampshire.

Romney walked through a crush of news media and supporters with former governor John H. Sununu by his side. The former Massachusetts governor praised Secretary of State Bill Gardner for his work guarding the first-in-the-nation primary, which he called "a responsibility and an honor which New Hampshire richly deserves."

"You've done a great job, and you will for the next 40 or 50 years, Bill," Romney said.

He signed his name, cameras flashing, to the official papers and a souvenir paper before offering the pen to Sununu, who demurred. "Only if Gardner asks me," he said to laughter. "I don't do anything Gardner doesn't tell me to do."

Afterward, Sununu announced his endorsement of Romney at a brief rally in front of the State House. Supporters, some holding signs from the state's counties, lined the steps as Romney delivered a stripped-down stump speech.

"President Obama and his friends believe that America should be a nation led by government," Romney said. "They're wrong. America should be a nation led by free people choosing their course in life."

Among the supporters who cheered the speech was Carolyn Carruth, who summers in Wolfeboro, where the Romneys have a home. Carruth, 72, wore a red cowboy hat and red cowboy boots and carried a Romney sign. She said she supports Romney because "I know the character of the man, his family and his history going back to his father's commitment to this country's values."

Not everyone was a fan. Two Obama supporters, Helen Roberts of Franklin and Harvey Harkness of Epsom, held a sign asking "Which Mitt will show up?" and listing areas where they said he had changed positions. Harkness allowed that he does like the health care law Romney signed in Massachusetts.


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