Midland Reporter-Telegram - Romney Campaigns in Midland, Calls for 'Strong America'
"Calling the 2008 presidential race 'an inflection point,' or key juncture, in history, Mitt Romney said the nation's citizenry is its true strength and outlined plans to enlarge the military, bolster marriage and legal immigration, build U.S.-Mexico border fences and let states provide universal health care through market-based private initiatives.
"With national media shooting photos and TV footage along the back wall of Midland Center, he told more than 700 people at a Midland County Republican Women's Club Wednesday luncheon his race for president is inspired by young people like Olympic gold medalist speedskater Derek Parra."
"Perhaps initially skeptical of Romney for his northeastern background, the crowd appeared to warm and applauded when he called on schools to do a better job of teaching English.
"'To be successful in America, you've got to speak the language of America,' he said.
"Willard Milton 'Mitt' Romney said the military should be strengthened from 1.5 million to 2 million servicemen and women and single parents on welfare should not be penalized for getting married."
"Romney is an articulate, persuasive top-tier candidate whose support will grow as he battles Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and others for the GOP nomination, said a spokesman for Congressman Mike Conaway, who has endorsed him."
"Romney criticized Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards by saying none would take the necessary action to "win the war on terror" and protect the U.S. from radical Islamic terrorism.
"He drew another round of applause when he said, with first lady Laura Bush's mother, Jenna Welch, in the audience, 'President Bush has kept us safe for the last six years.'
"'Are we going to take the sharp left turn that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would take on to become the Europe of the future or will we hold true to the values that made us such a powerful nation?' Romney asked.
"'We need somebody who can work to make America strong with a strong military, a strong economy and strong families. Thank goodness Barack Obama is not president because he would, either for political reasons or panic, have pulled our troops out of Iraq.
"'Al-Qaida would have a safe haven and make Afghanistan look like child's play. John Edwards says there is no war on terror, it's only a bumper sticker.'
"Romney said he also should appeal to West Texas conservatives because he 'fought for conservative values in the most liberal state in America and won time and again.
"'I held down taxes and spending and reduced the number of government employees,' he said. 'I insisted on English immersion for our kids and was able to get education in a posture where our schools are No. 1 in the country.'"
"Conaway introduced Romney by saying he was convinced after meeting him in Austin last spring that 'this is the guy I want to help win Texas' 34 electoral votes.'"...