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Rocky Mountain News - Romney: Dems Shrink From Terror

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Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Rocky Mountain News - Romney: Dems Shrink From Terror

By Chris Barge

Mitt Romney told about 750 El Paso County Republicans on Wednesday that all three Democratic presidential front-runners do not understand terrorism and hold European, socialist, tax-and-spend views.

Appearing polished and poised in a dark suit and blue tie, the former Massachusetts governor got all the laughs he looked for and stirred the crowd to feverish applause as he delivered his 32-minute keynote speech at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner at the elegant Broadmoor Hotel.

"There are more Republicans here tonight than I have in my state," he joked, before honing in on what he said was the difference between himself and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.

Fundamentally, he said, Democrats think in terms of the strength of the United States government, while Republicans rely more on the strength of individuals.

He took the Democrats to task for their European "form of socialism" views, and he even worked in a jab at Al Gore as he dismissed the party as a whole.

"There is an inconvenient truth that they don't want you to hear, and that is, no matter which one of them you elect, they're going to raise your taxes," he said.

He also expressed consternation over his belief that "Democrats shrink from the words 'terror' and 'radical jihad.' "

"I don't think the world has seen the face of evil like this since the days of Hitler's Holocaust," he said.

"It's astonishing to me that Democrats refuse to recognize this evil in the world."

Romney said he strongly supports the war in Iraq, as well as President Bush's authorization of intense interrogation techniques on prisoners of the war.

"Despite the fact that every person is going to make mistakes, this president has kept America safe," he said.

Romney's remarks at the fundraiser for the El Paso County Republican Party came at the end of a whirlwind day of working on his own presidential campaign in Colorado. Earlier Wednesday, he padded his war chest with about $150,000 during speaking engagements in Aspen, Denver and Colorado Springs. It was Romney's fourth visit to Colorado in eight months.

By ending his day at two events in Colorado Springs, Romney, who is Mormon, reinforced his Reagan-esque, "big tent" message to Republicans living in a hotbed for evangelical Christian beliefs.

He emphasized his support for a federal ban on gay marriage. And he said his belief in family values would drive him, if elected, to push for a "one strike and you're ours" policy toward Internet sex predators, giving offenders harsh prison sentences followed by a life of monitoring with ankle bracelets.

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