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Jackson Hole News & Guide - Romney Pushes Values

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Location: Jackson Hole, WY

Jackson Hole News & Guide - Romney Pushes Values

By Noah Brenner

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney pitched a socially conservative agenda during a campaign event in Jackson, saying America's children "are swimming in an ocean of filth."

"In my view, we need to clean up the water," he said.

A crowd of about 75 people spilled out of the conference room at the 49'er Inn to hear the former governor of Massachusetts outline his proposals for foreign and domestic policy, including his ideas on the Iraq war, immigration and energy.

In his speech, Romney pushed a platform of improving the country's economy, military and families.

He said the government needs to "help kids understand that before they have babies they need to get married," and he pledged to fight pornography and sexual predators on the Internet.

Members of the crowd periodically punctuated Romney's points with an "Amen."

Romney said he supported the troop surge in Iraq and would like to add at least 100,000 troops to the country's active military and increase military spending.

When asked about his immigration policy, Romney reiterated his hard-line stance against "sanctuary cities" where law enforcement does not report illegal immigrants to federal authorities. He said he would cut federal funding to those municipalities.

He said he favors securing the border and pushing illegal immigrants already in the country to "get in line with everyone else in the world" to apply for residency or citizenship through legal channels.

"There should be no special pathway, no special deal" for illegal immigrants to become citizens, he said.

Romney said Wyoming will have a disproportionate influence on the selection for presidential candidates compared with its three electoral votes because of its early Republican primary. In February, the Wyoming Republican Party's Central Committee voted to change Wyoming's primary to coincide with New Hampshire's in an effort to garner more attention from presidential candidates.

"History shows that people who do well in Iowa and New Hampshire typically become their party's nominee," Romney said. "Add Wyoming to that list."

Romney remained in town Wednesday night for a fundraiser at Robin and Cherrie Siegfried's Lazy Moose Ranch in Wilson. Tickets to the event cost $1,000 for the reception. A photo with Romney cost $2,300.

Clarene Law, who owns the 49'er and hosted the event, said she thought it was important for the members of the public who may not be able to afford to attend a fundraiser to have opportunities to meet candidates. Law said she is also a Romney supporter.

"I recognize in Mitt Romney leadership," Law said, citing Romney's role in organizing the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. "As a person formerly engage

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