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Former Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to about 2,000 in Mesa

Former Gov. Mitt Romney spoke at the Mesa Amphitheater Monday about President Obama, other Republican candidates and his plans for the presidency in preparation for the Feb. 28 Arizona primary.

“I happen to believe that the principles of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are not just foundation, but they’re powerful,” Romney said to a crowd of about 2,000 people. “We have in those documents the way forward for America.”

Romney said all Americans have the right to happiness and the right to be free from their government.

“In America the people will lead,” he said.

Romney aligned with conservatives by telling success stories about his family.

“My conservatism has not come so much from reading the writings of great conservative scholars as it has from my life, my family and my faith,” Romney said.

The potential Republican nominee also discussed the budget and criticized President Obama’s handling of it.

“You either balance your budget or you go bankrupt,” Romney said. “(Obama) said he was going to cut in half our deficit by his first term — he doubled it.”

Mesa resident Kelly Adams said he agreed with Romney’s sentiments.

“I think he has the depth and breadth and leadership qualities that a president ought to have,” he said. “(I) found somebody that connected with us.”

Protestors outside of the amphitheatre, however, had different opinions of Romney.

Ron Paul activist Bryan Berklande said most of the candidates are exactly the same and people should be reading into Ron Paul more.

“Romney is basically the same as Obama,” he said. “They are both bought and paid for by corporations,” Berklande said.

Romney wrapped up the speech by reiterating his opinions on the Constitution and leadership.

“The Founders recognized that the principles they were writing about were enduring,” Romney said. “We need to see the Declaration as our blueprint.”


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