Romney's Challenge To Obama

BEDFORD -- First, the crowds.

It was one of Mitt Romney's largest events in New Hampshire. 800 residents packed into a middle school here in this wealthy, mostly Republican suburb, with many more turned away. Cars were parked a half a mile down the road.

The candidate and his staff seemed giddy. Romney zipped through his stump speech (with scant attention paid to social values) and began to riff about change and the Democrats.

"Let's say it's Barack Obama. He's up there. And we're debating against each other. We'll both be talking about change in Washington. He'll be talking about ... big brother, big government and big taxes and that won't sell. I'll be talking about following in the footsteps that Ronald Reagan built, which is make America stronger, which is strengthen our family, strength our miliary, strengthen our economy."

"Beyond that, I'll have one more question."

"Barack, name something you've changed. Name a business you've changed. Name an Olympics or a volunteer organization you;'ve changed. You speak about change, but you've n ever done it.

Conspiracy theorists believe that Romney keeps mentioning Barack Obama in order to push independents away from John McCain.

That's a stretch.

Although a senior campaign aide did admit: "I never thought I would say this, but I am rooting for Obama tomorrow. I didn't say I'm voting for him... just rooting for him."