Mitt Romney formally announced his presidential candidacy in New Hampshire Thursday against a backdrop of hay bales and white barns and flags and all kinds of other iconic American summer stuff. Romney promised to offer a "better tomorrow" for the country and to take America in a different direction than President Obama. He slammed Obama's "disastrous national health care plan," which was based on the Massachusetts plan Romney signed into law in 2006, as a federal takeover. "This president's first answer to every problem is to take from you," Romney said. His Romneycare, by contrast, was "a state solution to a state problem."
The former Massachusetts governor talked about his father's working class roots, which he rose from to become head of General Motors and later governor of Michigan. "My No. 1 job will to see that America is No. 1 in job creation," he said. New Hampshire is critical for Romney to win, because he has a record of being less conservative on social issues, which are important to voters in the Iowa caucuses. The Granite State is "in his heart," Romney supporter and GOP strategist Ron Kaufman told the Union Leader's John DiStaso. "His favorite place in the world is to be on the lake in Wolfeboro"--where Romney has a second house--"with his family."