By Kyle Stucker, Editor
Hampton-NorthHampton Patch, December 31, 2011
Mitt Romney may not "blame" Barack Obama for the recession, but he does blame the president for not doing "enough" to solve America's economic problems.
Romney took several jabs at the president during a stop at the Old Salt in Hampton on Saturday morning, including calling the Democrat a "footnote in history" and accusing him of avoiding the economic issues instead of facing them directly.
"I think there are some people in this country who just hope that if they just close their eyes, all the challenges will go away — and they won't," he said. "We have some real problems and have some real concerns, and we have to be serious about facing them.
"We have to have a president who will not just close his eyes and pretend there's not a problem."
Romney spoke for roughly 20 minutes Saturday in front of a standing-room-only crowd of more than 200 people, and took three questions and one statement from the crowd before mingling with voters for roughly half an hour.
Romney wasn't available for questions from the media, and didn't respond to questions while mingling with voters, including ones about his son Matt's recent comments about his dad's tax returns.
Romney did address several big issues during his speech, however, including the economy, the need to support the middle class, the Constitution, and the military.
Romney also tied in the recent economic struggles in Italy to Obama's economic failures, stating that America could face the same issues in three years if the $15 trillion debt continues to increase at 10 percent of the gross domestic product every year.
"That means... we'll be in the same spot as Italy, and no one's big enough to bail us out," said Romney. "We simply cannot allow America to reach a point where the people of the world say, 'I'm not going to keep loaning a trillion dollars to America every year at almost 0 [percent] interest rates.' The idea of America hitting a wall like Europe is hitting... that cannot happen."
The above video features excerpts from his speech, which was preceded by remarks from former New Hampshire Govs. John H. Sununu and Judd Gregg urging residents to vote for Romney in the Granite State primary on Jan. 10.
"The fact is that we have to choose, and there's lot of reasons for choosing," said Sununu, who ducked a question related to Romney's tax returns from Hampton-North Hampton Patch. "We look to someone who has experience, we look to someone who has talent, and most of all, we look to someone we could trust... I suspect that when we look at all the candidates, we'd quickly realize the right man for the job is Mitt Romney."
Romney's visit to Hampton was his final stop in New Hampshire before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucus.