Romney Rallies In Rock Hill
Mitt Romney and his wife Ann with supporters at a Winthrop University rally. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney swung through Rock Hill today in the final leg of the race to lock up his party's nomination. A Romney supporter was handing out packages of "Grits for Mitt" at the rally yesterday and a promise for the perfect bowl cheesy grits. It was a small Southern touch for the Northerner currently leading in polls of likely South Carolina voters. The several hundred packed into a ballroom at Winthrop University were a mix of eager young first-time voters and Republican Party faithful, with a few undecided voters sprinkled in. Here's a taste of their views. "The two I'm thinking of right now are either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum," says 20-year-old Winthrop student Andrew Miller. "I'm just excited 'cause I've always wanted to vote and I feel like I get to decide and help choose who the president is gonna be one day." "After the debates the other night Newt Gingrich certainly was also inspiring, but I'm concerned about his feelings on capitalism and that's one of the things that I love about Mitt Romney - his experience with the economy," says Alison Starosky of Fort Mill. And here's Rock Hill native Arthur Roberts, who also likes Romney. "He's been in business and we need someone who's been in business before," says Roberts. "(Romney) knows what's going on. Some of the guys have been in politics a lot and I don't want to call any names, but you know, that's about all they know is politics." Now, Mitt Romney didn't mention any of his opponents by name at the Rock Hill rally either - except once when he name-checked Newt Gingrich, who has been Romney's most vocal critic of late. "I listened to Speaker Gingrich the other night talking about the enterprises I've been associated with - I'm proud that I worked in the private sector, that I've achieved success, that I was able to build jobs in America and I'm going to keep using that success to make sure we build jobs for the entire country," said Romney. Gingrich says Romney's figures fail to consider the jobs that were cut when Romney's private equity firm downsized or shut down struggling companies it acquired. Gingrich is also demanding that Romney release his tax returns before Saturday's primary in South Carolina. Romney says he'll divulge his income tax returns in April, but does estimate he pays a rate of about 15 percent. That's significantly lower than what many middle-Americans pay, presumably because most of Romney's income comes from investments which are taxed differently.