GREEN BAY, Wis. -- GOP Presidential Candidate and frontrunner Mitt Romney visited Green Bay on Monday, the day before Wisconsin's primary vote. He met with voters in a town hall style meeting. Afterwards, Romney sat down with WFRV-TV reporter Caroline Rowland for a one-on-one interview. In it, he spent little time talking about his opponents in Tuesday's pimary, instead focusing on President Obama.
Caroline: How are you feeling about Tuesday's election?
Romney: I'm optimistic for tomorrow, I think we're going to get a good sendoff here in Wisconsin as long as people get out and vote. The kind of support I'm seeing across the state is very encouraging. today in green bay, good crowd good questions, a lot of support. and of course having endorsements from people like Congressman Sensenbrenner and Paul Ryan as well as senator Ron Johnson. I think this underscores the fact that conservatives have come together, and we want to get to someone who can beat Barack Obama.
Caroline: If you win all three primaries tomorrow, you will have more than half the delegates needed to win the nomination. Do you think then it's time for the other candidates to drop out of the race?
Romney: Well the other candidates will have to make their own choice, as to how long they want to stay in the race. But if I win tomorrow, we will have a very strong start, and now with I think it'll be 30 some odd contests which will have been completed, I have a gotten million more votes than anyone else, more than double the number of delegates, it's beginning to come together, and I want to make sure we are able to focus energy and financial resources on the person who is the one we really want to replace and that's president Obama.
Caroline: You are constantly criticized for being out of touch with the average American? You were even asked that today, and you said, you want to help the average American? How do you want to help them?
Romney: The best thing I can do for people in this country I believe is to keep America strong, with a strong economy that's producing jobs and giving people rising wages, with home values that start to rise again. these are things I understand because I spent my life not in government, not in politics, but in the private sector. I think I can help the American people too with good schools, a strong safety net, and a strong military that's second to none, and so strong that no one in the world would think about testing America's military. This president has gone on a track which is a government centered track. which is focused on government and government playing a larger role in the lives of our citizens. I want to see government smaller, not bigger, I want to see it take a smaller bite out of paychecks and getting people good jobs, and letting people keep more of what they earn, I think is the kind of job they want to see in the next President.
Caroline: Rising gas prices are one of the top concerns for Americans right now? What do you think can be done to stop them from rising more?
Romney: When the president was campaigning he said that his energy policies would cause energy prices to sky rocket, and we've seen that. The right course is for us to allow federal lands to have more leases offered so we could drill for more oil in this country, also drill for more natural gas, cause that could be a transportation fuel as well as a electric generation source of fuel. We need to use coal as well as our nuclear technology. America can become energy secure keeping the hundreds of billions of dollars we now send out of this country, keeping them here, and holding down the prices for energy in this country. that is the right way to go. I think the president has taken us in a very unfortunate direction. and these high gasoline prices they are really crushing middle income families, I hear from a lot of women particularly that say gosh getting to and from work, getting my kids to and from school, getting my kids to lessons, it's a lot of gasoline."
Caroline: Rick Santorum is constantly criticizing you for not being conservative enough? Tying you to President Obama, and Obamacare, how do you respond to that?
Romney: Well I'm really pleased that in 2008, then Senator Santorum endorsed my campaign called me a real conservative, a solid conservative, so I think we know where the senator really stand when he is not in a race, and my record as a conservative is very clear, not just from my service as governor where we balanced the budget every year, we did not raise taxes, lowered taxes 19 times, instituted English immersion in our schools, made sure that our state police were able to enforce illegal immigration laws. My conservative record was also seen when i ran against john McCain for the primary last time, I was seen as the conservative alternative so my conservative chops are demonstrated. I understand that senator Santorum is trying to find some way to distinguish himself and that's the nature of politics, but in the final analysis people in Wisconsin know I'm a solid conservative that believes in the values to get America strong again.
Caroline: If you win the republican nomination, how important is Wisconsin come November?
Romney: Wisconsin will be a big win, if I'm able to win this it will give me a real boost because I think I will also win in Maryland and Washington DC tomorrow, if I can get all 3 and particularly the big one here in Wisconsin it would be a tremendous sendoff and probably changes the dynamic of the race.