(MOBILE, Ala.) — Huddled underneath an awning as rain pelted the umbrella-bearing, poncho-clad crowd, Mitt Romney stressed to Alabama voters that a vote for him in Tuesday’s primary could help boost him in the delegate race.
“This could be an election that comes down to a very small margin between the three people running here most aggressively, and if you will give me your support, that would not only give me more delegates. By the way, we’re about two and half times ahead in the delegate race, so we’re doing really well, but I need even more delegates so if you guys are able to do that for me, we can well take this over, over the top at a very fast pace,” Romney said outside a Whistle Stop in Mobile.
“We’re going to get this thing won. Jeff Foxworthy’s going to make all the difference in the world, and you guys by voting multiple times can make a big difference,” joked Romney.
Minutes before Romney was scheduled to take to the stage at his outdoor rally, his only public event of the day, dark rainclouds overhead opened up and poured onto audience members sitting in folding chairs and journalists standing on press risers. Romney, who was joined by Jeff Foxworthy, who endorsed Romney, emerged from the restaurant where he privately spoke to voters prior to the rally and called the crowd to gather around him underneath the awning. Working as an advance man himself, Romney directed his staff to turn the speakers around and hopped on top of one to speak to the crowd.
Shortly after Romney assumed his perch, the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to Romney, who turned 65 years old Monday.
“Thanks so much for giving me this birthday present. Hopefully, I can wrap it up tomorrow,” Romney said, referencing the Alabama primary.
With Foxworthy standing to his right, Romney criticized President Obama by playing off the name of the game show hosted by Foxworthy – Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?
“Any fifth graders? We are going to have a test here. If you spend more money than every year than you take in, is that good for the economy?” said Romney as the crowd shouted “No!”
“Even the fifth graders could figure that one out,” he said.
“I’m afraid the president has failed the show, and I know he is smarter than a fifth grader, I sometimes ask why he does the things that he does, because they are not good for America, if they are not creating jobs, not raising incomes, not getting us gasoline that we can afford. I happen to think Washington is a mess. I think three years ago we sent to Washington a message, and I think it’s time to send a President to Washington who can fix things in this country,” said Romney.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio