Ohio may be Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's most important contest on Super Tuesday, but the candidate hasn't taken his eye off Georgia voters.
Romney rallied at Brookwood High School in Snellville Sunday, vying for a strong finish in a Newt Gingrich-dominated state. Speaking to a crowd of more than 1,500 people at the pancake brunch, Romney levied his criticism of President Barack Obama on issues including jobs, energy policy and his stance on Iran's nuclear development. He warned voters that another four years with Obama could mean a permanently changed America.
"If Obama is re-elected, Iran will have a nuclear weapon and the world will change," he said in response to an 11-year-old boy's question, saying the president has not done enough to thwart Iran.
Romney said Obama hasn't communicated that military options are on the table, and that if elected, Romney would impose "crippling" sanctions on Iran and warn people there about the "peril of them becoming nuclear."
Romney's Georgia appearance comes on the heels of wins in Washington, Michigan and Arizona in recent days. The candidate also picked up two key endorsements Sunday from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, (R-Va.) and Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, (R-Okla.).
Romney was joined on-stage by his wife, Ann, who alone held two events Thursday in Alpharetta and Buckhead. Following the Snellville stop, Romney headed to Tennessee and is scheduled to spend Monday in Ohio, where a number of polls show him neck and neck with Rick Santorum for the lead.
Gingrich -- who campaigned throughout Georgia last week before returning to his home in Virginia -- is expected to win Georgia's primary. Romney and Santorum are virtually tied for second, according to a poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Romney's most poignant remarks came in response to questions from the crowd, often directing his criticism at Obama with only a few remarks for his Republican competitors. When asked about what he could do about fuel prices, Romney expressed support for off-shore drilling while also making a passing reference to his toughest opponent in Georgia -- Gingrich -- and the candidate's $2.50 gas price promise.
"I'm not going to pander to you and say ‘here's what your gas prices will be,'" he said.
Romney played up his business acumen, noting that he's the most capable of producing jobs and turning the economy around.
"The economy is what I do, it's what I know, it's what I've done," he said.
Terry McGaha, of Grayson, said she was on the fence about Romney before the event, but now plans to vote for him Tuesday.
"He didn't hesitate on anything he was asked. He didn't read from a prompter," she said. "And he and his wife seemed very down to earth."
Vietnam veteran Bob Hunt, of Monroe, said he was torn between Romney and Gingrich prior to the event. But Romney won Hunt's vote Sunday when speaking about defense spending and his stance on Syria. Romney said he does not yet support direct intervention there.
"He and Newt have a lot of similar ideas ... but I'm trying to look at the big picture," he said, adding that Gingrich has too much "baggage."
While Jim Jones, of Duluth, said he still hasn't decided who to cast his vote for Tuesday, his wife Connie said she's clear.
"I just feel like Romney is the one who can carry the banner," she said. "I pray he will do what he says he'll do."
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