By Garrett Turner –1/1/12

New Year’s Day couldn’t keep the crowd away from Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor spoke at a packed local family restaurant in Atlantic, Iowa. Two days before the Iowa Caucus, Romney’s harshest comments didn’t come against his fellow Republican competitors. They came against President Barack Obama.

“This merit society, this opportunity nation, this free nation continues to be a beacon to the world and a city on the hill,” Romney said. “I look today at our president and I don’t think he understands that America. I don’t think he understands the power of the principles this nation was founded on.”

Romney drew simple distinctions among Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and himself. He believes his experience working in the private sector is what the voters need.

“I think people of this country recognize that with our as the major issue we face right now that it would be helpful to have someone who understands the economy first hand and someone who spent the bulk of his career working in the private sector,” he said.

Romney greeted supporters and encouraged them to go and caucus.

“I’m even more encouraged by the people I see at these events and the kind of enthusiasm they have and their willingness to show up on New Year’s Day and their commitment to go to the caucuses.”

Iowans weren’t the only ones at the restaurant. An onslaught of media flooded the area. The huge media following is indicative that Romney’s popularity and chances to win at the caucus are increasing. But Romney wouldn’t make any predictions.

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