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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks to the crowd after making a few phone calls at his phone bank in Manchester on Saturday. (THOMAS ROY/ UNION LEADER)

Romney rallies the troops in Manchester

MANCHESTER — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in town Saturday to thank workers at his Manchester headquarters.

Romney told supporters working a phone bank at his lower Elm Street headquarters that they show the entire nation why New Hampshire has the first primary.

&#';On a beautiful fall day like this, you are inside working on a political campaign,&#'; he said. &#';You care about who will be the next president.&#';

Romney also told supporters that President Obama has the nation on the wrong course. He criticized the President for removing all American troops from Iraq by the end of the year, saying that puts at risk many of the hard-fought victories won by the U.S. military.

Outside, members of Occupy New Hampshire stood outside chanting &#';We are the 99 percent.&#';

After his brief pep talk, Romney made some several calls at one of the phone bank tables, calling, among others, Executive Councilor Raymond Burton, R-Bath, and state Sen. Russell Prescott, R-Kingston.

He later said the phone bank represents &#';the ground game,&#'; which is half the campaign equation; the other half, he said, is the &#';air wars.&#';

&#';You need both,&#'; Romney said. &#';At this stage, it's looking pretty darn good.&#';

Romney continues to hold substantial leads over his opponents in polls of New Hampshire voters.


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