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Md. Republicans Welcome Romney As He Campaigns In Arbutus

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WJZ general assignment reporter Mike Hellgren came to Maryland's News...
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ARBUTUS, Md. (WJZ)– Campaign 2012 comes to Maryland. The front runner for the Republican presidential nomination holds a town hall forum in Baltimore County. Mitt Romney is gathering momentum less than two weeks before the primary here in Maryland.

Mike Hellgren has more on what the former Massachusetts governor is telling voters.

The former Massachusetts governor did not focus on his Republican primary opponents. Instead, he focused on the president and the economy, and on a new endorsement from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

He was also endorsed by former Maryland governor Bob Ehrlich.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the governor– soon to be president– Mitt Romney,” former Governor Bob Ehrlich announced.

It is rare that Maryland gets this much attention during a presidential primary, and Maryland Republicans warmly welcomed Mitt Romney.

“The president, by the way, said when he was newly elected that if he didn’t turn the economy around in three years, he’d be looking at a one-term proposition,” Romney said. “We’re here to collect. We’re here to get that done.”

A line formed hours before at the American Legion in Arbutus. This is significant because it is home of former Governor Bob Ehrlich who is the chairman of Romney’s campaign in Maryland.

“I contributed that to Bob Ehrlich and his stronghold in this area,” Charles Johnson, Romney supporter, said. “I think he’s precisely the kind of Republican that Romney wants to be associated with. So even though Maryland is, in fact, not going to go for Mitt Romney in November, I think it’s a very wise connection for him to make.”

While some have criticized Romney supporters for a lack of passion, there is no shortage of enthusiasm.

“Come out and vote for Romney! Vote early!” a campaign worker yelled out.

It’s the kind of momentum he needs, building on a big win in Illinois.

“I think our country absolutely needs an experienced businessman,” one Romney supporter at the American Legion said.

“I feel like, out of everyone, he’s been very straightforward,” another Romney supporter said.

“Because I’ve gone across the country,” Romney said. “I have been more optimistic because of the patriotism I hear, the passion for America, the innovative spirit of our people that has brought home to me time and time again.”

As Romney tries to clinch the nomination, the Democrats are ramping up their campaign. President Barack Obama was in Maryland just last week.

There was a huge crowd at the American Legion and there are people gathered outside to catch of glimpse of Romney.

Maryland’s primary is April 3. Thirty-seven delegates are at stake.

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