COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Confident that victory is at hand, more than a thousand Mitt Romney supporters crowded a Colorado Springs business Saturday to cheer the GOP front-runner on his first campaign stop of 2012 in Colorado.

Romney gave a short speech at a metal fabrication business before heading back to Nevada, where he appeared headed toward victory in that state’s caucuses. Romney didn’t mention Nevada or his three Republican rivals, instead delivering a stump speech focused on President Barack Obama and the economy.

“We simply can’t allow a president to borrow and borrow and spend indiscriminately,” Romney said to cheers from an overflow crowd. Some Republicans in the crowd waited two hours for a chance to squeeze inside.

Romney hadn’t appeared in Colorado since a fundraising trip last September. But the former Massachusetts governor has reason not to spend too much campaign time here ahead of Tuesday’s Colorado GOP caucuses. Romney carried the 2008 caucuses here with some 60 percent of the vote and is believed the clear favorite here next week.

Supporters in the crowd conceded that Romney’s campaign may not be as organized as it was in early 2008. But they said Romney’s

“It all looks very good,” predicted Brian Ferriter, a 50-year-old owner of an auto repair business. Wearing a “Colorado For Romney” T-shirt, Ferriter predicted an even wider victory margin for Romney on Tuesday. Ferriter said his main worry is that the GOP nominating contest will drag on past Super Tuesday.

“It’s just hurting Republicans at this point,” Ferriter said.

Another Republican in the crowd, 42-year-old web designer Paul Lugauer of Colorado Springs, was also feeling confident Romney would have no trouble on Tuesday.

“Romney’s probably got it,” Lugauer said. “I want to vote for the guy who has the best chance to win.”

A few elected Republicans joined Romney Saturday to drive home the point. South Dakota Sen. John Thune introduced Romney, and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers was introduced as a Romney supporter.

Romney’s Colorado campaign also announced additional Colorado endorsements Saturday. Among the supporters was former U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum wasn’t giving up on a strong showing in Colorado Tuesday. Santorum has several Colorado stops planned Saturday, including one with U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner in Greeley.

Speaking to a crowd in a Montrose hotel, Santorum portrayed himself as an alternative to Romney.

“America is not looking for well-oiled weather vanes. They are looking for leaders,” Santorum said.

– By Kristen Wyatt, AP Writer

Associated Press writer Philip Elliott contributed to this story from Montrose, Colo.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. Pam says:

    Worrying about Mormonism and racism is stupid. What it used to be and what it is today is entirely different. The LDS church used to be anti-black It used to practice poligamy. It used to do a lot of things that it no longer does today.. Romney is not racist, poligamist, or anything else of the past. The past is the past. It has nothing to do with Romney. Don’t blame him for the mistakes of the Mormon past. Don’t worry about him letting his religion become involved with his politics if he becomes president. He believes in separating religion and government.

    Don’t worry about all that. He is a wwonderful guy who has much to be proud of and is a very decent person. He has a lot to give us. Support him.

  2. denvervet says:

    I tend to want to follow the guy who doesn’t want people to support him in honor of black history month. None of us know Mitt Romney personally but I can’t believe that he is in tune with poverty and minorities, the puzzle piece doesn’t fit. We don’t know for sure what Romney will do to help americans accept for the very rich. My gut tells me not to trust him regardless of his religion. He will undo everything Obama has worked for which will set us back in years. Then they’ll try all over again to fix problems a different way, find opposition and things will get slower and worse.

  3. Bret says:

    “He will undo everything Obama has worked for which will set us back in years” – besides forcing a health care bill down the throats of Americans whom didnt want it, what has our current president done? Besides set the country back decades economically.

  4. J S Clemens says:

    He’s a heck of a lot better than Oblahblah (Obama). Vote REPUBLICAN!!!!

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