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Mitt Romney boosts Scott Brown in old stomping grounds

By Ashley Killough, CNN
updated 7:03 PM EDT, Wed October 15, 2014
Mitt Romney campaigned in New Hampshire on Wednesday with Republican candidate Scott Brown.
Mitt Romney campaigned in New Hampshire on Wednesday with Republican candidate Scott Brown.

Hudson, New Hampshire (CNN) -- Mitt Romney returned to familiar turf Wednesday, campaigning for Senate candidate Scott Brown in New Hampshire at the same venue where Romney held a rally two years ago during his last presidential run.

"I was in this place two and a half years ago," the 2012 former GOP presidential nominee said. "This time it's going to work out better."

Romney held a rally in the building, Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson, on the eve of the New Hampshire primary in January 2012. And while he ultimately lost the general election, Romney carried the New Hampshire GOP contest by a wide margin.

On stage Wednesday he stepped into the role of attack dog for Brown, the Republican attempting to oust incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in one of the most competitive Senate races this fall. In his remarks, Romney fired off a round of familiar talking points against Shaheen, accusing the first-term senator of being a rubber stamp for President Obama's agenda.

"His policies are on the ballot, and the name of those policies are Jeanne Shaheen and that's why she's got to go," Romney said on stage.

Romney praised Brown, a former U.S. senator from Massachusetts who was defeated by Elizabeth Warren in 2012, as a strong candidate on the economy and national security.

"This is the guy who ought to be the next United States senator, and you're going to make him the next United States senator," Romney said.

It marked his second appearance for Brown this year in New Hampshire. The state is familiar territory; aside from winning the primary, Romney has a vacation home there and served as governor of neighboring Massachusetts.

Though he hasn't ruled it out entirely, Romney says he has no plans to run for president again in 2016, resisting a barrage of calls from within the party to make a third bid. Recent polls indicate he would become the automatic frontrunner in the potential GOP field if he considered it.

"He was right on Russia. He was right on Obamacare. He was right on the economy," Brown said, thanking Romney for coming to the event. "I can tell you, governor, if you were in the White House, the country and the world would seem a whole heck of a lot different. "

Romney's stop comes just before Shaheen gets a wave of in-person support from the most sought-after Democrats. Former President Bill Clinton will headline a Jefferson Jackson dinner on Thursday, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to be in the state Nov. 2.

His visit comes at a crucial point in the contested Senate race. Recent poll shows the two candidates are in a dead heat. As Brown has gained momentum in recent months—and with the Senate hanging in the balance--the race has drawn more money, a bombardment of political ads, and a bigger share of the national spotlight on the 2014 midterms.

While Romney has been crisscrossing the country campaigning for candidates this year, it's clear he's still not quite used to being the person introducing others on stage.

"Would you please welcome the next wife-," Romney said, catching himself as the crowd erupted in laughs. "Excuse me, no, no, the current wife, the current wife of the next United States senator, Gail Brown."

"I'm not sure what to do with that," Gail Brown teased as she took the podium.

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