Romney visits Dubuque and undecided voters - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Romney visits Dubuque and undecided voters

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Republican presidential nomination candidate Mitt Romney speaking Monday in Dubuque Republican presidential nomination candidate Mitt Romney speaking Monday in Dubuque
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

A stop in Dubuque marks Republican presidential nomination candidate Mitt Romney's fourth visit to Iowa in 2011.

A crowd of about 100 people turned out to hear the former Massachusetts governor speak at Giese Manufacturing in Dubuque. People ranged from outright Romney supporters to those still shopping around for their Republican candidate pick.

Dubuque woman Marilyn Duda fell into the latter category.

"I'm interested in seeing Mitt Romney firsthand," she said. "I lived in Michigan when his father was governor there, and he did a good job, but I'm not so sure the next generation is as prepared to lead as his father might've been, so I'm here to learn more."

Dubuque man Wayne Coursey said he's looking for specific values in a candidate.

"You know, I'm not even really a Republican. I'm kind of for America, I'm for the Constitution, and I'm for whoever is really for those ideals," he said.

Romney greeted the crowd upon his arrival in Dubuque. He said it's a city in which he saw much support while campaigning for the same spot in 2008.

"Good to be here with you today and say, 'hi' to some friends in Dubuque. You guys were helpful for me last time around. I expect you're going to be helpful to me this time as well. Planning on it," Romney said, to applause.

He told the crowd he would work to cut $500 billion in federal spending by the end of his first term as president by eliminating what he called unnecessary programs.

"I mean, I like the National Corporation for Public Broadcasting. I like the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities," Romney said. "These are wonderful things, but I'm not willing to borrow a billion dollars to pay for things we don't absolutely need."

He said he has a way of discerning those programs.

"My test for the federal government is this: Is this program so critical, so important, that it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it, knowing that I and my generation can't possibly pay it back, but we're going to pass it on to our kids and our grandkids?" Romney said.

It was a message that resonated with listeners such as Dubuque man Tim Kunkel.

"I like the idea of having a smaller and smarter and more efficient government," Kunkel said. "I really like the idea of having someone who's ran a business and knows how to balance a budget."

Kathy Williams and her husband attended Romney's speech.

"We're both Republicans and we came to see what he had to say today," she said. "I was very impressed with what he had to say. I really enjoyed it, and I think, I believed him. I believed him. That's very important."

Romney completed this Iowa visit with a stop in Davenport.

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