- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 13, 2012

ST. LOUIS — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ignored his Republican presidential rivals Tuesday as he asked Missouri voters to help him secure the party nomination and take on President Obama this fall.

Mr. Romney told a St. Louis crowd of about 400 that Mr. Obama is content with high deficits and high gasoline prices, and he repeated his promises to cut spending, create jobs and boost the military.

Mr. Romney did not refer directly or indirectly to his GOP rivals in his 15-minute speech under blue skies. He chose to spend the day in Missouri, which holds caucuses Saturday, rather than in Alabama and Mississippi, where Republicans were voting Tuesday. A Romney victory in either of those states could help solidify his claim as the likeliest nominee.

Romney seemed content to spend much of his time doing TV and radio interviews. His first of two planned public events Tuesday was scheduled to last 50 minutes in the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood. But he spoke only 15 minutes, took no questions, and began shaking hands and posing for photos with voters.

On Monday in Mobile, Ala., Romney made a final pitch to that state’s voters during an appearance with comedian Jeff Foxworthy. He jabbed Obama, saying the president has botched policy on energy, taxes, health care and other issues.

Mr. Romney’s schedule called for him to spend much of Wednesday and Thursday raising money in New York before traveling to Puerto Rico on Friday. Puerto Rico’s Republican primary is Sunday.



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