BEDFORD, N.H. — Mitt Romney framed the 2012 presidential election in a speech here Tuesday night as a choice between an “entitlement society” dependent on government welfare and an “opportunity society” that enables businesses to flourish.
Trying to sharpen the contrast between himself and President Obama, Romney delivered what his campaign billed as a closing argument as Republican voters prepare to select a nominee in Iowa and in New Hampshire. Romney looked past his GOP opponents to present a preview of the campaign he would wage in a general election with Obama.
“Even if we could afford the ever-expanding payments of an entitlement society, it is a fundamental corruption of the American spirit,” Romney said. “The battle we face today is more than a fight over our budget. It is a battle for America’s soul.”
Romney delivered a speech, complete with teleprompters, before more than 150 supporters inside the picturesque Bedford Town Hall. In his 13-minute address, Romney lamented the “invisible boot of government” that he warned would bring the country down. In Obama’s “entitlement society,” Romney said, “everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort and willingness to take risk.”