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Romney pushes 'strong America' idea in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa — Newly declared presidential candidate Mitt Romney brought his message of the need for innovation in government to a small but enthusiastic crowd in Iowa this afternoon — just hours after leaving Michigan where he formally entered the 2008 race.

Romney continued to push his idea of a "strong America" and his own characteristics to help the country get there. He stressed his experience as a businessman, Massachusetts governor and work on the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City as proof that he can turn the country around.

"This is not a time for more talk and dithering in Washington, it's a time for action," Romney said.

It was a speech almost identical to the one he gave in Michigan although he tailored it slightly for Iowa voters, including references to the piles of snow from a storm that hit Monday night.

"It may be cold outside but it sure is warm in here," Romney told Iowans.

Romney said America needs to remain in Iraq and supports President Bush's plan to send more troops there to insure stability in the Middle East.

He stressed the important of the American family, "with marriage before children, with a mother and father in the life of every child." He also said he wants reliable, portable and affordable healthcare for Americans.

"This was the agenda I pursued as Governor of Massachusetts," Romney said. "This is the agenda I will pursue if elected President."

Romney heads back to Michigan tonight for a fund-raiser and then continues his stump to South Carolina and New Hampshire on Wednesday.