Ron Paul, Mitt Romney campaign approaches contrast sharply in New Hampshire

MANCHESTER, N.H. — The contrasts between the campaigns of the Republican Presidential candidates likely to place one-two in the New Hampshire primary could not have been more apparent on the Monday night before the voting.

At Mitt Romney’s headquarters on Elm Street here, volunteers manned phone-banks urging likely supporters of the former Massachusetts governor to turn out tomorrow.  But down the same street, in front of the Radisson Hotel, backers of Ron Paul braved the Granite State’s winter night to wave banners and encourage passers-by to support the libertarian Republican tomorrow.  The Paul platoons did their encouraging with a backdrop of a fast-paced rap song dedicated to their hero.

Jim Merrill, Romney’s senior advisor in New Hampshire, voiced confidence to HUMAN EVENTS that his man would emerge on top Tuesday evening.  To the criticism of Romney’s remark Monday that he liked “to fire people” as evidence he was out of touch with working people, Merrill insisted that most voters knew that the former venture capitalist was talking about health care plans and not employees, that they wanted the choice of getting rid of a health care plan rather than having it forced on them.

The Paul supporters we spoke to on the street said they liked the Texas congressman because of his belief in the Constitution and, to a person, said they would support him if he decided to run in November as a third party candidate.  One of them, a U.S. Air Force veteran, told us he had voted “for George W. Bush in 2000 but that’s before I knew any better.”  A Manchester woman named Joan who is in medical billing said that she would back Paul or former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (who is seeking the Libertarian nod) because “both [Democrats and Republicans] lie to us.”