Romney under fire; NH primary draws near

Published On: Jan 09 2012 05:32:05 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 09 2012 06:49:49 PM CST
MANCHESTER, N.H. -

As the New Hampshire primary nears, the bulk of the arrows are aimed at frontrunner Mitt Romney.

But he's keeping his jabs on President Barack Obama, leaving the rest of the pack to try and catch up.

On the campaign trail, Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul hoped to enjoy breakfast at Moe Joe's diner in Manchester, N.H., but a crush of media inside and a circus-like atmosphere outside cut the visit short.

Followers like Christina Moulis were happy to just catch a glimpse.

Moulis told Local 2, "It's looking better for him every day. I love it."

The Libertarian at heart is gaining ground in New Hampshire with his wife, Carol, at his side.

KPRC Local 2 asked Carol Paul, "It's been a grueling campaign.  You guys are covering a lot of ground here. How's he holding up?"

She answered, "Wonderfully, wonderfully. He doesn't get to exercise as much as he wants to, but he'll get back to Texas and get on his bicycle."

Fellow Texan Gov. Rick Perry is a no-show, skipping New Hampshire to stump in South Carolina.

A Perry volunteer, Houstonian Neil Marathe, is now relegated to "political tourist."

Marathe said, "I think skipping New Hampshire generally does not bode well. History tells us that, so we'll see what happens."

With polls showing Romney and Ron Paul out in front, Gingrich is in attack mode, hitting the trail hard.  Rick Santorum, buoyed by Iowa, must keep the momentum going, while Jon Huntsman is just hoping to make his mark here.

The hunt for the nomination has proven to be the best free entertainment around for David Martel and his buddies.

He explained, "I drove up from Massachusetts this morning just to take in all the excitement. If you're a political junkie, where else would you go?"

The Secretary of State in New Hampshire is predicting a record turnout for Tuesday night's primary.

While Romney has been a clear leader, independents are known to turn things upside down here.

Even though the focus is on the Republican presidential candidates, the Secretary of State also predicts some 75,000 Democrats will cast their ballots in their party's primary.