SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The opportunity was teed up perfectly.
Midway through Mitt Romney's town hall meeting here Thursday, a young man contrasted the former Massachusetts governor with the other Republican presidential candidates, who he said focus on "the vitriol, the hyperbole."
"We have a candidate who once thought the greatest problem plaguing the nation's schools was the movie 'Aladdin,' " the voter said. "We have another candidate, who the only thing he has to offer is a $9.99 pizza deal — I mean tax plan — and we have a candidate whose only claim to fame was that he shot a coyote as governor."
Would Romney, he wanted to know, "finally give the people of Iowa an alternative to that?"
This was Romney's moment to make the case that he is the substantive one, the electable one, to tell Republican voters that Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain and Rick Perry may be the candidates they love but that Mitt Romney is the president they need. And that that is why they should love him, too.