ARBUSTIS, Md. — Leading Republican candidate Mitt Romney Wednesday greeted an overflow crowd of several hundred people outside Dewey Lowman American Legion Post 109 in Arbutus.
President Obama's poll numbers are hurting because "Americans are hurting," Romney said to the cheering crowd. "Let's make sure that come election day, he is out of a job."
Inside the hall, a capacity crowd waited patiently for Romney to make his appearance.
"It's an honor to have the Republican nominee come here," said Stephanie Bagley of Timonium, who sat in the front row along with her husband, Mike, and their daughter, Danielle.
"We're huge supporters of Mitt Romney," she said.
"This is one of the few times Maryland Republicans can come out in public," said Mike Bagley.
The line outside the Dewey Lowman post began forming at around 11 a.m.
Merle Martin, of Frederick County, MD, said that she drove more than an hour to Arbutus to attend Romney's town hall.
Describing herself as undecided but leaning toward Romney as her choice, Martin said that she came to experience the political process first-hand.
"I enjoy the process--to see it and be part of the political process," she said. "It's exciting."
Romney, wearing blue jeans and a checked dress shirt with the cuffs rolled up, worked the supportive crowd with apparent ease.
"Arbutus," he said after taking the microphone from former Gov. Robert Ehrlich. "I don't think I've ever been here before."
Sticking to a theme of economics and the hardships felt on American families, Romney told the crowd assembled in Arbutus that he intends to repeal Obamacare and eliminate regulation that he said is stifling the nation's economic growth.
"I see our president attacking economic freedom," Romney said. "He doesn't know what he's doing. He attacks ecomomic freedom by making it difficult for banks to stay in business and lend."
Romney said that the campaign trail has allowed him to meet families across the country.
"I become more encouraged and more optimistic as I meet everyday Americans," he said. "I get the chance to see people across the country that love America and are doing things that make their lives better. I am also however weighed down by some of the troubles folks are having."
Noting that the median income has dropped in the last decade, Romney said that "these are trying times in America."
"I look at what he’s done in his almost three and half years in his office and I just shake my head," he said. "Virtually everything he’s doing is making it harder in this economy for people to get back to work. I say that because I understand what it is that fuels this economy; it’s freedom, economic freedom."
After the forum, Lutherville resident Leigh Erlandson said that she is more convinced than ever that Romney is her candidate for President in 2012.
"He's the voice of reason," she said. "The press needs to share his message about bringing people together."