With the presidential election still more than a year away, Republican hopeful Mitt Romney brought his campaign to Indianapolis Friday.
When Romney took the stage at the JW Marriot downtown, he promised he would create jobs, touted his business background and took plenty of shots at President Obama.
"This president does not understand how the economy works," Romney said. "I'm convinced that to create jobs, it helps to have had a job."
Romney is one of four GOP hopefuls to have accepted invitations to the Hoosier state. Herman Cain and John Huntsman have already visited Indianapolis to promote their platforms. Rick Perry, widely considered one of the front-runners for the nomination, will stop by next month.
Indiana Republicans said that's proof Indiana is shaping up to be a key battleground state.
"(The candidates) understand that it's important to start laying the roots of a grassroots campaign in this state now," said Indiana GOP spokesman Pete Seat. "A lot of pundits, and us included, are predicting that this nomination process could go through June. And with the May election here in Indiana, we could really end up crowning the nominee."
As the pressure mounts, Indiana Republicans are also keeping 2008 in mind, when they lost the state to Democrats. The Indiana GOP vows never to let that happen again.
"Like The Who said, ‘We don't get fooled again,' And we don't think Hoosiers will get fooled again," said Seat.
The Indiana Democratic Party responded to Romney's visit, saying:
"We welcome Mitt Romney to indiana. The question is which Mitt Romney the GOP faithful will see.
"Will it be the Mitt Romney who wanted our auto industry to go bankrupt, harming thousands of Hoosiers? The Mitt Romney who backed universal health care but now supports the Ryan budget to gut Medicare? The Mitt Romney who failed at job creation as governor and outsourced Hoosier jobs during his time as a CEO?
"Governor Mitch Daniels has said in recent interviews that he'd like to see other GOP candidates get in the field. Looking at Mitt Romney's record, it's no surprise why."