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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to local supporters at Wrigley Mechanical in Fargo, N.D. on Thursday, March 01, 2012. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

Romney holds up ND as a shining example during Fargo campaign stop

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Romney holds up ND as a shining example during Fargo campaign stop
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

In a brief campaign stop here this morning, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney railed on the Democratic policies of President Obama, while emphasizing North Dakota's prosperity and Oil Patch as a shining example of what the rest of the nation could be under Republican leadership.

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"This is a president who does not understand energy. He is the problem, he is not the solution; It's time to get him out of office," Romney said to cheers from the 300 supporters gathered in Fargo's industrial park.

Romney also unveiled a major endorsement at his Fargo stop.

Oil man Harold Hamm told GOP supporters he officially backs Romney's bid for president and will also lead Romney's Energy Policy Advisory Group.

Hamm is founder and CEO of Continental Resources, which is the largest stakeholder in North Dakota's Oil Patch. The company leases more than 900,000 acres.

"I am proud to support Mitt because I believe he is the only candidate with the private-sector experience that we so desperately need in Washington," Hamm said.

After a 20-minute speech, in which Romney talked about growing jobs, the economy, foreign policy and energy, the presidential candidate took a few questions from supporters.

Following his appearance, Romney worked the crowd for several minutes, shaking hands and signing autographs for audience members near the stage.

North Dakota's economic success in contrast to the nation's recovery highlighted the morning's event.

Helping to introduce Romney against the backdrop of his father's business, North Dakota Lt. Gov Drew Wrigley showcased Fargo-based Wrigley Mechanical as a successful example of a job-creating industrial business here.

"We consider this sacred ground, a place for job creation and the future," Wrigley said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541

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