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Romney asks for votes, vows to restore eroding freedoms

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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, accompanied by his wife Ann, prepares to speak at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, Friday, April 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Friday called wife Ann his hero, then made his case for being elected in November, saying President Obama’s agenda is systematically taking away the freedoms of Americans.

“Instead of limited government, he's leading us toward limited freedom and limited opportunity,” Romney said at a National Rifle Association conference. “This organization is sometimes called a single issue group. And that is high praise when the single issue you're fighting for is freedom. I want to talk about this administration's assault on our freedoms. First our economic freedom, then our religious freedom and then our personal freedoms.”

Romney, the Republican Party’s likely nominee, said the November elections go beyond just picking a candidate.

“Americans will be making a profound choice - a decision which is much more important than just one person or one party,” he said “We will not just select the president who will guide us, we will also choose between two distinct paths and destinies for the nation.”

The Romneys appeared on stage together for the first times since Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Hilary Rosen suggested that Mrs. Romney, as a stay-at-home mother, was under-qualified to talk to women on the campaign trail about their concerns.

“She never worked a day in her life,” said Rosen on Wednesday night.

Romney has essentially said since then that raised five boys was her decision and that Americans should respect a woman’s choice to work, stay at home to raise children, or do both.

“This is a hero of mine,” Romney said in introducing his wife. “I happen to believe that all moms are working moms. And if you have five sons, your work is never over. My sweetheart, Ann Romney.”

Mrs. Romney praised “all moms” who are working.

“And by the way,” she said. “You know I often think that you're only as a parent, as happy as your saddest child.”