NASHUA — Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney took aim at Democratic rivals on Sunday, calling them all unprepared to lead the country and comparing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's economic plan to that of Socialist Karl Marx.
"Our government employs more people and spends more money than any other enterprise I know of in the world. ... It would be helpful to have a person leading the country who understands how the economy works and has actually managed something," Romney told reporters after a GOP fundraiser.
"In the case of the three Democratic front-runners, not one of them has managed even a corner store, let alone a state or a city."
It was a central theme of Romney's day while campaigning in the early voting state. He blasted Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards.
"The Democrats are talking about change. I don't think they represent the change we want," he told the crowd.
Romney, who has gained in early state polling and leads in New Hampshire, in recent weeks has focused his criticism on Democrats instead of rival Republicans.
It's a strategy he hopes will help him maintain leads over Sen. John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in early states' polls.
Last week, he used an appearance in Colorado to criticize Obama's support for sex education programs for students as young as kindergarten. He repeated that attack Sunday.
"My view is the amount of sex education that is appropriate is absolutely zero," Romney said.
Romney's remarks played to his party's base, decrying single motherhood and big government.
"We need our kids to understand that before they have kids, they get married," Romney told the crowd to cheers.
Romney said the approach wasn't accidental.
"This was a Republican luncheon," Romney told reporters after the event. "This was not a Romney rally. I wanted to focus on the Democrats. By and large, the best way to further my interest is to let people know what I would do and to distinguish that from what the Democrats would do."
His prime target was Clinton.
"Hillary Clinton just gave a speech the other day about her view on the economy. She said we have been an on-your-own society. She said it's' time to get rid of that and replace that with shared responsibility and we're-in-it-together society," Romney told the crowd. "That's out with Adam Smith and in with Karl Marx."
He also repeated his criticism of Sen. John Edwards.
"To have someone like Sen. Edwards stand up and say there's not a war on terror, that it's a Bush bumpersticker" is unacceptable, he said. "There is a war being waged by the terrorists. If I or any other Republican president is running this country, there will be a war waged on the terrorists."
He again repeated Obama's health care plan.
"Barack Obama said we're going to have to have the government take over health care. He at least had the integrity to say he wants to raise your taxes," Romney said. "The right answer is not a government takeover, it's not socialized medicine. It's not Hillarycare."