MOLINE, Ill.—Mitt Romney just felt like chatting.
Just after wrapping up his final event in Iowa on day four of his five-day bus tour through battleground states, the Republican nominee briefly made an appearance in the back of his campaign plane to chat up reporters as he prepared to fly to his home state of Michigan for a final day of events.
"When we land, you'll look around and see all the trees are the right height," Romney joked, making fun of a line he frequently used while he was campaigning in Michigan during the GOP primary.
But Romney was cautious about his chances in the state, where polls show him in a close race with President Obama.
"Do I think I have a chance of winning? Who knows in these early stages, but I think Michigan is a state we can win," the Republican nominee said.
Asked what a win in the state would mean to him personally, Romney smiled and replied, "If I win in Michigan and then I become president, and that would mean a lot to me.
Romney seemed happy and full of energy after a nearly 12-hour day, which began with a morning rally in Wisconsin and ended 150 miles to the south with an event in Davenport, Iowa—just over the Illinois state line from here.
"What a fun day! What a great day!" Romney said.
He dodged a question on which event so far had been his favorite."That's an absolute no win question," Romney replied. But he insisted he had found all the events "exhilarating"—even as he also admitted he was glad the day was ending a little earlier than usual so he could "wind down."
"At a rally like that with all the hands you get to shake and all the things people say to you on the advice line, it's fun, it's exciting, and you're sort of wound up," Romney said. "Now, we'll sort of decompress a bit, do some reading."
The Republican nominee told reporters he is still reading "The Next 100 Years" by George Friedman, which he was first spied reading a few weeks ago during a campaign swing in Colorado, and a novel by mystery author Vince Flynn.
He told reporters he didn't agree with the Friedman book's premise, which, among other things, predicts a second Cold War with Russia.
"I must admit it's very hard for me to believe either that China is going to disintegrate or that Russia is going to disintegrate," Romney said. "It's always interesting to look at the perspectives of the people and think about what might happen. "
"That's not what I would anticipate," Romney continued. "But, you know, unconventional thinking is an interesting way to stimulate your thinking… But my own view is that I expect a strong China, I expect a strong Russia, and I expect a stronger America."