Monday, October 29th, 2012
By William Kincaid
Romney rallies rowdy GOP supporters
Romney in Celina
CELINA - Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can't lose.
That was the pithy mantra Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney used to whip a congested crowd at the Celina Fieldhouse into a farenzy on Sunday afternoon.
"That's how I feel about Ohio," Romney said.
Due to the approaching super-storm on the East Coast, Romney canceled a trip to Virginia and joined forces with running mate Paul Ryan to campaign in Ohio, which included a stop at the Celina Fieldhouse, nine days before the election.
Scores of supporters lined up early in the morning to secure a seat in the small gymnasium. Those who didn't make it into the fieldhouse filled the outside bleachers of the adjoining football field on the cold, gray Sunday afternoon, watching the rally on a giant screen. Ironically, it is now Romney who's running on a platform of fundamental change, as the GOP nominee promised to extend an olive branch and work with those Democrats in Washington willing to forgo partisanship for the greater good of the country.
"I got to make sure to reach across the aisle ... I know there's good Democrats who love America just like we do," he said.
He said he's been heartened after seeing large crowds of independents, some Democrats and lots of Republicans, enthusiastically coming together behind his campaign.
"They know this is a big election about big things," he said to an adoring crowd. "They recognize that we face enormous challenges as a nation, and we also have huge opportunities."
President Barack Obama's campaign has been reduced to smaller and smaller things such as focusing on Sesame Street characters and silly word games, Romney said.
"Frankly, an attack is not a campaign or an agenda," he said.
Different views on issues and life experiences brings forth energy and passion, he said.
"I believe this is a critical time where real change is needed, and the president believes we should just go along with the same," Romney said. "His campaign slogan is forward - forward on the same path. And I ask you 'Do you want four more years with 23 million Americans looking for a good job?' "
People in their 60s and 70s either retired or nearing retirement could be deprived treatment from medical specialists if Obamacare remains in place and siphons $716 billion from Medicare, Romney said, noting that half of the doctors in America polled said they would no longer accept new Medicare patients under Obamacare.
"When Paul Ryan and I are elected, we're going to repeal Obamacare and restore Medicare," Romney said to thunderous applause.
He also reach out to college students, telling them there will be jobs for them after graduation under his presidency. Those who will repay tens of thousands of dollars in student debt will be saddled with more debt under Obama.
"My generation and the politicians in Washington over the last years have been spending massively more than the country's been taking in and passing it on to you," he said. "In my view, this is not just back economics, it's immoral."
Romney noted the presence of elementary and high school students in the audience. Parents are anxious about the quality of their children's education, and if the schools are not doing well, they should be able to place their kids elsewhere, he said.
"Because the teachers' union makes the largest contributions to the Obama campaign and the Democrats, they don't like the school choice," he said. "They don't want parents to have that kind of choice."
Romney said he'd make sure all federal education funds go to the students and allow them to choose what school they want.
American families will be encumbered with more debt under Obama because of his spending and borrowing, he said.
"One thing we will not do is raise taxes on middle income Americans," he said, earlier noting that families will pay $4,000 more in taxes each year under Obama.
Middle income families have seen their revenue drop by $4,300 a year over the last four years, are paying $2,000 more annually for gas and much more for electricity and food, he said.
"People are being squeezed hard under the policies of this administration," he said, claiming that Obama has no plans to grow the economy.
Romney laid out the five points of his economic plan to the Celina audience: utilize domestic oil, natural gas and coal, which includes building a pipeline from Canada; open trade and crack down on countries stealing jobs unfairly; fix schools and training programs; balance the budget; and champion small business.
"I didn't just read about small business, I didn't just study it in school - I live small business," Romney said to a deafening roar. "I know what it's like to start a business."
His five-point plan will create 12 million jobs, he said.
Romney said while governing Massachusetts - once known as Taxachusetts - he cut taxes 19 times, made it a business friendly state and turned a $3 billion budget gap into a $2 billion rainy day fund all while working with mostly Democratic legislators.
Obama claims Washington can't be fixed from the inside, only from the outside, Romney said.
"We're going to give him that chance," he said. "I know they're chanting four more years, but we're chanting all over this country nine more days."
Americans want to live for something bigger than themselves, whether it be families, children, churches, communities, states or the nation, he said.
"I'm optimistic about the future - we're an innovative, hardworking, creative, can-do people," he said. "We've always risen to the occasion. I'm convinced this is part because of our patriotism and also because of the great qualities of the human spirit."
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