The Mitt Romney rally in West, which is being locally referred by some to be Ohio’s version of the Republican National Convention, has just begun.
“I think the excitement level is pretty high. This is like having the Republican National Convention come here,” Ohio State Representative Margaret Conditt said. “All of the speakers that we saw in Tampa are here, except for Clint Eastwood of course.”
This event does have Kid Rock, however, who is expected to perform musically and not show off his acting chops, which were depicted in movies like “Joe Dirt” and “Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector.”
While, Rock’s film career isn’t comparable to Eastwood’s, the overall guest list at West Chester’s rally is comparable with the party’s convention in August with the likes of 2008 Presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. John McCain, House Speaker John Boehner, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, Olympian Scott Hamilton and legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus.
Also in West Chester backing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, are their families. Romneys – Josh, Tagg (and Jen), Matt (and Laurie), Ben and Craig (and Mary) will support their dad along with wife Ann Romney; and Janna Ryan will be on hand to support her husband.
“The enthusiasm is just tremendous,” Butler County Republican chairman David Kern said while waiting for the event to start. “This is going to be the biggest event for Governor Mitt Romney and certainly by far exceeding what the President is drawing in. We are going to outdo him here.”
The consensus among local Republicans, the event is expected to attract 25,000 people and, in their opinion, proves that Southwest Ohio backs Mitt Romney.
“With 25,000 or 30,000 of our closest friends, I think this sends a clear message that Southwest Ohio is strongly in favor of electing a new President,” Ohio Senator Bill Coley said.
Local Republicans talk about the rally
Ohio State Representative Margaret Conditt
“This is the most important election in my lifetime. We cannot truly afford another four more years of an economic decline, military decline, morale decline – we can’t afford spending more than we are bringing in. We are already at a $16 trillion deficit and Obama added $6 trillion during his four-year term. If he had four more years, you would just expect more of the same and that will literally bankrupt our country, put the debt on our children and grandchildren and that it is immoral. That is just immoral. We cannot afford four more years.
“And Mitt Romney is a businessman who has turned around failing businesses and he can turn around our country. It is not too late.”
Ohio Senator Bill Coley
“This election is hugely going to turn on the new vision for the country and it is going to require Southwest Ohio to turn out in mass to carry the state of Ohio for Governor Romney. I think the campaign wanted an event here to kind of set the tone for the final 96 hours of the campaign.
“In my days as Senator I have been campaigning all over the state of Ohio for Republicans and, it is funny, it is drastically different than it was four years ago. The optimism that people had in the election of President Obama has turned into pretty solid disappointment around the state. That is why people are giving a close look to Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan. You can kind of sense a genuine excitement and enthusiasm about this campaign; and I think we are going to be successful.
“The biggest thing Mitt Romney brings is the ability to work on both sides of the aisle. Any way you look at it, he is going to be dealing with a House and a Senate where there won’t be large majorities of any party and you need a leader who has demonstrated ability to work on both sides of the aisle. With Romney being a Republican Governor of Massachusetts, a state where 85 percent of legislature was Democrats, the guy has that ability. With what we have seen, the White House, does not have the ability to work on both sides of the aisle. That is one of the big things.
West Chester Township Trustee George Lang
“This is huge, there will be over 25,000 people in attendance, this is not the biggest event that has ever taken place in West Chester in terms of size, we had a George W. Bush rally eight years ago that had 50,000 people, however I do feel this is the biggest event we have ever had in terms of importance to our country. I believe if President Obama is reelected, the Republic as we know it will be over.
“This is Boehner Country, and the Heart and Soul of the conservative movement. I believe that the Romney campaign wanted to save the best for last, the reason they picked West Chester is because we are proof that a smaller more limited government is what is best for America. As a township, we have a lower tax base, and simpler zoning and regulation codes that allow businesses to flourish and prosper by experiencing higher profits. This is similar with Mitt Romney’s vision and message for America.
“I am amazed at how our township staff has responded to this event, the planning and coordination that has taken place has been Herculaneum. The efforts of our police and fire departments, along with our entire administration led by our Administrator Judi Boyko has been amazing. Our public service workers are the best in the state, and I appreciate their efforts.”
Butler County Republican chairman David Kern
“There are people here that I have never seen at political rally before – the Independent, the unaffiliated – the people we are trying to recruit. Those are people are on our side in this election. It is huge.”
“This country has to make a decision and will make that decision this Tuesday if we want to remain a free Republic or a socialist nation along the lines of Europe – a second class nation.”
PHOTOS BY ADAM KIEFABER