30,000 jam West Chester to hear Romney
WestChesterBuzz.com will count down the area’s top 12 stories of 2012 this month, concluding with West Chester’s most discussed topic of the year on Sunday, Dec. 30.
STORY POSTED NOV. 2, 2012
BY Cindi Andrews, Paul Kostyu and Adam Kiefaber
The presidential race returned to Ohio for the final push Friday (Nov. 2) as GOP challenger Mitt Romney held a massive rally in the Republican heartland north of Cincinnati and President Barack Obama cut a swath through central Ohio.
Romney spoke to a crowd of 30,000, according to West Chester Fire chief Tony Goller – making it the largest rally of the campaign, said Romney spokesman Chris Maloney.
“The question of the election comes down to this: Do you want more of the same or do you want real change?” Romney asked. “I promise change, and I actually have a record of achieving it.”
Both candidates are trying to make up for campaign time lost to super-storm Sandy and deliver their final arguments to voters before Tuesday’s election.
Obama, in his first Ohio trip since Sandy struck the East Coast, said in Lima on Friday afternoon that the policies of previous Republican administrations didn’t work.
“Ohio, we’ve tried our ideas and they work,” he said. “We’ve tried the other folks’ ideas. They don’t work. The eight years before I took office, we tried their ideas. What did we get? We got falling incomes, record deficits … and an economic crisis that we’ve been cleaning up after ever since.”
With less than four days before Election Day the race is too close to predict in several key states, including Ohio. The latest poll out Friday afternoon, by CNN/ORC International, shows Obama leading 50 percent to 47 percent in Ohio, well within the 3.5 percentage point margin of error.
Obama will make what’s almost certainly his last Cincinnati stop of the campaign at the University of Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Arena on Sunday evening, while Romney will be in Cleveland. And the candidates will campaign right down to the wire in Ohio – both have announced events in Columbus on Monday.
Kid Rock opened the Romney event, which also included appearances by a lengthy list of top Republicans, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sens. John McCain and Marco Rubio, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
“This is like having the Republican National Convention come here,” said Ohio Rep. Margaret Conditt of nearby Liberty Township. “All of the speakers that we saw in Tampa are here, except for Clint Eastwood, of course.”
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Romney noted that unemployment is higher than when Obama took office, although the final pre-election report, released Friday, showed 171,000 new jobs added in October. The Labor Department also revised August and September jobs numbers upward. The unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent in October, from 7.8 percent in September, as more workers re-entered the labor force.
“Candidate Obama promised to do so very much, but he has fallen so very short,” Romney said. “He was going to focus on jobs, then he focused on Obamacare, which killed jobs.”
Romney said that Obama asked voters to vote for revenge but “I ask the American people to vote for love of country.”
Obama actually said, “Voting is the best revenge.”
Romney also promised to bring bipartisanship to Washington.
“If I’m elected – no, when I’m elected – president, I’m doing to work with … men and women on both sides of the aisle who care about our country,” he said.
Obama visited Hilliard, Springfield and, lastly, Lima, which hasn’t hosted a sitting Democratic president since Harry Truman in 1948. In his first trip to Ohio since super-storm Sandy devastated the East Coast and prompted both campaigns to cancel rallies, he said the nation mourns those killed in the storm.
“No matter how bad things are, we’re in this together,” Obama said. “We rise and fall as one nation. That has guided this country for 200 years and the last four years.”
He told the crowd in Hilliard that Americans need a champion in Washington. He said the middle class, the poor and small business owners need a seat at the table.
“The folks at the very top of this country don’t need another seat at the table,” the president said.
“The people who need a champion are those whose letters I read every night. Cooks, waiters and cleaning staff at a hotel, they need a champion. The auto worker … now back in the plant, he needs a champion. Those kids dreaming of becoming scientists … or even president, they need a champion in Washington. We’ve come back too far to become faint-hearted.”