CUYAHOGA FALLS — Mitt Romney, boosted by a big post-debate bounce in the polls, radiated confidence Tuesday night as he encouraged supporters filling the parking lot of the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium.
“At President Obama’s rally today, they chanted four more years, four more years,” Romney said. “And today, there’s four more weeks before the election. I think the chant ought to be four more weeks, four more weeks.”
The crowd responded: “Four more weeks; four more weeks.”
Romney was accompanied on his swing through Ohio by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
But before they took the stage, local GOP officials prepared the way.
U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci rallied the crowd to support “The Three R’s” —Romney, Ryan and Renacci.
Renacci, a Wadsworth resident, said he was proud to be an early backer of Romney, calling for his nomination a year ago near the start of the primary campaign.
“I said that because — believe me after spending 23 months in Washington — I knew we were not going in the right direction,” he said. “I also knew that we needed somebody who understands what it means to balance a budget, understands what it means to make a payroll, understands what it means to get the economy running again, and that’s what Gov. Romney will do.”
Renacci encouraged those in attendance to get out and vote a straight Republican ticket. He specifically called for support of Josh Mandel’s bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.
“We have 28 days to seal the deal, we have 28 days to change the direction of our country,” Renacci said.
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman also spoke at the rally, along with Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
Taylor said that while Ohio is better off in the two years since she and Gov. John Kasich were elected in November 2010, the rest of the country is not.
After saying she was worried about the 23 million Americans still looking for a job, she paused to thank someone in the crowd who shouted, “Unemploy one more.”
“That was a good one,” she said.
Christie took the stage just before Romney spoke.
The outspoken governor, who was a featured speaker at the Republican National Convention, said he was shocked by the Democratic National Convention.
“When I hear that much BS I get lightheaded,” he said.
He cited a video that aired during the convention that said, “Government is the only thing we all belong to.”
“We don’t belong to government, the government belongs to us,” Christie said.
Romney took the stage and drew sharp lines between his and the president’s positions on several issues.
“This is a president, who, if re-elected, will put in place ObamaCare,” Romney said. “We can’t afford that. I will repeal it and replace it with other things.”
He also pledged to continue defense spending at least at current levels.
“You’re going to see him cut the military, hundreds of billions of dollars more,” Romney said. “I will not cut our military; we can keep our military.”
Romney also pledged to keep taxes low for small businesses and balance the budget.
“In my view, we have a moral responsibility to stop spending more money than we take in,” he said. “If I’m president, I will get us back on track to finally having a balanced budget.”
There was one thing Romney and President Obama agree on — they both encourage early voting.
“I want you to make a commitment to me,” Romney said. “I want you to go out there and find someone who voted for President Barack Obama and get them to come and join our team.
“This is a time we have to come together and take back America. We’re going to do it. Ohio’s going to elect the next president.”
Contact Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.