Here it is! Full video of Mitt Romney’s town hall meeting in Kalamazoo, Michigan held on the campus of Western Michigan University.
Mitt Romney is carrying a lot of momentum in Michigan as America’s attention is now turning to Michigan’s Primary on February 28th, 2012! Mitt is leading in the national polls by double digits, leads the delegate count about 100 to 30, Michigan endorsements continue flowing into his campaign, and Michigan polls are showing Romney sustaining a commanding lead among likely voters. We’re dealing with some serious Mitt-mentum in the Mitten state!
As the race for the GOP presidential nomination turns to Michigan, we will be seeing much more of the candidates very shortly. Gov. Romney’s campaign has already announced several campaign appearances throughout the state:
“GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is beginning to turn a more focused eye on Michigan. Romney’s campaign announced Tuesday a number of speaking engagements scheduled in the state a few days before Michigan’s primary on Feb. 28. His wife Ann is also slated to speak to supporters at least twice before her husband arrives for his appearances…
The campaign has announced a planned speaking engagement in front of the Detroit Economic Club on Feb. 24, to take place at Ford Field.
Romney’s wife is scheduled to make at least two appearances just slightly in advance of her husband’s. She is slated to appear at the Jackson County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day dinner on Feb. 20 and at the Ottawa County Republican Party luncheon in Hudsonville on Feb. 21, according to the Detroit News.
Former Rep. J.C. Watts is scheduled to appear with Ann Romney at the Jackson County event, according to MLive.”
According to media reporting the Detroit Economic Club speech was apparently previously scheduled for a hotel but tickets sold out so fast that the event was re-located to Ford Field!
Michigan’s GOP Chairman Bobby Schostak also weighed in on Mitt’s momentum in Michigan:
“I think that the Romney campaign will be successful in Michigan,” the state’s Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday. “I don’t see a scenario where they’re not.”
“It’ll be a fight,” he said, “and I think Romney will do well.”
Enthusiasm already appears to be building for the native son. As Schostak noted, a planned Romney speech to the Detroit Economic Club on Feb. 24 was moved from a hotel ballroom to Ford Field. The event, he said, “sold out in two hours.”
“Obama tries to take credit for the success of the automotive companies,” Schostak said. “Well, he had nothing to do with the styling or the engineering or the manufacturing” — features that he said have restored the auto companies to a “highly competitive” position.
Romney, on the other hand, could turn his opposition to the bailouts and support for a managed bankruptcy into an advantage, the Republican chairman said. He acknowledged that Romney’s GOP opponents, who were less outspoken on the issue, might seek to use it as a “talking point” against their rival.
“My sense is they just had less knowledge of it,” Schostak said. “Not being business backgrounds they would have less understanding of how the capital markets work in reorganization.”
The GOP chairman added that he was remaining “completely neutral” ahead of the Feb. 28 primary.”
Its coming down to crunch time here in Michigan, so be sure to sign up for a MyMitt account if you haven’t done so already and sign up for some calls from home shifts. Let’s keep this momentum charging forward and make February conclude with a Michigan win for Michigan’s native!
If you’ve been wondering what you can do to help Mitt, wonder no longer! Be a part of helping Mitt by taking part in America’s Calling, the National Call Day for the Romney campaign on Saturday, December 10th, 2011. You can sign up now for a shift! Here are the details from the official Mitt Romney website (emphasis added):
“Like you, I know that Mitt Romney is the right person to turn this country around. But he can’t do that without our help.With less than 30 days until voting begins, we’re asking for 30 minutes of your time.This Saturday, thousands of Mitt supporters will be making phone calls to voters in key early states using our simple online call-from-home system. Will you rise to the challenge and sign up for a 30-minute shift for National Call Day?We hear from a lot of you that want to help the campaign, but don’t know how – this is a great place to start. You will be instrumental in delivering Mitt’s message to voters that will be casting their ballots in just a matter of weeks.Join thousands of supporters from all 50 states that have already answered the call for help. Here’s how simple it is:1. Sign up for your 30-minute shift today.2. Watch our short, simple training video.3. Sign in on Saturday and make calls for Mitt!This election is too important to sit on the sidelines. America’s on the line – answer the call.” -Rich Beeson
Its been a busy and successful week for Romney and his campaign in Michigan, self included! So I thought I would share a few notes before I get to my Saturday community service and football. First, the debate performance by Gov. Romney was once again stellar. As for the other contenders, Speaker Gingrich ripped it up again, and the others, well, not so much. The debates are a great venue to see how our candidates perform under pressure and under a time crunch. America should expect quick thinking and high performance under pressure from our nation’s highest leader, and it was clear once again that Mitt Romney is one who can deliver on that expectation. I will spare dissecting the debate since anyone can watch the debate in full here. So instead, on to the campaign rally in Troy.
Supporters, media and the Troy marching band greeted Mitt and Ann at the Polish American Cultural Center in Troy, Michigan. There are several news articles and photos from the event you can check out, but I sadly forgot my own camera. However, since I was there I can share with you some of the speech that is not being reported in the copy-and-paste media circles. I transcribed most of it for your reading as it is a very good speech tailored for a Michigan audience that I think Michiganders will appreciate. Bolded emphasis is mine.
Ronna Romney McDaniel, Mitt’s niece, was the first to welcome the audience. Her son “Nash” (yes, named after the car), tells people at school how his uncle is going to be President some day. She also rallied the crowd at the idea of sending a Michigander to the White House!
Next was Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. ”Is everyone on duty here!?”
On stage with Ann, Mitt commented that “This is a campaign less about us, frankly, and more about you, and about the kind of America you’re going to receive…for us this is a time where we can spend time to make sure that we have an America that is strong and vibrant for you, that you can have an America that’s even more prosperous, and more secure than the America that we’ve enjoyed, and that’s really quite a high bar, and that’s what this campaign is about.”
“I love being in Michigan! You know I come back to Michigan and the trees are the right height, the grass is the right color this time of year…it just feels right. When Dad ran for Governor in 1962 I went in a little Ford van…and we went from county fair to county fair…I think that year we visited all 83 Michigan counties…and what a thrill to go across the state. I love the lake, I love the Great Lakes!.. There’s something special about lakes where you don’t get salt on you after you’ve been swimming, and there’s no seaweed, [audience member yelled out 'sharks!'], and you don’t have to worry about things eating you in the water…. So its great to be in Michigan again. We love this state. We love the people of this state…The thing that I love most about this state is the fact that I married the most beautiful wonderful person in the world from Michigan”
Next Ann took the mic. ”Its great to be home. Mitt & I have shared history here. I have family here…I love just putting up my hand and showing this is where my cottage was…Michigan was really great for us last cycle around…thank you Michigan…how grateful we are…for me and my family and all you that are here that are worried about America and are worried about the future of America…I believe in this country so completely, and recognize that America has a purpose in this world and we need to maintain that, and that’s why we’re doing this again.”
Mitt took the stage again. ”How many of you remember George Romney?..My Dad came here early in his career…He came to Michigan to get a job with the trade association, the Automobile Manufacturers Association. That was not working with any one company, instead it was working with all the companies…shortly after taking the job to work with them, the World War broke out and my Dad was tasked with being responsible with for helping coordinate the production of the various factories in Michigan to start building aircraft. They turned auto companies into airplane companies and they did it in a year! That’s an extraordinary thing. Dad then, after the war, was offered an opportunity to go over to take the reigns of a company called Studebaker-Packard. But he was also given the chance to go to a place called Nash-Kelvinator. That later became American Motors where they made Ramblers and then Jeeps and my Dad decided to go to the smaller company, the one that was in trouble, Nash-Kelvinator, because he thought it would have more opportunity. I remember asking him one day, ‘Dad, we make the best cars right?’…’Yeah’…’Um, then how come they sell so few?’ [audience laughs]…’and how in the world can you in this little company called American Motors compete with General Motors’ with the 60% of the market General Motors had. I think American Motors had like 5% or 4% or something like that. And his answer was this, he said, ‘Mitt, there’s nothing as vulnerable as entrenched success‘. Business, countries that become too complacent, too used to their success can sometimes fall asleep at the switch…its happened to countries around the world, it happened to businesses.
“Now we as nation have been so strong for so long that some in our nation have thought that we could just add more and more burdens on the American people and American industry and it would just be fine because this country is so strong. But they forget that we’re in a global competition, and that we face real challenges in the world, and that we can’t just sit back and assume that everything’s just fine. This President came in at a time when American was in crisis…
“I drove through parts of Detroit this morning. I was over in Grosse Pointe. It breaks my heart, I have to tell I you, to see the city the way I see it now. I remember Detroit as the pride of the nation, great jobs! Back in the 1950s Michigan had the highest income per person of any state in America. What a state this has been! We had technology, the innovation. Ann’s Dad, he came here to work for the auto industry. His schooling was at the General Motors Institute of Technology. So I see what’s happening and it just tears at my heart, because I know what this city can be, and was, because I saw it then. And I know what this country is headed towards if we take the policies that we’ve seen for the past three years and continue them time and time again…and don’t want to see the nation follow down the path that Detroit has gone down, but the same policies that you’re seeing that were so misapplied here in Detroit could well take this country in that kind of direction.
“I watched our President come in at a time of crisis. And you know he had no experience. He’d never run anything in his life. He’d never worked in the private sector. And he came in and put in place a whole series of policies…and almost everything he did made it harder for this economy to turn around, in part because he didn’t know how to run an economy. I think to create jobs it helps to have had a job. You look up a list of things he did and ask yourself, ‘Did this help get our economy going?” Did threatening to raise taxes on businesses help get this economy going? [Audience responds 'No!']. Did Obamacare with a massive federal takeover of health care, did that help get the economy going? [Audience shouts 'No!'] Did Dodd-Frank with all sorts of financial regulations help get banks to get more loans? [Audience shouts 'No!'] How about the threat of cap and trade, saying we’re going to raise the cost of energy, did that encourage people to invest in America? [Audience shouts'No!'] And then deficits, let’s see, about $1.6 trillion $1.5 trillion in the first year, $1.2 or $1.3 trillion this year. Do you think people are more interested in investing in the future in America because of those deficits? [Audience shouts 'No!'] …I think you guys are right! The things he did, almost without exception, made it harder for this economy to turn around.
“And the one I stopped with there was deficits. Do you realize if we keep spending a trillion dollars or more a year more than we take in that at some point we’re going to reach Greece, or at some we reach Italy. I don’t know whether that’s two years, or five years or ten years, but anywhere down the road is unacceptable to me. We can’t keep spending more money than we take in. We’ve got to cut federal spending, cap it, and make sure we balance our budget, and I will get that job done! [Audience cheers].
“Now every four years, you listen to politicians in both parties tell you that they’re committed to balancing the budget, and then they get into office and something very different happens. Its frustrating. And I don’t know whether it’s because they spent too long in politics and there’s such a big gap between their promises and their deliverables, but I do know this: I have very specific plan that will balance our budget, I’m going to cut spending, and I’m going to cut about $500 billion a year, I’m going to make sure to get spending as a percentage of the economy from 25 that it is today down to 20, and how do I do that? Three big ways.
“Number one, I’m going to cut programs. [Applause]. Now there are some that are easy to cut by the way. The easiest is Obamacare, I’m going to get rid of Obamacare. [Loud applause]. But by the way, there some programs I like, and that you like, that I’m going to cut. And you might say, ‘Why cut programs that you like?’ Well the question goes back to these guys with the uniforms on [pointing at the Troy High School marching band], which is I’m going to ask this, for each program we have in the government, I’m going to ask ‘Is this program so essential, so critical, that its worth borrowing money from the Chinese to pay for it, knowing that we’ll never pay it back in our generation but they [referencing the Troy high schoolers again] will have to pay it back? Is it that important?’ So for instance, I like the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, Amtrak, and the list goes on and on. I like these things. But I’m not willing for me to borrow money from someone else and make them pay for it to have those programs. I’m going to cut those programs out.
“Now there are programs I think we have to have, but I think they’re better run at the state level than at the federal level…Do you know how many workforce training programs we have at the federal government level? 47 different programs and they report to nine different federal agencies and departments. I’m going to take all of those, take the money that comes from it, think of the overhead that goes with it, all this overhead…I’m going to take that pot of money and all those programs and I’m going to return that money to the states and tell the states you can craft one program that works for your own people, and we can save all the overhead and all the government bureaucrats that are trying to run it from Washington, and let the people in Michigan to have their own program and job training that trains people for jobs that Michigan needs. Get programs back in the states. [Applause].
“And the third thing is I’m going make the government that stays in Washington more efficient, more productive…
“Now finally, I’m asked from time to time, ‘How is it that you think President Obama has made so many mistakes?’ How could it be that what he’s done on the economy has failed on almost every dimension, and in fact right now he’s asking if he can do some more of the same? He wants to borrow another almost $500 billion for another stimulus. That first one didn’t work, why do the same thing again?
“I’m convinced that he takes his political inspiration, if you will, from the social democrats of Europe that believes that rather than free people choosing their course in life, that what you want is a government guiding the economy and guiding people’s lives. That smart people at the capital know better than the American people how to live. Now I don’t think Europe is working in Europe! I sure as heck don’t think its going to work in America! I believe in America. I believe that we got it right and they got it wrong. [Audience cheers].
“I hope you recognize the extraordinary brilliance and inspiration of the founders of this country. They gave us something which was revolutionary. The idea that instead of the government being sovereign, or the king being the sovereign, that the citizen would be sovereign. That concept, the idea that every individual was endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. These ideas changed the world. They gave us political freedom. They also gave us something known as economic freedom. Not just that we choose who would represent us in Lansing and in Washington, but also our right to choose our course in life. We’re free to do what we want to do with our lives. We’re given opportunity to reach for our dreams. And those two freedoms brought people from all over the world here.
“We’re in the Polish American Center, what an extraordinary facility this is. [Audience applause]. You are most, your parents or their parents, we’re brought here because of freedom. Political freedom. Economic freedom. [Audience member says 'The American Dream']. The American Dream. The American Dream is built upon freedom. Economic and political. I love America, I love American freedom, I love America’s opportunity, I love our constitution. I love the fact that states get to compete with each other, and learn from one another…
“When I was a kid, my Mom read to us from a book. It was called Men to Match my Mountains. It was stories about men and women who had built this great country. The title of the book was taken from a poem written by a New Jersey poet. I read the first four lines, and even I can learn four lines. [Audience laughter]. It goes like this, it says:
‘Bring me men to match my mountains,
bring me men to match my plains,
men with empires in their purpose,
and new eras in their brains.’
“Empires in their purpose. When Ann’s Dad went to General Motors Institute of Technology, his idea was he’s start his own company some day. He had an empire in his purpose. When your moms and dads came from all over the world to this place they came with empires in their purpose and new eras in their brains. They had a new life, a new civilization…
“I had a chance, just a few months ago in England, I saw some leaders in the country there, the former Prime Minister, current Prime Minister, other leaders. One of them said, ‘Mitt, if you’re lucky enough to be elected President of the United States, and you go from nation to nation, there will inevitably be people who are critical of America. But don’t ever forget this: The one thing we all fear the most is a weak America. American strength is the best ally peace has ever known.’
“We need a strong America. I will make America strong again, keep America strong and the hope of the Earth, God Bless America, God Bless the people of Michigan, thank you so much!” [Loud audience applause and cheering].
Welcome home Gov. Romney! Tonight is debate night in Michigan at Oakland University and Mitt Romney is here. Don’t forget to watch the debate tonight at 8 p.m. broadcast on CNBC. The Detroit Free Press has posted some notes on how you can watch the debate. Options are CNBC or WDIV Channel 4 at 8 p.m., and it will be rebroadcast at 1:35 a.m. Thursday.
On Thursday afternoon Mitt Romney will be holding a campaign rally at the Polish Cultural Center in Troy and he has invited supporters to come. Check out the following event page on Facebook for more details and to RSVP: Rally with Mitt Romney
Gov. Romney penned an op-ed today addressing the struggling economy and stating that President Obama has failed Michigan. The following are some key excerpts:
On Wednesday night, Republican presidential candidates will gather in Michigan for another debate. All of us taking part are acutely aware that unemployment there remains over 11 percent. In Detroit, the city of my birth, far higher joblessness has brought a great city to the edge of ruin. There will be no one on that stage this week more pained by Michigan’s struggles than I am.
Michigan is not alone. In eight other states, unemployment is over 10 percent. In Florida the unemployment rate is 10.6 percent. In Nevada it is 13.4 percent. At the national level, joblessness has been stuck over 8 percent for 33 consecutive months, the longest such spell since the Great Depression.
This is not the way things should be. Tens of millions of Americans should not be out of work, worrying about paying their bills and losing their homes. We should not have to talk about our 21st century economy—the economy of advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and information technology—in the same breath as the soup kitchens of the 1930s.
President Obama inherited an economy in crisis. He proceeded to make it worse. He recently put forward yet another jobs plan, or at least a jobs plan is what he calls his proposal. In fact, it’s just another budget-busting stimulus bill. Even members of his own party won’t back it…
I’ve spent 25 years in business. I led an international consulting firm through difficult times to growth and success, led a financial services business from start-up to prominence, and led the turnaround of a Winter Olympics to world acclaim. I know what it means to meet a payroll. I know why businesses hire people, and why they become forced to lay them off.
Fixing our national problems promises to be a far more difficult challenge than any I have encountered. But we have no choice than to move in the direction of making government simpler, smaller, and smarter. We certainly cannot continue on a path that has loudly promised hope and change but has delivered only grim comparisons with the 1930s.
You can read the full op-ed here. The “simpler, smaller and smarter” approach Gov. Romney proposes includes tax reforms, government spending cuts, regulatory reforms, and implementing policies that bolster American competitiveness in the global market. These details can be read in full in his business plan for American jobs and the economy.
Romney’s visit to Michigan was greeted by Democrats alleging Romney turned his back on the auto industry and would have let Detroit fail if he were President because he called on the President to implement a managed bankruptcy process for the automakers. That’s a strange accusation to make against someone like Romney. Last time I checked it was Romney’s father who was the one who saved a Detroit auto company and served as the spokesperson for the American automobile industry, Mitt drives cars from Detroit because of his loyalty to American automakers, and President Obama actually took Mitt Romney’s advice to rescue GM and Chrysler by conducting a managed bankruptcy instead of continuing on with government handouts (of course the President won’t admit this). Had President Obama listened to Mitt Romney from the start, we taxpayers would have billions more dollars in our collective fund *and* the American auto companies would have been further ahead in their recovery process. These accusations coming from some Democrats are typical of the kind of opportunistic gaming in politics that all voters should shun. The Romney family, Mitt included, have been some of the most loyal, vocal and supportive people to the US automaker’s cause.
It would seem that if the people of Michigan wanted our President to be someone who would support Michigan and our American automakers, they would opt for someone born in Detroit, who grew up with the example of a father who rescued American Motors and worked tirelessly for Michigan’s growth, who is a proven leader in the business world having rescued numerous companies and the Olympics in the past, and who has effective plans for making American manufacturers competitive in the global market. The other option is someone from Chicago, who has never led an organization as an executive ever in his life, and who has been largely responsible for implementing policies that have perpetuated Michigan’s unemployment while breaking his administrations promise to keep unemployment below 8% (still in double digits in Michigan today) if we followed his lead (and we did and look where we’re at). It would seem that we wouldn’t opt for a President who has already failed Michigan.
If you’ve been wondering what you can do to help Mitt, wonder no longer! Be a part of helping Mitt by taking part in America’s Calling, the National Call Day for the Romney campaign on Saturday, October 15th, 2011. You can sign up now for a shift! Here are the details from the official Mitt Romney website (emphasis added):
“This is your call to action. Mitt needs your help!This Saturday, October 15th, we are launching a nationwide initiative to contact voters in key early states. Supporters, like you, are able to make phone calls from home, making it much easier for Mitt’s message to spread.Will you sign up for a shift today? http://mi.tt/americas-callingRecently, Mitt said, “This is America’s moment. We should embrace the challenge, not shrink from it, not crawl into an isolationist shell, not wave the white flag of surrender, nor give in to those who assert America’s time has passed.”If you agree with the message and you’re ready to embrace the moment, join us Saturday.We need you to rise to the challenge and help voice Mitt’s message. My hope is that, next Saturday, you convert your home into your very own call center and dial for Mitt. America is Calling - Will you answer the call?“
Mitt Romney is coming to Michigan later this month! He will be at Mackinac Island to speak at the 29th Biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference to be held 23-25 Sep 2011. Here is an intro to the conference from the Michigan GOP website:
“Since 1953, Michigan Republicans have gathered every two years at historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island to discuss ideas, to learn how to articulate the Republican message and to interact with fellow Republicans from across the state—and the country. The Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference has become one of the premier republican events in the Midwest.
We hope you will join us for the 29th Biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, on September 23-25, 2011.”
A tentative agenda has been posted here. Gov Romney is scheduled to speak Saturday, Sep 24th, from 7-8:30pm. Other speakers include Gov’s Snyder, Perry, Congressman McCotter, & Lt Gov Calley. Should be a great time! My wife & I visited Mackinac & the Grand Hotel before the busy tourist season started this year, so we can vouch that if you’ve never spent time on this historic island you are totally missing out! We loved the bike ride around the island, our hike up to Arch Rock, and that yummy fudge! Hope to see a lot of Michiganders for Mitt up there, come on up!