On the eve of the state Republican caucuses, presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a raucous Bellevue crowd that it was time for a president that fights for small government, and more individual opportunities. The former Massachusetts governor centered his message on President Barack Obama, without mentioning his fellow Republican opponents in this year’s hard-fought primary.
He decried the president’s actions primarily on economic issues, such as job creation, tax rates and the national debt.
“This guy is out of ideas, and he’s out of excuses, that’s why in 2012, we’re going to get him out of office,” Romney told an enthusiastic crowd of supporters at the Highland Community Center.
The Friday morning rally drew more than 2,000 people, with many of them unable to see Romney in his main speech. He held a second overflow speech to talk to these supporters, as well. Lines stretched for blocks before the doors opened, with chants of the candidate’s first name breaking out repeatedly, and spontaneously.
Romney was joined by supporters Dino Rossi, talk show host Michael Medved, and U.S. Congresswoman Cathie McMorris Rodgers. The other speakers complimented Romney on his record, and posited that he was the only Republican candidate capable of winning the General Election.
“Through all the highs and lows of this campaign, and all the other candidates having their time in the sun and fading, this guy Mitt Romney stands tall today,” McMorris Rodgers said. “He is the last and final front-runner in this race.”
Romney touched on a number of points he discussed at a previous appearance at Microsoft, earlier this year. If elected, Romney said he would focus on building more international trade agreements to help boost sales of Washington products, such as software and airplanes. He promised to cut taxes, and put a hold on “Obama era regulations.” Romney said he would personally go through the list of thousands of government programs, one by one, and decide whether or not to keep them based on the question, “Is it worth borrowing from China to pay for it?”
Romney is nearing a crucial point of a packed Republican primary. Following the state caucuses, Super Tuesday, with 10 states casting their votes, may decide the nominee. Romney, who is at times overshadowed by more extreme candidates, kept his message about the November election rather than the tight primary he is embroiled in. He further lambasted the president for presenting unbalanced budgets, and trying to cut defense spending. He worried that Obama’s foreign policy was based more on playing nice than enforcing order.
“A strong America is the best ally peace has ever known,” he said.
The majority of the crowd were firm Romney supporters. The odd Ron Paul sign could be found from time to time as well.
Frank Lloyd of Sammamish counts himself as a Newt Gingrich supporter. He believes Gingrich is “a solution guy,” but Lloyd wasn’t sure if he had a chance to win. So he and his wife, sporting a sign that reads “Washington loves Mitt,” wanted to check out the potential GOP candidate.
“We just wanted to get an up close and personal look.”