Commerce TownshipAugust 24, 2012
Romney, Ryan talk about economy in Commerce
By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer
By coincidence or not, a presidential candidate who professes an expertise on the economy came to a town called Commerce Aug. 24.
Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., rode their campaign bus to the Long Family Orchard, Farm & Cider Mill to declare themselves “America’s Comeback Team” while rallying supporters.
The Michigan stop came days before Romney’s expected nomination at the Aug. 27-30 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
During Romney’s speech, which took place shortly after noon, he shared stories of growing up in metro Detroit, attending Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills and meeting his wife, Ann.
“No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate,” he said. “They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”
During the rally, Romney and other Republicans frequently pounced on a quote by President Barack Obama — “You didn’t build that” — to create the impression that the president isn’t giving due credit to business owners for their accomplishments.
Romney also rattled off a list of data on the economy. He said 23 million Americans are out of work or struggling, and he pointed to a 15 percent U-6 unemployment rate, which includes underemployed Americans.
During his speech, Romney heralded an objective to create 12 million jobs and listed a five-point plan: energy independence, education, pro-American trade policies, a balanced budget and small-business friendly regulations. He also called for a repeal of “Obamacare,” a term for the president’s health care initiative passed in 2010.
“You’re going to see America charging back economically,” he said. “The world is going to be surprised.”
Ryan also spoke during the rally and lauded “the American system of liberty and free enterprise,” adding that no other system in Earth’s history has done more to help the poor. He also said his ticket offers America a clear choice against the current administration.
“We will not duck the tough issues,” he said. “We will lead.”
As Romney and Ryan spoke, a plane overhead flew a banner calling Romney a “wimp” and accusing him of dodging questions about Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin. Akin, a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, recently made remarks about pregnancy and so-called “legitimate rape” that were condemned by Democrats and repudiated by the Romney campaign and other Republican leaders.
Matt McGrath, the Obama campaign’s Michigan press secretary, said the airplane was definitely not deployed by the Obama campaign, and he had no idea who did it.
McGrath accused Republicans of taking Obama’s “You didn’t build that” quote out of context and criticized Romney for going “full-birther” due to his remark about the birth certificate.
“(Romney) is a candidate who has time and time again tried to appeal toward and run toward the most extreme element of his party,” he said.
McGrath also attacked Romney’s economic record as Massachusetts governor and said that his state ranked 47th out of 50 in job creation.
“Mitt Romney is a guy that has made his fortune as a corporate buyout specialist at Bain Capital,” he said. “He basically devastated communities by shipping jobs overseas and closing factories and bankrupting companies.”
Informal turnout estimates for Romney’s rally varied between 5,000 and 10,000, though Romney campaign spokeswoman Kelsey Knight said that 8,678 tickets had been given out for the event as of 10:30 a.m.
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