It was hyped as a “major policy speech” that Mitt Romney would deliver in his first visit to Iowa since the January 3 caucuses. While the speech lacked a great amount of details, it was widely hailed as one of the better speeches Romney has delivered during his many visits to the First-in-the-Nation state.
A crowd of more than 300 packed into the Hotel Fort Des Moines ballroom to greet the presumptive GOP nominee. Prominent Republicans such as former GOP Chairman Matt Strawn, former Governor Bob Ray and current Secretary of State Matt Schultz were among the attendees. Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds introduced Romney. The majority of the crowd was comprised of businessmen and women. They greeted Romney warmly and interrupted his 20-minute speech for applause on ten different occasions.
“A prairie fire of debt is sweeping across Iowa and our nation and every day we fail to act that fire gets closer to the homes and children we love,” Romney said. “This is not solely a Democrat or a Republican problem. The issue isn’t who deserves the most blame, it’s who is going to do what it takes to put out the fire.”
Just minutes later, Romney made it a point to place a large amount of the blame for the nation’s debt woes on the Obama administration. The GOP nominee-to-be painted Obama as much more left wing than the last Democrat president of our country, Bill Clinton.
“President Obama is an old school liberal whose first instinct is to see free enterprise as the villain and government as the hero,” Romney said. “America counted on President Obama to rescue the economy, tame the deficit and help create jobs. Instead, he bailed out the public-sector, gave billions of dollars to the companies of his friends, and added almost as much debt as all the prior presidents combined.”
Romney took several opportunities to jab President Obama for his failed policies. He also made is clear that, although he faced repeated criticisms about RomneyCare during the GOP primary, he is not afraid of making ObamaCare a target during the campaign.
“The President’s plan assumes an endless expansion of government, with costs rising and rising with the spread of Obamacare. I will halt the expansion of government, and repeal Obamacare,” Romney said to loud applause.
The Romney campaign hung a large banner on the stage. It read, “Cut the Spending”. That was overarching theme of his speech. He also ripped the inefficiencies of the federal government, with an amusing anecdote about cell phones.
“Imagine if the federal government was the sole legal supplier of cell phones. First, they’d still be under review, with hearings in Congress. When finally approved, the contract to make them would go to an Obama donor. They’d be the size of a shoe, with a collapsible solar panel. And campaign donors would be competing to become the all-powerful App Czar,” Romney said to laughter and applause from the crowd.
Romney capped off the day with two more dominating victories in GOP primaries. He took 70% of the vote in Nebraska. Ron Paul finished with 10 percent and in third place, behind Rick Santorum who garnered 14 percent despite dropping out more than a month ago. As of 1 am central time, Romney owned 73% of the vote in Oregon, with 63 percent of the precincts reporting.
Iowa is considered one of nine important swing states in the upcoming general election. Although we hold only six electoral votes, both campaigns believe those voters could make the difference between winning and losing. President Obama, Vice President Biden and their wives have all made campaign stops in Iowa over the past few months. Romney has a lot of work to do here, winning over the conservative GOP base, and the independents that will be necessary to emerge victorious in the Hawkeye State.
Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com
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