Romney campaign comes to Delaware
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 02:04
WILMINGTON, Del. — Less than 12 hours after his closest competition in the Republican presidential nomination race dropped out of the contest, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was asked if he was already considering a running mate for the 2012 U.S. presidential election during a Delaware campaign stop on April 10.
“We’ll begin thinking about that at some point,” Romney said. “But I can’t tell you when and I can’t tell you who because we haven’t made those decisions yet.”
Romney spoke to a crowd of approximately 300 supporters at R.C. Fabricators, a Wilmington steel fabrication plant, where he acknowledged former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s announcement that he leaving the GOP presidential race. The former governor has currently collected approximately 684 delegates, more than half of the required 1,143 needed to win the party’s nomination at the Republican National Convention in August.
Romney criticized President Barack Obama and Democrats while avoiding direct criticism of his opponents in the Republican primaries. He criticized Democrats for accusing Republicans of waging a “War on Women,” by claiming that 92.3 percent of those who have lost jobs since the incumbent president took office were women, a statistic that U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geither claimed was false.
“The real ‘War on Women’ has been the job losses as the result of the Obama economy,” Romney said.
He also spoke about decreasing the federal government’s involvement in the private sector by lowering taxes on businesses, which he said will boost the economy and create jobs.
“What [Democrats] don’t understand is that the economy is nothing but the addition of all the businesses of America together—that’s what makes the economy,” Romney said. “Saying you don’t like business is like saying that you like omelets but don’t like eggs.”
He also said he would try to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare, and other legislation passed under the Obama administration.
“I’m not going to replace it with nothing,” Romney said. “We’re gonna work piece by piece to find ways to bring the cost of health care down so it’s more affordable.”
Numerous local Republican politicians attended the campaign stop, including former Delaware Gov. and U.S. Rep. Mike Castle. His opponent in the party’s 2010 primary, Christine O’Donnell, who unseated the incumbent politician, also attended the event and said she was pleased with Romney’s speech.
O’Donnell said many of her supporters who were unsure about voting for Romney during the Republican primary on April 24 reacted positively to his message during the campaign stop. She said it was important that moderate and conservative Republicans consolidate their support for Romney.
“We invited a lot of people who said they were still on the fence and I asked them afterwards and many people were impressed,” O’Donnell said.
Sophomore Josh Hoveln, president of the College Republicans, attended the event and said he was particularly pleased with Romney’s criticism of Obamacare and his pledge to discontinue it.
Hoveln said he thinks it’s important for moderate and conservative Republicans to begin consolidating their support for Romney, citing the numerous losses of U.S. Senate seats to Democrats during the 2010 midterm elections.
Hoveln, who is from Smyrna, Del., said there are significant differences between Republicans that are more moderate and live in New Castle County and those who live in Sussex and Kent counties, who are more conservative. He said it would be important for the two groups to unite behind Romney.
“I think it’s important that we’re all on the same page in Delaware,” Hoveln said.
He said finding uniform support from each segment of the party’s supporters throughout the country will also be important come the national elections in November.
“They need to find the unity now, not only now but at all times,” Hoveln said. “The Republican party, regardless of state, should be united at all times.”
Senior Bill Humphrey, vice president of the College Democrats, said he does not think Romney is particularly adamant in his support of political causes unless it benefits him in the election.
Humphrey, who is from Massachusetts, said he feels Romney will only support popular legislation promoted by Republicans if elected. He said Romney is willing to shift his position on certain issues to maintain popular support as the election nears.
“We know Gov. Romney doesn’t have a backbone on any issues, and he’ll sign whatever they give him,” Humphrey said.