Mitt Romney dazzled a crowd outside of Hire’s Big H, in Salt Lake City today, greeted by chants of “We Want Mitt!”
French fries and fry sauce flowed amongst a crowd of eager Romney-ites before the former Massachusetts governor addressed a crowd of 150 to 200 outside of Hire’s Big H at 425 S. 700 East.
Romney with wife Anne spoke from the bed of a pickuptruck adorned with a sign reading “Romney for Economy.”
“We did something unusual as a nation,” Romney told the crowd. “We elected an eloquent speaker without much of a track record to go on but we elected him based on the vision he described but now three years later, we don’t have to talk about a vision we can talk about what he’s done and he’s failed the American people.”
Amidst raucous cheering, Romney argued that 20 million American unemployed, out of work or looking for more work, could not be considered a success for Barack Obama. “We need a president whose had a job, to create jobs,” Romney said throwing the zinger of the event to wild applause from the crowd.
He touched on important issues ranging from the international threat of jihadists and the assertion of China, to supporting the troops to issuing a call for greater respect of state’s rights—challenging Obama on his 2010 healthcare reform package. “He’s put in place the greatest takeover of states’ rights with his Obamacare,” Romney said. “Which we’re going to repeal and reverse!”
Members of the crowd clamored to shake hands with Romney and cameras and smartphones tracked his movements. Romney was shadowed by Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff who recently endorsed Romney’s candidacy for the presidency and in turn Romney warmly patted Shurtleff on the back and introduced him to members of the crowd.
One vocal audience member was Matthew Bell, 50, a recently unemployed iron worker and veteran who could be heard in the crowd shouting “Mitt not Jon!” to the laughs of those in attendance. For Bell, who spent the morning taking a job assistance class from the local Veterans Administration, Romney’s message on the economy was “huge” to him.
“[Romney] was trying to talk about combating the desolation of the Obama nation as far as his record of destroying the economy goes,” Bell says. “He’s touching on all the things that will get him elected.”
Bell says Romney has some “hurdles” like soft stances Romney has taken in the past on issues like abortion and the assault weapon-ban that he sided with President Bill Clinton on, but Bell says those won’t hold him back in Utah. “Utah will vote for a Republican,” Bell says “It really doesn’t matter who it is.”
Kathleen Anderson, 64, a retired state-government employee waited in the heat for two hours before Romney’s appearance to get his signature and hear him talk. “I love Mitt,” Anderson says. She believes in his positions, but says the most important thing about the candidate is his personal integrity. “He’s just very honest, and as a person, I trust him,” Anderson says. “He’s the kind of persons I think we can trust in the White House.”