Romney to Jeffco audience: It's time for a new course

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By Vicky Gits

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney came to D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School in Jefferson County on Sunday evening to promote a plan that he says will help create millions of jobs and get the economy back on track.

Before a crowd of about 7,500 people, Romney touted his credentials as a businessman who understands that entrepreneurship is fundamental to America’s economic success.

“There are two paths to choose from. The president says his campaign slogan is ‘forward.’ I think it should be ‘forewarned,’ ” Romney said.

“What he’s promising is the things he’s done before. He wants to pick the winners and losers. He wants to raise taxes. We don’t have to guess what the results will be. We need someone who takes America down a different course,” Romney said. 

“Obama’s out of ideas. My choice will create 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay for the middle class,” Romney said. He promised to take advantage of domestic oil, gas and coal resources, achieve energy independence in eight years and double the number of offshore well-drilling permits.

Romney spoke outdoors with the west-facing façade of D’Evelyn High School as the backdrop. He arrived at the school at 8 p.m., about an hour later than expected.

Romney’s visit to Jeffco is part of a sustained political push by both parties in what is considered a key county in a swing state. President Obama campaigned in Golden on Sept. 13, and Romney’s running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, made a stop at the Jeffco Fairgrounds in late August. The first presidential debate will be Oct. 3 at the University of Denver.

Before the candidate’s arrival, Jo Dee Messina warmed up the crowd with a set of country-western songs, including “Life Is Good” and “Heads It’s Carolina; Tails It’s California.” 

County Commissioner John Odom used a football analogy to praise Romney: “We need a quarterback that has a winning record.” 

State Rep. Amy Attwood, R-Lakewood, welcomed the audience to House District 28, where she is running against Democrat Brittany Pettersen. The D’Evelyn school choir led the audience in the national anthem, and the school band gave a short concert.

After the lengthy preliminaries, a string of flashing red and blue lights could be seen making its way along U.S. 285 in the distance, signaling the candidate’s imminent arrival.

‘Back to a balanced budget’

Former congressman Bob Beauprez gave Romney a spirited introduction that consisted of a long laundry list of President Obama’s failures. “There are fewer people at work than when President Obama took office in January 2009. Does that sound like he’s looking after the middle class?”

When Romney took the microphone, he pursued that theme. “Do you want four more years of 8 percent unemployment? Where half the kids who graduate from college can’t find college-level jobs? Where median incomes go down? We can’t afford for more years like the last four years,” Romney said.

“This president will put us on the road to Greece,” Romney said. “I will put a cap on spending and get us back to a balanced budget.”

He said he would be a champion for small businesses and make it easier to expand and hire more people. “This is a jobs plan. (The president) plans on raising taxes on small business.”

Romney highlighted the contributions of entrepreneurs who started small businesses on a shoestring, achieved success and hired more employees. He talked about a kid who started making sandwiches in his garage and grew the business into Jimmy John’s, with 1,000 restaurants.

“America is a nation of dreamers,” Romney said. “The founders never thought we would have a massive government taking care of us instead of a nation of individuals pursuing their own dreams.”

Romney also stressed his belief in America as the world leader and described Obama’s foreign policy as “leading from behind.” He opposes cutting the military budget by a trillion dollars over the next decade.

“We need a military that is so strong no one would think of testing it. I don’t want to be at the mercy of events,” Romney said.

He talked about patriotism, the American flag and recognizing the United States as an exceptional nation.

“We must keep this nation the hope of the Earth,” he said. “We gotta win this one.”

Contact Vicky Gits at 303-933-2233, ext. 22, or vicky@evergreenco.com.