PDT Staff Writer
A crowd estimated to be more than 3,000 filled in the Alumni Green on the campus of Shawnee State University to listen to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney Saturday.
Several current officeholders and potential officeholders took the opportunity to address the crowd, including U.S. Congressional candidate Brad Wenstrup, and U.S. Senatorial candidate Josh Mandel.
One of the things local residents wanted to hear Romney talk about was the American Centrifuge Project at Piketon, and he didn’t disappoint.
“I know you are particularly aware of the need for nuclear as well, and recognize America must have a reliable source of domestically produced enriched uranium,” Romney said. “We will make sure that Piketon has the most modern technology, so that we can provide that source of security.”
Romney continued to criticize the policies of President Barack Obama.
“As I look around Portsmouth, his campaign is about smaller and smaller things,” Romney told the audience. “Our campaign is about bigger and bigger crowds and a bright future.”
Romney told the crowd there was one part of their recent debate on which they agreed.
“The president and I agree that there’s a very dramatic difference between the courses we would take in this country to help the middle class in America to have more jobs and more take home pay,” Romney said. “His plan is quite different. If he were reelected there is no question in my mind that you are going to see higher taxes. The Vice President blurted out the truth the other day, he said taxes are going up by about a trillion dollars. He’s gonna raise taxes on the middle class. He’s gonna raise taxes on small business. I make this commitment, I will not raise taxes on the middle class of America or on small business.”
Just before Romney stepped on the stage, local businesswoman Beth Haney addressed the crowd from the small business standpoint. She talked about her family’s business, Hatti Beasly’s Coffee and Gelato.
“It’s been a lot of work too,” Haney said. “And we did build this business, as many other small business owners in our community have done.”
The crowd cheered in response.
“So what I need from our leadership is to know that I can continue to make investments in equipment and product, that the community we serve will be able to support our business,” Haney said. “I’m going to want to know that I will be able to recruit employees who are willing to continue to sustain the relationship we’ve established with our customers.”
Romney told the crowd Obamacare would cost the average American family an extra $2,500 a year in premiums.
“If I get elected, we’re gonna repeal Obamacare, and replace it with real reform,” Romney said. “If he gets re-elected he has made it clear that he is going to cut $716 billion from Medicare. I see some seniors over here. They’re shaking their heads here. If I’m elected President of the United States, I will restore that $716 billion to Medicare, and honor the promises we made to our citizens.”
Romney also attacked the president on plans to cut the defense budget. He told the audience he would restore the cuts to, “make sure America’s military capabilities remain second to none.”
“The president’s plan is the status quo, more of the same. He calls it forward,” Romney said. “I call it forewarned. We know where it leads. We’ve seen where it leads. We don’t like where it leads. We want to have a real recovery and I’m gonna help bring it to you.”
Romney used his appearance Saturday to speak about the Obama administration’s lack of action against the trading policies of China.
“It’s time for us to stand up to China for their cheating,” Romney said. “It’s got to stop.”
He said cheaper Chinese products were driving American companies out of business.
Following Romney’s visit to Portsmouth, he boarded his tour bus to visit the Lebanon, Ohio.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at flewisheartlandpublications.com