Thousands cheer for Republican nominee
MOORESVILLE – Chris Tate wasn’t going to miss his first chance to see former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in person. The Mooresville resident got up early, and after helping his wife get the kids ready for church, slipped out to hear the Republican presidential candidate.
“This is one of the biggest things to ever happen to Mooresville,” Tate said. “To have a presidential candidate speak here is huge.”
More than anything, Tate wanted to hear Romney’s plan to build the economy and trim the national debt.
“We can’t keep running up debt as a country, or we’re gonna end up (bankrupt) like Greece,” Tate said. “This isn’t a personal thing against Obama, but he hasn’t delivered. I’d like to hear what Romney has to offer.”
More than 1,000 people packed the NASCAR Technical Institute. Once the facility was full, people kept coming. By 9:45 a.m. Sunday, they formed a half-circle around the building, sitting in lawn chairs, standing or leaning against trees.
“We need a Christian in office, someone who respects the values this country was founded on,” Mooresville resident Paul Turner said. The 65-year-old hadn’t realized he needed a ticket to get inside, but once at NASCAR Tech, he stayed, listening along with more than $1,000 others in the overflow.
Romney’s wife, Anne, recognized the support inside and outside the facility, thanking residents for coming out. That support, she said, has energized the campaign.
“(This) gives us the determination to say we’re not going to take it anymore,” she told supporters. “We’re going to take the White House back.”
Then, newly announced vice presidential candidate and seven-term Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan said campaign members had heard the message from people loud and clear, that they’re tired of struggling to get by.
“We owe you a choice, a choice of two futures,” Ryan said. “We can change this thing.”
Romney said he wanted to avoid economic collapses like what happened in Greece, vowing to re-energize the economy.
“I don’t want to be like Europe,” Romney said. “I want to be like America.”
Selecting Ryan as his vice president was a step in that direction, Romney said, adding that he picked the congressman because Ryan had ideas that would help get the country back on track.
“I selected this man to be (my) running mate because I want to change Washington,” Romney said. “In this critical time, one of the few who stood up and said I have ideas (to solve this problem) is this man to my right.”
Romney protestors stand silent
While there were no chants interrupting speakers at the event, silent protests couldn’t be missed. Immediately as people exited Interstate 77, there were “Ron Paul 2012” and “Don’t vote for Obamney 2012” signs. Those signs repeatedly popped up in the yards of residents along the route to the NASCAR Technical Institute. Just before 10 a.m., there were no protestors left at NASCAR Tech itself; however, crowd members said a few had shown up earlier in the day, criticizing what they saw as a Republican attack on Medicaid.