EUCLID, Ohio — Just two days after President Barack Obama officially kicked off his re-election campaign in the Buckeye state, the presumptive Republican challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, went on the attack at a town hall meeting in Euclid.
Echoing thoughts delivered at his mid-April visit to Lorain County, Romney spoke often of trimming taxes to small businesses and trimming what he feels is a bloated U.S. Government.
A bloated style he compared to several countries in Europe.
“We are going to take America in a very different place,” said Romney. “[Obama] is taking a path toward Europe and Europe is not working there. It’s not working here. Europe is in real trouble folks, as its citizens demand more from the government they rely so heavily on.”
Romney spoke to a group at a ‘Town Hall’ style meeting at Stamco Industries on Lakeshore Boulevard in Euclid.
Romney opened his speech drawing a parallel to the U.S. economy and his work as President & CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic Games.
At the time he was hired, the Olympic Games were operating at a deficit in excess of $350 million, according to numerous reports.
Romney told the crowd that he was able to motivated 25,000 volunteers to donate their time and service to bring the games back to a position of being fiscally sound.
“We had to convince 25,000 people to volunteer their service. No pay. No benefits. No tickets,” said Romney. He later added, “One day after running an ad asking for volunteers, we checked the internet and we had some 47,000 people sign up. This is an amazing country.”
Romney then went on to speak about the operating budget deficit of the United State and how that number has increased while Obama has been in office.
“We have very different views on job creation,” said Romney. “[Obama’s] is to continue spending about a trillion (dollars) more than we take in. It is immoral to pass that along to the next generation.”
Later on in the meeting Romney fielded a question from that next generation, as a seven-year-old girl in the crowd asked, “How are you going to stop spending my money?”
Romney answered by speaking about the United States’ heavy debt to China.
“I am going to analyze the programs and ask the question, ‘Is this program so critical that its worth borrowing money from China to keep it going',” said Romney. “If the answer is ’No’, then I am going to cut it.”
The biggest ovation Romney received from the crowd came when he answer a question regarding his first official action as president if he were to be elected.
“There is a cloud that is hanging over the health care sector, in the business sector,” said Romney. “The first action is to take a path to stop ‘Obama Care’ in its path.”
The presidential hopeful spoke for around 45 minutes and answered numerous questions from the assembled crowd.
According to CNN’s Ashley Killough, with six-months to go before election day, a new poll indicates Romney and Obama are in a virtual tie in Ohio and 11 other battleground states.
Obama holds a slight two-percentage point advantage–47%-45%–over Romney among registered voters, according to the USA TODAY/Gallup Swing States Poll. The margin is well within the sampling error.
In terms of performance, 46% of voters said Romney would do a good job handling the economy, while 34% said the same about Obama.