Yardley — Mitt Romney spent some of the waning hours of the campaign in Bucks County Sunday night where he spoke to tens of thousands of excited supporters who braved the cold. It was part of a last-minute, multi-state tour in the final two days of the campaign.
“We’re taking back the White House ‘cause we’re going to win Pennsylvania!” Romney declared.
The candidate arrived almost an hour after scheduled in a campaign bus reading “more jobs, more take-home pay.” He took the stage with his wife, Ann, who addressed the crowd briefly saying of her husband, “he is exceptional in every way, and he will not fail.”
Romney urged any undecided voters to take a look at his record as Governor of Massachusetts: “Talk is cheap but a record is real and it’s earned with effort.” He then reviewed Obama’s presidency and how over the course of the administration he, “fell so short of what he promised.”
Secret Service said they admitted 25,000 people to the rally and another 5,000 or so listened from outside, according to Thomas Fitzgerald of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Attorney General hopeful David Freed and U.S. Senate candidate Tom Smith spoke to the crowd early on in the rally.
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick took the stage to talk about his history in Bucks and how the County was intertwined with the nation’s founding. He cited former President Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign slogan, “It’s morning in America.”
“We’re gonna make history again in Bucks County, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, November 6th and you’re gonna help us do it.”
The Marshall Tucker band also took the stage, changing the words of one of their biggest hits to “can’t you see what Obama’s been doing to me?” as the jumbotron showed a promotional video for Romney featuring a montage of Salt Lake City Olympics photos and Romney family home videos.
Introducing the presidential candidate were former Pa. Governor and Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Senator Pat Toomey, and Governor Tom Corbett.
Ridge gave the longest and most spirited speech of the three, reflecting on the promises President Obama made to America during the 2008 election. He criticized the President.
“You had your chance, you had four years, now it’s time to leave.”
Nearby in Langhorne, a few hours earlier, Democracts from Southeastern Pennsylvania held a prebuttal press conference of their own. Fitzpatrick’s opponent Kathy Boockvar, Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Montco), former Rep. Patrick Murphy and Planned Parenthood PAC president Cecile Richards said Romney’s policies would hurt women.
“To be quite blunt, they’re losing us for a reason – and that’s not going to change in 24 hours,” Boockvar said of Romney’s effort to woo undecided Pa. voters.
Rep. Schwartz criticized the Romney/Ryan ticket citing Paul Ryan’s voting record on women’s issues,
“But Paul Ryan voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and Mitt Romney has refused to answer whether or not he would have supported it.”
It’s clear from his personal appearance that Romney is making a sincere play for Pa. – not a bluff as some had suggested.
He’ll need a strong performance in swing counties like Bucks – which Obama won by nearly 9 points in 2008 but Kerry won by just 3 – in order to offset the President’s vote margin in Philadelphia.