GRANDVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio — While Mitt Romney concentrated Wednesday on Florida, his wife, Ann, kept the fires burning for the party faithful in Ohio until he gets back to town Friday.
“We have the energy,” she told a small crowd at Romney offices in Grandview Heights, a Columbus suburb. “We have the passion on our side this time. It’s not getting measured. It’s there. I'm feeling it.”'
She started her day with a rally in Hamilton, stopped by a deli in Wilmington, and spoke with young patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. She then stopped by to rev up the Grandview volunteers going into the home stretch.
Today, she’ll lead rallies in Columbus and the Cleveland suburb of Strongsville, and is expected to make side trips along the way to Wadsworth and Heath.
She’s traveling with what she called “the girls’ trip” bus that included Cindy McCain, wife of former presidential candidate and Arizona Sen. John McCain; Jane Portman, wife of Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, and Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
“I haven’t seen Mitt, by the way, for a while,” Mrs. Romney said. She rejoins him Friday at an all-star rally in GOP-friendly West Chester with the likes of Condoleezza Rice, ex-secretary of state; John Boehner, Mr. McCain; ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and golf legend Jack Nicklaus.
In Grandview, Mrs. Romney, who faced down early stage breast cancer in 2009, posed for a picture with Marcia Liesen, a breast cancer survivor from Upper Arlington. “It’s not a great club,'' Mrs. Romney said. “But it’s a club.”
The Obama campaign will bring in its spousal power this weekend with both First Lady Michelle Obama and second lady Jill Biden expected in Ohio, as well as the candidates themselves.
In the crowd was Steve Cohen, president of Screen Machines Industries outside Columbus. It was at Screen Machines, maker of equipment for mining industries, where Mr. Romney launched his Ohio campaign in July, 2011. Mr. Cohen spoke at the GOP national convention, and on Friday the campaign will come full circle when his business again hosts a rally with Mr. Romney to launch the final weekend campaign swing through Ohio.
The Obama campaign noted Screen Machines has benefited from government contracts and the stimulus package Mr. Romney has criticized. “Mitt Romney will take us back to the failed policies of the past: raising taxes on the middle class in order to pay for his tax cuts for the very wealthy, slashing education funding, and turning Medicare into a voucher program,” Obama spokesman Jason Pitt said.
“He turned his back on the iconic auto industry and on the American worker, and now he is trying to cover it up by running TV ads in Ohio that are blatantly untrue,” he said. “If the American people can’t trust his words now, they certainly could never trust him with the presidency.”
Contact Jim Provance at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 614-221-0496.