GOP has passion, energy, Ann Romney tells faithful

11/1/2012
BY JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF
Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaks during a campaign stop Wednesday at Vinylmax in Hamilton, Ohio. Joining her on stage, from left, Jane Dudley Portman, wife of Ohio senator Rob Portman, Cindy McCain, wife of Arizona senator John McCain, and Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaks during a campaign stop Wednesday at Vinylmax in Hamilton, Ohio. Joining her on stage, from left, Jane Dudley Portman, wife of Ohio senator Rob Portman, Cindy McCain, wife of Arizona senator John McCain, and Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.

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: jpro­vance@the­blade.com, or 614-221-0496.