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Published: Monday, 11/5/2012

Romney promises ‘fiscal sanity’ action

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, greet about 6,000 in Cleveland. He outlined Sunday his first official acts should he win on Tuesday. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, greet about 6,000 in Cleveland. He outlined Sunday his first official acts should he win on Tuesday.
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CLEVELAND — Ad­dress­ing a big crowd of sup­port­ers here on Sun­day, Re­pub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Mitt Rom­ney prom­ised to start off his pres­i­dency by pro­pos­ing bud­get cuts that he plans to call the “down pay­ment on fis­cal san­ity act.”

That is if he doesn’t lose to Dem­o­crat Pres­i­dent Obama in the elec­tion that fi­nally winds to a close on Tues­day.

“It’s pos­si­ble but not likely,” Mr. Rom­ney dead­panned to the crowd of about 6,000 peo­ple in­side the Cleve­land Hop­kins In­ter­na­tional Air­port’s I-X Center, a mas­sive build­ing that was con­structed in 1942 to build bomber air­planes.

Mr. Rom­ney said his ex­pe­ri­ence in busi­ness, state gov­ern­ment, and run­ning the Olym­pics proves he has the abil­ity to re­vive a slug­gish econ­omy and urged his sup­port­ers to not let up work­ing for him over the next two days.

The for­mer Mas­sa­chu­setts gov­er­nor, who was reared in sub­ur­ban Detroit, was joined on stage by his wife of 43 years, Ann Rom­ney. He kept up his bar­rage of crit­i­cism of Pres­i­dent Obama’s first term in of­fice, while ac­cus­ing his ee­e­e­e­eeeop­po­nent of run­ning a cam­paign of “at­tack and blame.”

“You hoped Pres­i­dent Obama would bring peo­ple to­gether to solve big prob­lems, but he hasn’t, and I will,” Mr. Rom­ney said. “Let me tell you why he fell so short of what he prom­ised — be­cause he cared more about a lib­eral agenda than he did about re­pair­ing the econ­omy.”

He said his first act in of­fice will be to is­sue the states waiv­ers from hav­ing to com­ply with the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act. And he said he would quickly send Con­gress sev­eral “fun­da­men­tal re­forms,” which he calls the “down pay­ment on fis­cal san­ity act,” the first of which would be to im­me­di­ately cut non­se­cu­rity dis­cre­tion­ary spend­ing by 5 per­cent. He em­pha­sized he was talk­ing about ac­tual cuts in spend­ing, not just re­duc­tions in the rate of growth.

Mr. Rom­ney didn’t men­tion the 2009 auto in­dus­try res­cue that he op­posed but which has formed the back­bone of the Obama re-elec­tion cam­paign in Ohio.

He cast the 2009 “stim­u­lus” and the 2010 Af­ford­able Care Act, known to Re­pub­li­cans — and in­creas­ingly to proud Dem­o­crats — as Obam­ac­are, as fail­ures that deep­ened rather than weak­ened the Great Re­ces­sion.

Mr. Rom­ney started to run down a list of the things he said would hap­pen if Pres­i­dent Obama wins re-elec­tion. That drew a col­lec­tive groan from his au­di­ence.

The crowd re­sponded ap­pre­cia­tively to a line that he has been us­ing in cam­paign ap­pear­ances around the coun­try and in TV ad­ver­tis­ing since Fri­day when Pres­i­dent Obama gave him the open­ing.

“Pres­i­dent Obama asked his vot­ers to vote for re­venge — for re­venge. In­stead I ask the Amer­i­can peo­ple to vote for love of coun­try,” Mr. Rom­ney said.

Speak­ing in Spring­field, Ohio, on Fri­day, Mr. Obama com­mented when crowds booed at the men­tion of Mr. Rom­ney, “Don’t boo, vote. Vote. Vot­ing’s the best re­venge.”

Mr. Rom­ney urged sup­port­ers to try to con­vert un­de­cided vot­ers whom they know and urged them to put signs in their yards, and their neigh­bors’ yards.

“Our des­tiny is in your hands — two more days and we can get to work re­build­ing our coun­try ... re­stor­ing our con­fi­dence ... that we’re on a path to steady im­prove­ment, con­fi­dence that col­lege grads four years from now will find bet­ter jobs,” he said.

Coun­try mu­si­cian Rod­ney At­kins and singer Sam Moore of the ’60s duo Sam & Dave took turns en­ter­tain­ing the crowd and strug­gling with tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties con­nected with the rally’s sound sys­tem.

The Obama cam­paign is­sued its statis­ti­cal pic­ture of Cuya­hoga County to show how the county has ben­e­fited from Mr. Obama’s pol­i­cies and at­tacked Mr. Rom­ney for his op­po­si­tion to the 2009 auto bail­out and his plan for a 20-per­cent across-the-board tax cut, while say­ing young adults will lose ac­cess to in­sur­ance on their par­ents’ plans when he re­peals the health-care law.

“The Pres­i­dent be­lieves the only way to build an econ­omy meant to last is to build it from the mid­dle out, not the top down. That’s why the Pres­i­dent is work­ing to re­store mid­dle-class se­cu­rity by strength­en­ing Med­i­care, sav­ing the auto in­dus­try, cut­ting taxes for mid­dle-class fam­i­lies, in­vest­ing in lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and ed­u­ca­tion,” a state­ment from the Obama cam­paign said.

The cam­paign said the un­em­ploy­ment rate in Cuya­hoga County has dropped from 9.2 per­cent in Sep­tem­ber, 2009, to 6.9 per­cent in Sep­tem­ber, 2012.

Ohio ac­counts for 18 of the na­tion’s 538 elec­toral votes but has sucked up a much big­ger pro­por­tion of the can­di­dates’ cam­paign time and spend­ing, and it’s go­ing to con­tinue to the very end. Both can­di­dates have big ral­lies planned for this af­ter­noon in Co­lum­bus.

A poll by the (Co­lum­bus) Dis­patch re­leased on Sun­day shows Pres­i­dent Obama lead­ing 50 per­cent to 48 per­cent in Ohio. The poll has a 2.2-per­cent­age point mar­gin of er­ror, mak­ing the race a statis­ti­cal tie.

Con­tact Tom Troy at:

tom­troy@the­blade.com

or 419-724-6058.



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