Romney goes after Obama in DeWitt while protesters make their voices heard
DEWITT — Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney Tuesday criticized President Barack Obama and detailed what he would do if elected president.
Romney, joined on stage by his wife Ann and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, said the Nov. 6 election offers a distinct choice between two very different candidates.
“I will take America in a very different direction (than Obama),” Romney said at Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe, 108 N. Bridge St. “I’m going to do almost the exact opposite of the president.”
Romney spent much of his speech criticizing Obama for saying “the private sector is doing fine.” Obama later walked back the statement.
“If there’s ever a president that isn’t good for the middle class, it’s this president,” Romney said. “This president does not understand how America works.”
Though short on specifics, the former Massachusetts governor and Michigan native said he would work to get the private sector creating jobs at a faster pace if elected.
“Job No. 1 for this president will be to create jobs for the American people,” Romney said.
Romney again promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank financial reform law if elected president. He also pledged to balance the budget and lower taxes in an attempt to spur job growth.
Pro-Obama protesters, many of them holding signs reading “We Are the 99%” or “Romney for President of the 1%” gathered across the street from Romney, and made their voices heard throughout his speech.
Chants of “Four more years!” were heard while the former governor discussed Obama’s policies. Some Romney supporters responded with a chant of “Four more months!”
Lansing mayor and 2010 Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero was among the protesters.
“When Michigan needed (Romney) most, he was not here,” Bernero said. “Meanwhile, President Obama saved the auto industry and saved the state.”
Romney did not address the 2009 auto bailouts in his DeWitt speech. In 2008, Romney wrote an editorial for the New York Times opposing the bailouts, titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”
“Romney has to run away from his record, but President Obama can run on his record,” Bernero said. “Hopefully, we send Romney packing.”
Romney was in DeWitt as part of a trip through three traditionally Republican Michigan towns Obama did well in four years ago. He visited Frankenmuth earlier in the day and was set to visit Holland later on.
The Romney campaign hopes to reverse a trend in Michigan presidential politics. No Republican has won the state since George H. W. Bush in 1988. Obama won the state easily in 2008.
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