Entries in Bus Tour (45)


Romney Says He’ll Win Pennsylvania in November

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(CORNWALL, Pa.) — Finishing the second day of his bus tour in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, an impassioned Mitt Romney declared that he would carry the Keystone State this fall.

Referencing remarks made during a warm-up speech by Rep. Jim Gerlach, in which he suggested the crowd would have to “convince” Romney that he can win Pennsylvania this fall, Romney came bounding off his bus to tweak the representative’s remarks.

“He said that you guys need to convince me that I’m going to win Pennsylvania,” Romney said. “I’ve got news for you, congressman; I am going to win Pennsylvania.”

Romney showed no signs of exhaustion despite a jam-packed opening to his bus tour. The candidate appeared before hundreds in the backyard of a historical iron furnace, the last public event of a day that included no fewer than four television interviews, a speech given via satellite to the Faith and Freedom Coalition and three campaign events, including Sunday evening’s. Romney spent Friday weaving across New Hampshire on the first day of his tour.

Romney’s six-state bus tour has three more days of events that will take the candidate through Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa – three other battleground states.

Follow along Romney’s bus tour route with ABC’s Google Map.

No Republican candidate has won Pennsylvania since George H.W. Bush in 1988, and John McCain lost the state to Barack Obama by more than 10 points in 2008. But Romney’s remarks here today shed light on the campaign’s belief that they can take the state and its 20 electoral votes this November.

A Quinnipiac poll released this week showed President Obama ahead in the Keystone State by six points, 46 percent to 40 percent. That’s a statistical dead heat to the May Quinnipiac poll when Obama had an eight-point lead, 47 percent to 39 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney’s Bus Tour Reroutes Due to Protesters

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Image(QUAKERTOWN, Pa.) — The Romney bus tour hit a speed bump today when more than a hundred protesters showed up at a gas station where the presumptive GOP presidential candidate was scheduled to make a stop, and the candidate’s motorcade quickly rerouted to another location just three miles away.

Romney himself acknowledged the change in venue — his fourth scheduled stop on a five-day, six-state bus tour — while shaking hands with voters inside a WaWa gas station.

“I was asked, I think you asked me, why we’re at this Wawa, instead of the other WaWa? I understand I had a surrogate over there already, so we decided to pick a different place,” said Romney, who when initially asked about the change had joked that he had moved “just to get a good sandwich.”

“My surrogate is former Gov. Rendell, who said we could win Pennsylvania,” Romney said. “I’m happy to hear that, so we’re happy to be here and see some folks here.”

Despite Romney’s characterization of Ed Rendell, the former Democratic Pennsylvania governor is campaigning for President Obama in Pennsylvania. Romney was referring to an interview with Bloomberg News’ “Bloomberg View” that Rendell gave in which he said the president would not win major sections of the battleground state.

According to local reports, Rendell, along with 150 to 200 anti-Romney protesters, had shown up at the original gas station to tout Obama’s message, speaking ahead of when Romney was scheduled to arrive.

About 50 people greeted Romney at the new location, including a little league baseball team, and the candidate appeared surprised that they had figured out where to find him, remarking, “I wondered how you knew we’d be here.”

Romney spent no more than about 12 minutes at the gas station, quickly re-boarding his campaign bus to head to Cornwall.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney: ‘I Want To Talk About The Economy’ More Than Obama Does

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WEATHERLY, Pa.) -- At a dusty foundry and machine shop in eastern Pennsylvania on Saturday, Mitt Romney said he wants to talk about the economy — the cornerstone of his campaign — more than President Obama does.

“I know the president wants to talk about the economy a little,” Romney told Pennsylvanians on the second day of his six-state bus tour, “not as much as I want to talk about the economy.”

Standing on the floor of the Weatherly Casting & Machine Company, in Carbon County, which Obama carried in 2008 by just two percentage points, Romney suggested a revised slogan for Obama’s re-election campaign.

“Last time around, as you recall, his campaign slogan was hope and change,” Romney said. “Now I think he’d like to change it to ‘hoping to change the subject.’ He’s not wanting to talk about the economy like I want to talk to the economy, because what I want to do — I want to get America working again. I want to create more good jobs for Americans.”

Romney, misspeaking and suggesting that Obama had once been elected governor, sought to portray the president as ill-equipped for his job, and suggested that before becoming president he should have started “perhaps at a lower level.”

“I’m concerned that over the last three-and-a-half years we’ve had a President who may have been well meaning but didn’t know what it takes to help enterprises grow and thrive,” Romney said. “He, upon becoming governor – excuse me, President.”

Romney added, “Governor might have been a better job for him to have started with,” as the crowd broke into applause. “I say that because I actually think you learn from experience. I think it helps to have been in business before you actually start to run something in government.”

Romney was joined at his first stop on Saturday morning by Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who fired up the crowd before Romney spoke.

“The best sermons aren’t preached, they’re lived,” Pawlenty said, playing up Romney’s background.

The presumptive GOP nominee will cover more than 130 miles on the Pennsylvania roadways on Saturday, the second day of his five-day bus tour through six states.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Kicks Off Bus Tour, Says Obama Fails Middle Class

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(STRATHAM, N.H.) -- Mitt Romney officially kicked off his five-day, six-state bus tour in New Hampshire Friday, on the very farm where he launched his presidential bid last June, telling supporters that there has been no president who has failed middle-class Americans more than President Obama and that if elected, he will “hear” the voices of the American people.

“Let us make today the beginning of the end of disappointments of the Obama years,” Romney said to a crowd of hundreds, standing on the back of a flat-bed trailer parked in a field on Scamman Farm. “Let us make today the start of a new and better chapter that we’re going to write together."

“If there has ever been a president who has failed to give the middle class of America a fair shot, it is Barack Obama,” Romney said.

“Since last June, we’ve been to towns, big and small, we’ve visited businesses -- some were generations old, others were quite new, every one of them [was trying to] make the best of a bad economy,” said Romney, who officially kicked off his second presidential run June 2, 2011. “Across the country, people have welcomed us into their homes. We’ve enjoyed long talks about family and country in break rooms and backyards, and in diners and on factory floors."

“Everywhere I go, I meet people who represent the best of America,” Romney said. “They are hopeful, hard-working, determined and proud. But they are also anxious and they’re worried. They are tired of being tired."

“And they are tired of a detached and distant President who never seems to hear their voices,” he said. “But I hear you and I’ll make sure I’ll continue to hear the people of America when I’m President of the United States if I get your support.”

Each of the six states Romney will visit on his five-day tour -- Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- were won by Obama four years ago.

In a briefing with reporters at Romney campaign headquarters in Boston this morning, Romney’s senior strategist, Russ Schriefer, noted that some of the specific areas where the bus will stop were Obama territory while some voted more heavily for Sen. John McCain in 2008.

The Romney strategist cast the trip as a tour of the “back roads” of America. But as Romney noted in his speech, they are places that he considers “the backbone of America.”

“This is an opportunity over the next five days to go to places that are a little bit off the beaten path,” Schriefer said, “and visit towns and cities where people are really struggling in this Obama economy.”

The five-day trip, which will not include fundraisers, will afford Romney the opportunity to return to retail politicking full time -- at least temporarily. Although the former Massachusetts governor will be traveling throughout each state in a motor coach, he will be hop-scotching between them in a private charter plane. And a campaign spokesman said three to four buses would be used in the course of the journey.

“It’s an opportunity for us to engage in some traditional campaigning,” Schriefer said, adding that not all of the stops would be “traditional.”

“The most important thing is it gives Gov. Romney the opportunity to talk about his vision for the future,” he said, “how this economy, how this country can be turned around.”

Romney will cover more than 1,500 miles by bus and by air in the course of his trip between Friday and next Tuesday. His speech in Stratham was the first of two events Romney will hold Friday in the Granite State where polls still show President Obama in the lead.

With hay bales and a farmhouse rooftop cradling a giant red, white and blue sign with the slogan, “Every Town Counts” at his back, Romney continued to highlight areas of difference with President Obama.

“That’s really the divide in this race,” Romney said. “The president thinks we’re on the right track and his policies are working.”

His words echoed those he spoke there last year.

“This country we love is in peril. And that, my friends, is why we are here today,” he said at the farm in 2011. “A few years ago, Americans did something that was, actually, very much the sort of thing Americans like to do: We gave someone new a chance to lead; someone we hadn’t known for very long, who didn’t have much of a record but promised to lead us to a better place.”

As two planes buzzed overhead -- one backed by the Romney campaign and dragging a banner that read “Romney for President 2012″ and another sponsored by the Democratic group that read “Romney’s Every Millionaire Counts Tour” -- Romney rallied the crowd.

“I believe with all my heart that we can and that we must do better. And we will do better,” he shouted. “And let me ask you where you stand: Do you believe America can do better?” The crowd screamed, “Yes,” in response.

But Lis Smith, an Obama campaign spokeswoman, said in a statement that Romney offered “zero new solutions to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class” in his speech Friday.

“While President Obama laid out the clear choice in this election yesterday between a vision that moves us forward and creates an economy built to last, and one that would send us backward to the failed policies of the past decade, Mitt Romney continues to offer nothing but empty and angry rhetoric,” Smith said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney’s Bus Tour Turns Into VP Tryout Extravaganza

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(CINCINNATI) -- Mitt Romney’s five-day, six-state bus tour is shaping out to be a series of auditions for potential vice presidential candidates.

Romney will kick off the tour Friday in New Hampshire, where Sen. Kelly Ayotte will join him on the stump. Ayotte campaigned for Romney frequently leading up to the primary, and has made two appearances with him since, most recently in mid-May.

Romney will head Saturday to the battleground state of Pennsylvania, which is the home state of former Sen. Rick Santorum, who endorsed Romney after abandoning his own bid for the White House. But a Santorum aide says the former presidential candidate was not invited to campaign with Romney. Santorum has not campaigned for or with Romney since endorsing him in early May.

Romney’s bus Sunday moves into Ohio, where Sen. Rob Portman, whom many consider to be one of Romney’s top choices for a running mate, will spend the entire day with the candidate, including a Father’s Day pancake breakfast. Later in the day, Romney will be joined by House Speaker John Boehner for burgers, the first joint appearance by the two.

Monday finds Romney and his bus in Wisconsin, where he will campaign at a fabric manufacturer in Janesville, the hometown of Rep. Paul Ryan. Ryan will appear with Romney at this event. Ryan spent a four-day stretch with Romney on the trail in early April leading up to the Badger State’s primary.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, who stumped for Romney during the primary, has no plans to jump on Romney’s bus as of now, according to Republican sources. Nor does Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Aides to Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty declined to answer questions about his appearance on the bus tour.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is traveling in Europe for the duration of the Romney bus tour, ruling out a cameo on the tour.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Launches Battleground State Bus Tour

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Mitt Romney is hitting the road. After weeks of a somewhat light campaigning schedule that was far more focused on hitting high-dollar fundraisers than holding public campaign events, the presumptive GOP candidate will launch a five-day, six-state bus tour, making stops in several key battleground states.

The tour, dubbed “Believe in America: Every Town Counts,” is set to kick off this Friday at the New Hampshire farm where he launched his campaign last June, and will take the candidate through the Granite State and then on to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, before ending in his native state of Michigan.

It will be the first time Romney has visited Wisconsin since the Badger State’s primary in April as well as the first trip back to Michigan since that state’s primary. The bus tour will mark only Romney’s third visit to Iowa since becoming the presumptive nominee. According to local reports, Romney is expected to stop in Davenport, Iowa, as part of the tour.

While Romney occasionally brings out his campaign bus during stops in battleground states, this tour will be the longest the candidate has done and will cover far more ground than those in the past. Romney did a three-day bus tour in New Hampshire leading up to the primary there. The “Earn It” bus tour weaved in and out of small towns across the granite States, the former Massachusetts governor stopping by gas stations and restaurants along the way.

This upcoming bus tour is expected to have the same vibe, according to a source familiar with the plans.  In addition to the planned campaign events the tour will include off-the-cuff stops where Romney will be able to meet and talk to voters.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry Completes First Leg of Iowa Bus Tour

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(NEWTON, Iowa) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry wrapped up the first leg of his Iowa bus tour Thursday with an employee town hall at TPI Iowa, which manufactures components for wind turbines.

On the first leg of his bus tour, the GOP hopeful traveled just over 1,000 miles over eight days, making 30 stops in 25 cities.

Before he scurried off to catch his plane home for the holidays, Perry met with a huge fan: he signed a giant wind turbine blade with his name and the message “Keep the energy coming!”  He then turned to the press to ask, “Did I spell all the words right?  Yeah.”

Perry returns to Iowa on Dec. 27 to launch the second half of his bus tour in Council Bluffs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Romney Wraps Day One of Bus Tour Swiping at Gingrich, Serving Food

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(ASHLAND, N.H.) -- The Mitt Romney campaign weaved through New Hampshire Wednesday on its first day of a three-day bus tour, keeping to a busy schedule that included stops at a breakfast joint, a pizza parlor, a steel cutting factory and a spaghetti dinner.

At the first stop, Romney spoke briefly with the media, answering questions about his stance on the payroll tax extension but declining to say whether he disagreed with House Speaker John Boehner’s rejection of the bipartisan short-term extension passed by the Senate over the weekend.

“I’m not going to get into the back-and-forth on the congressional sausage making process,” said Romney, standing in the Stage Restaurant in Keene, N.H.  “I hope they’re able to sit down and work out a solution that works for the American people.”

Romney’s harshest words were saved for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whom he implied would have to be ready to weather the negative advertising that is inherent in a presidential campaign.

“Speaker Gingrich has had a few less-than-generous things to say about me over the campaign, and you know I’m a big boy: That’s the nature of a campaign to point out distinctions with one another,” said Romney.  “And with regards to the heat associated with ads, you know, if you can’t stand the relatively modest heat in the kitchen right now wait until Obama’s hell’s kitchen shows up.”

Gingrich responded to Romney’s kitchen analogy at his own event in Manchester, N.H., Wednesday afternoon, challenging the former Massachusetts governor to a debate.

“Look, I’ll tell you what,” said Gingrich.  “If [Romney] wants to test the heat, I’ll meet him anywhere in Iowa next week, one on one, 90 minutes, no moderator, just a timekeeper.”

The rest of Romney’s day -- which included hosting various journalists on his luxury motor coach for interviews in between campaign stops -- was more lighthearted.

At Village Pizza in Newport, N.H., Romney ordered a small Hawaiian pizza -- with olives -- to go, for him and his wife, Ann, before serving more traditional pies to patrons who packed the booths during his drop by.

The next stop was a speech at Hypertherm, a plasma cutting manufacturer in Hanover, N.H., where Romney tried his hand at the tools, carving his initials into a piece of steel.

At the fourth and final stop of the day, the Romney campaign rolled into the Ashland American Legion in Ashland, N.H., where he and Ann Romney manned a winding line of hungry supporters.  Mitt Romney served the spaghetti and his wife dished out the sauce.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Prone to Mistakes, Rick Perry Prays He Won’t Trip Up

Alex Wong/Getty Images(MUSCATINE, Iowa) -- As the media await his next gaffe, Rick Perry admitted he often sends a prayer to the heavens so he won’t slip up and see another one of his mistakes on national TV.

“I prayed right before I walked over here that I wouldn’t make any mistakes that my friends in the media would be able to put on television,” Perry said Wednesday as he stared down the back row of reporters at a campaign event in Muscatine, Iowa, while the crowd laughed.  “I pray a lot because I’m prone to make a lot of mistakes.”

Perry, a self-described “man of faith,” has barnstormed the state in the past seven days, selling his accomplishments as governor of Texas and his Christian values while promoting taking faith into the public arena.  A voter at the packed, 150-person meet-and-greet at the Button Factory Woodfire Grill asked Perry, who was joined by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, where he stands on putting God back into America.

“God had never left,” said Perry to applause in the room.  “He’s still here.  He’s still available.”

Going tieless in a blue button-down shirt under a grey suit, Perry, who celebrated his 11th year as governor of Texas on Wednesday, was at ease, sprinkling jokes into the serious components of his stump speech.  As he blasted government officials for showing more concern for Wall Street than Main Street, Perry assigned a new nickname to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“They should call it not necessarily Freddie and Fannie.  I call it modern-day Bonnie and Clyde,” Perry quipped.  “They are stealing from the people, is what’s going on.”

The first leg of Perry’s bus tour wraps up Thursday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Romney Delivers Closing Argument Speech on Eve of Bus Tour

(BEDFORD, N.H.) -- On the eve of his biggest push yet in the Granite State, Mitt Romney Tuesday night delivered his closing argument, calling on voters to reject President Barack Obama’s “failures” and “misguided policies,” and opt for a leader -- him -- who will “save a vision of America.”

“We are Americans. And we will not surrender our dreams to the failures of this president,” Romney said to a crowd of more than 150 who had packed into the Bedford Town Hall. “We are bigger than the misguided policies and weak leadership of one man. America is bigger than President Obama’s failures.”

Romney, wearing jeans and a sport jacket, was juxtaposed with a highly produced event -- professional cameras shooting what appeared to be a campaign ad, teleprompters and lights. As his wife Ann looked on, Romney spoke passionately to the New Hampshire crowd, reminding them of their importance in the upcoming election.

“Here in New Hampshire, in Iowa, South Carolina, Florida, Michigan -- across America -- we are at the beginning of a democratic process that those early patriots risked all to secure,” Romney said. “This is the moment when we reject failure and commit to make the disappointments of the past few years only a detour, not a destiny. We believe America can do better. Because we believe in America.”

Tuesday night’s speech is the first of more than eight events scheduled during the next few days, including the unveiling of Romney’s first campaign bus of the cycle.

His speech in Bedford focused entirely on President Barack Obama, and mentioned none of his GOP rivals such as Newt Gingrich, who has recently seen a slip in national polls.

Romney concluded his speech in Bedford by urging voters to “remember how special it is to be an American,” and to “remember what it was like to be hopeful and excited about the future, not to dread each new headline.”

When the applause subsided, Romney took the microphone for a last minute plea for votes.

“We don’t have a long time to go, it’s getting closer now,” he said, as the audience, still standing, quieted to listen. “Your primary is coming up very soon, and I would like to win.”

New Hampshire’s primary is scheduled for Jan. 10.

“We want to win in New Hampshire and we’ll need you guys to help us spread our message,” Romney said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio