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Friday
Oct192012

Paul Ryan Fundraises with '47 Percent' Host

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Mitt Romney has been trying to distance himself from his infamous “47 percent” comments since they were leaked last month, but his ticket is not distancing itself from the man at whose home the GOP presidential nominee made those remarks.

Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., attended a fundraiser Friday evening in Boca Raton, Fla., hosted by Marc Leder, the private equity executive who hosted the $50,000-a-head dinner in May where Romney made the comments. Leder owns Sun Capital Partners and introduced Ryan to the crowd of about 130 donors.

“I’ve known Mitt Romney for a long time, but I’m really just starting to get to know Congressman Ryan -- which is good news for all of you, because I really don’t have any remarks,” Leder said, joking that those who know him well know it’s hard to get him away from a microphone.

“One other thing I’d like to say is this is, I think, my fourth or fifth one of these in the last four years,” Leder added. “And what I’ve been most impressed by is everyone’s work at the campaign. … All the volunteers, all the paid team that Mitt has put together, right to the last one, has been absolutely incredible. And among other reasons, that’s why I’m convinced Mitt and Paul are going to win this election.”

Leder – a co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team also known for his wild bashes in New York’s Hamptons – and his Sun Capital partner, Rodger Krouse, were among two dozen co-hosts of the event at the posh Saint Andrews Country Club.

Last month, Romney’s comments at Leder’s home were released via a secret recording at the May dinner. He said the “47 percent” of people who don’t pay income taxes will never vote for him because they are “dependent” and “victims.”

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney said in the video, originally obtained by the left-leaning Mother Jones magazine. “All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”

Romney added that he will “never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

There was no mention of the comments at Friday evening’s fundraiser, where donors paid $2,500 to attend the general reception, $10,000 for a photo with Ryan, or $25,000 for a private dinner at the home of real estate investors Mike and Irene Milin.

But Krouse did make a point to say there is no “us” and no “them,” referring to bringing together Americans from “all walks of life.”

“At our companies, the first thing we do is bring people together. … We recognize that we may be different, but if we don’t work together, we fail,” Krouse said. “To quote Mitt, we recognize that we are all children of the same God. … In my experience, people in this country from all walks of life want what’s best for America and are willing to sacrifice. There really is no ‘us,’ there really is no ‘them,’ and neither party is completely in the right.”

Krouse continued: “What Mitt has done in Massachusetts and Paul has done in Congress, they will bring people together as the next president and next vice president of the United States.”

As guests drank wine and munched on watermelon carved in the shape of the GOP’s elephant symbol, Ryan told the donors his ticket is “about growth.”

“We are about restoring the American dream of opportunity and upward mobility,” Ryan said. “And we’ve got to get off this path that we are on, which is nothing short of economic stagnation that promotes more dependency. That’s the clear choice – growth versus stagnation, dependency versus upward mobility.”

The House budget chairman also thanked the donors and explained the importance of his ticket’s ground game when it comes to getting out the vote on Nov. 6, and how their high-dollar donations help “enough people in America, in these critical states, understand that.”

“We also have a great ground game,” Ryan said. “That is what I wanted to leave with you, is. I know you’ve been to a few of these already – it makes an enormous difference because we have to have a very effective ground game to get people to the polls. There is no substitute for human-and-human interaction. There is a blizzard of TV ads – that has some effect, of course – but it is not substitute for a person picking up a phone or a person going door-to-door and talking to one of their neighbors, talking to one of their friends, talking to somebody in their community about the real choice we have in front of us, about the nature of this race and the direction of this country.”

A CNN/ORC poll out Friday had the race in Florida in a dead heat, with Romney at 49 percent and Obama at 48 percent.

Ryan spent the day campaigning in Florida, holding a roundtable on entrepreneurship in Tampa, Fla., with aspiring and established entrepreneurs. He will hold an evening joint rally with Mitt Romney in Daytona Beach, Fla. He heads to campaign in Pennsylvania and Ohio Saturday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct172012

Biden Knocks Romney for Binder Comment, '1950s Time Warp’ on Women

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images(GREELEY, Colo.) -- Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday hammered away at Mitt Romney over women’s issues, saying the former Massachusetts governor is living in a “1950s time warp” and mocking his reliance on “binders full of women” to find qualified women to serve on his cabinet.

“You heard the debate last night,” Biden told a crowd of more than 1,000 at the Island Grove Regional Park Exhibition Hall in Greeley, Colorado. “When Gov. Romney was asked a direct question about equal pay, he started talking about binders. Whoa! The idea that he had to go and ask where a qualified woman was, he just should have come to my house. He didn’t need a binder."

“For good measure, Romney said, on multiple occasions, that he wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood,” Biden added. “Look, talk about being out of touch. It’s not just the Swiss bank accounts and the Cayman Islands. No, really isn’t. It’s more than that. That I understand him doing. I can’t understand someone running for president doing [it], but I can understand him doing it. … But what I can’t understand is how he has gotten in this sort of 1950s time warp in terms of women.”

Biden continued to criticize Romney’s stance on equal pay, saying “he didn’t answer the question” when asked about it during Tuesday night’s debate and noted a Romney adviser said the Massachusetts governor did not support the The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which countered pay discrimination based upon age, religion, national origin, race, sex and disability.

“His senior adviser said last night in -- they call it the spin room -- when Romney was asked about, when they’re asked about did Romney support Lilly Ledbetter, which is just basic, minimal justice, he said Romney would have vetoed it.”

The vice president lauded President Obama’s performance at Tuesday’s presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York, calling the president a “man of principle, a man of gumption, a man with a steady hand and a clear vision.

“That’s what America got to see last night,” he said. “And I am telling you, it’s presumptive of me to say as vice president, but I am proud of him.”

Biden pointed out that Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., have shied away from offering specifics in the past three debates.

“Gov. Romney was a little, how can I say it -- sketchy?” Biden said. “No details, no specifics. But folks, that’s not new. We’ve now had three debates. Gov. Romney twice, Congressman Ryan once -- and the answers are always the same: ‘Maybe. It depends. We’ll let you know after the election.’ Folks, these are the only guys I’ve ever heard, out of any guys I’ve ever met, who thought that not telling you now, but telling you after the election, constituted leadership.”

While he delivered his normal criticisms of Romney and Ryan’s tax plan and creating incentives for companies to invest overseas, Biden focused heavily on immigration, saying Romney’s stance on the issue shows he’s “out of touch with the American people.”

“They support the action taken by the president to lift the cloud of deportation off a million kids that were brought here -- as if they’re going to say, at 2-years-old, ‘Mom, I don’t want to cross that border. Leave me behind, Mom. That’s what I want to do,’” he said. “And now, these guys are talking about these bright young kids and going to send them home. Home? Home? This is home. This is home. America is home. They didn’t choose to come here, but they chose to do right by America, and the president believes it’s time to do right by them.”

Biden ribbed Romney for his suggestion that undocumented immigrants should self-deport.

“Self-deportation?” he asked. “Whoa. Every 13-year-old, get up and move, man.”

Biden, who was campaigning alongside Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., has visited Colorado five times as vice president. But Wednesday’s trip marked his first visit of 2012. Biden encouraged Colorado voters to vote early and assured them that a victory in Colorado will win Obama and Biden the election.

“Folks, we need you, because together we can win Colorado -- and we win Colorado, we win this election,” Biden said. “So let’s go. Let’s stand up. We’re going to win. Let’s move forward. God bless you all and may God protect our troops.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct172012

Romney Campaign Wavers On Lilly Ledbetter Act

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Less than 24 hours after Tuesday night’s debate, a top adviser to Mitt Romney’s campaign switched his statement about whether the Republican presidential candidate would have supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act before it was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2009.

Speaking to reporters after the debate at Hofstra University in New York, Romney aide Ed Gillespie said that Romney “was opposed to” the proposed legislation “at the time,” but that he would not repeal it if elected.

Those comments were first reported by the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein, and up until Wednesday night, neither the GOP presidential hopeful nor his campaign had disclosed whether Romney would have backed the fair pay law, which grants alleged victims more time to file suit in pay discrimination cases.

But it appears Gillespie got ahead of the candidate. In a follow-up statement sent to the Huffington Post Wednesday afternoon, he acknowledged that he misstated Romney’s position.

“I was wrong when I said last night Governor Romney opposed the Lily Ledbetter act,” according to the statement from Gillespie. “He never weighed in on it. As President, he would not seek to repeal it.”

Indeed, in an interview this April, ABC’s Diane Sawyer, asked Romney: “If you were president -- you had been president -- would you have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Law?”

“It’s certainly a piece of legislation I have no intend -- intention of changing. I wasn’t there three years ago,” Romney told Sawyer. “I’m not going to go back and look at all the prior laws and say had I been there which ones would I have supported and signed, but I certainly support equal pay for women and -- and have no intention of changing that law, don’t think there’s a reason to.”

Had Romney opposed the law, he would have been well within the mainstream of the Republican Party. The Ledbetter Act passed the House of Representatives in a mostly party-line vote, and Romney’s own running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., voted against it.

In an interview Wednesday morning on CBS News, Ryan shed little light on Romney’s original position, but he explained his own.

“Lilly Ledbetter was not an equal pay law. It was about opening up the lawsuits and statute of limitations,” Ryan said. “It wasn’t an equal pay law, and of course, we support equal pay.”

Romney did not clarify his original position on the bill at Tuesday night’s presidential debate, and his adviser’s attempt to walk back his statement to reporters indicates the Romney campaign is trying to keep it that way.

But the Obama campaign has other plans.

Campaigning in Athens, Ohio on Wednesday evening, the president brought up the Romney campaign’s changing statements on the Ledbetter Act, saying, “Just today his campaign admitted, well, he’s never weighed in on that. What’s so hard about weighing in on that?  Either you believe in equal pay, or you don’t.”

Obama added, “I weighed in on it because it’s the first bill I signed.”

Notably, equal pay for women has not improved significantly during President Obama’s first term, but the Lilly Ledbetter Act has helped some victims of discrimination pursue their compensation claims in the courts, women’s rights advocates say.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct172012

Condoleezza Rice Joins Paul Ryan on the Campaign Trail

STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages(BEREA, Ohio) -- Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joined Paul Ryan on the campaign trail Wednesday, marking the first time she’s hit the trail for the Romney ticket since she fired up the crowd with a speech at the Republican National Convention in August.

“It doesn’t matter where you came from, it matters where you are going” was her message in this battleground state of Ohio, inferring that the president, whom she never mentioned by name, is not someone who’s offering the right direction for the country.

“As important as it is for us to pay our bills and not take on debt that we can’t afford, as important as it is to get people back to work, as important as it is to give people a sense of hope again, I want to make another argument to you,” Rice said, speaking to a crowd of over 1,000 at Baldwin Wallace University.

As secretary of state, Rice said, you get to travel and see what America “means to the world,” stressing a sense of equality is what makes the world admire the U.S.

“People here have never been trapped in their view of class as a prison,” Rice said to cheers. “We have never been envious of one another, and we have certainly never been envious of one another’s success. Instead, we’ve been a country of opportunity and hope,” Rice said. “That principle that it doesn’t matter where you came from, it matters where you’re going, has always meant that we have not been a people who were constantly aggrieved. ‘Why don’t I have?’ And we didn’t give way to aggrievement's [sic] twin brother, entitlement. ‘Why don’t they give me?’”

Rice said Americans know “we might not be able to control our circumstances, but we could control our response to our circumstances,” adding, “That’s what this election’s about.”

She acknowledged that “it’s been a rough decade or so.”

“9/11 changed our conception of physical security, the crisis of 2008 changed our conception of economic prosperity and security, and the last four years have been very tough on folks who just want to work hard and make a living,” Rice said. “So when Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan say they’re going to put this country back to work, this is an urgent call, not one for which we can wait another four years.”

Rice also reprised a line from her convention speech when she related the message to her youth in segregated Alabama and said, “Americans have had a way of making the impossible seem inevitable in retrospect.”

“And then a little girl grows up in Birmingham, Alabama,” Rice said to huge cheers. “She can’t go to a restaurant, a movie theatre, but her parents have her absolutely convinced she can be president of the United States, she becomes the secretary of state.”

When Ryan got to the stage, he hugged Rice, calling her the “embodiment of the American idea” and noted it was the second time he had followed her. The first was the GOP convention. “It’s a little intimidating, tough act to follow.”

Ryan praised his running mate’s performance in the second presidential debate, saying to cheers, “Didn’t Mitt Romney do a great job for us last night?”

The GOP vice presidential nominee also focused on women, possibly to court those who may have been turned off by his running mate’s “binders full of women” comment at Tuesday night’s face-off.

“We had a discussion about how women are faring in this economy last night,” Ryan said. “Five and a half million women are still struggling for work in this economy -- a half-million more are unemployed today than when President Obama was sworn in. Twenty-six million women are trapped in poverty today, that’s the highest rate in 17 years.”

The Obama campaign responded to Ryan’s remarks, saying he “was in a tough spot trying to spin Mitt Romney’s rattled, awkward, and dishonest debate performance.”

“Romney doesn’t have a plan to create jobs, reduce deficits, or strengthen the middle class -- all he’s offering is the same failed policies that nearly crashed our economy in the first place,” Obama campaign spokesperson Danny Kanner said in a statement.

After the rally, Rice and Ryan, as well as Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who has been a constant on the Ohio campaign trail for the Romney ticket, visited the Cleveland Browns’ training facility. Rice is a big Browns fan and they got to watch the players train as well as chat with a few. Rice told the players she had even taken some foreign ministers to football games, saying how she would explain football to someone who doesn’t know the game: “It’s a game of taking territory. Just keep taking territory.”

The most recent polls in this crucial battleground still have the president ahead between four and six points, but both sides are aggressively campaigning on the ground and on the airwaves in the state. Ryan has another event in Columbus on Wednesday evening before traveling to Florida on Thursday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct152012

Ryan Tells Ohio Voters They Have a ‘Responsibility’ to Talk to '08 Obama Voters

J.D. Pooley/Getty Image(CINCINNATI) -- Paul Ryan made a quick stop Monday in the crucial state of Ohio to remind supporters of their “responsibility” to talk to friends who voted for Barack Obama in 2008, but now “just aren’t as impressed,” and get them to turn out for Mitt Romney.

“You know, you have a big say-so,” Ryan told the crowd of several hundred at a Cincinnati air field. “You know, you’re the battleground state of battleground states. You understand your responsibility, right? You understand your opportunity, right? That means you have within your control, your ability to go find those people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 … who heard the hope and the change and loved the promises, all these great speeches, but see that this is nothing but a failed agenda of broken promises, of hollow rhetoric.”

Ryan acknowledged the massive air war going on from both sides, but said that the debates have let him and Romney “cut through the clutter.” Romney and Obama face off again Tuesday night.

“People will see through it,” Ryan said. “Look, I know what your TV screens look like these days. These debates are giving us the ability to cut through the clutter and give people a very clear choice. That’s what we are offering. And the choice is really clear.”

Ohio is seen as crucial, because no Republican has ever gotten to the White House without winning the state. The most recent poll out of Ohio, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll from last week, found President Obama with 51 percent support to Romney’s 45 percent.

As he did in Wisconsin Monday morning, Ryan urged the audience to “vote early so that on Election Day you can help get people to the polls, you can help make the phone calls, you can help give people rides.”

“This election is so important, we even need you to talk to your relatives to get them out. That’s so important,” Ryan joked.

The Obama campaign responded that the Romney campaign may be “offering new rhetoric,” but the underlying message is still the same.

“Congressman Ryan’s claim that Mitt Romney is offering actual solutions is totally disconnected from reality,” Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner said in a statement. “While Romney and Ryan are certainly offering new rhetoric in the campaign’s final weeks, they can’t hide their plan to bring back the same failed policies that punished middle class families and crashed our economy in the first place.”

After his brief remarks, the GOP vice presidential nominee served Montgomery Inn barbecue to supporters waiting in line, asking over and over, “Chicken or pork?”

In between barbecue, backers congratulated him on his debate performance, while others said they are “praying for you to win.” Ryan introduced himself as “Paul,” telling those with kind or supportive words, “That’s the nicest thing you could say to me.”

Ryan later headed to New York City Monday afternoon to hold a series of fundraisers, including addressing high-level donors from all over the country who are gathering in New York for a meeting on fundraising and strategy.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct152012

Romney Raises $170.4M in September, But Is Again Outpaced by Obama

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages(WALTHAM, Mass.) -- Mitt Romney’s campaign announced Monday that it raised more than $170.4 million in September, marking the best fundraising month to date for the Republican nominee.

But Romney’s fundraising loot still came in under that of President Obama and the Democrats, who reported raising $181 million in September, the most an incumbent president has ever raised in a single month before his re-election. The Obama campaign has not released how much they have in cash on hand.

Romney, along with the Republican National Committee and the Romney Victory Fund, reports having $191 million in cash on hand.

“Americans can’t afford four more years like the last four. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are offering voters a vision for our country that will grow the economy, increase incomes, and bring relief to the middle class,” Romney’s National Finance Chair Spencer Zwick said in an e-mailed statement. “That is why we are seeing such strong support from donors across the country. With less than one month left, we will continue the hard work of raising the resources to ensure that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can win in November and bring real change to the American people.”

In August, Romney raised $111.6 million to Obama’s $114 million.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct092012

Biden to Answer Questions at VP Debate After Months of No National TV Interviews

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- When Vice President Joe Biden steps on the stage at Centre College for the Vice Presidential debate in Kentucky Thursday night, it will be the first time the vice president has been on national television airwaves answering questions from a reporter since the May Meet the Press interview when he expressed his comfort with gay marriage.

The vice president has engaged in no national TV interviews and few local and print interviews since May, which forced President Obama to complete his evolution on the issue sooner than expected.

Biden’s lack of subsequent national interviews stands in stark contrast to his Republican counterpart Rep. Paul Ryan, who is creeping towards the 200 interview mark since he entered the race in August.  Ryan conducts interviews with local television stations during many of his campaign stops as well as national interviews, including a recent joint interview with his running mate Mitt Romney with FOX News’ Sean Hannity last week.

In contrast, Biden has only completed one major national interview since Ryan entered the race.  The vice president granted access to New York Magazine’s John Heilemann in August for a cover story that took place over a three day campaign swing through North Carolina and Virginia.  That was the same campaign swing in which Republicans seized on Biden’s suggestion to a predominantly African American audience that the GOP would put people “back in chains” by undoing a Wall Street Reform bill.

By ABC News’ count, Biden has conducted less than a handful of interviews with local television stations and newspapers over the summer and into the Fall months.  In May, Biden took time for an interview with WTOV in Steubenville, Ohio where he was asked about the more than 40 percent of West Virginia voters who cast their ballot for a Texas inmate in the state’s Democratic primary.

Reporters traveling with Biden have had few opportunities to question the candidate.  Last week, he spoke with reporters about his debate prep outside a Hy-Vee supermarket in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Earlier in the month, reporters shouted questions to Biden the day after Romney’s 47 percent video surfaced but only received a response of “I’ll let his words speak for themselves.”

While Biden has engaged in few on-the-record question and answer sessions with reporters, he does take the time to directly answer questions posed to him by voters, whether it’s over the phone while dialing up potential voters at campaign field offices in Iowa or Ohio or taking questions as he sits down to eat lunch at a restaurant.  During a stop last month at Nestor’s Gourmet Deli in Boca Raton, Fla., Biden engaged in a conversation with a voter who had questions about how President Obama’s healthcare plan would lower the amount he pays for healthcare. Biden interspersed answers with slurps from a bowl of soup and bites from a tuna salad platter he had ordered.

The Obama campaign did not respond immediately to a request for comment but previously noted to ABC News that the vice president has maintained a vigorous campaign schedule throughout the election cycle.

“Day after day, event after event, the Vice President has been traveling across the country all year making the case about what’s truly at stake in this election, taking Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan’s agenda head on and making clear why President Obama is the right choice for middle class families.  In more than 100 events this year, the Vice President has been campaigning in states across the country directly connecting with voters in their communities,” a campaign official told ABC News last month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct052012

Roseanne Barr to Run Presidential Campaign Ads in California

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic(SAN FRANCISCO) -- One presidential candidate is buying television airtime in California, but it’s not Mitt Romney or Barack Obama.

It’s former sitcom star Roseanne Barr, who is running as the Peace and Freedom Party’s presidential candidate.

Media tracking sources tell ABC News that Barr is spending $4,900 to run television ads in the San Francisco Bay Area from Oct. 9 through Oct. 16. She’s purchased time on cable stations like CNN, MSNBC, TBS, the Country Music Channel and Comedy Central.

Solidly-Democratic California typically does not get much action on the TV airwaves from the major party presidential candidates.

No word yet on what the ad will look like, but here’s a clue:  Barr is running mostly on a one-issue campaign platform -- legalizing marijuana.

“Thank you for breaking through your mind control programming and having some free thought,” she told a crowd at an Oakland, Calif. marijuana dispensary earlier this month. “Marijuana really does help you break through that and remember what is important.”

Barr captured the Peace and Freedom Party’s presidential nomination in August and chose anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan as her running mate. She originally competed for the Green Party nomination, but lost that bid.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct052012

In Rainy Cleveland, Obama Slams Romney’s Debate ‘Tap Dance’

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages(CLEVELAND) -- Speaking before thousands of soggy supporters at a rainy Cleveland rally, President Obama Friday afternoon unveiled some new zingers against Mitt Romney’s claims in Wednesday night’s debate.

“My opponent, he was doing a lot of, a little tap dance at the debate the other night, trying to wiggle out of stuff he’s been saying for a year,” Obama told a crowd of 9,000 in the pouring rain at Cleveland State University.

“It was like ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ Or maybe it was ‘Extreme Makeover’ debate edition,” the drenched president said to laughter from poncho-clad supporters. “No matter what he says, my opponent, he’s a big believer of these top-down economics. He thinks that if we spend another $5 trillion on tax cuts that favor the wealthiest, we get rid of more regulations on Wall Street, all of our problems are going to be solved. Jobs and prosperity will rain down from the sky.”

“I know I’m preaching to the choir here because you all are standing in the rain,” he added. “But a little rain never hurt anybody. Some of these policies from the other side could hurt a whole lot of folks.”

Obama continued to attack Romney for saying he would cut funding for public broadcasting to help reduce the nation’s deficit.

“For all you moms and kids out there, don’t worry, somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird. Elmo, you better make a run for it,” Obama joked. “Gov. Romney is going to let Wall Street run wild again, but he’s going to bring the hammer down on ‘Sesame Street.’”

“Boo,” the audience replied.

“You want me to save Big Bird?” Obama asked as the crowd erupted into chants of “Save Big Bird!”

After the rally, the president made a surprise visit to the Cleveland West Side Market, where he stopped by the aptly named Michelle’s Bakery.

“It is no coincidence that I’m stopping at Michelle’s Bakery,” Obama said, according to reports. “I just want to point that out. And she spells it the right way, with two Ls.”

Obama ordered a variety of baked goods, including a piece of pumpkin cheesecake and zucchini bread, and insisted on having his picture taken in front of the sign that read, “Michelle’s Bakery.”

The president then worked his way around the other vendors, chatting with the patrons and proprietors. When he asked the owner of Rolston Poultry how business was going, the man light-heartedly replied, “terrible since you got here.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct042012

Romney Pleased Debate Showed He and Obama Stand for Very Different Things

Win McNamee/Getty Images(FISHERSVILLE, Va.) -- A jubilant Mitt Romney bounded on a concert stage in Virginia to capitalize on his strong debate performance Wednesday night, telling the crowd of thousands that Americans were finally able to see that he and the president “stand for something very different.”

“Now, last night was an important night for the country because people got the chance,” said Romney, immediately interrupted by cheers as soon as he mentioned the debate. “They got the chance to cut through all the attacks and counterattacks and all of the theatrics associated with a campaign and, instead, they were able to listen to substance.

“I appreciate the fact that Jim Lehrer asked questions of substance and we each responded to them,” said Romney, beginning to tick off a list of debate topics. “I got the chance to ask the president questions that people across the country have wanted to ask him, such as why is it that he pushed Obamacare at a time when we had 23 million people out of work?"

“I asked him those questions and you heard his answers,” he said. “I think as a result of those answers, the American people recognize that he and I stand for something very different. I’m going to help the American people get good jobs and a bright future.”

Romney summed up the debate in single line: “What you didn’t hear last night from the president is why it is the next four years are possibly going to be better than the last four years.”

Romney was joined by his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who emerged from extensive debate prep for the rally, which was one of the most highly produced of the campaign. Several enormous American flags blew in the wind and a full concert stage had been set up for country music star Trace Adkins. As a grand finale, there were fireworks. The campaign estimated that more than 5,700 people had come to the event.

Ryan lauded Romney’s performance at the debate, calling it a “glimpse into the future.”

“Last night, we saw a clear picture, we saw a clear choice,” said Ryan. “Last night, America got to see the man I know -- a leader, a decisive man, an optimistic man, a man with a plan to get people back to work and to protect our freedoms.”

But both Romney and Ryan didn’t dwell on Wednesday’s debate for too long, turning to comments made by Vice President Biden earlier Thursday about tax hikes.

“Last night, President Obama made very clear he’s going to raise taxes. Today, Vice President Joe Biden made it even more clear,” said Ryan, reading from his notes and referring to a comment Biden made earlier in the day in which he said that he and Obama wanted to raise taxes by a trillion dollars, before quickly following up that he was referring to their desire to let the Bush tax cuts expire.

“In Iowa … he asked himself a question. And he asked if he and President Obama want a trillion [dollar] tax hike and his response to himself was, ‘Yes we do.’ That’s a direct quote friends,” said Ryan, who did not read the latter portion of Biden’s quote that provided more context.

“Well, Virginia: No. We. Don’t,” he said.

Romney touched on Biden’s remark, too, saying that the vice president had “blurted out the truth today.”

“They plan on raising taxes on the American people, and that will kill jobs. We will not let that happen. We want to create jobs, not kill jobs in this country,” said Romney, adding later, “I don’t want to raise taxes on anybody.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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