Remarks with Senator Rob Portman and Governor Chris Christie at a Campaign Event in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
PORTMAN: What a crowd! Summit County looked like Romney/Ryan country to me! [applause] Thank you for being here. Thank you for caring enough about your country not just to be here but for all you're going to do over the next 28 days to elect Mitt Romney the next president of the United States. [applause] All right, raise your hand if you've made a phone call for Mitt. [applause] Raise your hand — raise your hand if you've gone door to door for Mitt. [applause] Raise your hand if you've put up a yard sign for Mitt. [applause] We want every hand raised!
Folks this election is too important for us to not leave it all on the field. You agree with me? [applause] Early voting, be sure you go to everyone you know and help them with that application for an absentee ballot. Have you early voted yet? Raise your hand. Get everybody early voting. We cannot afford another four years of Barack Obama. [applause]
Folks, four years ago Barack Obama said if you don't have a record to run on, then you attack your opponent and you make a big election about small things. Barack Obama's latest TV ad features Big Bird. Talk about making a big election about small things. Folks, we're not going to let him do that, are we?
SEN. PORTMAN: We're going to make this election about big things, not distortions, not negative ads. It's going to be about the proposals that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have to put people back to work in Northeast Ohio and get at the deficit and debt in this country. [applause] It's going to be about his pro-growth proposals to restore the American dream. We have somebody here on stage with us tonight who's done that in his home state of New Jersey. [applause] He likes to tell it like it is. [applause]
As a prosecutor, he took on the gangs, he took on the politicians. As a governor, he's taken on the special interests to do what's right for the people of New Jersey. Folks, there is no more effective advocate out there for Mitt Romney. Please help me welcome the governor of New Jersey — [applause] — go for it.
CHRISTIE: All right, Ohio. You ready to get the job done?
GOV. CHRISTIE: Now, listen, I tell you, a few weeks ago, I watched the Democratic National Convention. I did it as a sacrifice in service to my country. I sat on my couch in my living room. I made my 12-year-old son Patrick bring me a big bottle of water because I've got to tell you when I hear that much BS, I get lightheaded. I get lightheaded.
So I had to stay alert. I had to stay hydrated. I had to stay with it. And I had to listen. And I listened and I heard a lot of crazy stuff. But let me tell you the thing that worried me the most. Something that they said at the Democratic National Convention, that they own. This is what they said. They said government is the only thing we all belong to.
GOV. CHRISTIE: Now, I want you — I know. But I want you to listen to that again. Government is the only thing we all belong to. Now, I have to tell you something, everybody. I'm from New Jersey and we've got more than our share of Democrats in my state. But even in my state they taught this simple truth. We don't belong to government. The government belongs to us. [applause]
See, the Declaration of Independence starts off: we the people. We the people give limited authority and power to the government to act for us, not make them pick the winners and losers in America. [applause] See, the problem with this president is he sees all of us as just actors and pawns in his great plan to — (audio break) — in unnamed buildings in Washington, D.C., should decide who wins and who loses in Ohio.
Let me tell you one thing. Mitt Romney thinks you should decide who wins and loses in America. [applause] In the America that Mitt Romney is going to help lead us back to, it's going to be the three big factors that are going to decide who wins and loses in America — your ingenuity, your integrity and your work ethic. Those are the three things that always determined it in America. Let's put the people back in charge of our country, not the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. [applause]
And you know, the senator said I'm a former prosecutor. So I want to end by making a little closing statement. And the best way to make a closing statement — we won lots of cases — was not to use your own words but to use the words of the person that you're prosecuting. And so, tonight we'll use the words of the president of the United States. And the president of the United States said that you can't change Washington from the inside. That's what he said. He said it himself.
And I feel badly for the president. Maybe he's still a little tired from last Wednesday night. Maybe he's a little — [applause]. Maybe he's just a little disoriented when he said it. But let me remind him because I want to help the president I'm sure, because he loves me. I'm sure he's out there listening. Mr. President, you have lived inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for four years. If you can't change Washington from inside the White House then let's get you the plane ticket back the plane ticket to Chicago you've earned. [applause]
And there is one man who's going to make sure that that ticket gets punched on November 6th. There is one man who has got the integrity, the ingenuity, the work ethic and the wherewithal to be able to make that happen for us. Ladies and gentlemen, we all have to spend the next 28 days taking our country back and the man who's going to lead us on that fight is the next president of the United States, Governor Mitt Romney. [applause]
MITT ROMNEY: Thank you! Thank you, Governor! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
AUDIENCE: Romney! Romney! Romney!
MR. ROMNEY: Thank you! Wow! Thank you, Ohio. What a welcome! Thank you! Well, thank you, Governor Christie. Thank you, Senator Portman. Thank you, Lieutenant Governor Taylor, Congressman Renacci, each of you who've come and spoken this evening. I owe them a great deal for being here. I owe you probably even more for standing out in the cold all this time to wait for us. Thank you for your help.
We're going to make it make a difference. [applause] I've been watching some of the — of President Obama's rallies and they chant four more years, four more years. And today there are 28 days before the election. I think the right chant ought to be for them four more weeks, four more weeks, all right? [applause] And with an audience like this —
AUDIENCE: Four more weeks! Four more weeks! Four more weeks!
MR. ROMNEY: You got the idea. You got the idea. I know there' greater and greater interest in this campaign across the country.
The fact that, I don't know, 10,000 people or more are here this evening is a testament to how much people care about this election. I know people are focusing on how the country is going to be led going forward and I think that's in part because people are facing some tough times. There are a lot of people out of work, of course. Twenty-three million people struggling for a good job. One out of six people has fallen into poverty. You probably know this. The number of people on food stamps has gone from 32 million when the president was elected to 47 million today. That's a that's a 15 million —
AUDIENCE MEMBER: He built that!
MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, he built that, yeah. That's a 15 million-person increase. That's even bigger than the state of Ohio, number of new people on food stamps. And so people are concerned. People graduating from college can't find work. Half the kids coming out of college can't find work or college level work.
And so people are focused on big things as these speakers just mentioned, very big things. At a time like this for the president to get up and say as he has over these last several days that he's focused on saving Big Bird is kind of a strange thing in my view because, you see, I'm focused on helping the American people get good jobs and brighter prospects. [applause]
Now, I must admit I enjoyed the debate we had last week. That was a great experience. [applause] And I was able to ask the president some of the questions that people across the country have wanted to ask him like why it was with 23 million people out of work he spent his first two years pushing "Obamacare" that made it harder for people to get jobs and why it was with trillion-dollar deficits he took $90 billion to put into green energy companies.
And why it was that when he promised us that health insurance costs were going to come down for the average family by $2,500 a year instead they went up by $2,500 a year. And so I asked him these questions and he gave his answers or non-answers as the case may be. I actually think that people have heard what he had to say and it's time for them to see him leave the White House and to say goodbye to him on November 6th. [applause] Now, we —
AUDIENCE: Four more weeks! Four more weeks! Four more weeks!
MR. ROMNEY: You know, one thing we did agree upon in that debate was that we represent two very different pathways for America. And I hope you've given some thought to that. See, the president spoke about his plans going forward. It's very clear what'll happen. If he were to be reelected president, why, he would spend a trillion dollars more every year than we take in. In my view, we have a moral responsibility to stop taking — let me say it again. In my view, we have a moral responsibility to stop spending more money than we take in and passing on those debts to our kids. [applause]
Borrowing billions of dollars from China and passing on those burdens is wrong. It's bad for the economy. It's bad for the future. It'll kill the American dream. And if I'm president, I will get us on track to finally having a balanced budget. [applause] This is not just a matter of economics. This is not just a matter of how much we're going to pay in interest costs down the road. It's a matter of whether American is going to continue to lead the world, whether we're going to have the capacity to provide a bright future for our kids. It's a matter of whether we're going to be able to have a military that's second to none in the world. I will get America strong by strengthening our foundation and that means getting us on track to a balanced budget. Now, there's another difference between us. This is a president who, if he's reelected, will put in place or install "Obamacare." That will cost —
MR. ROMNEY: That will cost an additional $2,500 per family on top of what we're already spending. We can't afford that. I will repeal "Obamacare" and replace it with real reforms. [applause] If this president were to be reelected, why, you're going to see him cut the military, hundreds of billions of dollars of cuts in his own budget.
MR. ROMNEY: And that sequestration idea of his, that takes out hundreds of billions of dollars more. I will not cut our military. We will keep our military second to none. [applause] And then of course there's his jobs plan, or the — exactly right. What jobs plan was a question from up front here. He basically laid out in that debate what his jobs plan was and it sounded eerily reminiscent of what it was four years ago and that did not work. I hope you understand that. He is speaking about the status quo. He wants another stimulus. How'd the last one work out?
MR. ROMNEY: He wants to pick winners and losers like Solyndra and Tesla and Fisker — or losers, in his case. He also wants to hire more government workers. There's nothing wrong with government workers. But that's not going to get our economy going. He wants to raise taxes on small business. I will not raise taxes on small business. [applause]
And you see, by virtue of what he's describing, you're going to see unemployment if he were reelected to stay high. You're going to see wage growth nonexistent. And of course, you'll see fiscal crises like they're seeing in Europe. I want to take a very different path. I have five things I'll do to get this economy going. Number one, we're going to take advantage of our oil, our gas, our coal, our nuclear, our renewables. [applause]
We have abundant natural resources and taking advantage of them will put people to work in the energy sector. It will also bring back manufacturing. Taking advantage of our energy resources will create 3-1/2 to 4 million jobs. We need them. I want them. We're going to get them in this country. [applause]
Now number two, we're going to take advantage of trade. We're going to open up new markets for trade. President Obama's been in office four years. He's signed no new trade agreements. I will open up trade, particularly in Latin America, to help get more good jobs in this country. And by the way, I'm going to crack down on China when they cheat. They can't steal our jobs with unfair practices. [applause] Number three, we're going to make training programs work for our people to make sure they have the jobs of today, have the skills for those jobs. We're going to get our schools to finally be world-class as they once were. Look, we're the nation that invented public education. It's an embarrassment. It's also unfair to our kids to have our schools performing in the bottom third of the world. I will make sure it's time to put our kids and our parents and the teachers first and the teachers union behind. [applause]
Number four — number four, I've already mentioned. But you're not going to get entrepreneurs to start a little business and to risk their life savings or big businesses to come to Ohio and build a new facility and hire people if they think we're on the road to Greece and that's why one more reason is there that we simply cannot keep on spending more money than we take in. We must stop it. I'll put us on track to a balanced budget with a balanced budget amendment capping federal spending and cutting spending.
And number five — and number five, we're going to champion small business. Small business is where jobs come from. I'm going to help small businesses with lower taxes, regulations that work to help small business and of course we're going to help small business by repealing "Obamacare." It kills jobs. [applause]
Those five — those five steps are going to bring jobs back. We're going to create 12 million jobs with those five steps. We're going to get rising incomes again. Look, you can compare two very different paths. The president is describing what he's done for the last four years. He calls it forward. I call it forewarned, all right. We know where that leads. We don't have to ask where a stimulus and more government hiring and government investments by him and various companies and raising taxes will lead. We know where that leads. We're experiencing it now. We cannot afford four more years like the last four years. [applause]
AUDIENCE: Four more weeks! Four more weeks! Four more weeks!
MR. ROMNEY: Now, I want you to know — I want you to know how confident I am in America's future and it comes because of the heart and spirit of the American people. We're a patriotic people. We're a people that are imbued with the great qualities of the human spirit. I've seen that throughout my life. I had the occasion to serve as pastor in my church for a while. In my church, you do that part-time. I did that as a lay minister and I got to know the Oparowski family well. You may have seen them at the Republican convention.
He's a firefighter from Medford, Massachusetts, and she's a homemaker. They have two sons. I got to know them and visit them about once a month for a number of years. And then we learned that their youngest son David had contracted leukemia. The doctors did their work but concluded that there was no prospect of his recovery. And so David brought me into his room on one occasion. He was lying in bed and he said to me, what comes next. I described my beliefs to him. He looked at me with a seriousness and sobriety and thoughtfulness.
Then later as he became more ill and was in the hospital he asked me to come by the hospital. He heard and knew that I had a law degree even though I wasn't a practicing lawyer and he said he hoped that I could draft a will for him. So I went to the hospital — (audio break) — skateboard and of course he gave his rifle to his brother. This is a young man of seriousness and thoughtfulness and character. I've seen that character throughout the experiences I've had with the American people.
He exemplified a saying that I've heard since which is clear eyes, full heart, can't lose. David Oparowski is a young man who didn't lose. He lost his life but kept his character, the character of a true American and I sure love that young man. [applause]
I had a different experience that also reminds me of the character of the American people and gives me confidence in the great qualities that we have. I was in my neighborhood and I got a flyer around Christmastime announcing that there was going to be a neighborhood party with the address. And that evening when the day for the party came along, I wasn't planning on going. But it turned out that I looked behind our house and there were some people having a big party and looking out over our house from their deck there.
And I said to Ann, you know, if we don't go over there we're going to look unsocial because we're right here. They can see our lights on. So she agreed and she got dressed up and we went over there and went inside and they welcomed us. They were very friendly and they had dinner and everything. We had dinner with them and got pictures taken. It was really wonderful except it turned out this wasn't the neighborhood party. [laughter]
This was some guy and his wife having a party with their friends and I showed up and it's, like, well, come on in, you know. So we came in and I met some remarkable people. One of whom — one of whom was a former Navy SEAL and he'd served with our SEALs. [applause] And you know, even after he left the SEALs, he wanted to continue to make a difference in the Middle East. He cared about the people there and so he volunteered for assignments to go over and provide security for various efforts in the Middle East to try and help there — (audio break) — Benghazi.
And it broke my heart. He was a guy who had lived in my home state of Massachusetts. We shared some passions for the kinds of things he was interested in. And I read a story about him and about the fellow that he was with, the other former Navy SEAL. They were apparently not in the consulate when it was hit. They were apparently in another facility across town according to CNN International.
And when they heard that the consulate was under attack they didn't go hide. They didn't hunker down. They got up with some others and came to the consulate to the aid of their fellows. [applause] That's America. That's America. That's the American spirit. We face some real challenges but we don't run from them. We run to them. We confront them. Right now, we face some major challenges in this country. This debt is a threat to us. It's got to end.
This economy is not creating the jobs it should. We've got to fix it. Our schools aren't preparing our kids for the jobs of tomorrow. We've got to fix them so we can give our kids the bright prospects they deserve. Our military — we depend upon it for our security. We depend upon it to help provide liberty to others around the world. The idea of cutting it by a trillion dollars is unthinkable. We must strengthen it and keep it the hope of the Earth that it's been for decades and decades. [applause]
This is — this is our time. This is our time here. We benefit from the fact that the greatest generation provided for us prosperity and peace and gave us hope and optimism for the future. They held a torch aloft for us to see. But there are not as many of them as there used to be. And they're not able to hold the torch as high as they used to because of their age. It's our time to take that torch. It's America's honor to carry that torch of freedom and hope and opportunity for the world. And we're going to do it. [applause]
We're going to do it here in Ohio. And I make this commitment to you. My commitment to you is that I will do everything in my power to keep America strong. I will restore the values that made America the nation that it is. I will do everything I can to strengthen our economy to get more good jobs for our people and rising incomes again. I'll do everything I can to strengthen our military, to stand with our friends globally to make sure we don't show distance between ourselves and our best friends in the world.
I will do everything to get this country right again. That's my commitment to you — (audio break) — Obama and get them to come join our team. [applause] This is not about one person. It's not about a political party. It's about our country. The soul of America is at stake. This is a time we have to come together and take back America. We're going to do it. Ohio's going to elect me the next president of the United States. And we'll do it together. Thank you so very much! Great to be with you! Thank you!
Mitt Romney, Remarks with Senator Rob Portman and Governor Chris Christie at a Campaign Event in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315891