Mitt Romney rallies supporters in Des Moines


Photo: CNN

Mitt Romney campaigns at a rally Sunday, Nov. 4, in Des Moines to a crowd of more than 4,000 people. 

David Bartholomew

Just two days before the most important night of his political career, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a stop in Des Moines to rally a crowd of more than 4,000 supporters.

Crammed into Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center, the flock of supporters were greeted Sunday, Nov. 4, by U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, U.S. Rep. Tom Latham and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who gave Romney’s introduction.

Branstad, known for his criticism of President Barack Obama, pulled out all the stops in his support of Romney’s credentials and his undercutting of the president.

“If Obama wants to take credit for the economy, let him take credit for it in Illinois, but not in Iowa, not in Wisconsin, not in Michigan and not in Indiana,” Branstad said.

Branstad was referring to those states because of their Republican governors and legislatures, all of whom have pushed for right-to-work laws, voter IDs and resistance to Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Branstad went on to tout the bipartisan attitude of Romney in contrast to Obama’s “liberal agenda.”

“Iowa’s message for Obama is ‘It’s time for a change. It’s time for you to go back to Chicago,'” Branstad said. “Gov. Romney will work with Democrats and Republicans. … Help us deliver Iowa and send Mitt Romney to the White House.”

Entering the hall to thundering applause from the supporters, Romney quickly took the helm after Branstad’s introduction and wasted no time in pumping up the crowd.

“Your voices are being heard all over the country this morning,” Romney said. “And let’s make sure we get everyone out to vote on Tuesday. … We’ve promised to build the economy and restore the principles that made America the greatest country on earth.”

Romney didn’t hold back as every mention of the president and his policies drew jeers from the enthused crowd.

“Obama focused on Obamacare, which killed jobs,” Romney said. “Unemployment is higher today than when he took office. … The middle class is being squeezed with lower take-home pay. The president thinks more government is the answer. No. More good jobs is the answer.”

Romney highlighted his business experience and outlined five core principles he would accomplish if elected: more domestic energy drilling and completion of controversial Keystone Pipeline, increased trade with Latin America and the labeling of China as a currency manipulator, worker training, passage of what he called the “Down Payment on Fiscal Sanity Act,” and state waivers for Obamacare, as well as a “sweeping review” of all Obama-era regulations.

Additionally, as Branstad promoted, Romney drew upon his willingness to reach across the aisle and work with Congressional Democrats in a bipartisan manner.

“When I’m elected, I’ll work with Democrats and Republicans,” Romney said. “I won’t just represent one party, I’ll represent one nation.”

The final part of Romney’s speech was aimed at sending a “get out the vote” message to his supporters. With Iowa being such an important swing state for both Romney and Obama, both campaigns have gone to great lengths to establish themselves as the right candidate for the job.

“President Obama is trying to convince you the last four years were a success: He calls the plan ‘forward’ — I call it ‘forewarned,'” Romney said. “With the right leadership, America is going to come roaring back. We’re Americans; we can do anything.”

Romney finished his speech with one last call to the state of Iowa.

“I need Iowa — I need Iowa so we can win the White House and take back America, keep it strong, make sure we always remain the hope of the earth,” Romney said.

Romney concluded his final event in Iowa with the usual hand shaking and waving at the eccentric crowd, many of whom loudly chanted “USA” throughout the closing of the event.

With elections fast approaching on Tuesday Nov. 6, both campaigns are making their final push to wrap up swing states in order to gain the upper hand in the electoral count.

A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal nationwide poll shows a deadlocked race between the two, with Obama pulling 48 percent and Romney at 47 percent. However, in Iowa, a statewide poll by The Des Moines Register released Saturday night showed Obama leading Romney 47 to 42 percent.

Obama will make his final campaign appearance in Iowa on Monday, Nov. 5 in Des Moines, while Romney will spend his final day in New Hampshire.