Mitt Romney’s son visits Ames

David Fountain, left, sophomore in criminal justice, speaks with Josh Romney, son of presidental nominee Mitt Romney. Josh Romney spoke Tuesday at the Republican Victory Office in Ames to campaign for his father.

David Bartholomew

In the days leading up to the presidential election, all hands on deck are needed to help out with the campaign. This includes family, friends, pets, neighbors and everyone in between. On Tuesday, one of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s sons, Josh Romney, took a trip out to the GOP headquarters in Ames to rally the troops for his father with less than a month to go in the election.

In the hour or so before his arrival, the campaign office in Ames was hopping with volunteers streaming in to make phone calls, mingle and get a chance to see a blood relative of their presidential candidate. ISU student David Fountain, a sophomore in criminal justice who has also been working as an intern in the campaign office, was excited to see Romney’s son.

“I like Romney because he ran a business and his financial capabilities are much better than Obama’s; he knows what’s going on,” Fountain said. “He’s also pro-life, which I like quite a bit.”

What’s more, Fountain appreciated the fact Romney worked with a Democratic legislature during his time as governor of Massachusetts.

“As governor of Massachusetts, he was doing a lot of bipartisan, reaching across the aisle,” Fountain said. “He can make a lot of people happy by compromising.”

Indeed, many pundits have touted Romney’s ability to appear likable to both the moderate and right-wing factions of his party which appears to have helped shape his image as able to work with both sides if elected president. Alex Meyer, senior in political science and chemical engineering, showed up to see Josh Romney because it was an exciting time in the election season and she also liked Mitt Romney’s potential for bipartisanship.

“I like his energy policies and health care plan, which I feel is a good balance between left and right,” Meyer said. “He’s got business experience and he’s more about what’s right for America, not what he thinks is popular.”

On the other hand, Meyer said Obama still has the upper hand in the election because he has “put forth a plan for the economy.”

After a few minutes of introductions by Jerry behn, Iowa’s Senate minority leader, and Stephen Quist, candidate for the Iowa House, the man of the hour, Josh Romney, made his way into the crowded campaign room on east Lincoln Way in the presence of a loud applause from the supporters present.

Romney, a 36-year-old real estate developer who currently lives in Salt Lake City with his family, has taken to the campaign road with his dad, mom, and four brothers over the past two years in support of their dad’s presidential campaign. As of date, he has visited all 99 counties in Iowa and will continue to campaign in the state as much as he can. And as soon as he arrived, he took no time to say to the crowd why he was there.

“Twenty-three million Americans are out of work and that is a real tragedy,” Romney said. “My dad is a guy who doesn’t need a lot of debate prep because he already knows about the economy.”

Getting more specific as his speech went on, Romney held nothing back in discussing Obama and his policies toward the private sector and the administration’s loan to the infamous, failed solar company, Solyndra.

“When the government gets involved in the private sector, it doesn’t work,” Romney said. “Investing in companies like Solyndra gives it an advantage over other solar companies. President Obama does not know how the private sector works.

“There’s a clear choice here: someone who understands the economy and someone who doesn’t.”

Relying much on his relationship with his father as credentials to speak on his behalf, Josh Romney was able to keep the crowd’s interest while also keeping them motivated.