THURSDAY UPDATE #2: FOX 31′s Eli Stokols:
At a press conference in a Lakewood teacher’s backyard, state Rep. Max Tyler and DNC Vice Chairman R.T. Rybak laughed at the Romney campaign’s refined slogan, “Strengthening the Middle Class”, and argued that the GOP challenger’s policies would do anything but.
“They’re putting up signs that say ‘Strengthening the Middle Class’ because of that study has shown that they will raise taxes on the middle class by $2,000 apiece,” Rybak said. “I don’t think it’s standing up for the middle class to have a whole bunch of us pay $2,000 more to Mitt Romney so we can help pay for another car elevator in one of his five or six or seven mansions.”
…Romney chose not to directly address his recently announced position against the renewal of a Production Tax Credit for wind energy providers.
At least six protestors greeted Romney in the parking lot with signs that read: “We work in wind”, “PTC = Jobs” and “Don’t kill wind jobs.”
THURSDAY UPDATE: The Washington Post reports from Jefferson County Fairgrounds:
Mitt Romney sought to refocus the presidential campaign on the American economy on Thursday, outlining plans to help the middle class in his first rally after a difficult overseas tour.
Before an enthusiastic, mostly older crowd of about 2,000 supporters — with several hundred more gathered outside in the late-morning sun in the hope of catching a glimpse of the presumptive GOP nominee — Romney described a five-point program he called the “Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class.”
…Romney’s events Thursday are part of a coordinated effort by Romney’s campaign staff: they organized 24 events across 13 states to tout “Mitt Romney’s plan for a stronger middle class.”
The ideas were a repackaging of broad goals that Romney has talked about for months. They include increasing energy independence, improving education and job training, increasing trade, reducing the deficit and helping small businesses.
What was new was the urgency.
A few points we’ll make about the event today. It does appear that the crowd outside the hall at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds was even larger than the crowd inside the building. Far from being a sign of “overwhelming support,” this is more indicative of poor advance work. Romney’s campaign appears to have distributed many more tickets than the venue could accommodate, and those who didn’t get in line early were out of luck. The tickets were distributed electronically–Romney’s campaign knew how many people had gotten them. We’ve heard that despite the fact that Romney briefly spoke with the crowd outside, many of them were upset.
It’s a balance: you always want it to look like you’ve got overflow crowds, but not so much that those crowds get the impression your campaign is incompetent. Today trended toward the latter.
Romney’s speech did seem to be more energetic and focused than prior events in Colorado we’ve seen. There was no opportunity for the press or attendees to ask any questions; had there been, it’s possible Romney would have been put on the spot over his opposition to the wind power tax credit supported by his Republican colleagues representing Colorado in Congress. Romney also got much applause from the debunked claim that President Obama “cut $500 billion from Medicare.” But there was apparently nobody in this crowd who reads Politifact.
We’ll update further with additional press coverage as it comes in.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is making his first trip into the Denver metro area this week since losing the Colorado caucuses to Rick Santorum in February. We’ll be there:
This authentic Romney ticket (we’ve covered up the identifying marks) was delivered to us as quickly as we could fill out this RSVP page from Romney’s campaign. Which means you too can see Romney this coming Thursday at 10:45AM at Jefferson County Fairgrounds (doors at 9:45AM)–no four-hour early morning drive to the middle of nowhere necessary. So get yours, and tell your boss you’ve got plans for Thursday morning!
If you know anybody in the wind power industry, maybe they should make it a point to go.