FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Republican who would be President is campaigning in North Texas.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney spoke before a crowd of supporters in Fort Worth Tuesday afternoon.
Romney thanked the crowd, because one week ago Texas Republicans pushed him over the top, and helped him clinch the delegates needed to win the nomination.
Romney pressed his main campaign theme of putting jobs first before a crowd of about 400 people at Southwest Office Systems, an office warehouse near DFW International Airport.
Romney courted Hispanics, including Vince and Buddy Puente, whose family started Southwest Office Systems in 1964. “This Obama economy has been particularly hard on Hispanic businesses and Hispanic-Americans,” Romney told the crowd.
The Puente’s have 50 employess, and would like to expand. But they say they and other businesses worry about President Obama’s policies. “They don’t know what to do either,” said Buddy Puente. “The businesses, all our friends aren’t sure what’s going to happen to medical coverage, how much it’s going to cost us. That goes to the bottom line. We’re not seeing any growth.”
Romney said as President he wouldn’t raise taxes, he’d balance the budget, and repeal the President’s healthcare reform law.
He said President Barack Obama has failed to improve the economy. “It’s kind of surprising to me the President has chosen as his campaign slogan ‘forward’ – forward over a cliff?”
At one point the speech was interrupted by a heckler, who tried to shout Romney down, but the candidate was unfazed, and police quickly removed the heckler from the room.
Romney turned it around and said it was the President who has to go. “I’m convinced this man is out of ideas, I know he’s out of excuses, and in 2012, you’re going to vote him out of office.”
Tarrant County Democratic Party Chairman Steve Maxwell held a news conference outside the event, calling Romney’s speech flawed. “When Mitt Romney took over as Governor of Massachusetts, they ranked 36th in the country in job creation. By the time he finished his term, the state ranked 47th in the country. The message is simple, Mitt. We heard all this before, it didn’t work in Massachusetts, it’s not going to work for America.”
Republicans at the event are strongly backing Romney. “President Obama has been a disaster. I think Mitt Romney is going to be a much better leader and turn around the country,” said supporter Lynn O’Meara.
Keller mother Trisha Jensen brought her 4-year-old with her to hear Romney’s speech. “I want to teach my daughter about the American Dream. I think the American Dream can’t be handed to you. It has to be earned. I think that’s something Romney really believes in.”
Jim Wilson of Virginia says he’s driven all across the country in his pick-up so he can follow Romney. “I’m running around the country for my grandchildren to replace the current occupant in the White House. We can’t survive four more years of him.”
Later Tuesday evening Romney will be holding a fundraiser in downtown Dallas. On Wednesday he’ll hold fundraisers in San Antonio and Houston.
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