Romney, Ryan make stop in Mooresville
By Sarah Campbell
MOORESVILLE — Electrifying, motivating, captivating.
Those were the words used by Salisbury resident Tom Lynch to describe Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and running mate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s visit Sunday to Mooresville.
“It just renewed the emphasis to everyone that we definitely need a real change,’ he said.
Lynch was happy to see Ryan, the newly-minted vice-presidential candidate from Wisconsin, enter the race Saturday.
“He will help reinforce the conservative base of the Republican party,” he said.
Hordes of other North Carolinians put out the welcome mat for Ryan on Sunday as an estimated crowd of 1,700 filled the NASCAR Technical Institute and about 4,000 spilled into the outdoor overflow area.
“Yesterday America saw hope for the first time in three-and-a-half years,” U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said before Romney and Ryan took the stage.
Burr told the audience Sunday about how Ryan lives in his office in Washington instead of paying rent there.
“He’s tight,” he said. “My wife thought she married the tightest man in the world until she met Paul Ryan.
“He’s going to be even tighter with your money.”
Alan Eisele of Statesville called Romney’s pick in Ryan an excellent decision.
“He’s going to help focus the campaign on real, substantive issues, problems and solutions to those problems,” he said.
Joe Dobson agrees that Ryan will help move Romney’s campaign forward.
“Romney and Ryan versus (President Barack) Obama have very different agendas,” he said. “I’ve heard it was a little risky, but maybe it’s good to take a little risk here.”
Ben Lynch, Tom’s son and vice-chairman of the Rowan County Republican Party, called Ryan an outstanding choice.
“He has leadership and charisma,” he said. “He will really do a great job to pull out the votes of all demographics involved.”
Richard Hudson, a Republican candidate for the 8th congressional district, said Romney’s choice solidified his commitment to the country.
“The selection of Paul Ryan says to me that ?Mitt Romney? wants this campaign to be a campaign about ideas,” he said.
Romney said he selected Ryan as his running mate because he wants to see “change in Washington.”
But Ryan views the upcoming election as less about change and more about choice.
“We feel as fellow citizens that we owe you a choice,” Ryan said. “We can either stay on the current path we are on, a nation in debt, a nation in despair, a nation of unemployment. … or we can change this thing and get this country back on the right track.”
Romney said Ryan shares his beliefs about restoring American ideals.
“When the founders helped create this country by writing the Declaration of Independence, they said our rights came not from the government, but from the creator,” he said. “It’s not government that makes us great, it’s the people of America.”
Eisele said the success of the country is based on the constitution.
“When our leaders have grounding in the constitution then we don’t have to worry,” he said.
Lauren Edds, 19, the daughter of Greg Edds who serves as chairman of the Rowan County Republican Party, said she was pleased to hear Romney reference President Obama’s “You didn’t build that” remark.
“I like the idea that America is built on people, not government,” she said. “That’s what he’s trying to get us back to.”
The campaign has focused on the comment Obama made about business owners July 13. The Obama team said the remark has been taken out of context and that he intended to use emphasis the idea behind government-assisted infrastructure including private enterprise.
But Romney isn’t letting it go.
He said if children make the honor roll at school, you should give them credit, not the bus driver who drives them there.
That’s an analogy 12-year-old Alyssa Lang, who attends Southeast Middle School, can appreciate.
The Salisbury resident has been making calls for the campaign with her mother Christina Lynch.
“It’s important at a young age that you learn what’s valuable and morally right,” Christina Lynch said.
Romney laid out a five-point plan Sunday that includes taking advantage of energy sources, creating a stronger education system, ensuring fair trade, restoring the economy and repealing The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also known as ObamaCare.
“We want stronger families, stronger values, a stronger economy and the stronger military,” he said. “We’ve got to get Obama out, he’s made too many mistakes.
“I’ve got good news for you and that is that this nation is going to come roaring back.”
Ben Lynch said he’s also been impressed with Romney’s detailed plans.
“So many times Republicans are accused of just being the party of no and Romney has leadership qualities that stand out so far above and beyond every plan that has been presented before.”
NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip got the crowd pumped up before Romney and Ryan showed up Sunday. State Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory and Robert Pittenger, a candidate for the 9th district, also spoke.
“I’m jacked up, I’ve got to tell you,” Waltrip said. “I had a couple of Mountain Dew before I came out here.”
Waltrip said it’s time to elect a businessman into the White House.
“This is not a popularity contest, this is at a time in this country where we have to make a change and we’ve go to get it right this time,” he said.
The Romney-Ryan rally drew some protests from Democrats carrying signs that read “Romney and Ryan don’t need affordable health care, but we do” and “Hey Mitt, show us your tax return and we’ll show you ours.”
“They say that Republicans are not motivated,” Hudson said. “They say it’s the Democrats who are motivated. I saw the four protestors out there and I think we’ve got them outnumbered, what do you think?”
Various speakers throughout the event took jabs at Democrats Sunday.
Romney quoted former President Ronald Reagan saying “Liberals aren’t ignorant, it’s just that what they know is wrong.
Romney and Ryan continued on to High Point Sunday afternoon before heading to Waukesha, Wis., for a homecoming-themed event for Ryan.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.