Mitt Romney Dazzles Crowd at Distinguished Lecture Series, Receives Key to the City

Former Governor Mitt Romney dazzled residents in Vero Beach, Fl yesterday as he presented two afternoon speeches as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series. Before delivering his remarks, Romney was presented with a key to the city from Vero Beach mayor Kevin Sawnick:

“I know you’re trying to do good things for the country,” Mayor Sawnick told Romney.


April 5, 2010 – Romney takes on Obama, policies in final speaker series at Riverside Theatre

VERO BEACH – Former Massachusetts Governor and possible 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke to two sold out audiences at Riverside Theatre Monday, taking on issues of health care reform, education needs, and what’s in store for America.

Shortly before his first lecture to about 800 people, Romney received a Key to the City from Vero Beach Mayor Kevin Sawnick. “I know you’re trying to do good things for the country,” Mayor Sawnick told Romney, and wished the governor luck in his endeavors.

Romney accepted the oversized silver key and marveled at the weather – not too hot, not too cold and lots of palm trees.

During the lecture, Romney told the audience that he knew from experience that many of them were originally from the Midwest.

“It feels like coming home,” he said during his lecture promoting his book, “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness.”

The 2008 presidential hopeful then spent the next 45 minutes discussing his views on where the country currently stands and where it should go from here, and took issue with President Barack Obama’s policies and decisions.

“We are being made weaker and weaker,” he said, by the choices those in Washington, D.C, are making.

He spoke of various characteristics that make up America – one of which being patriotism.

“We are a patriotic people,” Romney said. “I was a little angry when our president went around the world, apologizing for America.”

Romney faulted Obama for saying that the country had “dictated” to others in the world and explained that it was America that freed many of those under dictatorship.

The former governor took questions from the audience, one of which touched on health care and the system he helped devise while in Massachusetts.

Under Massachusetts’ comprehensive health care plan, he said, 98 percent of the state’s people have insurance and it costs the commonwealth 1.5 percent of its budget.

Instead of forcing insurance companies to provide certain services at certain prices, Massachusetts helps those who can’t afford insurance to buy it. Those who can afford insurance must either buy insurance or are left on their own to pay their medical bills.

He said the issue of health insurance should have been left up to the states to decide for themselves how to tackle the issue, rather than the federal government getting involved.

When asked whether the Tea Party would help or split the Republican Party, Romney said he does not believe the group would split the Republicans. Instead, he expects Republicans to unite – as they did in the election of U.S. Senator Scott Brown, a pro-choice Republican who won the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat.

“I think we’ll come together,” Romney said, noting that the people decided a pro-choice Republican would better represent them than a pro-choice Democrat.

As for the 2012 presidential race, Romney told the audience he has not made his decision, and wouldn’t until after the November elections.

Instead, he wants to dedicate his time to helping strong Republican candidates win seats in Congress in November to “stop the mayhem” going on in Washington, Romney said.

While he might not yet have decided whether to give the presidential race another try, he threw names out there of people who might run.

Those names included Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Mitch Daniels and Newt Gingrich, to name a few.

He predicts 10 candidates on stage vying for the presidential nomination.

More: Romney doesn’t rule out 2012 presidential bid; urges Vero Beach crowd to oppose big government

VERO BEACH — While the first primary contest of the 2012 presidential race is still two years away, former Massachusetts governor and Republican Mitt Romney is already sounding like a candidate.

Romney, 63, was in Vero Beach on Monday as the final speaker for this season’s Distinguished Lecturer series at the Riverside Theatre, giving his opinion on topics ranging from the economy to health care to patriotism.

“We are a patriotic people,” said Romney, as he discussed his new book called “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness.”

[…]Romney said that now is the time for Americans to stand up to big government and demand solutions to the problems that face the country today.

“I am convinced this is the time to tell Americans the truth,” said Romney. “We have to be honest and people will do the right thing. The silent majority is less and less silent.”

[…]Also meeting Romney prior to his speech were four local high school students, who were invited to the lecture by steering committee member Patricia Rennick.

Jarred Spear and Eric Willett from St. Edward’s Upper School and Ashley Villar and Hannah Keiler from Vero Beach High School talked with Romney about their fall college plans, with several expressing interest in Romney’s alma mater, Harvard University.

Romney then spoke for about 45 minutes on the Stark Mainstage, and answered questions from the audience on topics including whether he will be a candidate for president in 2012.

“I have not made my decision,” said Romney. “But it’s a decision that I will make with my wife and family after the November elections.”

[…]As a Republican, Romney said he’s proud that the party did not break ranks when it came to the vote against health-care reform.

[…]“Congratulations to our team who said this thing was a stinker and we’re not going to support it,” he said.

In closing, Romney urged Americans to come together and support the American spirit.
“I recognize in the American heart that there’s a love for this country,” he said. “I’m

convinced that the future of this country is bright.”

See photos here.

Romney’s ‘No Apology’ book tour continues today in Philadelphia, PA at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. His lecture and book signing begins at 6:00 PM EST. He will be in Manchester, NH for two events tomorrow. For more information on Mitt’s book tour click here.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to another photo of Mitt in Vero Beach, Florida yesterday. Among all of Mitt’s great abilities, it looks like he knows how to play one-handed Cat’s Cradle, too!

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10 Responses to Mitt Romney Dazzles Crowd at Distinguished Lecture Series, Receives Key to the City

  1. Brian says:

    Any idea why Mitt chose not to attend the Southern Republican Leadership Conference this weekend? It’s being billed as the “As the most prominent national GOP gathering until the 2012 Convention.” They have a Presidential straw poll. There must be a strategic reason for his decision.

  2. Gary says:


    Just a though, It’s probably because the heavy hitter, Sarah Palin is the keynote speaker. Mitt can’t compete with that.

    Besides, someone there might ask him to explain how RomneyCare is different than ObamaCare and things might get awkward real quick.

  3. Dan says:

    His book tour

  4. Brian says:

    Dan :His book tour

    I’n sure he could have worked this into his schedule…perhaps had a book signing in New Orleans. The convention dates were known nearly a year ago.

  5. Jayde Wyatt says:

    Brian, why do you think Romney isn’t attending?

  6. @Gary

    Perhaps you don’t watch the news much, since Romney has been asked at least 20 times about the subject. But I don’t take you for one who is too interested in facts…

  7. Paulee says:

    Gary, it is when it gets to facts and experience that Mitt will rise to the top….And I mean the TOP…..His intelligence level and education, plus private sector experience are far superior than his counterparts….And Mass care took out of the box thinking in a Democratic state….He worked side by side with Ted Kennedy,,,I rest my case…..Romney 2012….
    Jayde, great job with this article, thanks…..

  8. Brian says:

    Jayde Wyatt :Brian, why do you think Romney isn’t attending?

    I don’t know, Jayde. I haven’t heard the reason. I thought someone here might know. I did hear that he may bypass the South (and Iowa), and focus on the Northeast and the West. Perhaps that’s why he’s not attending this particular conference.

  9. Brian says:

    Jayde Wyatt :Brian, why do you think Romney isn’t attending?

    I don’t know. I read a while back that he may try to bypass Iowa and the South to win the nomination. I haven’t followed this site for long, and thought someone might provide some insight on this.

  10. Brian2010 says:

    Jayde Wyatt :Brian, why do you think Romney isn’t attending?

    I don’t know. I figured someone here might know. I read a while back that he may try to bypass the South to win the nomination.