A two-day stop in Las Vegas last Friday and Saturday (April 1-2) further connected Mitt Romney with Nevadans struggling with high unemployment and home foreclosures. Friday, Gov Romney conducted a walking tour of a north Vegas neighborhood faltering from home foreclosures.
Saturday marked the 2011 Winter Leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) held in The Silver State. Romney spoke to an enthusiastic audience about Obama’s “wandering foreign policy”, domestic matters, tumult in the Middle East and North Africa, and health care. (C-Span covered The Gov’s speech; it was live-streamed and rebroadcast throughout the day):
Mitt Romney got aggressive on healthcare today during an appearance at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s winter meeting, training his fire on President Obama rather than answering to critics.
A Massachusetts resident in the audience observed in the question-and-answer session that Romney had run what the man said was a “very gentlemanly campaign” for governor against a Democratic woman, Shannon O’Brien, in 2002, and so, the man wanted to know, would Romney run more like a pit bull if he became the GOP’s nominee against Obama next year.
Romney replied, “There’s no question in my view that when you run, when you disagree with someone on their policies as much as I disagree with Barack Obama on his domestic policies… I will take them on head-on and aggressively if I’m the nominee.”
And then he did a surprising thing: He pivoted to healthcare, an issue that has been described as the albatross around his neck in the coming Republican primary because many conservatives loathe the individual mandate in the Massachusetts reform plan he implemented as governor that served as a model for Obama’s plan.
“And by the way, if we get the chance to talk about healthcare – which will be fun, because of course he does me the great favor of saying that I was the inspiration for his plan – I’ll say if that’s the case, why didn’t you call me?” he said to the crowd, growing more animated. “Why didn’t you ask what was wrong? Why didn’t you ask if this was an experiment, what worked and what didn’t and I would have told him, I know, what you’re doing, Mr. President, is going to bankrupt us.”
He concluded, “I can’t wait to have those conversations.”
Ann Romney also attended the RJC event. When invited by her husband to step to the podium to say a few words, the audience responded with a standing ovation.
Regarding Obama and Democrats:
“Ours is the party of opportunity and theirs is the party of handouts.” – Mitt Romney
► Jayde Wyatt