Before making his way to Florida for the presidential debate this evening, Governor Mitt Romney toured a Boeing plant in South Carolina. At his side was new National Co-Chair of Romney’s campaign – Governor Tim Pawlenty.
Romney then delivered a union policy speech to a crowd in N. Charleston; he was introduced by Pawlenty.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney appeared in North Charleston today with his former rival and newest supporter, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Pawlenty praised Romney as “the most capable, most knowledgeable, most electable candidate in the race so far.”
Flanked by screens showing the outline of a jetliner, Romney flew into the Lowcountry today to launch his campaign here by talking labor policy and taking aim at the National Labor Relations Board and its lawsuit against Boeing.
Both Romney and Pawlenty toured Boeing’s new manufacturing plant here, the plant that triggered the board’s action. At issue is whether Boeing illegally weakened unions in Washington state by choosing South Carolina – a right to work state – for the plant.
Romney accused Obama of putting “labor stooges on the NLRB to pursue a political payback strategy,” a claim that drew his first applause from the audience.
The National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) has sued Boeing, alleging the $750 million plant was built in South Carolina to avoid unionized labor in Washington state. South Carolina is a strong right-to-work state.
SC Gov. Nikki Haley has been strongly critical of the Obama administration because of the NLRB suit against Boeing.
SC State Treasurer Curtis Loftis, Chairman of the Romney campaign in SC, was also present for The Gov’s speech. In fact, he has a message for America:
CHECK BACK: If video of Romney’s speech becomes available, we’ll post it here.
On Monday, Romney also named William Kilberg, the lead counsel for Boeing in the ongoing dispute, as a co-chairman of his Labor Policy Advisory Group. Kilberg will help “shape the policies I am proposing to return power from the labor bosses to the workers and businesses that can get our economy going again,” Romney said in a statement.
“Boeing, when they decided where they were going to build their new expansion facility, chose South Carolina, chose America,” Romney said in the speech. “The folks that are their No. 1 competitor, Airbus, chose China for their expansion. … Boeing did the right thing. Boeing should not be punished for doing the right thing. Boeing should be celebrated and encouraged.”
The issue has become important in key state South Carolina, where Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has repeatedly called on Obama, along with the Republican presidential candidates, to state his position on the lawsuit.
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Tim Pawlenty will join Gov Romney as a guest this evening at the GOP debate in Florida.
► Jayde Wyatt