More than 1,000 people rallied at a North Huntingdon business Tuesday to hear presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s harsh critique of how President Obama has handled the economy and health care.
“He has to recognize that his policies have failed to get Americans work again,” Romney said of the president’s record. “I have an answer for him — liberal policies don’t make jobs.”
Romney said the health care system needs to be revamped because it is too expensive and unaffordable to many Americans. “But Obamacare is not the answer, and we have to replace it,” he said.
“Being middle class in America is getting tougher and tougher,” Romney said. “This president’s economy is not working for the American people.”
When he said the Obama energy policies that say no to coal, fracking and the shale and natural gas industries have to stop, the Romney-friendly crowd cheered.
Romney said Obama is always looking for someone to blame, “like ATM’s, tsunamis and me” he said.
“He is out of touch with America, and that is what is going to put him out of office,” he said.
Romney said as president he would celebrate the success of small business and all businesses.
“President Obama attacks success. I will change all of that,” he said.
Several hundred supporters already had claimed their seats two hours before Romney was scheduled to speak at Horizontal Wireline Services, which runs wires into gas and oil wells to help with extraction from the Marcellus shale.
Some waved small American flags; others help up signs that read, “Romney Believes in America.”
Bus shuttles ferried people from Stratigos Banquet Centre and Norwin Town Square. Colonial Manor Road was closed to allow parking on both sides.
Outside the plant, supporters stood in line in the 90-degree heat but quickly passed through metal detectors into the air-conditioned facility.
Among the early arrivals was Jane Hager of North Huntingdon, who lives about four miles away. She said she was very excited about Romney’s appearance.
“You can’t get much closer than this. And I just thought, ‘I have to go,’” Hager said.
Secret Service agents, assisted by a canine unit from the Indiana County Sheriff’s Department, monitored the facility.
Romney has a fundraiser tonight at the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh.