"The next president of the United States, Mitt Romney," announced Jim Parker at the Tuesday afternoon Romney campaign rally held at his company, Carter Machinery, in Salem.
Mitt Romney quickly repaid the favor.
"My goodness, look at all those pieces of equipment. I want to see them out there working," Romney said.
That opening line set the stage for Romney's entire speech, dedicated to jobs and the economy.
In what is Romney's standard stump speech, he gave a list of ways he'll do a better job than President Obama.
Peppered throughout the speech he said things like, "We're going to take advantage of our energy resources, coal, gas, oil, renewable," "I'm going to take advantage of trade with other nations," "I will get us on track to a balanced budget," and "I'm going to get rid of the cloud of ‘Obamacare' and return us to personal responsibility."
All of that was accompanied by few specifics of how he'll get it done. But, this wasn't a policy speech. Rather, it was a campaign rally meant to fire up the base, which Romney did with a series of questions for the audience.
"Let me ask you, do you think ‘Obamacare' is working just fine to get Americans back to work? Do you think that shutting down that keystone pipeline from Canada is helping the American people? Do you think raising taxes on small businesses just like this are going to put people back to work? And what do you think about that avalanche of new regulations? Is that helping Americans get good jobs?"
Each question was followed by a loud "no" by the audience.
Romney ended the exchange with, "Look, this president is out of ideas, he's out of excuses and in November we're going to vote him out of office."
In fact, the speech was full of quick punches on President Obama like this: "This president has not been working in the right way for the American people." And this: "We are not going to let him turn a one term proposition into an 8 year proposition." And this: "The president says he wants to fundamentally transform America. I don't want to transform America, I want to restore to America the principles of the hope of the earth and I will do it."
Romney ended the fifteen minute rally with a bold promise to a thunderous applause.
"We're going to win in Virginia, we going to win in November. Thank you for your help. We're going to get the job and keep America the hope of the earth," he said.