Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made a requisite stop at Spartanburg’s Beacon Drive-In shortly after noon Thursday, summarizing his presidential platform, taking friendly (and a few not-so-friendly) questions from the audience and attacking no less than three Democratic presidential hopefuls.
About 250 people — including the press and campaign staff — crammed into the Beacon’s Panther Room. June Bond, a local GOP activist and one of Romney’s county organizers, introduced Romney and his wife, Ann, as a “family of faith.” Bond said she pledged her support to Romney about two years ago: “After all, I could still be waiting on Fred Thompson.”
Ann Romney introduced the presidential contender by using what’s becoming a catch phrase on the current leg of the ex-governor’s tour: “He’s a yankee governor with Southern values,” she said.
Mitt Romney summed up most of his platform in the first 10 minutes, noting that he opposes socialized medicine (which he called “HillaryCare”), raising taxes on corporations or individuals, and amnesty for illegal immigrants. He attacked John Edwards’ description of the War on Terror as a “Bush bumper sticker,” saying that other countries would disagree with that Democrat’s assessment.
“There is a war being waged by the terrorists. And as long as we have a Republican president, we’re going to have a war on terrorists,” he said.
Romney later added that all options on dealing with Iran should be left on the table, including imposing tougher economic sanctions and exploring military options — whether those options are limited to forming a blockade to keep oil and gas from entering or leaving the country, or something far more severe. He also re-iterated his support for the Patriot Act, wire tapping and the interrogation of suspected terrorists without a lawyer present.
“I’m definitely seeing the beginning of some renewed traction here,” Spartanburg County GOP Chairman Rick Beltram said. “I was talking to some of our local folks who either had been undecided or with other camps, and they’ve done a complete circle. So, I see some of the people who have tested the different campaigns, and are starting to like what they’re hearing from Romney.”