CELINA — Greeted by a raucous crowd that packed the Celina Fieldhouse on Sunday, the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan energized their Republican base in this part of the state a mere nine days before the election.
“Celina, are you going to help us win this thing,” Ryan asked the crowd moments after being introduced by Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor. “As we think about what’s important to us ... Let’s remember this is the most important election in our lifetime, no matter what generation you come from. We have a lot at stake.”
Ryan called on voters in the building to put Romney in the White House on Nov. 6. Ryan, a Congressman from Wisconsin, questioned Barack Obama’s record during his presidency.
“Look, he can’t run on his record,” Ryan said. “Twenty-three million people struggling to find work is not a record one runs on. Broken promises on all the big issues — bringing people together to solve the country’s problems, getting the deficit under control, creating jobs. The economy is growing at less than half the rate he promised it would be growing at.”
Ryan said another Obama term would mean more of the same.
“The debt will go to $20 trillion,” Ryan said. “Obamacare kicks in, and out of the 21 taxes increases in Obamacare, 12 of them hit middle income families. We know this, the country realizes this and we know we have to go in a different direction. That is why we need a leader.”
Creating jobs was one of the main focal points Ryan and Romney spoke about during the event. Ryan touted Romney’s record of creating jobs — something the Congressman said Romney would bring to the Oval Office.
“We have a jobs crisis in America,” Ryan said. “Wouldn’t it be a good thing to have a job creator in the White House.”
In between chants of “USA” and “Nine more days,” Ryan said he and Romney would tackle the tough issues, instead of kicking them down the road to leave for others to deal with in the future.
“We are going to lead,” Ryan said. “We are not going to try and transform this country into something it was never intended to be. We are going to reapply our founding principles, instead of replacing our founding principles, and on the tenth day, we are going to wake up and we’re going to see that Ohio delivered its votes for the next president of the United States to a man named Mitt Romney.”
Romney, who took the stage to Kid Rock’s “Born Free,” called the election “big.”
“They know this is a big election about big things,” Romney told the crowd. “They recognize that we face enormous challenges as a nation. We also have huge opportunities and they want to see us grab a hold of those opportunities ... Unfortunately, the president’s campaign has been reduced to smaller and smaller things. Whether it’s characters on Sesame Street or attacks on the Congressman and me. Frankly, an attack is not a campaign or an agenda.”
Romney called for change in Washington.
“The president believes we should go with the same — his campaign slogan is forward on the same path,” Romney said.
“I ask you, do you want four more years with 23 million Americans looking for a good job? Do you want four more years of trillion dollar deficits? Do you want four more years with half the kids coming out of college can’t find a job? Do you want four more years of Obamacare? This is an election about change. The president thinks this is a time just to keep on doing what we have been doing. He wants more of the same.”
Repealing the health care reform pushed by Obama would be among the first moves made by Romney if he is elected. He also touted his goals of balancing the federal budget as well as giving parents more freedom to decide what type of education their children receive.
“When I become president, with Paul Ryan’s help, he and I are going to make sure all the federal dollars in education go to the student,” Romney said. “So the student and his or her parents can choose the school they want.”
A second Obama term would mean higher taxes. Romney said Obama would have no choice but to raise taxes because of his deficit spending.
“Under president Obama, there’s no question in my mind taxes will go up,” Romney said. “All the spending he’s doing, all the borrowing he’s doing, all the interest associated with that borrowing means that down the road, taxes will go up. The calculation is some $4,000 per family under the Obama plan. One thing we will not do is raise taxes on middle income Americans.”
Support for small business also was part of Romney’s platform. The Republican presidential hopeful said backing small businesses would help the nation’s battered economy recover.
“We understand the power of small business,” Romney said. “We understand that two-thirds of the jobs created in the last 15 years in America were created by small businesses. I didn’t just read about small business, I didn’t just study it in school, I lived small business. I know what it’s like to start a small business.”
Romney said he planned to curb the partisan politics that have been plaguing Washington by doing something he did while governor of Massachusetts.
“I’ve got to make sure to reach across the aisle,” Romney said. “I’ll reach across the aisle and work with them. We can change the way Washington works.”
As governor, Romney said he routinely worked with Democrats to help turn a gapping budget deficit into a sizable rainy day fund upon leaving office.
“I was elected governor of a state, Massachusetts, where there are a few Democrats,” Romney said, noting 85 percent of the state legislature was made up on Democrats. “We could have fought with each other, pointed fingers and got nothing done ... Instead, we came together, we met every week and we talked about our challenges.”
Romney ended his visit by praising citizens who make sacrifices and give themselves to other causes.
“We’re a nation of people who give ourselves to things bigger than ourselves,” Romney said.
“That makes all the difference. There are other things you could be doing today, but you understand the significance of what’s going on. Your eyes are very clear as you look ahead. Your hearts are full because the American people live for great things ... You have clear eyes and full hearts, and on Nov. 6, we cannot lose with your help.”
Initially tabbed as a Ryan event, Hurricane Sandy forced Romney to cancel campaign events planned for the East Coast.
On Saturday, Romney decided to join Ryan for a series of visits throughout region, including Findlay following the pair’s Celina stop. The event also included appearances by local and state Republicans, including State Sen. Keith Faber, U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel and U.S. Rep. Bob Latta.