Romney, Ryan get warm reception for first joint town hall
August 20th, 2012
03:14 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney, Ryan get warm reception for first joint town hall

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - Republican running mates Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan fielded economic and foreign policy questions from a friendly audience at their first joint town hall in New Hampshire Monday.

Triumphant music was cued when they pulled up in an SUV and emerged with their shirtsleeves rolled up. The two candidates waved and shook hands as they walked toward the stage surrounded by chairs and bleachers filled with more than 3,000 people at St. Anselm College.

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"Gosh, I feel like I'm almost a New Hampshire resident. I come here…It would save me some tax dollars I think," joked Romney, who won the primary here. The former governor and resident of Massachusetts also owns a home on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.

Romney was not queried about whether he would release more tax returns, but one woman asked the presumptive presidential nominee how they are going to "combat the lies" coming from their Democratic counterparts.

"It seems the first victim of an Obama campaign is the truth, and it has been, it has been sad and disappointing" Romney said. "[A]ll we have heard so far is one attack after the other and, and frankly, they're – they're typically not honest. There may be one in there that is, I keep looking for it, but it's – it's been a disappointment."

The woman said that when her son asked for the day off to attend the Romney and Ryan town hall, his boss said to him, "You mean that guy that wants to raise taxes?"

"We are going to make sure that Americans have the money to pay their bills. We're not going to raise taxes. That slows down growth, it kills jobs. We're going to get this economy going, and Mr. president, stop saying something that's not the truth," Romney said.

Ryan, a seven-term congressman and chairman of the House Budget Committee, again addressed Medicare, which has become a central debate between campaigns.

"We're going to restore this program and we're going to get these bureaucrats out of the way of standing between our senior citizens and their Medicare. Medicare should not be a piggy bank for Obamacare it should be a guaranteed promise our seniors can count on," Ryan said in his opening remarks.

The Romney campaign touted Monday's event as Romney's 100th town hall since he launched his presidential bid on June 2, 2011. Included in that tally are tele-town halls that are rarely included on his official schedule or announced to the media.

Romney's vice presidential announcement was originally slated for August 10 in New Hampshire but was rescheduled for the next day in Norfolk, Virginia because Ryan was scheduled to attend a memorial service in his congressional district for the victims of the Sikh Temple shooting.

Ryan has been on the ticket just 10 days and after an elaborate two-day rollout with stops in Virginia, North Carolina and Wisconsin the two candidates had spent the last week campaigning separately.

More interesting than how the candidates answered questions might be how they interacted. Ryan has been on the ticket just 10 days, but after an elaborate two-day rollout with stops in Virginia, North Carolina and Wisconsin the two candidates campaigned separately last week.

Ryan, who has a smoother ability to joke around than Romney, saved the White House hopeful from a story that fell flat with the audience.

As a man started to ask a question while wearing a New York Yankees shirt, Romney jokingly began to trash-talk like many sports fans do.

"Now this goes against my nature…this better be a good question from a Yankees fan," he said. The audience was amused.

Romney then shared a story about a time he was asked about the Boston Red Sox trading Johnny Damon to the Yankees and he responded, "I said if it proves one thing, we all hate Yankees."

The punch line was politely received but Ryan delivered a save to Romney. Without skipping a beat, Ryan said to the man, "But not you, sir. We love you."


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire • Paul Ryan
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. alien

    I awoke Sunday morning and turned on the tube I was delighted to see the three stooges were on, but wait the more I watched the more confused I became I see moe and curly but, no larry. Then it hit me I was watching Romney and Ryan. I really need to cut down on Saturday night partys

    August 20, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. What you hiding Mitt?

    It truly amazes me that these guys can keep repeating bald faced lies and the media does not call them on it.

    August 20, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. rrd

    incredulous

    Ryan got caught lying just last week about stimulus money. Don't any of these people in New Hampshire read newspapers?

    Must be not or they would have heard all of Joe Biden's lies.

    August 20, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. American People

    @ria – If Romney hires the best companies to prepare his returns, then why can't they prepare them on time? Do they need to doctor the return before he can release it? Would he have filed an extension if he wasn't running for president? Or would he have cheated on this return too? Mitt is a liar, tax evader, and a criminal for not disclosing his off-shore accounts.

    August 20, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Trey

    Come on guys, if you all think that Romney has been evading taxes for his life, let the IRS takes care of that problem. What we need right now is a man who has is capable of bringing this country back on its feet and start creating jobs. I don't care if he is Democrat or Republican.

    August 20, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. harvey 60

    Audience handpicked by Sununu, Ayotte, and the Manchester Union Leader

    August 20, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. demwit

    A friendly audience!?
    But, but.., where is ACORN, MOVEON .ORG, Politico and CNN staffers???

    August 20, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    "Gosh, I feel like I'm almost a New Hampshire resident. I come here…It would save me some tax dollars I think," joked Romney, who won the primary here.

    Speaking of taxes. Have you produced the 5 years the Obama administration is asking for? Joke about that.

    August 20, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. Jack

    I love how Reputards say Obama lost jobs. The facts simply don't show this. They truly live in wonderland, and want to take the rest of us with them.

    August 20, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    How do 2 liars and 2 guys who want to take from the poor and give to the rich and work so hard toward not contributing to the country they want to run get a warm reception? What the heck is happening to us that this is acceptable behavior these days? And how low are we going to have to go before we wake up, or will we even wake up?

    August 20, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I hear that liars will get a warm reception in hell.

    August 20, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Obama/Biden - We Wanna Put Government Chains on Y'ALL

    Romney/Ryan will win in NH. Unless of course too many Mass. liberals have infected the state. But the smart money is on Romney/Ryan.

    August 20, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. Curt

    @ ria

    Did it ever occur to you that its not Obamas fault. The world economy is in ruins, he inherited two unneccasry wars that have cost trillions of dollars and no end in sight. Wars started by a Republican President. Romney's taxes are important, lets see if his money is invested in American jobs or overseas and if he hires some of the best companies to prepare his taxes, why did he have to ask for an extension? I would have thought such good companies would have them done on time. As far as health care, proven fact Americans spend more on health care than other nations , but Americans generally not as healthy, high infant mortality rate, don't live as long and the list goes on. When hospitals can charge $12.00 for a $2 toothbrush and insurance companies don't even question a bill unless its more than $100,000.00 something is wrong with the system. Maybe Obamas health care is not perfect but at least its a start to fix a flawed system. To blame Obama for the economic problems just proves your ignorance of the facts.

    August 20, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    Romney then shared a story about a time he was asked about the Boston Red Sox trading Johnny Damon to the Yankees and he responded, "I said if it proves one thing, we all hate Yankees."

    These are the issues that are so important to us, after all, who cares about the economy, or the wars? R & R sure know how to get over on the taxpayers don't they?

    August 20, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Right wingnuts should know that the national debt Obama inherited, including putting two unfunded wars and TARP on the books, was $12 trillion.

    August 20, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. sayer

    What foreign policy questions did they answer? I know they are laser focussed on the economy, but if they #%@$ up national security, there won't be an economy to worry about. The businessman and the budget guru need to be fully vetted on foreign policy and no, Mitt, we won't take "Trust me" for an answer.

    August 20, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mormons are allowed to lie to people who are not Mormons. Mittens is a natural.

    August 20, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Maxx

    Romney accusing someone of being dishonest – that's rich.

    August 20, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    "We are going to make sure that Americans have the money to pay their bills. We're not going to raise taxes. That slows down growth, it kills jobs. We're going to get this economy going, and Mr. president, stop saying something that's not the truth," Romney said.
    -------------------–
    If you look at the Romney/Ryan Plan, they only way they can not raise taxes is to explode the deficit. It is simple math. They reduce revenue by a wider margin than there are cuts to be had. Therefore, not all of the cuts will be made, the deficit explodes, and Republicans would blame the Democrats, which would be a repeat of what we say a decade ago. Exploding deficits, which Republicans blamed on "tax and spend" Democrats, who had no power to set policy at all.

    August 20, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. Jane

    I'm sure it was a warm reception. Mainly because, as is the general rule when Republicans deign to appear before the rabble, sympathetic chair fillers were bused in, and any protestors were carefully culled from the crowd and denied admittance to the venue. Pitiful....

    August 20, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. bb

    Boy r u dumbocraps really stretching. These guys are liked , Everyone is tired of Blameo its not my fault excuse, wise up a true leader leads by examples not vile lies, u didnt build it, private sector is fine, i wont run if i dont cut deficet in half, ill close gitmo figure it out OBLUNDER=FAILURE

    August 20, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. carlos

    ryand medicare vouchers are MURDER, the HOODS together because willard cannot energize anybody and ryand will soon be relegated to n o t h i n g...

    August 20, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. Darryl

    This Romney & Ryan thing is hysterical, I watched their speech this morning and i'll tell ya, They both look like a couple of High School buddys running for The School News Paper ( Editor ). So funny, And Romney almost likes it better when Ryan takes the mic and does most of the talking. Neighter 1 of then are actually qualified to be POTUS or Vice POTUS. LOL...I'd be running for my life if they were in Office and a war started, lol OMG ! RUN, RUN, !!

    August 20, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. bb

    @WIRED Very excellent point. wait to u see the news week article and i agree wasser-snot stinks to high heaven

    August 20, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Me IN HOUSTON

    uhmmm, you have to sign a loyalty oath to get in those republican town hall meetings

    August 20, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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