With Ryan by his side, Romney rallies Virginians in debate victory lap
October 4th, 2012
10:16 PM ET
2 years ago

With Ryan by his side, Romney rallies Virginians in debate victory lap

Fishersville, Virginia (CNN) - As favorable reviews of his debate performance continued rolling in, Mitt Romney sought to capitalize on the momentum from his first head-to-head match-up against President Obama at an energetic rally Thursday night in Virginia.

The GOP presidential nominee had a busy night: He reconnected with his running mate Paul Ryan, accepted the endorsement of the National Rifle Association and declared his day brightened by a pre-speech concert by country star Trace Adkins - all at a rollicking outdoor rally attended by more than 6,000 supporters in western Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

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While Romney hewed largely to his usual stump speech, the audience erupted when he mentioned the previous night's debate.

"Now last night was an important night for the country," Romney said, as the audience responded with sustained cheers. "I got the chance to ask the president questions that people across the country have wanted to ask him," including on the president's health care plan and the economy.

"What you didn't hear last night from the president is why it is the next four years are possibly going to be better than the last four years," Romney continued later in his speech, circling back to the debate. "He doesn't have a way to explain that, because he has the same policies for the next four years as he had for the last four years."

Both Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan seized upon comments earlier in the day by Vice President Joe Biden, who said he and the president were in favor of letting tax cuts for the wealthy expire.

"The vice president blurted out the truth today," Romney said. "They plan on raising taxes on the American people, and that will kill jobs. We will not let that happen."

Many of the thousands of supporters wore orange caps emblazoned with the logo of the National Rifle Association, which endorsed Romney on Thursday. Prior to the former Massachusetts governor's speech, spokesmen for the group harshly criticized both Obama and the national news media.

"Let's send a message to national news media - their coverage of this race is a national disgrace," said NRA Political Victory Fund Chairman Chris Cox. "We have a message for CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS: You will not decide the outcome of this election. We the people will decide the outcome of this election."

Romney has had a sometimes-strained relationship with the NRA, but his running mate Paul Ryan touted his hunting experience in accepting the endorsement Thursday.

"I have my phone here. It's got a blaze orange and camouflage cover, because it reminds me after we elect Mitt Romney president, I get to take my daughter deer hunting," he said to cheers.

Romney will spend the next three days campaigning in Virginia and Florida, with a major foreign policy address slated for Monday at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Virginia
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. jfrawley

    Here is a slogan tell Mr. Obama that $4 gas is Killing the middle class

    October 4, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  2. W l jones

    The media is in the business of making money so they know who theirs bread winner!

    October 4, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  3. delos

    Just what i thought another canned audiance. I wonder what the going pay rate is

    October 4, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  4. CBR

    Isn't that a surprise that the NRA endorsed Mr. Romney. Interesting that they did it in Virginia. Guns, guns and more guns in the hands of some people who will use them to kill people.

    October 4, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  5. Jack

    Sorry, you have too much baggage, tea part, Limbaugh, Norguist, religious right.

    October 4, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    It figures that the NRA will support Romney/Ryan before his little rally in one of the "small pockets" of America where Sarah Palin put her "bullseye" on!! And Romney's sidekick boy Lyan at his side does not make it any better!!

    Obama/Biden 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    October 4, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  7. CNN Fan

    I think Romney was a winner, but not because he was good at debating.....he is just good at lying....American people will not be fooled....I still like Obama...he is honest to Americans...that why Americans believe in him....

    October 4, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  8. SafeJourney

    How in the hell is Ryan going to debate with Romneys new agenda. Last night I heard one candidates agenda who said regulation is necessary and will not completely repeal Dodd frank, Will not reduce taxes on rich class, His health plan will cover pre-existing condition. That guy was not Obama. Wake up conservative are you sure you heard this before. complete Etch a sketch!!! Even Obama look stunned with by Romneys Etch a sketch in liberal direction.

    October 5, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  9. GI Joe

    Tax increases do NOT kill jobs. But further tax cuts, made up by slicing into what people need to live right now and more money for defense, will sure kill people.

    October 5, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  10. Craig RB

    Don't get too excited folks, just because Mitt did well last night doesn't mean the so-called victory will last....you see it's like sports, a team wins one, loses one and so on. The big deal happens in November and I do believe the winner of the championship will be Team Obama!

    October 5, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Wonder why it is said Obama showed impatience in getting done with the debate?Romney's blatant lies put him off,especially the one of tax cuts for the rich.

    October 5, 2012 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  12. Ms Edyeluv

    Wow, the Lairs bask in the Vexing Victory of their Lies at the expense of the American People. Lying Losers

    October 5, 2012 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  13. packerfans

    Vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on Nov 6 2012!!

    October 5, 2012 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  14. Sue

    Just how much has the NRA paid out for mitts campaign so far? Guess they really are determined to get rid of the trigger locks and make damn sure we can all have our own personal fully automatic weapons in our homes (with those handy-dandy cop killer bullets!). Romney/Ryan/REVOLTING!

    October 5, 2012 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  15. California

    Something Hussein Obama could never do, admit he's wrong about something. Anything.

    I'm sure Obama's failure at the debate was Bush's fault and if you don't think so you're a racist.

    October 5, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  16. a65442

    Enjoy your moment Romney...you are not going to win the election anyway!

    October 5, 2012 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  17. Gladys

    Whoever thinks that Mr. Romney is going to win the Presidency, just because he did a" great performance"! on this first debate is "deadly wrong"
    Why? because he is a FAKE and knows how to act and where. Este hombre no es de Confianza, es mentiroso y traidor and wears a Mask. When he is speaking before the regular( Middle/Poor Class people), complimenting them, promissing this an that, is not what he really thinks. Once he met with his rich backers, then he told them what he really thought of us. Are you going to trust this man to be commander in chief?? Do not forget his Words from the Mother Jones video." 47% of americans voters" are actually parasites!!

    October 5, 2012 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  18. rvastag

    That's it Mitt ... lay out your plan.

    Talk about some of the ways you think Congress and the Country will agree on reforming the tax code. Talk about how you plan to improve the US's standing in the world.

    Talk about potential ways you think you can help the country create jobs ... American jobs.

    Talk about you ideas for getting more out of government and education for people's tax dollars.

    Lay out the groundwork of ideas ... tempered with the truth that you don't have all the answers and you will work with Repubs, Demos, Independents, Scholars, etc ... on finding a way to make America strong again.

    Show yourself as a LEADER.

    October 5, 2012 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  19. Gurgyl

    VA do not be overnight fools. He sells USA to china... Bain-capital 47%...

    October 5, 2012 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  20. Marie MD

    Victory lap? Still a small crowd I see. I guess only your fools still believe anything you say. So sad :(

    October 5, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  21. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Sure. Keep spiking the ball boys. Everything is fine now.

    October 5, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |