Monday, January 14, 2008

Romney Emphasizes Optimism, Family Values

In the News:

Romney emphasizes optimism, family values in speech to students

By CHRIS CHRISTOFF
FREE PRESS LANSING BUREAU CHIEF


GRAND BLANC – Mitt Romney told a high school assembly of about 3,500 this morning that American values, optimism and perseverance matter in this election and in their lives.

Romney kicked off his final campaign day before Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary in Michigan, emphasizing the importance of family and staying together as a bedrock of American culture. And he repeated his vow to help turn around the state's beleaguered economy if he’s president.

“I will not rest if I’m president of the United States until Michigan is brought back,” he said to a loud ovation.

Romney also used his experience heading the 2000 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City to speak of perseverance by individual athletes and how that relates to the nation as a whole.

He mentioned speed skater Dan Jansen and Mike Eruzione, captain of the 1980 gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic hockey team, known as the "Miracle on Ice."

“It’s amazing what can happen if you have a spirit of optimism,’’ Romney said.

He added, “We don’t want a government that will just hand out to us. We want opportunity.”

Romney's speech at Grand Blanc High School drew hundreds of students from around the area. He noted that his father, George Romney, had visited the same school in 1968 when he was governor of Michigan.

Several students said they were impressed by his half-hour speech because he connected with them using stories of the Olympics and his high-school years when he began dating his wife, Ann.

“I thought I would be bored, but I wasn't," said Erika Noth, 16, a student at Grand Blanc.

Romney also impressed Kimberly Emmert, 51, a glass blower from Linden. She said she has always voted Democratic but will vote for Romney in Tuesday’s primary because she feels the Democratic ballot has no choices.

Hillary Clinton is the only major candidate on the Democratic ballot because of a dispute between the state and national Democratic parties over the early primary date.

“I have a feeling the Democratic Party has abandoned Michigan,” Emmert said. “I’ve always voted Democratic.”

Of Romney, she said, “I really think he’s going to do what’s best in Michigan. If you have ties to a place, you’re more likely to have a promise for it.”