Romney visits Mansfield
By Matt Echelberry
MANSFIELD—Tucked away in the back corner of a storage warehouse with a few other local reporters, one could feel a sense of excitement in the air as the crowd poured into the building. Then, as Van Halen’s “Right Now” pulsed through the loudspeakers for the third time, the traveling news media swarmed in and began unpacking their laptops and other equipment, making an already cramped and stifling room feel even more so.
Everyone was there for one thing: to catch a glimpse of the man with the perfect head of black hair with the white tufts on the sides, just above each ear. The man was Mitt Romney, the place was PR Machine Works, Inc. in Mansfield.
On the afternoon of Sept. 10, Romney visited the site, which specializes in precision manufacturing and fabrication. PR Machine is located at 1825 Nussbaum Parkway—part of the industrial complex that also includes the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company, Outsource Partners and Marco Photo Service.The rally was a smaller, more exclusive event, yet people still packed the warehouse from wall to wall. A sizable crowd also stood outside of the building. All were there to hear what the presidential hopeful had to say.
Mansfield Mayor Timothy Theaker also spoke that day. “A few weeks back [Mansfield] had another visitor and I was not invited to participate,” he began (referring to President Barack Obama’s visit to the city on Aug. 1). “But I was invited to this and I cannot think of a better place to have it.”
Theaker said PR Machine exemplifies the hard work and perseverance that makes a successful business. “Our community has seen a lot of businesses depart recently…We need a leader who can create more jobs in the private sector and help small businesses grow.”
He also gave a false welcome for Romney, which got some laughs from the audience.
Bob Gibbs, U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 18th district, and Rob Portman, U.S. Senator for Ohio, both spoke briefly as well. In between the speakers, who all got the audience cheering, there were plenty of O-H-I-O cheers.Mark Romanchuk owns PR Machine and invited Romney to speak in Mansfield. He ascended the stage immediately before the man of the hour, with some of his employees seated in the background beneath a sign that read “We DID build this.”
“About 50 years ago, my dad started this business. In fact, he started it in our garage,” Romanchuck stated with pride. “I’ve got news for the president: we did build it.”He made a few remarks about Romney and then introduced him to the crowd. Romanchuck is a candidate for state representative in this year’s election.
During his 15 minute speech, Romney explained how he differed from the president. He criticized Obama for racking up even more debt for the country, an issue Romney said would be his number one priority as president and would do everything possible to reduce the debt.
Based on what Romney said that day, it is clear that he has a traditional political ideology to Obama’s more progressive one. He explained the bread and butter of his platform: a five-part plan.The first aspect of the plan is energy, and he expressed his support for continued use of coal, as well as oil drilling on public lands.
The next aspects are trade and manufacturing. He referred to the employment statistics released last week as an indicator that the job outlook has not improved under Obama’s presidency, saying that it was time for a change.
He also commented that one reason many Americans are unemployed is because they do not meet the required skills of many available jobs, so a focus on education—the fourth part of his plan—would also be needed to get people working and get the younger generation better paying jobs.
The final part of Romney’s plan is small business. He excitedly talked about the entrepreneurial spirit and how to reengage it.Afterward, he shook hands with some audience members before briefly addressing the crowd outside just a few minutes later.