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Romney Rallies St. Pete Supporters

A campaign visit by GOP presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney draws thousands of supporters. Local GOP leaders urge the crowd to get 'Romney in the White House.'

Pledging not to raise taxes on middle class Americans, presidential hopeful Gov. Mitt Romney is receiving a rock star welcome at a downtown rally tonight in St. Petersburg.

"I will not raise taxes on small business, and I will not raise taxes on middle income families," the GOP candidate told a crowd that shouted, "Romney! Romney!"

"I will champion small business," Romney proclaimed, as he started his campaign speech.

With Tampa Bay as a backdrop, Romney is rallying thousands of enthusiastic supporters at a presidential campaign stop in downtown St. Petersburg. Although the candidate was about 90 minutes late for the 5:45 p.m. rally, the enthusiastic crowd does not seem to notice.

Part of the delay may be that scores of people continued to pour into the downtown park until 6 p.m. Early estimates put the turnout at 5,000.

An all American-style event seems to be the theme of the Romney rally. Before the candidate took the stage, the campaign showed family movies on a giant screen, children sang the National Anthem and the crowd recited the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a prayer.

Margaret Good of St. Petersburg arrived three hours early to make sure she could find a good viewing spot to see the GOP presidential hopeful. Good said she is a Democrat who "switched" her vote for Romney. "He's going to get us back on our feet," said Good.

The pre-event speakers included Florida GOP leaders known to locals.

U.S. Rep. Bill Young lauded Romney's performance at Wednesday night's debate against President Barack Obama. "We heard the truth," Young declared to the appreciative crowd.

Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker said Romney "saved the Olympics. He knows what we need to do."

South Pasadena Mayor Kathleen Peters, who's running for a House seat in the Florida Legislature, urged supporters to "help us get Mitt Romney in the White House."

EJ Otero, who's running for Congress, compared Romney to President Ronald Reagan.

The former Massachusetts governor is visiting Florida, a key battleground state, after his strong performance Wednesday in the first of three televised debates against Obama.

Romney's campaign is working hard to maintain that energy and momentum. An article posted by Boston.com described Romney's performance as "aggressive, crisp and confident," reinvigorating a campaign that had appeared lagging.

Supporters seem to share in the renewed excitement. They are decked out in red, white and blue as well as Mitt Romney for President T-shirts and even costumes of Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam. Two small planes, with protest banners trailing, circle overhead. They just seem to add to the theatrical atmosphere and excitement.

Marshall Adams, who came out to the rally, was adamant in his support for the candidate. "Realistically, I don't believe this country will survive four more years under Obama."

Friday's event is being held at the picturesque Pier Park, 550 Second Ave. NE. Although the event is free attendees had to obtain tickets in advance.

Gates opened at 3:45 p.m.  for the outdoor event, but people started arriving as early as 2, with some folks gathering at local outdoor restaurants.

Romney was just in Florida's Tampa Bay area two weeks ago, when he stopped in Sarasota for a rally that drew 4,000 people.

Ann Romney, the candidate's wife, spoke in St. Petersburg during the Republican National Convention. She cut the ribbon on a new therapeutic playground for disabled children getting therapy at All Children's Hospital.

Richard C Joyner October 23, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Oh you mean the tax incentives and threats to banks that Clinton started? The one that started the bubble? Pointing fingers and blaming isn't working. I think we are all tired of it. In fact, your spirited defense shows that there is a bit of panic on the Left and Dem side. There is a real possibility with polls at 50/50 that Obama loses. So the country will be voting to reject the blame and failed policies of this administration.Perhaps we have caught on to distribution of wealth concept which punishes the producers to give to people who are not. This is also called theft. Perhaps we have decided we don't want to be Europe which is crashing due to their social policies and taxation and we don't want the government to grab our money that we worked for and distribute to programs we don't like. I think that is why 40% of union members voted for Scott Walker! Pray for the 23,000,000 that are unemployed under Obama's policies. Time for a change when the employee (in this case obama) doesn't do the job. Time for stockholders aka stakeholders aka Americans to vote to fire this guy and his left wing socialistic lite agenda.
Michael D. October 23, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Richard, Wow, you like going to the "you disagree with me, and I think you are wrong so you must me a leftist". Is that your go to move on every agrument?. I like how you like to show only what fits your agrument, not the changes that were made by a Republican Congress in the late 1990's (contract with America along with Clinton). Also the tax incentives by George W. Bush, the Bush tax cuts to get business moving forward after the .Net bubble and 9/11 (or are you going to blame those on Clinton too?). Then you follow the usually conservative agrument about distribution of weath and about the few European countries that are doing socialism poorly. I like how you are going with the usually conservative standards. I guess I should assume you are a conservative since you are so quick to label me a liberal. I like how you didn't explain your 23 million, but that is a tool used by both sides if you don't want your "facts" challenged pretend no one challenged it. If you have seen me post on here, parties are to blame for mess we are in. I just am presenting the other side, since you are conviently forgetting the Republican Influence of this problem. Then again, you could just be one of those conservatives who like to blame everything on liberals, and you sound just as extremist as the liberals who blame everything on conservatives.
Richard C Joyner November 02, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Jean that was the saddest most immature post from an adult i have ever seen. No use talking to you socilaist lites and theives of producers income. On my way to the voting booth to oust this left wing nut job.
Lynda November 02, 2012 at 03:40 AM
RCJ, I hope you find an open voting booth this time of night! I just hope you are walking and not driving.

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