Jewel Samad, AFP/Getty Images
MANSFIELD -- During his address near Mansfield today, Mitt Romney promised to reduce federal spending, cut taxes to small businesses and not cut the military budget.
More than 1,000 people turned out today to hear the Republican presidential nominee speak at PR Machine Works, on Nussbaum Parkway. The location served as a backdrop to the 20-minute speech that included statements about building the national economy.
"As the most prosperous country in the world we should not have so many people out of work," Romney said.
He said he was surprised by President Barack Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention last week, because he made no mention of jobs.
"When the president took office there were 37 million people out of work," he said. "Now there are 47 million... . He does not have a plan."
He said Obama's campaign slogan of "Forward" should be "Forewarned."
"These are tough times for the American people. We can do better than this," he said.
He said he had a five-point plan that would put America's economy back on track.
The plan included drilling for more oil and natural gas on public lands, improving trade with other countries, provide more training for American workers, cutting federal spending and lowering taxes on small businesses.
Romney was preceded by a number of elected officials including Mansfield Mayor Tim Theaker, a Republican, who said he was happy to be invited to participate in Romney's event. He said he was not asked to participate when Obama visited Mansfield last month.
U.S. Congressman Bob Gibbs spoke briefly, saying, :"I was insulted when the president said, 'You didn't build that.'" Making reference to a campaign statement Obama made in August when talking about small business development in the United States.
He said when Obama says, "'We need to make investments,' that's code for more spending."
A line of people began forming at 9:15 a.m. outside the manufacturing plant. All of the available tickets to the event were spoken for and hundreds more supporters are expected to rally outside.
The plant is owned by Mark Romanchuk, a candidate himself for the Ohio House of Representatives District 2. He is running against Ellen Haring for the seat now occupied by Jay Goyal, who decided not to run again.
Romney's jetliner touched down at Mansfield Lahm Airport just before 1 p.m., after which Romney spoke briefly with Lt. Col. Michael Howard with the Air National Guard's 179th Airlift Wing stationed at the airport.
Howard wore street clothes, but sported a large C27-J button. The cargo planes have been targeted by the Obama Administration to be cut from the military's 2013 budget.
Shortly after noon, ticket holders to this afternoon's speech started being admitted to the plant after first going through metal detectors and having bags checked. Media are arriving.
Romney's visit comes on the heels of a the Democratic Convention and the launch of an advertising blitz in battleground states.
A Gallup poll released Sunday showed President Barack Obama opening a five-percentage point lead over Romney following last week's Democratic convention. Other polls haven't registered such a blip.
The Romney campaign nevertheless engaged in some Monday morning damage control.
"Don't get too worked up about the latest polling. While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly," Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said in a memo to "interested parties."
The next unemployment report -- the economic report most closely watched by campaigns -- is not until Oct. 5. The first of three presidential debates is Oct. 3.
Meanwhile, Obama and Democratic partners on Monday reported raising more than $114 million in August, outpacing Romney for the first time in three months. Romney and Republicans raised $111 million in the same period. However, Romney has more money on hand than Obama.
With Romney in Ontario today, running mate Paul Ryan had fundraisers in Oregon and Washington planned. Neither Obama, who spent the weekend campaigning in Florida, nor Vice President Joe Biden had any scheduled public appearances.
Paul Ryan, GOP vice presidential nominee, will be in Ohio on Wednesday evening at the Clermont County fairgrounds. Country singer John Michael Montgomery will perform.
Gannett/Mansfield News Journal