Sounding like a disappointed supporter, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman led Pueblo Republicans through a list of "broken promises" he said President Barack Obama made four years ago when Obama spoke to a crowd of 75,000 Democrats at Denver's then-Invesco Field at Mile High.
"Remember how he promised to cut the deficit in half if elected," the silver-haired Portman told the crowd of about 60 Mitt Romney supporters outside the Pueblo County GOP headquarters at 108 Lincoln St.
"But we've had a $1 trillion deficit for the third year in a row. How's that working for you?"
Portman is often mentioned as a possible running mate for the former Massachusetts governor.
He got off the Romney bus wearing jeans and cowboy boots and gave a 15-minute pep talk to a crowd that didn't really need one.
The Romney supporters knew Obama had just arrived in Pueblo and they waved their signs and cheered for Romney to passing traffic on Lincoln Street.
Portman said Republicans didn't need to criticize Obama, just use the
president's 2008 campaign promises against him. Unemployment has increased, gasoline prices have climbed and Democrats had "rammed" costly health care legislation through Congress,
he said. Portman scoffed that Obama is hoping to build support among middle-class, Hispanic and women voters -- "He likes to divide America into different groups" -- but that the economy has failed them, too, he said.
"Four years ago, we gave President Obama the football and what did he do? He fumbled it," Portman said. By contrast, the senator insisted that Romney would cut taxes, eliminate regulations that hamper U.S. business growth and grant a waiver to all 50 states so they wouldn't have to implement the Affordable Health Care Act.
Colorado Republican Chairman Ryan Call was also aboard the bus and he called Obama a "profound disappointment" to the nation. He also accused the Obama campaign of running an "incredibly negative and dishonest campaign" against Romney.
For Sam and Connie Espinoza, two of the Pueblo Republicans waving signs, the two GOP speakers summed up their own views.
"There aren't any jobs, we have a monstrously high debt and we need to get things turned around," Connie Espinoza said.
The Republicans intend to stage their own rally today outside the Colorado State Fairgrounds on Prairie Avenue while Obama speaks to local Democrats inside the Fairgrounds.
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