Large Crowd Comes Out for Romney Rally

Romney on Stage

Reporter: David Tate

Salem, VA - A big crowd turned out in Salem to welcome the Republican nominee for President Tuesday.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney spent about 20 minutes energizing the crowd of more than 2,500 supporters. It was Romney's second stop in our area in the past six weeks.

Romney delivered a rousing address to a very supportive crowd that offered a lot of attack on President Obama's first three and a half years, but he delivered little in substance about what the former governor would do differently.

Whether it was about immigration or the topic of failed promises, Romney gave the anti-Obama crowd exactly what they wanted to hear.

"To reform our immigration system for the American people and for those that want to come here legally. He did not do that," said Romney.

"What we do know is the President failed to lead. He failed to do what he said he would do. He instead focused on putting in place his healthcare reform called 'ObamaCare.'

The GOP candidate also touted his own record from his days as governor, something that didn't sit well with the handful of Obama supporters outside the rally.

"Basically what we've been offered with Romney is to turn the page back for the reasons and policies that we are working our way out of the deepest recession since the Great Depression," said Dick Cranwell, former Virginia House Majority Leader.

Romney went deeper into the President's signature health care reform legislation, saying it was a waste of his term if the Supreme Court ends up striking it down.

"Then the first three and a half years of this President's term will be wasted on something that does not help the American people," he said.

But the speech was all about what Obama didn't, or couldn't do and very little about what a President Romney would do, something that meant little to these folks who already know what they will do come November.

For 18-year-old Botetourt County resident Sam Cordle, working alongside the Romney campaign is like a dream come true.

"It's been exciting to get involved and be kind of on the inner circle... in some sense kind of get involved more in depth with the campaign," he said.

He wasn't the only one excited. Two hours before the former Governor made it to Salem, hundreds were already lined up ready to go. Southern Virginia University student body president Tyler MacKay was in line. He's been a Romney supporter but wanted to see him speak live.

"Listening to the way people speak in person you can see a lot of speeches and read stuff on the Internet but people's demeanor and how they talk is really important to me," he said.

While the crowd was overwhelmingly committed to the Romney ticket, others like Maria Shockley wanted to hear more about what he stands for.

"I guess I am leaning more one way than the other but I do want to learn more information so I guess today is a good opportunity," said Shockley, who's an undecided voter.

It's something that Cordle is more than happy to help accommodate. He just wishes even more people on both sides would get involved.

"Apathy is a big problem in our country right now, and I think that has led to a lot of problems we have as people. Number one, not being educated and number two, not caring about what's going on," said Cordle.

After Salem, Romney was scheduled to travel to Livonia, Michigan, one of the former states Romney calls home. It's no coincidence either that Michigan is a state that President Obama needs to win just like Virginia.

We can expect both candidates to spend a lot of time in those toss up states from here on out.