Romney feels the love in Asheville'Victory Rally' draws thousands
ASHEVILLE — With mentions of Boy Scouts, Joe Biden and Big Bird, Mitt Romney's Victory Rally revved up a large and enthusiastic crowd Thursday night at the U.S. Cellular Center. Between joyous whoops and dramatic boos, nearly 8,000 people packed into the arena made their support abundantly clear throughout the night, which was studded with right-wing, political stars.
Romney made sure to return the favor.
"Based on what I'm seeing here this evening, I'm going to go out on a limb and say we're going to win North Carolina," he said to thunderous applause.
For 20-plus minutes, he spoke mostly of his vision for America as a whole, but Romney did make his speech local at times, mentioning his meeting with evangelist Billy Graham and thanking Western North Carolina native Ronnie Milsap for performing earlier in the rally. He also praised fellow state Republicans who had spoke that night, from governor contender Mark Meadows to Congressman Pat McHenry.
Switching back to national news, Romney got huge applause breaks while mentioning his decisive win in last week's debate with President Barack Obama and that night's upcoming debate between Vice President Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan.
"Now, I enjoyed my debate about a week ago. That was a good experience," he said, with a smile, "and I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy tonight's debate, as well."
That statement got laughs and cheers, as did his comment that Obama's plan for the country shouldn't be called "forward" but "forewarned." His promise to not cut military spending or raise taxes on small businesses and the middle class also drew hearty applause. Many of Romney's points were more serious in nature, however, focused more on what he sees as the philosophical tenets of the American people than specific issues.
Illustrating his point with real-life tales of Boy Scouts and a fallen Navy SEAL, he explained again and again that part of being American is to "live for something bigger than yourself."
"These are people with big hearts and sound principles," he said.
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