Mitt Romney says that our rights come from God -- and Craig Romney says his father's success will come from God hearing the prayers of Colorado residents across the state. This was one message at an early vote rally yesterday afternoon in which Craig, Mitt's youngest son, told fans that his favorite comment from supporters is when they say they're praying for the Romney family.
"As I've traveled around the country and spoken to voters...I hear two things consistently," Romney told a crowd of supporters outside the campaign's Denver office on Cook Street. "First is, I have never volunteered. I've never been to a rally. I've never made phone calls. I've never made a donation...and I ask people why is that this is the first time you're doing that. Most of the time, they'll say this is the most important election of my lifetime -- and it certainly is of mine."
Later in his speech, Romney, who championed his father at a Lakewood event targeting Latino voters last month, said, "The second thing I hear consistently is, 'We're praying for your family. We're praying for your father.'
"And I'll tell you what -- that is my favorite thing I get to hear on the road, and we are so grateful for your prayers. We know that God hears prayers and He blesses this country. And we know that this is a special country that we live in," he continued. "We're grateful for the liberties we enjoy."
Romney was joining the local campaign for the "Romney-Ryan Commit to Mitt Early Vote Express Tour Bus" that has been making stops throughout the state encouraging residents to cast their ballots in advance of election day. The state's top Democrats held a similar event a week earlier, pushing early votes for the president on the first day that residents could cast ballots.
The Craig Romney campaign stop yesterday came on the same day the Romney team cancelled Colorado rallies with Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan originally scheduled for today due to Hurricane Sandy and its devastation on the East Cost. The Obama camp also cancelled a Colorado event featuring the president that was scheduled for today.
However, the natural disaster is not stopping the candidates' surrogates and direct family members from pushing the campaigns forward in the key swing state of Colorado. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, spoke to Lakewood volunteers for Obama on Sunday night and Bill Clinton has rallies scheduled in Commerce City and Denver today. While Romney the candidate has worked to direct his focus to the hurricane, asking supporters to donate toward relief efforts, Craig Romney yesterday made no mention of the devastating storm during his remarks.
Instead, he promoted his dad's resume and personal character to the crowd in a county that leans toward Obama, but -- with more than 79,000 registered Republicans -- is still important to Romney campaign in what is expected to be an incredibly tight race.
Continue for more from Craig Romney's speech and for more photos from the campaign stop. Like Ann Romney, Mitt's wife, who also spoke in Colorado this month, Craig shared personal stories about his father, telling the small crowd of supporters outside a giant Romney-Ryan bus that he is glad voters have been able to get a glimpse of the real Mitt.
"We are so grateful my dad got back into the race," he said of his father's decision to run for president, adding, "You know, my biggest concern was that people wouldn't get to see his true character. That he would be painted in a certain light by his opponents and people wouldn't get to see who he really is. But I think now people have started to see that, they've seen it through the debates, they've seen it at the Al Smith dinner.... You know, it's funny, because that's the side of my dad you don't get to see a lot, but that's the dinner table every week growing up for us."
The fact that voters have come to get a better sense of who the candidate is as a person shows in the support he is getting in Colorado, Romney said, praising the campaign for the massive Red Rocks rally last week
"How about that rally in Red Rocks?" he said, prompting cheers. "I've never seen anything like that. That was such a cool rally."
"We couldn't get in!" one man shouted back.
"Apparently, there were thousands of people who couldn't get in. So we have a great base here in Colorado. We have great volunteers. Are we going to win here in Colorado?" Romney asked, prompting more shouts and cheers.
"I like that. I like the enthusiasm," Romney said.
He also told the crowd about his son, Mitt Romney's grandson, meeting President Obama on stage at the latest debate. "There was a really little guy up on stage.... That was my son, Miles. He's four. And he was very excited to meet the president.... They had a little conversation.... The first thing my son said to him -- he went up and reached his hand and he said, 'Are you Bobama?' So he's a pretty cute little guy."
Romney spoke at length about the achievements of his father in business and at the Olympics, ending his speech by saying, "My dad has achieved tremendous things, and I think there are even greater achievements that still await him. And they await him in the White House -- and with your help, guys, we're going to make it happen."
After his speech, Romney told us in an interview that he has been impressed with the excitement of voters in Colorado, saying, "You know, a woman I just met actually told me she hiked up two miles [at Red Rocks].... She was passing ladies with canes to get up there. So a lot of enthusiasm. We're very encouraged."
He added that it could be a boost that his father's strong debate performance happened in this critical swing state.
"People saw my dad. They saw him speak from his heart and saw that he has a plan to get the economy back on track," he said. "It definitely doesn't hurt having that happen here in Denver."
In the final weeks of the race, his father is staying strong, he said.
"He's been at this for a long time. He's got amazing energy. He always has," Romney said, adding, "He's obviously excited to be in the homestretch now."
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