Craig Moffat County and Craig were abuzz Sunday ahead of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s scheduled visit to the area.
Sarah Pompei, a campaign spokeswoman for Romney, talked Sunday about what attendees can expect to hear Tuesday morning when the former Massachusetts governor appears for a public event in Alice Pleasant Park.
“Craig is facing a lot of economic challenges due to the burdensome regulations implemented by (the Obama) administration,” Pompei said. “The governor is going to talk about some of his solutions to get the country back on track again.”
Romney is expected to cite Moffat’s abundant natural resources and dependence on the energy industry in his speech about the economy and job creation.
“We’ve heard a lot of promises from President (Barack) Obama that he simply hasn’t followed through on,” Pompei said. “We’ll be talking to people across the country from now until Election Day about the governor’s ability to create jobs and his vision for moving the country forward.”
Although the GOP contender has received invitations from Moffat elected officials and energy operators for tours and meetings, Pompei could not confirm Sunday how much time, if any, Romney would spend in Craig after the public event.
Even if the visit is a quick one, Moffat County Republican Party Chairman KC Hume thinks it’s important all the same.
“I think it’s really exciting,” Hume said. “Romney’s visit provides a wonderful and unique opportunity for the citizens of Craig and Moffat County to see, hear and interact with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.”
Craig, with a small population that leans Republican by about a 3-to-1 margin, is an unusual campaign stop for a presidential candidate.
In the 104 years since Craig became an incorporated city and the 101 years since Moffat was carved off from neighboring Routt County, no sitting president has visited, said Dan Davidson, Museum of Northwest Colorado director.
Still, the community has some interesting ties to the Oval Office.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt stayed in Room 2 of the Baker House, now the Golden Cavvy Restaurant near Alice Pleasant Park, before his 1913 appointment as assistant to the secretary of the Navy, Davidson said.
Herbert Hoover is thought to have worked in a mine near the Moffat County-Wyoming border as an engineer long before his 1929 presidential election.
Theodore Roosevelt used Meeker as his base to hunt in Northwest Colorado while serving as William McKinley’s vice president at about the turn of the century.
Alf Landon, a former Kansas governor and 1936 Republican presidential nominee, owned a building in Craig, Davidson said, but there is no record indicating whether Landon visited the area during his bid for the presidency. He was defeated by FDR.