Romney energizes supporters in Basalt |

Romney energizes supporters in Basalt

Scott Condon / The Aspen Times

— Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney assailed President Barack Obama's record Thursday during a campaign stop at Basalt and touted his own plan with a little help from his friends.

Romney and 11 GOP governors energized a crowd of about 500 people while talking about what Romney would do differently in the White House and how they think Obama has failed.

"By his own measures, this is a president whose policies have not been successful," Romney said, citing the current administration's inability to reduce unemployment, reduce the federal deficit or spur small business start-ups.

Romney's appearance at Basalt High School attracted more supporters and curious onlookers than could fit in the school's gym. A long line snaked out the school's door and into the lawn. Volunteer Shellie Roy, of Aspen, said she thought scores of people waiting to get inside would be turned away.

Romney entered the gym to the song "Born Free" by Kid Rock, then delivered a 12-minute speech. He was enthusiastically greeted by the crowd even though his arrival was delayed by 45 minutes from the scheduled start of the event.

Romney drew some of his biggest applause when he declared the country's budget must be balanced and the U.S. must end its reliance on foreign oil.

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After Romney's speech, each of the 11 governors accompanying him gave presentations on why they felt Romney is better-equipped to lead the country than Obama. The governors were Chris Christie, of New Jersey; Nikki Haley, of South Carolina; Bob McDonnell, of Virginia; Bobby Jindal, of Louisiana; Rick Perry, of Texas; Matt Mead, of Wyoming; Gary Herbert, of Utah; Mary Fallin, of Oklahoma; Susana Martinez, of New Mexico; and Jan Brewer, of Arizona.

Romney and the governors were scheduled to attend a major fundraiser Thursday night at the Little Nell Hotel. Numerous top donors to the party were expected.

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