Live Updates: Mitt Romney Heads to Manassas Hours After Picking Rep. Paul Ryan for VP
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will visit Manassas on Saturday with vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Update 8:25 p.m.: Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Wisconsin Rep. (and, as of today, vice presidential pick) Paul Ryan left Virginia this evening for other battleground states. They will appear in Wisconsin together tomorrow evening.
Read more about what Romney and Ryan said today in Manassas here.
Update 6:37 p.m.: The City of Manassas said that more than 10,000 people visited the area today.
“This is an exciting time to live in the City of Manassas,” said Mayor Harry J. Parrish, II in a release from the City of Manassas. “It’s a great city to live and do business in. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.”
“An event of this magnitude is great for the City,” said City Manager John Budesky. “We know that the City of Manassas is a fantastic place, and now so do the more than 10,000 people who visited today.”
Update 5:30 p.m.: Mitt Romney told small business owners gathered at his Saturday rally at the Harris Pavilion in Manassas, who he said are worried about the cost of health care because of "Obamacare": "We're going to get rid of it."
Standing on stage with vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, Romney said "our rights did not come from the government; they came from the creator. ... This is about America, the country we love."
Update 5:25 p.m.: Speaking for the first time at his blue state bus tour in Manassas, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney told voters it was a critical time for America.
Voters have seen the product of President Barack Obama's plan, Romney said.
"It hasn't worked," he said.
"We don't want America to become Europe," he said. "[There's an] economic calamity at the door."
He went on to highlight issues he believes are important to restoring the country, including:
- Taking advantage of energy resources like oil and coal
- Making sure schools are focused on kids
- Trade that works for America
- Cutting the spending and the deficit
He also pledged to champion small businesses, a promise that drew a roar of cheers and applause from the crowd.
Update 5:13 p.m.: Hours after being selected as Mitt Romney's running mate, U.S. Rep and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told voters at the Saturday rally in Manassas that America has "had the worst recovery in 70 years."
He went on to say that voters "can turn this thing around. We can get back on the right track."
When Romney ran Bain Capital, Ryan said, "he created jobs. He made enterprises."
"You deserve to decide what kind of country we're going to have, what kind of people we want to be. If we do this right and reapply the principles that built this country, we honor you," Ryan said.
Update 5:05 p.m.: Taking the stage Saturday ahead of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said energy prices are through the roof, but "we don't have the policy to use our God-given resources."
"We need the GOP, the great opportunity party of America," McDonnell said.
McDonnell, whom until this morning many believed would join Romney as a running mate in his bid for the White House, has said he will be a 'top advocate' for Romney in Virginia.
Update 5:02 p.m.: Lt. Gov Bill Bolling says "this is a defining moment in America's history."
"Four years ago, the American public took a chance. Four years later the rhetoric has faded ... in every way this president has failed."
Update 4:53 p.m.: Republican George Allen, who faces Democrat Tim Kaine in the race for an empty Virginia Senate seat in November, took the stage Saturday at Mitt Romney's event in Manassas telling voters the "road ahead is not easy."
"We're facing new and continued threats from Washington," Allen said. "Parents are wondering if their children will have the same opportunities they had ... these devastating cuts to our military ... must stop."
But "with Mitt Romney in the White House, we'll have a friend," Allen continued. "And he will be saying 'yes' to Virginians and Virginia jobs."
"My friends, 2012 is our generation's rendezvous with destiny."
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is also at the Manassas event.
Update 4:36 p.m.: Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has arrived at the Harris Pavilion in Manassas in his "blue state tour" bus, flanked by a motorcade.
The pavilion is covered in a sea of flags, waved by hundreds of voters waiting to hear the former Massachusetts governor speak.
For photos from the pavilion and the surrounding area, click here.
In the Harris Pavilion, music is playing as audience members wait for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's arrival.
Update 4:23 p.m.: After U.S. Rep Frank Wolf comments on Mitt Romney's selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as a vice presidential candidate, saying he's "a good man, decent, ethical, honest," chants of "Romney, Romney" are erupting from the crowd.
Audience members then started to sing "God Bless America" as they awaited the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
Update 4:16 p.m.: Ahead of Mitt Romney's appearance Saturday on stage at the Harris Pavilion in Manassas, U.S. Rep Frank Wolf (VA-10th) said "the Obama administration has failed and it's time for a change."
Update 4:12 p.m.: Virginia Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34th) tells audience members to "be not afraid; we have the ticket that will turn around America."
"Can you imagine how much they are freaking out in the White House and in Chicago?" she asked a crowd of hundreds packed Saturday into the Harris Pavilion in Manassas, waiting for a glimpse of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
Comstock says what she loves most about Mitt Romney and his recently announced running mate, Wisconsin U.S. Rep Paul Ryan, "is that they were elected in blue states" much like Virginia.
"These guys have a great track record," she said, asking "So in a red state like Virginia, you're gonna bring it home, right?"
Update 4:04 p.m.: Taking the stage, Virginia Del. Jackson Miller (R-50th) said Mitt Romney's selection of U.S. Rep Paul Ryan "was not the safest pick, was he? He was the bold pick," he told audience members awaiting the presumptive GOP presidential nominee on Saturday in Manassas.
Miller, a real estate agent, former Army captain and police officer, said he and his partners who built his real estate business "built it ourselves," referencing a statement by President Barack Obama last month in which he said “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that" during a stop in Roanoke, Va.
Virginia Dels. Tim Hugo (R-40th) and Scott Lingamfelter (R-31st) are also on stage.
Update 4:02 p.m.: Audience members chanting "U-S-A! U-S-A!" after finishing the pledge of allegiance.
Update 3:54 p.m.: Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish is taking the stage to kick off the event.
After welcoming visitors to the city, Parrish joined other officials in a prayer to begin the afternoon.
Update 3:12 p.m.: Inside Harris Pavilion, voters are sitting shoulder to shoulder awaiting presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney and his recently-announced running mate, U.S. Rep Paul Ryan.
A Jumbrotron is set up outside for those who can't get in.
For photos from the pavilion and the surrounding area, click here.
Update 2:58 p.m.: Voters outside the Harris Pavilion in Manassas on Saturday awaiting Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on their "Blue State" bus tour said picking the U.S. Congressman from Wisconsin was a "game changer."
Fairfax County Conservatives volunteer Steve Ward, of Burke, said while it "would have been awesome as a native Virginian for McDonnell to have been picked," he wasn't "all that surprised" with the selection.
Ward thinks the biggest issue in the presidential race will be the economy.
"I want Romney to get rid of Obamacare and make it easier for small businesses," he said.
He, like other locals, including conservative activist Tito Muñoz, was excited to hear Romney speak.
Leo Mejia said Romney's background in the private sector would also be important, and, he believed the former Massachusetts governor would have to develop a plan for entitlement reform.
"Ryan is a strong choice to make this about big issues," Mejia said.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is making a campaign stop with Gov. Bob McDonnell and U.S. Senate candidate George Allen at 4:15 on Saturday at Harris Pavilion in Manassas on his bus tour of states in play this election cycle.
Romney announced Saturday morning in Norfolk that he selected Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell joined Romney and Ryan at the campaign stop at the USS Wisconsin; he is scheduled to campaign with Romney on a bus tour across Virginia Saturday.
Romney's tour stopped at Randolph-Macon college in Ashland, VA at 1 p.m. Manassas will be the final bus stop on Saturday. The bus tour will continue on to North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio Sunday through Tuesday.
Various road closures will be in effect Saturday as Romney comes to town. Virginia is widely considered a battleground state in the 2012 presidential election.
The Republican National Convention will be Aug. 27-30 in Tampa, FL where the GOP presidential nominee pick will become official.
Stay with Patch for updates from Romney's visit.
- Map: Manasas City Road Closures for Romney Visit Saturday
- Romney to Campaign in Manassas Saturday
- McDonnell: Out of the Running for Romney's VP Choice?
- Gov. Bob McDonnell Passed Over for VP; Mitt Romney Picks Rep. Paul Ryan
- VIDEO: McDonnell Will be 'Top Advocate' for Romney in Virginia
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