CRAIG, Colo. (CBS4) – Mitt Romney is expected to win Texas on Tuesday, formally clinching the Republican nomination for president. People who just saw Romney in the town of Craig say he made quite an impression.
Romney met with hotel owners in Moffit County. The group had made a video inviting Romney to their hometown to talk about energy and the loss of jobs in the coal, oil and gas industries.
Craig has a population of only about 10,000, and not many more in the entire county. But on Tuesday people from all over northwestern Colorado who came to see what they said was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“This is kind of a first, we’re pleased,” Chuck McConnell with the Routt County Republican Party said.
The crowds started showing up well before the event started. Steve Ghiradelli has lived in Craig for 33 years and is not a supporter of Romney.
“I thought it would be interesting to see what the turnout would be,” Ghiradelli said.
Just after 9:15 a.m. Romney addressed the crowd. More than 200 were from a nearby coal mine. Many say harsh regulations on the coal industry over the past two years have hurt the local economy.
“It is northwest Colorado. Coal is northwest Colorado,” coal miner Patt Sollars said.
Sollars said he thought it was great that Romney came to town.
“I’m not going to forget Craig, Colorado,” Romney told the crowd. “I’m not going to forget communities around here that are hurting.”
“I think it’s important to the people he took the time to come here and just talk to them,” said Randy Bumgardner, R-House District 57.
The state GOP expects Romney to return to Colorado up to a dozen more times before the election because it’s a swing state. They say that will be a mix between metropolitan areas and more small towns like Craig.
Romney will be finishing his day in Las Vegas where he’ll attend a fundraiser with Donald Trump. Trump is stirring up controversy by continuing to question President Obama’s citizenship.
On Tuesday Romney talked about his Trump connection.
“You know, I don’t agree with all the people who support me, and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney said. “But I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”
Obama’s campaign fired back. On Tuesday they released a new Internet ad highlighting Romney’s association with Trump.
LINK: Moe Energy Video
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