DENVER (CBS4) – Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made a surprise appearance in Denver on Thursday morning, stopping by a Colorado conservative Political Action Committee meeting.

Four of Romney’s five sons were with him, and they introduced their dad as standing in for the son who couldn’t be there.

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Romney told those gathered for the American Conservative Union meeting that November will be a close-fought battle, saying two very different visions were presented at the University of Denver on Wednesday night during the first presidential debate.

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“We have two very different courses for America: trickle-down government or prosperity through freedom. And trickle down government which the president proposes is one where he will raise taxes on small business, which will kill jobs. I instead want to keep taxes down on small business so we can create jobs,” Romney said.

Romney made the appearance before traveling to Virginia. He’ll attend a rally there in the evening.

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Mitt Romney in Denver on Thursday morning. (credit: American Conservative Union)