The Republican presidential ticket dispatched its campaign bus to State College on Saturday, attracting hungry football fans on their way to tailgates before Saturday’s match between the Nittany Lions and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
However, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan fought for the support of voters in Ohio, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned in Florida.
Centre County Republican Party volunteers, meanwhile, served Penn State and Ohio State fans with pork sandwiches and a plea to vote for Romney-Ryan in November. Volunteers cheered when passersby voiced support — or showed it with a thumbs up.
Steve Miller, Centre County Republican Party vice-chairman, said he’s never seen such a positive, enthusiastic response from voters in the 12 years he’s been involved as he has in this election cycle.
Supporters posed for photos in front of the candidates’ bus, which bore the slogan “More jobs, more take-home pay,” and attached Romney-Ryan stickers to their whiteout shirts. The bus sat amid other tailgates in the lot across from the Bryce Jordan Center.
Anthony Christina, chairman of the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans, said the bus’ visit shows Pennsylvania is still in play.
“This game is the battleground of the battleground states,” Christina (senior-history and political science) said.
Christina said a win for Romney in central Pennsylvania can offset some of the Democratic support from the cities and help Romney win the state.
Centre County Democratic Committee Chairman Greg Stewart said he never likes to take any election for granted, but he thinks the Democrats will win Pennsylvania — as long as President Barack Obama’s supporters go to the polls and all of the Obama volunteers come out.
Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Centre, talked to a few tailgaters decked out in Ohio State gear. He said he encourages voters to look at the facts to decide whom to vote for on Election Day.
Thompson said Americans can’t afford four more years of the “very negative” outcomes of Obama’s policies. Defense cuts that will take place in January will hurt the military, leading military personnel to flood the job market at a time when unemployment and underemployment are already high, he said.
The increasing national debt, now at more than $16 trillion, is also bad for America’s future, Thompson said.
“That’s devastating to our national security and will fall largely on the generation of students that are here at Penn State right now,” Thompson said.
Since Obama’s policies have been implemented, America has had more than two years of positive job growth, Stewart said.
But Stewart said it’s as if Republicans have amnesia and have forgotten the eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency when tax cuts were not all offset by spending cuts. Romney and Ryan want to go back to Republican policies that instituted tax cuts for the super wealthy and cut domestic spending, he said.
“Those are the exact same policies that George Bush had in place,” Stewart said, “They want to go back to the policies that created the problem in the first place, whereas Democrats want to go back to sound economic policies.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
To email reporter: email@example.com