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Presidential campaign returns to Ottawa County by John Schaffner

Ottawa County Commissioners Mark Stahl (L) and Steve Arndt (R) are joined by Matt Romney and Republican worker Yvonne Darling from Elmore. Ottawa County Commissioners Mark Stahl (L) and Steve Arndt (R) are joined by Matt Romney and Republican worker Yvonne Darling from Elmore. photo by John Schaffner

Monday morning I got a phone call from the Romney Campaign.

This is what I heard. “Mitt Romney is having lunch at Republican Headquarters and would I like an exclusive interview?”
“Wow!” I said, “You bet!!!”
Well, I guess I misunderstood. It wasn’t Mitt Romney, it was Matt Romney, the presidential candidate’s son.
No matter, it was certainly newsworthy, so I drove downtown for Matt Romney’s speech to the local Republican faithful. I was then granted a 10 minute exclusive interview with this good looking, well-spoken young man.
“One simple question,” I said. “Why should your dad be President of the United States?
After all, isn’t that what people want to know for sure to cast an intelligent vote?”
The young man thought for a moment and told me, “I wish people knew why he is running. I can assure you it is not to put another ‘notch in his belt’. He deeply cares about America and wants to lead a turnaround.”
Okay, how is he going to get that accomplished?
“Four things,” he told me. “First, he wants to lower taxes, particularly on middle class families. One example is he intends to eliminate capital gains taxes on everybody making less than $200,000 per year. Next, reduce regulations that are choking businesses, especially small businesses. Third, he wants to cut wasteful spending, which leads directly to item number four, and that’s balancing the budget.” He then added, “And what is President Obama’s plan? More stimulus and more government.”
Next question: Unemployment is regularly a serious problem in Ottawa County, particularly in the winter. What are Mitt Romney’s plans to cure the unemployment problem that has lingered over 8% for nearly 4 years?
“We need to grow the economy through the private sector. First, through a sensible energy policy to make us truly energy independent by using our already abundant natural resources. Second, by focusing on small business, the biggest job creator in the economy, who are currently being suffocated by the present administration. Finally, crack down on trade cheaters like China.
What about the man Mitt Romney, your father and grandfather for your four children?
“I wish people could see what I experienced growing up. He can empathize. He truly believes that joy and happiness come from serving. He is a great father and grandfather. When we were young, he adopted a struggling family, and we all visited that family once a week to make sure they were doing as well as they could be doing.”
As with most presidential campaigns, as soon as my interview with Matt Romney ended, he was on to another campaign stop. While he was here, he spoke, answered questions, and signed autographs. Maybe someday we’ll be talking about candidate Matt Romney.

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