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Mitt Romney Holds Rally, Visits Santorum In Pittsburgh

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

Jon Delano Jon Delano
Jon Delano is a familiar face on KDKA-TV, having been the station's...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A crowd of about 200 warmly welcomed Mitt Romney to Sauereisen, a small family-owned manufacturing company in O’Hara Township.

The family was excited about the visit.

“It was terribly exciting,” CEO Eric Sauereisen told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano. “When you look at what goes on television, and actually be a part of it, it’s immense. It’s quite a stage, quite a show that they put on.”

On stage, Romney quickly went on the attack on the president’s handling of the economy.

“I’ve also met a lot of people who are really suffering under the Obama economy. It hasn’t gotten better at the rate of speed they were told it was going to get better. And that’s in part because the Obama policies didn’t work,” Romney told the crowd.

It was Romney’s third visit to the region in less than a month — this one precipitated by his desire to meet with Rick Santorum before the rally — but Romney never mentioned that, focusing instead on the economy.

“I was with a barber who was cutting my hair — he was in his 70s. I said, ‘Why haven’t you retired?’

“He said, ‘I’m not able to. I hope to be able to but I can’t.’ Because the savings he had coming are worth less, he had to keep working.”

Presidential campaign events are really staged appearances, so it’s really no surprise that much of what he said today here he said on his last visit to Pittsburgh, like the references to the President’s all-of-the-above energy policy.

“Then I figured it out, he’s for all the energy that comes from above the ground, not the ones that come from below the ground.”

While Romney’s focus was inside, a small group of demonstrators were outside, including a dog with a specific message for the governor.

No matter. Romney picked Sauereisen to showcase his support for small business.

“This is an extraordinary enterprise. The Sauereisen family has been in this business, as you’ve probably heard, since 1899.”

The main reason for Romney’s visit to Pittsburgh was to pow-wow with Santorum. The two met alone, with no aides for 90 minutes at the office of Santorum’s media advisor, John Brabender, up on Mt. Washington.

Sources say it’s their first chance to get to know each other, and Santorum pushed issues important to his conservative supporters.

At his rally, Romney used the latest unemployment figures — down from 8.2 percent to 8.1 percent — to take on the president.

“The reason the rate came down was because about 340,000 dropped out of the workforce,” said Romney. “So many became discouraged they stopped looking for work. And if they stopped looking for work, the statisticians say, ‘Oh, the unemployment is lower now because not so many people want to work.’”

Using a line Romney repeats frequently, “President Obama is out of ideas, he’s out of excuses, and in 2012 it’s time we put him out of office.”

For that to happen, Romney will need to convince these undecided voters who were at his rally.

“You got to look at the pros and cons, and see who will do the better job,” notes Paula Brain of Sarver.

“I do have an open mind, and I was very intrigued by what he had to say,” adds Maureen Bankert of New Kensington.

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