By Mark Waite
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s son, Josh Romney, told an excited crowd at Nye County Republican Party Central Committee headquarters Friday four of the five sons didn’t want their dad to run again after the 2008 campaign.
But Josh said he changed his mind when he thought about the national debt.
“In 2008 when my dad backed out, it was hard for us. He gave me a call the night before and said ‘I’m going to drop out tomorrow and support Senator McCain’ and I was like, ‘Dad are you sure? Can we keep on fighting some more?’” Josh Romney said. But his father threw his support behind the frontrunner. “He knew what was going to happen if we elected Barack Obama and he was right, his worst case scenario is exactly what happened.”
After Mitt Romney dropped out of the 2008 race, Josh said his mom Ann Romney had a videographer tape the campaign. His mother said, “do not ever let me do this again, if I even think of it you have to slap me hard. We watch that now and laugh about it.”
Ann Romney later asked her husband if he could turn the economy around, Mitt Romney said yes.
“I said you don’t have a choice to make. You have to do this,” Josh Romney said.
“I started thinking about my kids and the legacy we’re passing on to the next generation because now we’re not at $12 to $13 trillion in debt, we’re $16 trillion in debt and growing, growing at a trillion a year. Four more years of Obama we’ll be at $20 trillion at least,” Romney said. He called it a moral as well as an economic issue.
“Each of my kids owes the deficit $50,000. That is not fair. We cannot continue to borrow more than we spend, to spend more than we take in,” he said.
When people didn’t want to cut specific programs, Romney said his dad proposed the litmus test he raised in the first debate: Is this program so successful we have to borrow money from China to pay for it?
“Congress is going to learn the hard way how hard it is to ask my dad for money,” Romney said. “I can’t wait to see these senators and congressman squirm and ask for money from my dad.”
Romney recalled a campaign trip to Israel with his dad this year. Their first stop was in the middle of the night at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem where a couple hundred people who were waiting cheered and shouted.
“The next day we went to the Wailing Wall and it was a religious holiday and there were tens of thousands of people worshipping there. My dad wanted to go to the wall to pray and as we got there, everybody that was praying and preaching and having religious ceremonies stopped, looked at my dad, gathered around and started cheering for him. Those people understood what is happening in this election,” Romney said.
“There are people all over the world who recognize what has happened over the last four years. President Obama has done things to distance ourselves from our allies for no reason to try to befriend our enemies,” he said.
Romney said he’s optimistic about his dad’s chances in Nevada and the energy throughout the country. Three-quarters of the people at his dad’s rallies have never been involved in an election before, he said.
“The energy that President Obama had four years ago, the good news is it’s still around. The really good news is we got it. We stole it. It’s a lot of fun. There’s so much energy in the Republican Party and across the conservative movement,” Romney said.
The optimistic son invited the audience to the January inauguration. He predicted when his dad is elected president, starting Nov. 7 the economy will come back in a big way with his plans to make America energy independent and sign trade agreements with our partners.
“As I travel around the country the thing that always impressed me the most is when I meet people who say they are praying for my mom and dad. That means so much to me,” Romney said.
He was introduced by Republican candidate for U.S. Congress Danny Tarkanian who predicted a Republican sweep in November. Tarkanian recalled he had the pleasure of growing up as a ball boy for his father, famous University of Nevada, Las Vegas basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, then helping his father succeed.
Tarkanian said he sees how passionate the Republicans are by such rallies.
“I believe deep in my heart that Nye County and Pahrump will determine who is going to win this congressional race,” Tarkanian said.
He told the Pahrump Valley Times he bucks Clark County on some issues, home to 85 percent of his constituents, by supporting Yucca Mountain and opposing the water pipeline to Las Vegas, positions more in line with Nye County.