TRAVELING WITH THE ROMNEY CAMPAIGN – Mitt Romney is on the verge of becoming the next president of the United States, because Democrats didn’t get the votes they needed in early polling, the Republican nominee’s top strategist told reporters before the campaign plane took off from Pittsburgh this afternoon.
Later, en route to Boston, a very upbeat Romney came to the back of the plane to talk to the traveling media.
He referred to an unexpectedly large and enthusiastic crowd in Pittsburgh today.
“Just getting off the plane and seeing those people there, cheering as they were, connected emotionally with me,” he said.
Romney noted that the campaign didn’t inform the public when he would arrive.
“I have felt intellectually that we would win for some time,” Romney said. “But seeing those people, I not only feel intellectually we will win, I feel it as well.”
Romney said he was proud of the campaign his team has run.
“Our team has been very solid,” he said. “We have worked well together, and we have gotten our message across. I feel like we put it all on the field. We left nothing in the locker room. We fought all the way to the end, and that’s why I feel we were successful.”
Senior strategist Stuart Stevens attributed Romney’s success to having a positive message.
“A positive message always beats a ground game,” said Stevens, who believes Romney connected with the electorate.
Landing in Pittsburgh at 3 p.m., Romney was met by an impromptu crowd of well over 1,000 supporters standing outside a chain-link fence at Pittsburgh International Airport. People were lined up on the second story of a parking lot and in the street across from civil aviation area.
Romney, in a white shirt with his sleeves rolled up, saw the crowd from the airplane and went over to the fence and waved both hands in the air.
Walking back to get into the motorcade, a reporter with the traveling press asked, “Governor, how does that make you feel?”
Romney responded, with his hand over his heart: “Well, that’s when you know you’re going to win.”
As WND reported yesterday, the Romney camp approached the finish line with cautious confidence, greeted by enthusiastic, overflow crowds at five stops yesterday from Florida to Virginia to Ohio to New Hampshire.
In Ohio, shortly after noon, the two campaigns converged as Vice President Joe Biden’s plane landed just 20 minutes after Romney, along with running mate Paul Ryan, headed toward Cleveland in a motorcade.
For Romney and his wife, Ann, Election Day began at 8:15 a.m., when they arrived at the Beech Street Center in Manchester, N.H., to vote.
At the polling place, the Romneys were greeted by a fairly large crowd, including one woman inside the holding a sign that read “Mitt and Ann – Enjoy your new White House.”
A reporter asked Romney how he felt about his chances in Ohio.
“I feel great about Ohio,” Romney responded enthusiastically.
Morning in Boston
At 9:15 this morning, Romney arrived at the airport outside Boston for a day rallying the ground troops who are getting out the vote in pivotal Ohio and in Pennsylvania, where the Romney camp believes victory is possible after six straight Democrat wins.
Campaign manager Kevin Madden and senior strategist Stevens accompanied Romney on the airplane.
“We are going to win Ohio,” Stevens told reporters. “We always close strong.”
Asked to respond to Democrats who say Romney’s trips to Ohio and Pennsylvania smack of desperation, Stevens countered: “I never thought that going out and talking to voters and working was anything but what we are supposed to do.”
Not to be outdone by the Romney campaign, within minutes of the Republican nominee’s arrival in Cleveland at approximately 11:15 a.m., Air Force 2 touched down, while Romney was yet in his airplane waiting for Ryan to arrive.
Ryan’s plane arrived just before noon and pulled up to the Romney campaign plane, providing the unusual spectacle of the two planes positioned yards from one another, with Air Force 2 visible in the distance.
At about 12:50 p.m., the Republican candidates’ motorcade arrived at a local campaign office in a strip mall in the Richmond Heights suburb of Cleveland.
Signs on the walls read: “Ohio loves Romney,” “Vote Today!” and “Romney for America.”
Romney and Ryan spoke with about two dozen volunteers who were phone-banking.
By 1:20 p.m., Biden’s motorcade returned to the airport, with the vice president expected to head to Chicago to join President Obama to wait for Election Day returns.
In Pittsburgh, Romney visited the Green Tree victory center, where more than 30 volunteers were making calls. A flat screen television played Fox News in the corner. A sign on the wall read “Obama isn’t working.”
When Romney arrived, a woman started chanting, “Twelve more hours.”
Romney thanked the volunteers and encouraged them not to be negative when reaching out to potential supporters.
He said they “don’t need to be disparaging of the other guy.”
“The president has run a strong campaign,” Romney said. ‘I believe he is a good man and wish him well, and his family well. He is a good father and has been a good example of a good father, but it is time for a new direction. It is a time for a better tomorrow.”
Much more to come …