Full house at Red Rocks for Romney
Ryan Summerlin October 24, 2012
MORRISON, Colorado – Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were rock stars Tuesday night in front of a huge crowd at Red Rocks – country singer Rodney Atkins and Kid Rock were the openers, setting the stage for a night full of energy and promise two weeks before the election.
Thousands of Romney supporters began lining up at the Red Rocks entrances more than four hours before show time. By 6:30 p.m., every row in the amphitheater was full.
Tuesday’s event was called a “victory party” by the Romney campaign. The theme was a reminder of what the campaign’s push is, as Romney and President Barack Obama enter the home stretch before the election: to energize voters enough to ultimately win the election.
“It doesn’t matter what generation you come from, this is the most important election of your generation,” Ryan said.
Ryan talked about job creation and focused on the economy. He said Obama has run out of ideas, other than to attack Romney – referring to Monday night’s final presidential debate – because Obama doesn’t have a record to run on.
By the time Romney took the stage, just before 8 p.m., it was like a full-blown rock concert.
“Your willingness to be here tonight – it makes the difference,” Romney said.
Romney touched on the issues of the campaign, focusing on jobs and the economy, but the message of the night was more about energizing the base in Colorado and encouraging supporters to help get others to vote. He asked members of the crowd to talk to their neighbors – especially the Democrats and the independents – and encourage them to vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket.
“The president’s out of ideas, he’s out of excuses, and in November, you’re going to make sure he’s out of office,” Romney said. “Paul and I can handle two more weeks of attacks, but I don’t think America can handle four more years like the last four years.”
The candidates have already delivered their message throughout the campaign, said Eagle County Republicans chairperson Kaye Ferry, who drove down to Morrison from Vail for the event. Now it’s time to carry the momentum into Nov. 6, she said.
Eagle County Republican volunteer Kay Foley and Eagle County Republican Women chairperson Vickie Deacon joined Ferry, taking seats in the second row, almost directly in front of the podium, to get a good view of who they think will be the next president and vice president of the United States.
“I think he’s got a good chance, and I want to get closer to the next president,” Deacon said.
Ferry said she wants Romney to succeed in connecting with voters in the next two weeks. He needs to prove what Ferry already knows – “that he’s a real, live human being,” she said.
“People need to understand that he really gets it,” Ferry said.
Second Congressional District Republican candidate Kevin Lundberg, running against Democratic incumbent Jared Polis, chatted with the women before the event. He said it’s important for Romney to mobilize the base in the coming weeks. As Lundberg has campaigned throughout the district, which includes Red Rocks Park, he said he has noticed that people are primarily concerned with jobs and the economy.
Riding some of the energy and momentum gained Tuesday night, Ferry, Foley and Deacon plan to spend the next two weeks of their time with other Eagle County Republican volunteers, making phone calls and knocking on doors. From their recent experience, there are still plenty of registered voters in Eagle County who aren’t engaged and who are undecided.
Ferry recalls one man who recently asked her if there was an election coming up.
“They’re out there,” she said, referring to undecided voters.
Ferry said that because so much of Colorado’s population is along the Front Range, there has to be a huge push from rural counties such as Eagle County. With enough voter participation on the Western Slope and other Colorado rural areas, Ferry said it will help.
Maybe a little bit of the energy the Eagle County women bring back from Tuesday night will rub off on others.
“I’m just so energized by both of them,” Foley said.
Assistant Managing Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@