In Land O’ Lakes, Mitt Romney energizes Bay area crowd

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Many of those who filled the bleachers and field at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s rally might say it was the winds of change blowing through the Land O’ Lakes High School stadium Saturday, reports William Mansell of Patch.

A cool breeze made the hours-long wait for the Republican presidential candidate’s appearance a pleasant one.

People from all over the Bay area and beyond began lining up as early as 2 p.m. to enter the John Benedetto Stadium for Romney’s evening appearance.

Saturday was the first day of early voting, and many in the crowd affirmed that they had indeed already voted when asked by Congressman Connie Mack, who introduced Romney to the packed stadium.

He didn’t miss the opportunity to stump for his own campaign for Senate against Democrat Bill Nelson.

“Senator Nelson was the deciding vote for ObamaCare,” Mack said, drawing a “boo” from the crowd.

Those boos for President Barack Obama turned to cheers as Romney took the stage; the crowd packed tightly around his podium in the center of the field.  Most held their phones in the air, snapping photos and video of the presidential hopeful.

Many who weren’t holding phones up had their children on their shoulders to get a better view of what many in attendance felt was a historic moment.

“When we win Florida, we’re going to win the White House,” Romnney told the cheering crowd, drawing chants of “Mitt, Mitt, Mitt” in response.

At President Obama’s rallies, they chant “Four more years,” Romney said. His rally’s chant would be “Ten more days,” he said, joking later they would have to change that tomorrow.

Romney touched on a little bit of everything in his speech, which lasted about 25 minutes: ObamaCare, jobs, small business, education and energy independence among them.

There’s a big cloud hanging over small business right now: ObamaCare,” he said. “We’re going to remove that.”

He also reiterated his disdain for teacher’s unions.

President Obama gets his largest contributions from teachers unions, which oppose school choice, Romney said.

“I want every parent to have the choice of where their child attends school,” he said.

Kids, parents and teachers need to come first, Romney said. “And the union is going to have to go behind.”

Romney also talked numbers: 23 million people out of work, 47 million on food stamps, 2 percent growth rate for the economy.

“If I,” Romney started to say, before stopping to correct himself.

“When I become president,” he said, then paused as chants of “10 more days” erupted from the crowd.

“I will put the interests of the people ahead of the politicians,” he said.

Obama said recently that he can’t change politics from the inside, only from the outside, Romney said.

“We’re gonna give him that chance soon.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.