Mitt Romney Campaigns in Allentown

GOP front-runner bashes Obama during brief stop at Allentown Metal Works on Thursday afternoon

GOP front-runner Mitt Romney made the first Pennsylvania stop of his campaign Thursday at the shuttered Allentown Metal Works - a grim backdrop of chain-link fence and thick weeds.

Romney spent several minutes bashing President Barack Obama for playing golf and raising money to fund his re-election bid rather than working harder to lower the nation's unemployment rate.

Romney's feisty remarks drew a smattering of applause from a few dozen onlookers. Across town, a waited in line to buy expensive vodka and meet movie star Dan Aykroyd during an . More publicity and advance notice went into the Aykroyd event, but the contrast showed some folks are more interested in comedy and top-shelf liquor than the 2012 presidential primary.

Romney's visit did attract admirers.

"I really like him," said Molly McGuire Leiberman of Bethlehem. "Even though I also like [Michelle] Bachmann a lot, I think [Romney] has more experience and a very good chance of securing the nomination."

Tim Ramos of Allentown shrugged and said Romney's remarks were merely "all right." He supports former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

"I'm big on character and integrity," said Ramos.

Romney took a few questions from reporters but spent little time posing for photos with supporters or signing autographs before hurrying off to a fund-raising event in Philadelphia. Obama is also in Philadelphia for a campaign fundraiser today.

The former Massachusetts governor touted his private-sector experience, saying he "knows why jobs leave and how they come."

Romney said Obama is "out of his depth when it comes to getting the economy going."

He said priorities in Washington, D.C., should be cutting spending and passing a balanced budget amendment.

A reporter asked how voters can be sure the economy will improve and joblessness decline under a Romney presidency.

"I would spend every waking moment doing whatever I can to get Americans back to work," Romney answered.

Romney called the Allentown Metal Works a symbol of Obama's failure. Obama visited the business in 2009 to tout his stimulus plan. The company, laden with debt, closed in January of this year.

One onlooker said he stopped by out of curiosity but "doesn't really vote." After Romney left in a red Chevy SUV, a woman was heard saying, "He'll never be president as long as I'm a Republican" - but she declined to explain her loud remark or identify herself.

The Morning Call's coverage of Romney's visit includes comments from a local political science professor, who said the candidate is a moderate who may fare well among Pennsylvania voters.

MR Otis August 15, 2011 at 02:17 AM
indeed. everyone needs to contribute. lower income families do pay though. dont be fooled. even wellfare checks get taxed, SS checks get taxed, Seniors over 65 on fixed incomes still pay taxes. I know all this first hand. The "who" in "Who doesnt pay" are billion dollar corporations and the wealthy that find loopholes and tax breaks. if the majority of the country makes less than 100,000k and still surviving than the millionaires can contribute more for the sake of their country. or is having one less house or taking one less vacation tooooooo hard. poeple are starving out there, so no sympathy for the wealthy that arent willing to pay alil more for the sake of our country.
Rosemary B August 15, 2011 at 11:29 AM
You are correct that all of that income is taxable income, as is corporate profit. But just as corporations get out of paying Federal income taxes through deductions and loopholes in the law so do other people. As long as my 87 yr old mother stays below a certain income her Soc Sec benefits are not taxed, but above that level a portion of them are. Some low income people not only pay no Fed Income Tax, but they still get money back thru the Earned Income Tax Credit! Another example of redistributing wealth! And people who are going on one less vacation are hurting the economy and working people. I would like to see an elimination of Federal Income Tax and have a Federal Sales Tax instead. This way the rich who buy more will pay more and the poorer who don't buy as much or as many big ticket items don't pay. That combined with spending cuts would be an improvement over our current system.
MS August 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM
I'm confused, first you say tax the rich, then you say everyone should pay the same percentage of their income, doesn't make sense. If we did more in this country to stop the waste in how handouts are manipulated, we wouldn't have such a sad economic state.
Robert Sentner August 15, 2011 at 10:52 PM
Great reply Rosemary, you forgot about the drug dealers, crooks, and illegal aliens would also be paying with a Federal sales tax. 14,000,000 illegal aliens or whatever the number is today paying "0" in Federal income tax. and then some recieving benefits on top of it all. the whole system is broken and it seems as no one cares.
MR Otis August 16, 2011 at 08:11 PM
Great reply Rosemary. A federal Income tax has always been the answer to make sure everyone pays. So why hasnt it happened? Other than these small discussions that the PEOPLE are having, this federal sales tax needs to get some national attention. Its the pink elephant they are not talking about. Lets start writing our reps to see where they stand on this.


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