More than 10,000 people packed Red Rocks Amphitheatre Oct. 23 to welcome presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney back to Jefferson County the day after the third and final presidential debate.
Romney visited the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden on Aug. 3.
The former Massachusetts governor brought an entourage of supporters including his vice presidential running mate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Colorado Rockies infielder Todd Helton, singers Rodney Atkins and Kid Rock, former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, Jefferson County Commissioner John Odom, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner of Colorado and several other state leaders.
Several speakers expressed support for Romney and reminded the crowd that Colorado could be the deciding factor this election.
When Ryan took the stage thousands cheered. He referred to the final presidential debate and said Romney showed the country for a third time that he is ready to be a great president.
“What we witnessed is a man with a vision, a man with bold ideas, a man with solutions. What we also witnessed is a president who is out of ideas,” Ryan said. “We witnessed a president who really has no record to run on, what we witnessed is a president who is simply offering more of the same, and you know what, Colorado, we can't afford four more years like these last four years."
He noted that Colorado is one of several swing states considered key to the results of the election due to the Electoral College.
“This election we're not just picking the next president for the next four years, we're picking the direction and the course of our country for a generation. This is that kind of an election,” he said.
As several registered Democrats held signs on stage that said “Democrats for Romney,” Romney called for the crowd to reach out to voters of all parties to participate in the election.
“We need you to reach across the neighborhood to Democrats, and Independents as well, to make sure they know and they understand that this is the year to vote for real change if you want real recovery,” Romney said. “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 he is the better candidate and discussed his history of his successes as well as saying Obama's “status quo campaign” is losing steam.
“The president said he is a president of change, but in fact he has become a president of status quo, and the policies of the president are a continuation of what we've seen over the last four years,” Romney said. “He calls his campaign slogan 'Forward,' I think 'forewarned' is a better term.”
Romney also discussed his five-step plan for the country if he is elected president.
His plan includes making America energy independent within eight years, improving trade to make it benefit America and improving education by putting students, parents and teachers before teacher unions.
The last two steps of his plan include balancing the budget and capping federal spending at 20 percent of the economy and lowering taxes for small businesses and the middle class.
Romney also promised to repeal the Affordable Health Care for America Act, known as Obamacare.
“I loved it,” Tammi Martin of Centennial said of the rally, the second of Romney's she has attended. “He's going to bring back America … Romney has a plan to get people back to work. We need a president who believes in America and does not apologize for America.”
Martin's husband, George, said Romney is the hope and change America needs.
“His leadership demonstrates what America needs to come together,” he said. “Being a rock star is great in entertainment, but it doesn't make (Obama) qualified to be president.”
The crowd cheered and chanted “Romney,” as they did throughout the rally, as the candidates left the stage at the end of the evening.
“I'm not happy with what's happened in the last four years, and I think Romney can make a difference in the next eight,” said Art Foss of Westminster, a member of the Reagan Club of Colorado and a Romney supporter.
Early voting has begun and mail-in ballots across the state have been mailed out. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.