The oldest son of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke proudly of his father’s successes Monday while reassuring supporters the campaign isn’t sitting by as President Barack Obama’s camp attacks.
Tagg Romney, 42, mentioned how his father was in the Quad-Cities last week, stopping at Davenport’s LeClaire Park. The eldest of Mitt and Ann Romney’s five sons rallied about 50 supporters at the Scott County GOP headquarters and phone bank.
“I don’t know why you came to see me,” he said. “He is the genuine article. I can do something he can’t, and that is brag about him.”
Brag he did. Tagg Romney talked of his father’s successes overseeing the Salt Lake Winter Olympics in 2002, as Mitt Romney joined an organization beset by a bribery scandal but left it with a financial surplus after the games.
He moved on to talk about his father’s leadership as governor of Massachusetts, eliminating a $3 billion deficit and dropping unemployment to 4.6 percent while faced with a Democratic legislature.
“He is perfectly prepared to lead the United States in the situation it is in,” Tagg Romney said.
A spokesman for the Obama campaign in Iowa declined comment Monday evening.
Tagg Romney also told a short family parable about when, as a boy, he lost a boat anchor at their bayside home in Massachusetts. Rather than just write off the anchor, his father went with him and they searched for it and, surprisingly to Tagg Romney, they found it. He said he learned two things about his father that day.
“My dad is the cheapest human being alive,” he said with a laugh. “The second is there is no problem you can’t overcome with a little hard work and ingenuity, and that is what my father is about.”
He also had to temper concerns that his father’s campaign was sitting idle as Democrats fired attack ads at Romney, worried about what they were seeing on television and the web.
Maxine Russman, of Davenport, was the first to raise the concerns at the Davenport stop. Tagg Romney reassured his listeners.
“You’ll see us hit back pretty hard,” he said. “We’re biding our time.”
He explained how his father’s campaign had to refill its financial coffers after a lengthy primary fight. Plus, he said campaign attacks are natural.
“He (Obama) doesn’t want to run on his record,” he said. “We’re catching up in cash on hand. If we’re going to get outspent in June or October, I’d rather it be June.”
Russman made sure to drive her point home.
“I want that message out there,” she said of Romney’s record.
On the day both sides claimed victory over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Arizona immigration law, Tagg Romney declined to speak to the media on the issue.
He ended his speech to the GOP faithful asking for help, saying “hit those phones hard.”