MITT ROMNEY held an impromptu press conference in the warehouse at Bradley’s Hardware to give his reaction to the latest jobs report to the national media pool and one local reporter. (Elissa Paquette photo) (click for larger version)
July 12, 2012WOLFEBORO — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney fired a volley across the country, criticizing June's job statistics, from Bradley's Hardware store in Wolfeboro on Friday morning, July 6.
Before any one walking along the crowded sidewalks of downtown Wolfeboro on that sunny day was aware that Romney was speaking nearby to the national press core, the candidate had come and gone, his task done.
Alex Hunt, owner of the store, had obliged the campaign's request of the evening before to clear an area for the short press conference. Two on-duty Wolfeboro police officers were available nearby following notice that morning.
The Granite State News was given notice less than an hour before, but we arrived in time to join the CNN pool, including NBC, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and Fox News among the eleven journalists and videographers waiting to hear the candidate's message and send it across the wires.
Romney, wearing jeans and a light plaid shirt, came from his summer residence, where he has been vacationing over the July 4 holiday with his family, to make a statement in the back of the store.
Calling the job statistics a "kick in the gut," he declared, "The president's policies have clearly not been successful, in reigniting this economy, in putting people back to work, in opening up manufacturing plants across the country."
Meanwhile, speaking in Ohio, President Obama referenced those same numbers: 84,000 jobs added in June, for an increase over the last 18 months of 4.4 million, calling them a "step in the right direction."
In the game of political football, the 504,000 new manufacturing jobs since January 10 that some point to as the strongest growth for any 29-month period since April 1995, Romney declared to demonstrate a negative, long term trend.
Home to a resident with presidential ambitions, Wolfeboro has been a staging ground over the holiday week. Residents have been getting a taste of national politics, up close, experiencing the Secret Service security bubble in the parade, the press holed up in local lodging, and news video featuring the candidate with backdrops of Lake Winnipesaukee and the local hardware store appearing across the nation.
The summer season has just heated up, but Romney's visit is a preview of the coming political season, which will intensify after Labor Day.