Romney opens Harrisburg headquarters, Obama campaign responds

GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney made a swing through Pennsylvania's Capital city today to open his new Harrisburg campaign headquarters and greet supporters.

During a 15-minute speech to a crowd of about 100 gathered on a rooftop in Harrisburg's business district Romney never mentioned his GOP rival Rick Santorum and barely mentioned the April 24 primary.

Mitt Romney opened his new Harrisburg campaign headquarters today and greeted supporters. (Amy Worden / Staff)

Instead he fast forwarded directly to the general election, saying "I will win Pennsylvania in November."

Romney attacked President Obama for creating a "government-centered" society and assailed his health care and energy policies, while promising to cut spending and balance the federal budget.

Of Obama's energy policy, Romney said: "He likes wind and solar, but he doesn't like what's below ground, like oil and coal and natural gas, I like what's above the ground and what's below the ground."

On healthcare, Romney vowed to repeal "Obamacare," which he views as taking the decision making away from consumers.

"I will let people have responsibility and authority for their own healthcare," he said to applause.

Romney picked up some good news on the polling front late yesterday. A Public Policy Polling survey of GOP voters in Pennsylvania found Romney leads Santorum 42 percent to 37 percent in the former senator's home state. (See Inquirer poll story here.)

Three blocks away the Obama campaign held an informal news event to counter the Romney message after Romney had departed for Scranton.

George Hartwick III, a Democratic Dauphin County commissioner, accused Romney of being "out of touch with needs of everyday Pennsylvanians."

"He's wrong for the middle class, he's wrong for the working poor, he's wrong for seniors," he said.

Hartwick went on to tout the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, such as prescription drug benefits, that have saved hundreds of dollars for thousands of Pennsylvanians, especially seniors on Medicare.

Hartwick said the Romney campaign is "too responsive" to the insurance lobby, when what the American middle class needs is someone responsive to their needs.



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