Kayla Byler / Lantern reporter
Job creation and the growing national debt were some of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s talking points during a Central Ohio campaign event on Wednesday.
Romney returned to the Columbus area for the first time since Aug. 25 to speak at Westerville South High School in Westerville, Ohio, about 20 minutes from Ohio State’s campus.
The event was scheduled to start at 8 a.m., but Romney didn’t take the stage until about 9:10 a.m., when he spoke for roughly 20 minutes to the crowd.
Romney talked about his experience with the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and the importance of balancing the budget. In a series of questions, Romney asked the crowd if they wanted four more years of job loss and trillion dollar deficits.
“We can’t afford four more years, we must do better,” Romney told the crowd, who responded with applause.
Throughout parts of his speech and the hour the crowd was in place prior to Romney taking the stage, a clock was running on the side of the stage counting additions to the roughly $16 trillion debt under the Obama administration as the seconds passed.
Referencing the clock, Romney said the growing national deficit needs to be addressed, or else they will be “passed on” to the next generation.
Romney said the government needs to control its spending or else it will collapse.
“We’re on the road to Europe, were on the road to Greece, and I’ll get us off that road,” he said.
Romney closed his remarks after 20 minutes to a cheering crowd inside the high school.
Romney’s remarks were preceded by short speeches from Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, and well-known golfer and OSU alumnus Jack Nicklaus.
The event was originally scheduled to be an outdoor event at Alum Creek Park Amphitheater, but was moved prior to the day of the rally due to weather concerns, according to an email from the campaign.