Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had a lot of company as he thanked volunteers this morning outside his Orleans Road headquarters in West Ashley.
Gov. Nikki Haley, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman shared the stage with Romney, whose remarks mostly focused on his family’s background rather than on the day’s political developments, such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry leaving the race or the tie in Iowa.
Romney knocked President Barack Obama over his choice of venue for a speech today, Orlando’s Disney World. Romney said Obama has been living in “Fantasyland,” and “on every front (he) has made it harder for the American people to get to work.”
“He might bump into Speaker Gingrich down there in Fantasyland,” Romney added, saying Gingrich’s claiming credit for jobs created under President Ronald Reagan is a stretch. “The idea that he was the author of Reaganomics? Not likely.”
Earlier, Romney's campaign released a statement saying Perry "ran a campaign based upon love of country and conservative principles. ... The nation owes Governor Perry a debt of gratitude for his years of service to his state and country."
Romney’s remarks were brief, but he did give a shout out to Belinda Roberts, president of the Charleston Republican Women’s Club president, who was wearing an oversized red, white and blue hat.
“I think he would make a super president. I know he would be very conservative,” she said later. “I like Newt Gingrich, too. I think he’s a very good politician.”
Some of the several dozen other supporters at Romney’s rally wouldn’t go that far. Laura Koltick of Charleston said she supported Romney because the other candidates are “far too conservative and radical.”
“If it wasn’t for Romney, I would go Obama,” she added.
Michele and Greg Lewis of Mount Pleasant took time out their morning to come see Romney in person. She said they previously lived in Massachusetts when Romney was governor there and liked what he did.
“He put his hand across the aisle. He got a lot done,” he said. “Our president’s not doing that right now. He needs to go.”
This morning’s greeting was Romney’s last public appearance set here before this evening’s 8 p.m. GOP debate.