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Romney critical of Obama on energy
GOP candidate Mitt Romney
Jae C. Hong/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Date published: 5/4/2012
PORTSMOUTH--In his second public campaign stop in two days in Virginia, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized President Barack Obama's energy policies and said Virginia will be a key state in November's election.
Romney was joined at a rally here by Gov. Bob McDonnell and former presidential candidate and tea party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, who formally endorsed Romney at the rally.
McDonnell has been mentioned as a potential vice presidential candidate; Romney praised him on Thursday, calling McDonnell "one of the greatest governors in the history of this great commonwealth" but offered no hint as to whether he'd consider Virginia's governor as a running mate.
Romney also said Virginia is going to be important in the fall election.
"This may well be the state that decides who the next president is," Romney said.
Both he and Obama are making campaign stops in Virginia this week; Obama is scheduled to hold a rally in Richmond on Saturday.
The Romney rally was held at Crofton Industries, a Portsmouth company that does commercial diving, heavy marine construction and design, crane rentals and other services. Several hundred people turned out, cheering all three speakers and booing several mentions of Obama and his policies.
Romney and McDonnell both used their time at the microphone Thursday to talk energy policy, and how their willingness to drill for more oil and open more coal mines contrasts with the Obama administration.
Romney said Obama has restricted drilling licenses and enacted other policies that make it more difficult to seek gas and oil.
"Right here in Virginia, the idea that you have powerful energy right off your coast, that you could be creating good jobs right here in Virginia and providing resources at reasonable cost to the people of America, that's been lost by a president who said no," Romney said.
McDonnell has been in favor of drilling off the coast of Virginia, which he says would create more jobs in the state.
"Our policies from this president act like we're an energy-poor nation," McDonnell said.
Romney also said he would differ from Obama in his dealings with the military, and that instead of cutting back on defense spending, he would authorize more ships, more planes and 100,000 more active-duty troops.