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Mitt Romney visits Southwest Virginia

By Angela Yingling
Published On: Oct 05 2012 04:49:44 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 05 2012 05:03:07 PM CDT
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Glenna Brown

Carter Machinery co-owner Jim Parker shakes hands with Romney.

ABINGDON, Va. -

A very enthusiastic crowd of about 3,800 people gathered at Carter Machinery Friday to hear from presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

Romney spoke for about 20 minutes and covered a variety of topics including jobs, federal spending, and coal.

"A friend of coal, job creator and the next president of this great nation, Governor Mitt Romney," said Alpha Natural Resources CEO Kevin Crutchfield as he introduced Governor Romney.

Romney started with a story about a local couple. "A wonderful couple that has a farm, now they'll wonder if they'll be able to keep the farm. Wondering because the husband lost his job in the coal mine," he said.

During his speech Romney outlined five things he will do if elected president: "Number one on my list is to take full advantage of all our energy resources: our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, our renewable," Romney said.

Romney went on to talk about coal and the goal of becoming energy independent. "Within eight years North America should be energy independent and that requires all those sources of energy," he said.

The latest unemployment numbers show a drop in the unemployment rate, but Romney says those numbers are misleading. "When I’m President of the United States, that unemployment rate is going to come down; not because people are giving up and dropping out of the workforce, but because we're creating more jobs.  I will create new jobs and get Americans working again," said Romney.

Governor Romney also honored military members and their families in the crowd and vowed to build a stronger military.

He also asked for the crowd to get out and vote November 6.

"Thank you very much," Romney concluded. "God bless Virginia, and God bless you and God bless the United States of America. Thank you!"

After his speech Romney greeted the crowd for about 10 minutes, then headed south where he'll spend the weekend campaigning in Florida.