“If anyone wants to know where the energy is, if anyone out there that’s following American politics wants to know where the energy is, just come right here in this room and you’ll see it,” he said to a roar from the crowd.
Joking at the size of the audience, he quipped, “I am looking around to see if we have the Beatles here or something to have brought you, but it looks like you came just for the campaign, and I appreciate it.”
Afterward, in separate remarks to an estimated 3,000 people waiting outside in the late-afternoon chill, Romney noted that he was heading later Monday to Columbus, Ohio, and Manchester, N.H. But he told the crowd, “Virginia, you’re gonna put us over the line.”
Ann Romney, who has appeared onstage with her husband at several events during the final campaign stretch, received a burst of applause from the crowd inside the venue when she asked, “Are we going to be neighbors soon?”
“It’s so exciting to walk into a room like this and get greeted like that,” she said.
Ahead of the George Mason event, Romney addressed a crowd of several thousand at an airport in Lynchburg, Va.; he began his 18-hour day with a rally at another airport outside Orlando.
At both events, new campaign signs bearing the words “Vote for Love of Country” were on display, a dig at President Obama’s recent quip that the best “revenge” for supporters is to cast a ballot Tuesday.
Monday night’s rally at a hangar at the Port Columbus International Airport drew 10,000 people, according to the fire marshal. Romney made a dramatic entrance: his campaign jet rolled into the hangar while Aaron Copland’s “Theme for the Common Man” played. Then, the soundtrack changed to Kid Rock’s “Born Free” as Romney and his wife, Ann, took the stage.
Among the signs held by supporters in the audience was one hand-painted poster reading, “Media, Connect the Dots: Benghazi Attack.”
The former Massachusetts governor is making a furious final sprint through the electoral battlegrounds. His schedule originally said he would finish the campaign with an appearance in the battleground state of New Hampshire, where Romney owns a vacation home and where he launched his candidacy on a sunny Thursday in June 2011.
But with less than 24 hours to go until the polls are open on Election Day, campaign officials said Romney’s expected final stop — a late-night homecoming rally in Manchester headlined by Romney and his wife as well as musician Kid Rock — would not be the last one after all.