By DAVID BORAKS
CORNELIUS – In a show of North Carolina’s importance to Mitt Romney’s presidential bid, Republican leaders including national party chairman Reince Priebus put on a display of strength Saturday as they opened a 2012 election “Victory Office” in Cornelius.
“We expect north Carolina to pave the way to save this country and fire Barack Obama,” Mr. Priebus told the crowd at the office in Magnolia Plaza, off West Catawba Avenue. Joining the national chief were party leaders from South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia, as well as N.C. GOP chair Robin Hayes and N.C. House Speaker Thom Tills (R-Cornelius).
Mr. Priebus thanked the volunteers and told them their work is not about helping the party.
“We here … because we’re worried about the future of this country. Barack Obama’s priorities are not America’s priorities.” He said the country is in a “battle for freedom,” and said the country has surrendered “its sovereignty to its bondholders. … A country controlled by China can’t compete with China.”
“We need to save America. In order to do that, we need to elect Mitt Romney, and we’re going to do together,” he said.
Rep. Tillis said this year marks the third presidential election that the party has run a Cornelius office, and “it’s growing and growing and growing.” He looked at the crowd of at least 150 people and said volunteers are critical.
“You’re because you understand how important this election is and how important it is for Mitt Romney to win North Carolina,” the speaker said.
At the newly opened office, volunteers on Saturday already were making phone calls, seeking support for Romney and local candidates. The office also will be a base for door-to-door campaigning.
In a press release after Saturday’s event, the Republican Party said its get-out-the-vote efforts in North Carolina have started earlier than ever. The party now has 20 Victory Offices across the state, including one in Charlotte and another that opened Saturday in Monroe.