CORALVILLE, Iowa – Mitt Romney’s foreign trip may have gotten off to a shaky start in London, but popular conservative Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Bob McDonnell of Virginia on Thursday lent their help to his stateside campaign, traveling across Iowa to fire up volunteers and make hay of President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comment to business owners.
The governors planned four events on Thursday spanning Iowa’s eastern half to bolster Romney’s candidacy. Continuing what has become a common GOP attack line, both tore into the president’s remark earlier this month in reference to business owners who have benefitted from government investment in roads and bridges.
“It’s a staggering comment, and it’s not out of context," McDonnell said while speaking to workers at Per Mar Security in Davenport. "What it is -- it’s out of touch, and it shows an administration, I think, that’s out of ideas and really out of time in order to restore the American dream and build economic prosperity in our country."
Jindal, in Coralville, said Obama’s comments “reveal something about how our president thinks.” The president has accused Republicans of taking his words out of context.
It was a smooth campaign stop for the governors, in contrast to Romney’s foreign trip. Not only did an unnamed Romney adviser boast of the governor’s shared “Anglo-Saxon” heritage with the Brits, Romney himself was forced to walk back comments he made in an interview with NBC News in which he questioned London’s security preparation.
“All I’d say is, Mitt Romney ran one of the best Olympics in the history of the Games back in 2002,” McDonnell told reporters who asked about gaffes after the event.
Jindal said the negative attention Romney has received abroad doesn’t matter: “The reality is, I think we’re not worried about overseas headlines, we’re worried about voters back here at home in America. I think Governor Romney has said that he expects the London Olympics to be a phenomenal success. The reality is, we’re all rooting for our American athletes."
About 130 volunteers at the Romney Coralville Victory Office greeted the governors -- “the Bob Brigade,” as Romney Iowa cochair Brian Kennedy called them -- with a loud round of applause. The governors returned the affection. They were clad in matching khakis, blue dress shirts, and dark blue blazers.
“We have the best Romney army that I've ever seen this year, thanks to you. And I believe that Iowa is going to go for Mitt Romney because of the things that you're doing right here,” McDonnell said. Recent polls have shown the candidates locked in a tight race in the Hawkeye State.
They spoke in front of a large blue and white sign emblazoned with the number “191” -- the number of days since Obama has met with his Jobs Council, McDonnell explained. He noted that during the same period of time, the president held 110 fundraisers and played 10 rounds of golf.