News / Utah / 

'Romneyville;' Love's surprising support; and future politicians at the RNC

By Richard Piatt | Posted - Aug. 29, 2012 at 10:10 p.m.


8 photos

Show 2 more videos

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

TAMPA, Fla. — Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan acceptance speech Wednesday night focused on ways Mitt Romney is planning to build a stronger middle class if he's elected president in November.

The speech was spirited and very well-received by the Republican National Convention crowd. But outside the convention center there are others in Tampa who aren't too happy to have the GOP in town.

'Romneyville' demonstrators protest GOP's 'alien' policies

About a mile from where Romney will speak Thursday night, there is a place called "Romneyville." It's here where free speech rights and harsh economic reality coexist.

Inside the convention hall, Congressman Paul Ryan spoke of creating 12 million jobs over the next four years. But outside, in so-called Romneyville, there is disbelief and skepticism.


They're like aliens; what they're talking about has nothing to do with reality in America.

–Rev. Bruce Wright, demonstrator


"The Republican Party must be from another planet, (with) the candidates they're picking," said Rev. Bruce Wright, an anti-GOP demonstrator. "Some of us over here have come up with names like ‘Romulans,' ‘Romunus,' because it's accurate. They're like aliens; what they're talking about has nothing to do with reality in America."

But many people here don't just blame Republicans. They complain about the amount of money in politics in general.

"People's lives are being disrupted, people can't get their jobs right now," said demonstrator Teri Rose. "It's sad to see all this money coming here and not really (doing) anything for us."

Money and fundraising is absolutely part of this, as a matter of fact the national stage has been good for congressional candidate Mia Love.

Mia Love: 'I wasn't expecting that much support'

Since her speech, Love's campaign has attracted a lot of attention — and raised a significant amount of money, according to the campaign. But she says this isn't "easy money."

"Our story is about struggle, human struggle. We struggle sometimes and we learn from our struggles. But at the end of the day, if you continue to strive for more, we're better for it."

Mia Love spoke with KSL's Richard Piatt Wednesday, sharing her feelings about her reception at the Republican National Convention and her plans for the future.
Mia Love spoke with KSL's Richard Piatt Wednesday, sharing her feelings about her reception at the Republican National Convention and her plans for the future.

Wednesday, Love was somewhat of a celebrity: signing autographs and taking pictures with people in the halls. But the current mayor of Saratoga Springs said she was surprised by the reception she received at the convention.

"The crowd started up, and it was just great. I wasn't expecting that much support and enthusiasm," Love said.

During her speech, which was mainly to show support for Mitt Romney, Love said she was trying to convey what Utahns wanted to say.

"I went out and I talked to … the people of Utah in the 4th District and found out what was important to them," Love said. "They were small business owners, they were members of the military, they were people who were just saying, ‘These are the issues I find important. This is the America I know.'"

Love plans head back to Utah Thursday morning. After her enthusiastic debut on the national stage, she knows she's got a lot of hard work ahead of her at home as she tries to unseat Rep. Jim Matheson in Utah's 4th Congressional District.

"There's a lot of work to do," Love said, "but I think the message is getting out there, the message is resonating, and I think Utah is going to elect differently."


The crowd started up, and it was just great. I wasn't expecting that much support and enthusiasm.

–Mia Love, 4th District congressional canyon


Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love is being billed as a potential superstar in the Republican Party, and a lot of people saw why in her speech at the Republican National Convention Tuesday.

"The crowd started up, and it was just great. I wasn't expecting that much support and enthusiasm," Love told KSL News Wednesday.

During her speech, which was mainly to show support for Mitt Romney, Love said she was trying to convey what Utahns wanted to say.

"I went out and I talked to … the people of Utah in the 4th District and found out what was important to them," Love said. "They were small business owners, they were members of the military, they were people who were just saying, ‘These are the issues I find important. This is the America I know.'"

Love plans head back to Utah Thursday morning, well aware that she's got a lot of hard work ahead of her as she tries to unseat longtime Utah Rep. Jim Matheson.

"There's a lot of work to do," Love said, "but I think the message is getting out there, the message is resonating, and I think Utah is going to elect differently."

Utah teens getting a taste of politics in Tampa

The Republican National Convention has attracted some Utahns who are very interested in the future of the nation, and some of them can't even vote yet.

The teenagers are part of Junior State of America, a group dedicated to strengthening American democracy by educating students about politics. On day three of the convention, these young Utahns are getting an earful and an eyeful.

Related:

"To meet all these incredible people, like the delegates and congressmen and senators, is a completely different feeling than watching it on TV," said Kate Simpson, of Kaysville, Utah.

"It's frightening because it will affect my generation; and I think (by) coming to this convention I've been able to get a better grasp on the concept," said Jessica Romney, of Springville, Utah.

In case you're wondering, Jessica is distantly related to the presidential candidate — but that's not what's driving her support.

Most members of this group are Republicans, but 15-year-old Salt Lake City resident Wes Orton isn't. As the son of the late Democratic Congressman Bill Orton, Wes is getting an appreciation for the softer side of candidate Mitt Romney.

"Of course, naturally I'm going to disagree with many of his policies," Wes said. "But I think deep down he's a pretty nice guy."

For the rest of the group, the pro-Romney wave started years ago — back before they were even in high school.

Utah teens from the Junior States of America organization pose for a picture with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 29, 2012.
Utah teens from the Junior States of America organization pose for a picture with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 29, 2012.

#gov_pic

Kade Allred of Hooper, Utah, said Romney makes him feel optimistic, in general. "I've been selling Romney since 2008," he told KSL News. "I think he has a great thing to offer the country, and it's been a great thing to be here (with all) the energy, the excitement."

But what causes these teens to want to be involved in politics at such a young age? While most of their friends might be more interested in other things than politics, these kids are captivated by the subject.

Kolton Kendall of Mona, Utah, said it's a state of mind that has nothing to do with how old someone is.

"I think the problem is the attitude people have with it, is ‘it's a big problem,' but they don't want the responsibility of have a solution, or to fix it," Kolton said.

In contrast, it's clear this group of young people has a passion for the process and enough concern about the future that they want to be involved in how things are in the future.

Photos

Related Links

Related Stories

Richard Piatt

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast