Orange City, IA
The campaign for the White House is officially underway and on Friday both Presidential candidates stopped in Iowa.
With both the Republican and Democratic conventions over, and only 60 days until Election Day, President Barack Obama made a campaign stop in Iowa City, Iowa on Friday afternoon.
Republican candidate Mitt Romney also spent his afternoon in northwest Iowa at Northwestern College in Orange City to the cheers of 3,000 students and voters in his first campaign stop since Obama officially accepted the Democratic nomination.
Romney started his speech by talking about Obama's speech.
"I want you to know, I'm not just talking about 12 million new jobs. I know how to get the private sector to create 12 million new jobs. I know what it's going to take to do that," Romney said.
Romney highlighted the most recent jobs report that showed that the unemployment rate dropped from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent only because thousands of workers have given up looking for a job.
"The president said by this time we'd be at 5.4 percent unemployment. Instead we're at about eight percent and you know the difference that makes and how many people would be working in America, 9 million people," Romney said.
The Republican candidate for president said he wants to re-invest in the energy resources of America, champion small businesses, and make sure American workers have the skills needed for those jobs. He then turned to the Northwestern College students in the crowd and talked about the national debt.
"The other party will promise you lots of free stuff, but ask them how they are paying for it and they say, 'Oh, we're borrowing money from China to do that.' Guess who is going to pay the interest on that? Guess who is going to pay the interest? Guess who is going to pay it back all their lives? You are," Romney said.
Romney then left the Northwestern College gym to a standing ovation, but with the polls so close there's no doubt he'll be coming back to Iowa in the next two months.
Iowa is one of the key battleground states for this election and South Dakota likely won't get the same attention from the candidates because it's leaning Republican and isn't such a toss up. It's why some South Dakota voters made the trip to Orange City on Friday.
"I believe in the same things he does, smaller government, less regulations, less taxes. I believe in all the things Romney does,” Sioux Falls voter Gwen Boyd said after the speech.
"He's honest, he's down to earth, he's behind America, he's not trying to destroy America. He's behind America. He wants America built back up and I agree with that,” Sioux Falls voter Linda Roach added.
Romney spoke for about 20 minutes at Friday’s event. He had one more campaign stop scheduled Friday in another key battleground state, New Hampshire.