Mitt Romney ROCKED The House In Las Vegas Last Night

mitt romney las vegas rally

Photo: AP

LAS VEGAS — More than a thousand supporters turned out to greet Mitt Romney at a warehouse rally here tonight, giving the Republican frontrunner a warm welcome to the ‘First In West’ caucus state.After a tough day on the campaign trail, Romney was clearly reenergized by the friendly crowd. Reassuming an aura of general-election inevitability, he fired up the troops with a fiesty speech that laid into his new presumptive opponent, Barack Obama.

Romney even managed to put a positive spin on his latest rich-guy gaffe, offering a subtle defence of his personal financial success while accusing the President of failing to understand the “spirit” that American pioneers/entrepreneurs/builders have “in their DNA.”

“We share this spirit — I don’t think President Obama understands that,” Romney said. “I don’t think he has the feeling of this American spirit that drives us to be successful and to innovate and to create. And by the way, the success of some does not make the rest of us poorer. The success of some makes us all better off.”

The response was overwhelming.

It is clear that Romney is on his home turf here in Nevada. The former Massachusetts governor is the heavy favourite to win the state’s caucuses again on Saturday — and from the photos of tonight’s rally, it is easy to see why.

Almost everyone of Mitt Romney's fans a sign to wave — this M-I-T-T number was particularly impressive.

In many ways, the Wednesday night campaign stop was a testament to the campaign's impressive organisation in Nevada. The rally took place in a huge janitorial supply warehouse, which made for very presidential optics (despite the fact that Romney didn't spend a whole lot of time talking about the cleaning supply industry).

The Nevada advance team also made sure that their supporters were ready to give their candidate a proper welcome -- the place was flooded with pro-Romney signs, shirts, pins and other campaign paraphenalia.

On the other side of the stage, young campaign volunteers cheered under the state logo.

Fun fact: Although its more common nickname is the 'Silver State,' Nevada is also known as the 'Battle Born State' because it achieved statehood during the Civil War.

Romney did not disappoint. The crowd went nuts for Romney's message, erupting into wild cheers several times during his speech.

Having successfully vanquished Newt Gingrich (at least for the moment), Romney pivoted back to a general-election message Wednesday. The former Massachusetts Governor leveled harsh attacks against President Obama, including new criticism of the President and defence Secretary Leon Panetta's decision to wind down combat in Afghanistan by 2013.

'Why in the world do you go to the people that you're fighting with and tell them the day that you're pulling out your troops?' Romney said. 'It makes absolutely no sense. His naivete is putting in jeopardy the mission of the United States of America and our commitments to freedom. He is wrong.'

The crowd thronged the stage after the speech, looking for handshakes and autographs from the candidate. Romney's security detail had to escort him around the stage while he gladhanded.

Whole families turned out for the rally — Ann Romney even commented on the surprising number of kids running around the warehouse.

The Hearnes, pictured here, were one of several families who brought along their young children to see the candidate in Las Vegas Wednesday night.

Jason Hearne, a convention planner, has supported Romney since 2008, but wasn't sure then that the candidate was ready. But now he believes Romney is the only guy with the experience and the track record to fix the country's economic problems.

'People don't realise is that the US is the biggest corporation in the world,' Hearne said. 'What this country needs more than anything else is a businessman. We need someone who knows how to run a business, and who knows how to transform something that is failing into something successful.'

Like Romney -- and many others at Wednesday's rally -- the Hearnes are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Their faith, Hearne said, indicates that Romney is also a 'true conservative.'

'This is a guy who believes in the 10 Commandments,' Hearne said. 'He believes in marriage for all eternity, not just here on earth.'

Hearne added that Romney's commitment to the LDS Church's 'Word of Wisdom' -- which includes abstinence from caffeine, alcohol, and other intoxicants -- shows that Romney is a 'sober-minded individual.'

Honesty and integrity are important values in the LDS Church, he explained, and 'Mitt Romney exemplifies those traits.'

'When you have a dedication to those principles, that will carry over,' Hearne said. 'So he will be dedicated and committed to this country....He will be looking out for our best interests.'

Even faux-Occupy protesters couldn't dampen the mood

The crowd of Romney fans literally chased them out of the rally

The crowd was so deep Wednesday night that three faux-Occupy protesters were stuck behind enemy lines for several minutes without any way to escape when things went bad.

Once the protesters revealed themselves a few minutes after the speech, exiting Romney supporters quickly closed ranks. The infiltrators were quickly trapped by the crowd -- when a state policeman told them they had to leave, one of them called back 'I know! We're trying!'

Eventually the police security rescued the would-be Occupiers and escorted them out of the event.

It took ages for all of the supporters to exit the warehouse. While he was waiting to leave, this guy took the opportunity to lecture reporters on the press riser about writing positive Mitt Romney stories.

His support for Fox News -- 'the only channel' -- was widely echoed by his fellow Romney fans.

His message probably fell on deaf ears — by Wednesday night, the Romney press corps looked pretty beat

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