The presumptive GOP presidential and vice presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan are attracting thousands of supporters to their campaign rallies since Mr. Romney named Mr. Ryan to the bottom of the ticket. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has taken notice of the massive crowds at the Romney Ryan stump speeches and sent out an urgent e-mail to their supporters, reported The Washington Examiner last week.
However, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are not drawing the crowds they once could. The New York Times reported that the Obama campaign said that it is intentionally limiting crowd size at their events because of security and cost:
“We have plenty of time for big rallies,” a campaign spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said between the rallies on Thursday. “Our focus right now is on exciting our supporters and winning over undecided voters and the smaller and medium-size events are the best venue to accomplish that because the president can closely engage with the crowd.”
Big rallies are expensive, especially given the logistical and security challenges for a president as opposed to a mere United States senator. And Obama campaign operatives, both at the Chicago headquarters and in swing states where Mr. Obama recently has stumped, say the campaign intentionally limits crowds by restricting tickets. The reason is to allow the president to better connect with supporters, aides say.
The Romney campaign told the New York Times that the smaller turnout at Obama events shows there is an “enthusiasm gap” for Obama.
A Romney spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, provided photos of three packed events: 5,000 at a Memorial Day weekend rally in San Diego, 2,200 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, in March, and 4,200 in Denver in mid-February. More typical appearances draw 300 to 500 people. An event in Ohio three weeks ago attracted about 400, with about 100 more in an overflow room. Last week in Colorado, Mr. Romney spoke to about 200 people at a school in Basalt.
Over 10,000 fellow Wisconsinites cheered on Rep. Ryan almost a week ago and thousands welcomed him on Saturday to the Florida retirement community known as The Villages.