ABC News’ Amy Walter and Emily Friedman report:
JANESVILLE, Wis. – Appearing with an all-star cast of Republican Wisconsinites, Mitt Romney today declared that despite what President Obama might think, Wisconsin will be in his win column this fall.
“I’ll tell you, I think President Obama had just put this in his column, he just assumed at the very beginning Wisconsin was going to be his,” Romney said, addressing a crowd of more than 500 at a fabric and textiles manufacturer.
“But you know what, we’re going to win Wisconsin,” he said. “We’re going to get the White House.”
Romney appeared today in the Badger State for the first time since the state’s Republican primary in April, and for the first time with Gov. Scott Walker, who won his recall election two weeks ago, the mood palpably buoyant as Republicans are still living off the adrenaline supplied by the victory.
Walker paid homage to his recent victory, telling the crowd, “It is my honor to still be the 45th governor of Wisconsin and it is my honor to be on the stage with the man I hope is the 45th president of these United States.”
Voters at the event told ABC News that they want to see Romney follow the Walker model.
“I hope he follows the lead from our great governor … hope he is bold,” Laurie Knapp of North Lake said.
Her friend Bridget Heinz had similar advice for the former Massachusetts governor: “Right now I don’t think he’s [Romney] bold enough, he needs to hang with our governor.”
The event was not void of a reference to who be chosen as Romney’s running mate: Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is said to be on the shortlist and the event was held in the congressman’s hometown.
Dan Sinykin, the owner of the factory, joked in his introduction, “Gov. Romney, we are in congressman Ryan’s hometown, he is right here if you have an announcement to make.”
As the crowd erupted into cheers, Ryan shook his head from side to side.
Ryan’s family, his wife kids and cousins, all helped to fill the sweaty factory floor, but many voters still seemed convinced Ryan would be better off staying put in Washington.
“He’ll have more power in D.C.,” one of his constituents said.