Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and
running mate Rep. Paul Ryan at Randolph-Macon College
Saturday, August 11, 2012.
(photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Romney and Ryan address the overflow crowd outside
Estes Dining Hall at Randolph-Macon College.
(photo credit: Eric Thayer/The New York Times)
(photo credit: Joe Mahoney/Richmond Times-Dispatch)
2012 Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his vice-presidential
running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, held a rally on the campus of Randolph-Macon College
on Saturday, August 11, 2012. This was a historic visit as supporters anxiously
arrived to cheer Romney and Ryan, just hours after the highly anticipated announcement
of the running mate. The overflowing crowd was estimated at nearly 5,000 with Crenshaw
and Alumni Gyms filled to capacity and several hundred outside of the buildings.
Supporters outside were excited when Romney and Ryan came outside to address them
as well. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell participated in the rally along with Lt.
Governor Bill Bolling, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-7th), Republican U.S.
Senate candidate George Allen, and several other Virginia Republican leaders. The
R-MC stop was the second major rally for the "Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle
Class” bus tour that also included a visit at Ashland’s Homemades by Suzanne restaurant.
The event was covered by state, national and International media.
Randolph-Macon has been a frequent stop for candidates and legislators across the
political spectrum. In 2012, Virginia Senator Mark Warner held a town hall meeting
with students on campus to answer questions about the economy and current legislation
before Congress. Warner also visited R-MC in 2008 to speak with students. In 2000,
Green Party candidate Ralph Nader and his running mate, Winona LaDuke, held a rally
with more than 700 participants inside the Brock Sports and Recreation Center. A
most notable visit to R-MC was made by President William Taft in 1910. Taft stopped
his train in Ashland to intercede on behalf of Randolph-Macon students who had been
banned from attending a state championship football game to prevent them from missing
an entire day of classes, a decision that was overturned after Taft’s support during
his whistle-stop visit. The R-MC Yellow Jackets went on to defeat the Richmond Spiders
to win the championship.