Romney takes aim at Obama in Solyndra visit

2:55 PM, May 31, 2012   |    comments
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  • Mitt Romney speaks at Solyndra in Fremont, California.
  • Mitt Romney speaks at Solyndra in Fremont, California.

FREMONT, CA - Mitt Romney wanted the world to know about his brief stop outside the gates of the now famous Solyndra plant on Thursday, but not until afterwards.

In a quiet visit, which at times felt more like a stealth military operation, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee rode to the former solar energy company's headquarters in a nondescript bus from his Redwood City hotel.  The press was told not to report on the trip or reveal the location until the event began.

Once on scene, Romney took aim at the infamous series of events that ended with the solar company's 2011 bankruptcy -- not long after securing a $500 million grant from the Obama administration.

Romney accused President Obama in his Thursday morning event of "cronyism," a reference to widely reported links between the company's executives and campaign contributions to the President.

Romney, who held a high-prices fundraiser the night before in the Bay Area, also used the failure of Solyndra as a touchstone for his general critique of Obama's economic policy.

"The President," he told reporters, "fails to understand the basic nature of free enterprise."

Romney also defended his campaign's extreme secrecy over the visit, saying the Solyndra story isn't one the President's supporters want told.

We were told of a Bay Area event with Romney late Wednesday and were the only Sacramento broadcast outlet on scene. But all invitees were only given the location once the bus was en route with the former Massachusetts governor on board.

Romney didn't speak with the press for the half hour ride, instead sitting and laughing with his aides while editing his remarks on what appeared to be a sheet of hotel stationery.


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