Salena Zito

The attacks on Romney as a businessman are ridiculous, said Mark Lisovich, who lives here. The 51-year-old father of five – including a wounded Navy combat corpsman – is another Democrat who voted for Obama but now supports Romney.

“Without private-equity firms like Bain, I wouldn’t have a job,” he said of the small business he works for that received start-up money from investors. “And what will the tax thing prove? That Romney is rich?”

Lisovich was optimistic that things would improve when he voted for Obama in 2008; now he knows better, he said. “Romney has the right vision for the country, and he understands that businesses small and large are what make America great.”

Democrats, nationally and locally, were strikingly silent about this event, held at a booming energy firm that grew in 26 months from 20 employees and two trucks to 130 employees, a fleet of trucks and salaries that start at $60,000 and, by the third year, top six figures.

Their only response was more demands for Romney to release his tax returns.

The TV networks, national press, Washington elite and establishment Republicans continue hammering that storyline, too.

All of them overlook how the tax-return issue and the attacks on an American business leave many Americans fuming with an intensity far surpassing 2010’s voter agitation.

At the end of his interview, Romney walked down a hallway, turned and said: “That was a great rally! What an incredible country we have!”

If the Obama team also overlooks what’s happening in towns such as North Huntingdon, it may do so at its own peril.


Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.