Romney rallies for Pearce

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By Carol A. Clark

SANTA FE – Describing next month’s election as critical to America, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney urged voters to throw their support behind Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., for U.S. Senate.

Romney joined Pearce and his wife Cynthia at a campaign stop in front of Garcia’s Tires on Airport Road Tuesday afternoon.

He has shown strong support for Pearce, even appearing at a breakfast fundraiser for him during the GOP National Convention while Pearce attended his father’s funeral.

The former Massachusetts governor and successful businessman is known for turning deficits into surpluses and said he respects Pearce, also a successful businessman, for his dedication to fiscal responsibility.

“America faces a new generation of challenges,” Romney said.

“At this critical time in our nation’s history, Steve Pearce is determined to fight for conservative policies that will strengthen America at home and around the world. Now more than ever, we need his leadership in the U.S. Senate for our families and for a strong and prosperous future.”

Garcia’s Tires was chosen as a backdrop for Tuesday’s event because owner Guadalupe Garcia, a lifelong Republican and former party activist, worked through tough economic times beginning in the 1970s and now owns and co-owns five stores across New Mexico.

Pearce told the crowd of some 65 people, ‘Los Alamos National Laboratory is the most critical employer in this entire region.’

Romney agreed and spoke of Pearce’s support for LANL.

“The people of Los Alamos in particular know that Steve Pearce stood with them on employment of Los Alamos labs and Tom Udall stood against them...    ,” he said. “In an election year politicians start sounding the same because they’re talking to the middle and you have to look at how they’ve voted in the past to know what they’re going to do if they get elected. Steve Pearce is for low spending, low taxes and true environmentalism, which gets us off our dependence on carbon-based energy ... he favors nuclear and more drilling to get us out of this energy crisis ... and all the sun and all the wind you can get.”

Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., is running against Pearce. He has denied voting against LANL saying he voted to diversify the mission to include more renewable energy R&D.

Pearce was in Los Alamos earlier in the day to speak to members of the National Contract Management Association – Bandelier Chapter during a luncheon at the Hilltop House Hotel.

He told the group LANL has a competitive edge but not in the global warming arena. He advocates developing the lab’s strategic deterrent saying, “We have to have that capability for that part of the world that demands force.”

Pearce cautioned against allowing the weapons mission to be diminished even in the least.

“It’ll never be gained back,” he said. “We should not be docile with this argument because there are people in Washington who think we don’t need this mission.”

He spoke of LANL’s strategic positioning to expand its mission.

“Make no mistake about it – I think we need a nuclear weapons program and I think it needs to be here because you’ve got the expertise,” Pearce said. “You have the expertise to do nuclear power and a big challenge in figuring out the storing of renewables and you have a big opportunity here – if Colorado was going to solve this – they’d have done it already.”

The first thing to expand the mission, Pearce said is for LANL to become the nation’s center for the study of all kinds of renewable energies – leading with nuclear energy.

“The second thing is to use this magnificent computing capability you have here to address cyber threats,” he said, adding that Al Queda is affectively blocking America’s attempts to monitor their activities.

Pearce concluded by telling the group of some 40 people that his basic values are faith, family, freedom and service.

He and Romney attended fundraisers in Santa Fe and Albuquerque Tuesday evening.