PEORIA, Ill. -- A group of local Republicans joined the Illinois State Treasurer Thursday in showing their support for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Dan Rutherford is also the chairman of the Romney campaign in Illinois.
He told those gathered at Peoria County Republican headquarters that Romney's experience in business should be considered a plus for someone who'll be asked to fix the economy.
Rutherford also addressed the distraction created by a secretly-recorded video-tape of Romney that surfaced this week.
On it, Romney says, "there are 47 percent of people who will vote for the president no matter what" and that those are people "who are dependent on government."
"It has side-tracked the message for the last couple of days," said Rutherford, "but the reality of it is, I think the public is going to focus in on the debates particularly. We're going to have the two men there in an environment that is very non-blogosophere, non-tweeted, non-distorted. You're going to be able to see the real material right there in front of everybody."
Rutherford added that in his travels around a state that leans democratic support for Romney is surprisingly strong.