LAKELAND, Fla. -- A triumphant Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan thanked their supporters today for a "great" convention, asking them to ensure the GOP ticket's victory in November.
Romney and Ryan reprised many of the same themes -- President Obama's failed leadership and their own promises to change America's course -- that they did during the Republican National Convention held in nearby Tampa this week.
"You are making a choice," Romney told the crowd gathered at Lakeland's regional airport. "Who are the people who will do the things that you want to get done? ... It's time to give someone new a chance."
Romney next heads to Louisiana to tour storm-ravaged areas, while Ryan will campaign in Virginia.
Ryan, adopting the traditional role of a running mate, warmed up the crowd with denunciations of Obama's policies.
"We have suffered no shortage of words from the White House," the VP nominee said. "What is missing is real leadership."
The crowd, which included many elderly people, waited over an hour in the sun to see Romney, Ryan and their wives. At least three people overcome by the heat while waiting received medical attention.
At one point during the rally, a group of protesters interrupted Romney. Supporters began chanting "USA!" to drown them out as police removed them.
Carol Mitsch, 69, a retired business owner from Tampa, said she was glad that the convention helped portray Romney in a different light.
"I know what's in his heart," Mitsch said. "He's a wonderful man and I'm afraid the media is going to tear apart his speech and say he wasn't explicit enough about how he was going to take us forward. But his background certainly ought to prove that he is more than capable."