Which City Will Host 2012 Republican Convention? First of Four Finalists Announced: Salt Lake City, Utah

The first of the FINAL FOUR cities competing fervently to host the 2012 Republican National

Salt Lake City, UT

 Convention has been announced: Salt Lake City, Utah. Congratulations to the Beehive state! Utahns were vying against 16 other cities including Tampa, San Antonio, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Denver. The other three finalists are yet to be announced. 

1/30/10 Deseret News:

If Salt Lake City gets the bid, the 2012 event would be the first GOP convention held in the Intermountain West.

“We’ve always been considered in politics to be flyover states,” said Jeffrey Hartley, a member of the committee formed by former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. in October to put together a bid for the GOP convention. “We’re too small in electoral votes to merit a presidential visit. You don’t go where you know you’re going to win. That’s just politics.”

However, in the past five years, normally conservative Western states have turned “an awkward shade of purple,” Hartley said.

“Democrats have gained a lot of strength in the Rocky Mountain region,” he said. “In Montana six years ago, every state office was held by a Republican, and now they’re all held by a Democrat. Colorado has done the same.”

In addition to arguing the states have been neglected, Hartley said the most positive response from the committee was on Utah’s climate.

In the initial bidding, Salt Lake City was up against 16 cities from across the country, including Phoenix, Denver, San Antonio and Tampa, Fla. Many of those cities have record heat and humidity every year during the last week of August, and the committee has passed up Florida in the past for fear of hurricane season.

“We talk about climate as much as we can because we’re competing with miserable places,” Hartley said, noting that temperatures in Salt Lake City usually are around 85 degrees at that time of the year.

The review committee also liked the fact that Salt Lake City had hosted the Olympics, has big venues and enough hotel rooms to keep delegates close to Utah’s capital city, he said.

“You have to look at what’s within 30 minutes to an hour of the main arena,” Hartley said. “In Minnesota, the Utah delegation was housed over an hour away form the arena. In (Philadelphia), we were two hours away. Salt Lake has within an hour of the arena the entire ski resorts, outdoor recreation, five major reservoirs — so much to offer the delegate experience.”


1/30/10 Salt Lake Tribune:

An estimated 45,000 people, including 15,000 media, attended the 2008 Republican convention in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., and rented about 16,000 hotel rooms, according to the Minnesota host committee.

The prospect of Mitt Romney — a Mormon and favorite of Utah Republicans — again being in the running for the White House likely wouldn’t affect the chances of the convention being held in the city that is the worldwide headquarters of the church, according to one GOP official.

David Norcross, who ran the 2004 GOP convention in New York City, said earlier this month that the site will be selected long before the party’s nominee, so the candidates involved likely won’t affect the outcome of the bid.

The finalists have a briefing with the site selection committee scheduled for Monday during which they will learn more about the process and competitors.

Is your city in the running to host the Republican National Convention when 2012 rolls around? If so, keep your fingers crossed; three remaining finalists will be announced early next week. After GOP officials visit each city, the lucky winner will be chosen late next summer.

GOP Chairman Michael Steele said he was anxious to make the host city announcement early in the presidential race. We’re anxious to find out the city in which Mitt Romney will be named the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee for President of the United States!

UPDATE: RNC Narrows Convention Site List to SLC, Pheonix, and Tampa

[Video] Mitt Romney: The GOP Big Gun for 2012

Though Teddy Davis makes good points, I don’t buy into the fact that Romney is “next in line”. It’s true that has been a pattern in the past, but that doesn’t necessarily dictate what’s going to happen in the future. I agree with Sarah Palin’s statement the it’s never anyone’s “turn”. Becoming the nominee for the party is something that is has to be earned. I’m glad to say Mitt Romney is taking all the proper steps to put himself in good position to win the presidential primary, should he decide to enter the race (and he will.)

From Davis:

… he’s played is really smartly since the 2008 election. He has moved around the country, campaigned for other Republicans, earned a lot of good favor by doing that, and looks to be in a really solid position going into 2012.

~Nate Gunderson

VIDEO: Mitt Romney Introduces Scott Brown at Victory Party

Mitt & Scott

From Mitt Romney’s Facebook Page:

All of us are still basking in Scott Brown’s historic U.S. Senate victory. It’s still hard to believe that we were able to pull it off against all the odds.

Making a difference in campaigns like Scott’s is why I formed my Free and Strong America PAC.

Governor Romney Introduces Scott Brown at Victory Party:

[I’m adding video of Brown giving special thanks to Romney that we haven’t posted yet ~Nate]

I especially want to thank a very special friend, whose encouragement from the beginning helped show me the way, and show us the way to victory – and that is former Governor Mitt Romney. Thank you Governor.

To support candidates like Scott Brown, please consider donating to Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC.

*Reminder: Mitt Romney’s new book comes out in just over a month! Find tour dates and related info here.

Krauthammer Says Romney Top Candidate 2012, Warm Words from Senator-Elect Scott Brown, Free and Strong America PAC Raises $3 Million

Praise for Mitt Romney came a couple of days ago from FOX News’ Kirsten Powers and Charles Krauthammer in regard to being the strongest Republican candidate for 2012. Senator-elect Scott Brown’s warm words for Mitt, combined with a solid $3 million dollar 2009 fundraising report for Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC deserves a shout-out to a great man. Romney’s relentless efforts for conservatism are being noticed and affirm his reliability, likeability, and magnanimity.

Kirsten Powers:

“I think the strongest candidate in a general election would probably be Romney… He understands the economy. He’s a good candidate… People like him so I think he’d be strong.”

 Charles Krauthammer:

“The best candidate, I think, as of today would be Mitt Romney…
You’d want a Romney- who is solid, economically savvy, reliable, rooted, experienced. I think he’d be very strong.”

Boston Globe reporters Eric Moskowitz and Matt Viser interviewed Senator-elect Scott Brown in his MA State House office January 28, 2010:

Romney gave you early financial and public support. What’s your relationship like with him?

Brown: “He’s changed, he’s changed. You know, he’s actually — before he was an outsider coming in and he was, you know, kind of, you know, stiff. But he’s actually, like, funny, he’s like — when he was at my events he was cracking jokes, when we were on the bus — I was like, who is this guy? He’s really kind of, I think, settled into his role kind of being the elder statesman of the party and everything he went through [running for] as president. It’s kind of, and once again it’s my opinion but he’s really a different guy than I knew when he was here, and I certainly appreciate everything he did for me.

Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC fundraising efforts paid off last year. He raised just under $3 million dollars in 2009. As the mid-term elections heat up, our continued support for the FSAP will be key in helping conservative candidates across the nation. From Chris Good – The Atlantic  Jan 29, 2010:

Mitt Romney had a pretty good year in 2010, when it comes to political money: his political organization, the Free and Strong America PAC, raised just over $2.9 million in 2009, the PAC announced today. Along with that haul, it doled out a total of over $120,000 to candidates and causes. (That total looks miniscule compared to the money taken in, but keep in mind that 2009 was an off year, and it’s just now time to start thinking about serious 2010 spending.)

It’s unclear how this will compare to the political action committees of the other Big Three Republican 2012 contenders–Sarah Palin’s SarahPAC and Mike Huckabee’s HuckPAC–but, at the midway point of 2009, Romney’s PAC had led them substantially.
In their last Federal Election Commission disclosure reports, counting donations through June 30, 2009, Romney’s PAC led with $1.9 million raised in the first half of the year. Palin’s PAC had raised over $730,000, while Huckabee’s PAC had raised over $300,000.

The year-end filing deadline is this Sunday, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, so we should know soon how much Palin and Huckabee’s organizations raked in.

If those three want to use their PAC money to support their own presidential campaigns in 2012, they’ll only be able to contribute $5,000 from the PACs to their campaigns for the primary, and another $5,000 for the general election (if one of them wins the nomination). But the PACs can spend unlimited amounts on their own to support a candidate–so, theoretically, that money could be just as good as a campaign war chest, though it would have to be used via independent expenditures.

For a complete list of FSAP donations, go here.

Romney’s generosity, trustworthiness, and comportment make us proud to support him!

House Republicans Strategize, Obama Joins Republican Retreat, Pelosi Prepares Parachute

While Nancy Pelosi tests the ‘spring’ in her pole vaulting apparatus and packs her parachute, House Republicans converged yesterday evening (Jan 28, 2010) for a three-day strategy session at the Inner Harbor hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. President Obama will join them today to speak and participate in a question-and-answer session. No doubt, health care will be a priority topic.

FOX News anchor Patti Ann Brown talks with reporter Carl Cameron, Jan 28, 2010:

Pelosi Pole Vault

Pelosi on Obamacare:

“You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.”

Responding to Obama’s State of the Union speech and the President’s invitation that if anyone from either party has a better aproach to bring down health care premiums, House Republican Leader John Boehner revealed to reporters yesterday that he hasn’t been contacted by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel or any one on the President’s team in over a year:

 John Boehner responds to Obama  (Jan 28, 2010)


“And so, we’re eager for the President to come to our retreat tomorrow. We’re going to have an honest conversation about America’s priorities and trying to find ways to find some common ground.”

NOTE: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirms that the House Republican health care plan will lower health care premiums by up to 10 percent and reduce the deficit by $68 billion over 10 years without imposing tax increases on small businesses and families. For more information on the GOP plan, go here.

Some say that after being ignored, shut out, vilified for a year, and lectured to yesterday evening, Republicans may not be in a cooperative mood:

“Republicans are emboldened. They think Obama has overshot the runway, and they’re going to stick with their strategy,” said Scott Reed, a Republican consultant.

As they left Washington for the three-day strategy session, Republican leaders did not seem to be in a frame of mind for compromising.

Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio said that Obama had “decided to just double-down on his job-killing agenda,” while ignoring the angry voter message behind recent Republican victories in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts.

“There was nothing last night in the president’s speech to indicate that there was any willingness to sit down and work together,” he said of Obama’s State of the Union address Wednesday. Boehner added that Republicans would try to find common ground with Obama, “but we’re not going to roll over on our principles.”

Heading into this year’s congressional campaigns, Republican fundraising and recruitment have picked up. National opinion surveys show steady improvement in the party’s prospects. And independent analysts predict that Democrats could lose dozens of House seats and, possibly, majority control of the chamber in the first midterm election of Obama’s presidency.

Obama acknowledged the effectiveness of the opposition’s strategy, even as he took a swipe at Republican obstructionism.

For now, at least, Republicans have little incentive to cooperate. Only three of the 37 most competitive House races this year feature a Democratic challenge to a Republican incumbent, according to the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report.

And Obama’s attempts to woo Republicans could be constrained by growing restiveness within the president’s own party. His pitch, during the State of the Union address, for building a new generation of nuclear power plants and possibly expanding offshore oil and gas drilling won immediate Republican approval but fell flat with Democratic liberals.

“It is in the president’s interests, politically and probably governmentally, to try to get some Republican cooperation and some Republican buy-in,” said former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.).

Obama passed up opportunities during his first year that might have made it more costly for Republicans to oppose him.

For example, the administration bowed to a powerful Democratic special interest, the trial-lawyer lobby, and refused to make significant changes in medical liability as part of healthcare legislation. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that a Republican proposal to limit medical malpractice costs would save taxpayers $54 billion over 10 years.

With elections ahead, a weakened Obama may find it more difficult to win Republican support for his agenda. But simply making a sustained attempt at bipartisan outreach could help put Democrats in a better position to attract swing votes this fall.

More details on this weekend’s Republican retreat:

The Republican retreat, which runs through Saturday, is designed to help develop the party’s strategic plan for the midterm elections. Independent campaign analysts are forecasting significant Republican gains this November, with some predicting at least an outside chance for Republicans to knock Democrats from the majority.

Republicans “look forward to sharing with the president our better solutions for getting this economy moving again [and] putting our fiscal house in order. Our proposals for health care reform [and] energy will all be part of what we are describing as a conversation between the president and House Republicans,” Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, chairman of the House Republican conference, said Wednesday.

Besides Obama, scheduled speakers at the Baltimore retreat include former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, newly elected Republican Gov. Robert McDonnell of Virginia and former House Republican Leader Dick Army, who chairs a conservative group that has aggressively opposed Obama’s agenda. Retired football coach Lou Holtz, a longtime Republican activist who gave a pep talk at the 2007 retreat on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is the Friday night dinner speaker.

Gingrich, whose former aides are active in the Congressional Institute, also addressed last winter’s retreat, held at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Va. Other speakers there included 2012 Republican presidential possibilities Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty newly elected Republican National Chairman Michael S. Steele

Keep an eye out for a party-crashing parachuting Pelosi.

(emphasis mine)

State of the Union Speech: President Obama Still Slugging, Governor McDonnell Responds

After the knock-out senatorial election of Scott Brown (R-MA), President Obama blatantly declared, “The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office.” Obama’s 71-minute State of the Union speech to the nation last night signaled he’s ignoring  Massachusetts’ cold-water-in-the-face message. He’s quickly toweled off and plans to keep slugging. With an overall combative tone, peppered with patronization and huge doses of hypocrisy, here are just a few jabs from last night’s speech:   

“We have the largest majority in decades and people expect us to solve problems, not run for the hills.” (Obama warns Democrats to stay in the ring with him. 78% of Americans believe the Democrat super-majority loss is a positive for America.  22% feel it is a negative for America.)

“Let’s try common sense. Let’s invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt. Let’s meet our responsibility to the people who sent us here.” (Obama’s policies have put us on a road that will triple our national debt to $22 trillion over the next ten years. The fiscal policies of the United States are unsustainable.)

“And what the American people hope — what they deserve — is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences, to overcome the numbing weight of our politics… Just saying ‘no’ to everything may be good short term politics but it’s not leadership.” (Capitol Hill doors have been locked – figuratively and in actuality – to prevent policy negotiations with Republicans. Update: House Republican Leader John Boehner (OH-8) said today that it had been over a year since he has been contacted by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel or anyone in the Obama administration.)

“One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, financial system on the verge of collapse and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression. So we acted — immediately and aggressively. And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed.” (Of Obama’s controversial $787 billion Stimulus Bill, only $264 billion has been spent. That leaves $523 billion more for Obama’s pay-backs and pet projects. He promised us that passing the Stimulus Bill would hold unemployment at 8%. It’s now over 10%. The Labor Dept reports today that for the week ending Jan. 23, another 470,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits. UPDATE: Dr. Frank Luntz conducted a poll today among an equal number of Republicans and Democrats in Philadelphia, PA. This statement polled as the WORST MOMENT in Obama’s speech.)

“…I’ve proposed a fee on the biggest banks. Now, I know Wall Street isn’t keen on this idea. But if these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need.” (TARP funds prevented our entire financial system from collapsing. Obama wants banks who have paid back TARP money – with interest – to now pay a fee. Obama ignores the federal government’s part in contributing to our economic crisis and is deflecting from the bonuses his own administration allowed.)

“Now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be America’s businesses.” (Where has Obama been the last year? Government employees feel more optimistic about the economy than private sector employees. Hmm. Could it be because most job growth this past year has been in the government sector?)

“You see, Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse. Meanwhile, China is not waiting to revamp its economy.” (Of course China isn’t waiting.  They own us! Just a couple of months into Obama’s presidency, the Chinese were expressing concerns over his penchant for trillion dollar borrowing from them. U.S. taxpayers pay the Chinese government $50 billion per year on interest – alone.)

“Still, this is a complex issue [health care], and the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became. I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people.” (Does Obama really believe 61% of Americans want him to move off the health care issue and focus on job creation because he didn’t explain it well enough? 81% of Americans believe Obamacare will raise taxes.)

“Let’s put aside the schoolyard taunts about who is tough. Let’s reject the false choice between protecting our people and upholding our values.” (Obama foreign policy gobbledy gook.  The Commander-in-Chief conveniently forgot to mention his policy of giving U.S. constitutional rights to terrorists and trials in U.S. courts.)

“And, yes, it [clean energy] means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America. I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change.” (Obama is willing to cripple our economy further by refusing to even consider real science and the scandalous suppressing of evidence regarding climate change. Cap-and-Trade legislation isn’t global warming/climate change. It’s about creating profit – money out of thin air.)

A jaw-dropping breach of decorum occurred last night when Obama scolded the Supreme Court regarding the reversal of the McCain-Feingold bill. Watch Justice Alito mouth “that’s not true”:

Like us, Harry Reid has heard it all before

Governor Bob McDonnell’s (R-VA) response to Obama’s State of the Union Speech:

Obama’s condescension and arrogance doesn’t bode well for 2010. The President’s  hoped-for left hook last night may cost him seats in the mid-term elections. Will Blue Dog Democrats go to the ropes for him?  We’ll see.

Obama may have bloodied our noses this past year, but I feel a whopping right-hook coming on. The American people refuse to be his punching bag any longer.  

Read full text of Governor Bob McDonnell’s (R-WA) rebuttal speech here.
Read full text of President Obama’s State of the Union Speech here.

Romney on Good Morning America: “We’ve Lost a Year.”

In case you missed it: Mitt Romney made an early appearance this AM on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America‘. In the video below, Mitt Romney gives his response to George Stephanopoulos regarding last night’s ‘State of the Union’ speech, delivered by President Obama:

Be sure to catch more of Mitt Romney this afternoon on ‘Your World‘ with Neil Cavuto. More info here.

Mitt Romney on ‘Your World’ with Neil Cavuto

Romney on FOX News

Be sure to catch Mitt Romney on Fox News this afternoon at 4 PM-ET. Romney has been invited to give his two cents on Neil Cavuto’s Program, ‘Your World‘.

Look for more of Romney’s reaction to last night’s State of the Obama speech (…I mean, State of the Unions speech). He’s likely to echo what he said earlier today on Good Morning America: “We’ve lost a year”.

UPDATE: Here is the video of Mitt Romney’s interview with Neil Cavuto:

Join Us for State of the Union Bingo and Chat!

Watching President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight? Why not make it a little more fun by joining us on chat to discuss the speech, or even playing Bingo to win some prizes?

The chat party will be hosted on our permanent chat page: click here for the link.

Below are 4 different Bingo boards to download and print to play along with us. Here is an image of card #1:

All downloads are PDF files:
Click here to download Card #1
Click here to download Card #2
Click here to download Card #3
Click here to download Card #4
Click here to download Card #5

I’ll give you a hint, don’t pick card number 5. Numbers 1-4 are the same but with the words in different orders.

Bingo Rules: the first five to get BINGO will get a MITT ’12 bumper sticker. To verify your Bingo leave a comment on this post. State which card number you have, and which were the five phrases that you got for Bingo. Be sure to yell BINGO! on the chat first. We will verify the first five. Good luck and have fun!

~Nate G.

Mitt Romney to Keynote 2010 Restaurant Leadership Conference

Gov. Mitt Romney

We’ve heard news of Romney keynoting a range of events, from Skiing Industry conventions & Specialty Pharmacy summits to Boy Scout Anniversary dinners; now comes the news that he will also keynote a convention that is ‘catered’ specifically to Owners and Managers of restaurants.

Regarding the conference, I saw one tweeter say, “Seriously? …Mitt Romney?”, perhaps questioning Mitt Romney’s relevance to the restaurant industry. Its evident, however, that Mitt is a respected voice in any industry, with a solid track record of turning around many failed businesses (including Domino’s, the popular pizza giant). Look for keynote spots from Mitt at many more of these types of conferences in the upcoming months.

We’ve read Romney’s resume a million times, but it doesn’t hurt to re-post what they’ve written about Mitt at RestaurantLeadership.com:

Widely recognized for his leadership and accomplishments as a public servant and in private enterprise, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney delivers powerful insight on the current and future challenges facing America and the world, and offers compelling solutions on how America can regain its course.

His is a career marked by success. From 1978 to 1984, Governor Romney enjoyed a successful tenure as Vice President at Bain & Company, a leading management consulting firm, helping businesses grow and improve their operations. In 1984, Romney founded and led Bain Capital, now one of the nation’s most successful venture capital and investment firms. He later took a temporary leave of absence to return to Bain & Company as CEO at a time of financial turmoil to lead the turnaround of the organization.

During the run-up to the 2002 Olympic Games, Romney left the private sector to become President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Given the task of turning around an Olympics mired in controversy and saddled with debt , Romney galvanized community spirit, erased a $379 million operating deficit, organized 23,000 volunteers, and oversaw an unprecedented security mobilization just months after the September 11th attacks, leading to one of the most successful Olympics in the country’s history.

Romney’s career in public service has been equally distinguished. Elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, he presided over a dramatic reversal of state fortunes and sustained economic growth, balancing the state budget without raising taxes, creating tens of thousands of new jobs, and enacting education reform to both reward students and aid failing schools. In 2006, Governor Romney proposed and signed into law private, market-based healthcare reform, ensuring that every Massachusetts citizen receives health insurance—without a government takeover and without raising taxes.

Elected Chairman of the Republican Governors Association during the 2006 election cycle, Romney raised a then-record $27 million for candidates running in state house contests across the country.

Governor Romney has been deeply involved in community and civic affairs, serving in his church and numerous charities including City Year, the Boy Scouts, and the Points of Light Foundation. He was also the Massachusetts Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in 1994 against Ted Kennedy. He received his B.A., with Highest Honors, from Brigham Young University in 1971. In 1975, he was awarded an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar, and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

Governor Romney and his wife Ann have been married for 40 years and have five sons, five daughters-in-law, and fourteen grandchildren.

Registration info for the event can be found here.