Mitt Romney is in Michigan this evening participating in the 29th Biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference (September 23-25).
Since 1953, Michigan Republicans have gathered every two years at historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island to discuss ideas, to learn how to articulate the Republican message and to interact with fellow Republicans from across the state—and the country. The Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference has become one of the premier republican events in the Midwest.
Governor Romney was in St. Ignace, Michigan earlier this morning and met with voters at the Driftwood Diner.
MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — Mitt Romney and Rick Perry are the only two Republican presidential candidates who can afford to spend their time and money in states that aren’t first on the primary calendar.
That helps explain their appearances Saturday in Michigan, where GOP voters will have their say in 2012, but only after Iowa, New Hampshire and several other states that second-tier contenders must win to survive.
“It’s really about these two up here,” said Jase Bolger, the speaker of Michigan’s House of Representatives.
For Romney, a Michigan native, the event was a homecoming. His father was governor and Romney, set to speak Saturday evening, spent summers on Mackinac as a child at the governor’s summer residence.
“Support for Romney is really strong,” said Bolger, who endorsed the former Massachusetts governor last week and is one of more than two dozen state legislators backing Romney.
Romney held a meeting with those lawmakers as Perry was set to speak at a lunch a few floors below at the Grand Hotel, where there’s a string of photos of Romney’s father. One person arrived wearing a “Romney” button, from George Romney’s 1962 campaign for governor.
The docks where the ferries arrive were decorated with several “Romney for President” signs and the island was packed with volunteers handing out campaign literature.
“We’re not taking anything for granted,” said Rob Macomber, Romney’s state director for Michigan. “But obviously there’s a lot of good will toward the Romneys here.”
Romney stopped by several different Mackinac venues and held a private function with state lawmakers. He was accompanied by his wife, Ann Romney, and several aides.
Perry’s debate performance had clearly heartened Romney’s associates.
“It’s going to happen this time,” Ann Romney told Republican National Committeeman Saul Anuzis on her way into the meeting with lawmakers. “Perry in the debate? Shocking,” she said.
(emphasis added) Read full article here.
Ann Romney was right…
Bill Kristol said one word regarding Perry’s debate performance…”YIKES!”
► Jayde Wyatt
UPDATE: Mitt Romney Dominates Michigan Straw Poll on Mackinac Island!
Mitt Romney 51%
Rick Perry 17%
Herman Cain 9%
Ron Paul 8%
Michele Bachmann 4%
Newt Gingrich 4%
Rick Santorum 3%
Jon Huntsman 2%