VIDEO: Romney Slams Perry for Same Illegal Immigration Stance as Obama

When it comes to supporting in-state tuition breaks for illegal immigrants, Obama and Perry are one and the same.

Watch the new Mitt Romney web ad:


-Luke G.

Romney NYC Fundraising: Support for Israel Highlighted, Lures Obama Supporters

New York City skyline

The Big Apple is the scene where Romney is busy doing some end-of-the-third quarter fundraising:

Mitt Romney highlights support for Israel on fundraising tour of New York
Sarah B. Boxer
Sept 26, 2011

NEW YORK – While his date with The Donald may have gotten all the buzz, Mitt Romney had a much more serious agenda here than meeting celebrity businessman Donald Trump — fundraising.

The Republican presidential candidate held multiple fundraisers in the Big Apple on Monday. One was with wealthy Jewish donors who convened at an upscale midtown law firm, Weil, Gotshal and Manges. Like all of his Romney’s Monday events, it was invitation only. No press. No pictures.

But two undecided voters who attended the fundraiser because of their affiliation with the pro-Israel group NORPAC said that there were “several hundred people” in the audience and that Romney spoke at length about Israel, and his unwavering support for it. According to them, he didn’t mention his chief rival for the Republican nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, at all, focusing his fire on President Obama. Romney struck them both as electable – and they said he has got their vote. Another man said he was “very funny”, citing Romney’s stump speech line about not inhaling politics.
Romney held at least one fundraiser before, and one after the Weil, Gotshal event, with more on deck for Tuesday.[…]

Former Wall Street backers of President Obama are opening their checkbooks for The Gov:

Romney Lures Obama Wall Street Donors in Race for Campaign Cash
Jonathan D. Salant and Lisa Lerer
Sept 26, 2011

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has raised more than twice as much money from Wall Street as Barack Obama — an edge gained in part by luring away at least 100 donors, mostly investors, who backed the president in 2008, according to a Bloomberg News analysis.

The former Obama donors are helping the former Massachusetts governor lock up Wall Street dollars as Romney races to financially outpace primary rival Texas Governor Rick Perry in advance of the Sept. 30 third quarter deadline for campaign fundraising.

“It’s going to be very hard for the president to bash the rich and create jobs at the same time,” said Anthony Scaramucci, 47, founder and managing partner of New York-based Skybridge Capital LLC which manages $8 billion, who has switched support from Obama in 2008 to Romney. “I don’t think the country is about class warfare.”
Perry and Romney are holding competing fundraisers today, as they try to bank closing cash for reports that historically have established the candidate pecking order in the run-up to the early primaries or driven some hopefuls from the race.

Romney will be at a fundraiser overlooking Central Park today:

Romney has scheduled a $2,500-a-head breakfast at the Essex House overlooking Central Park in New York City. It’s being organized by a host committee that includes top executives of Goldman Sachs Group, KKR & Co. LP and Blackstone Group LP. (BX) For $500, Romney supporters can attend a general reception after the breakfast.

Romney Recruit
Among the organizers of Romney’s event today is Scaramucci, who gave $4,600 to Obama in 2008.

You need a turnaround specialist in Washington right now,” Scaramucci said in an interview. “You have to cut and cap the growth of the government, but at the same time you need to figure out a way to put the private and public sectors in balance to stimulate the economy. Governor Romney has done that.”

Scaramucci is one of at least 100 former Obama contributors who have given to Romney’s 2012 campaign, according to a Bloomberg analysis of data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks political giving. They have helped Romney, founder of the Boston-based private equity firm Bain Capital LLC, raise $2.3 million from the securities industry sector, compared with $857,000 for Obama.

(emphasis added to articles ) Read the full article here.

There is still time to submit your $5 donations to the Romney campaign to win a chance to spend a day on the road with Mitt. (The third quarter fundraising deadline is Sept 30th. Candidates file reports on Oct 15th.) This is a fantastic, inexpensive opportunity to let The Gov know we support him. Who knows? One of you might be the lucky one chosen to spend a day campaigning with him! For information, click here.

UPDATE Mitt Romney’s $1 million morning

Mitt Romney had a giant fundraiser this morning at the Essex House in Manhattan, with a host committee of over 100 people, as per the invite here.

The event has been a key one for Team Romney, with several sources saying it would play a role in cracking double digits for the quarter in a real way. It was, according to several people, a success, and one that snared more than $1 million.

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Meets With Donald Trump: Discuss National, International Issues

Former MA Governor Mitt Romney and Donald Trump met privately yesterday at Trump Tower in New York City. Sept 26, 2011 (Photos by Robyn Beck/Getty, Bobby Bank/WireImage)

The much talked about meeting between Mitt Romney and Donald Trump took place yesterday afternoon at Trump Tower in New York City. No fancy restaurant meeting – they were free to get acquainted and discuss policy in private. The meeting lasted about an hour and finished around 3:00 PM ET.

All the news coverage I heard yesterday from Trump about Governor Romney was very positive .

TRENDING: Trump praises Romney, blasts DNC ad
by Diana Ozemebhoya, Sept 26, 2011

Washington (CNN) – Donald Trump emerged from his Monday afternoon sit-down with Mitt Romney more at ease with the GOP candidate’s take on views they share: China’s predominance in the global economy and OPEC’s proclivities to raise the price of oil as a measure to offset U.S. economic gains.

“We hit it off really well, better than I had anticipated,” Trump said Monday on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

“We really had a great hour together. I was impressed with certain things he said.”

When Wolf Blitzer (CNN anchor) asked Trump about the new Democratic National Committee’s class warfare ad portraying Romney and him as wealthy out-of-touch businessmen, he twice said: “I thought it was amateur night.”

Greta Van Susteren spoke with Donald Trump yesterday evening on her program On The Record about his meeting with Mitt Romney (9/26/11):

As for reports implying that Romney was avoiding being seen with Trump or slinking out of Trump Towers, not true:

It was deliberate. We wanted to keep it as private as we could,” Trump said.
“I guess we did a better job this time,” Trump said of the lack of a photo opportunity during his meeting with Romney.

Trump also added that private photos were taken.

(emphasis added)

► Jayde Wyatt

Perry’s New Web-Ad – Is it a Total Waste of Effort and Money? UPDATE: SNL Skit Added

Here is the Perry Campaign’s latest ad which has been given three Pinocchios by Washington Post:

How bad must this ad be that we are posting an anti-Romney video on a pro-Romney website? Hot Air dubs this attack as “desperate”, but I would say “sad” is more appropriate. I’m dumb-founded by how ill-prepared Rick Perry and his campaign seem to be. The mistakes just keep piling up on top of each other. Virtually guaranteeing a win in a meaningless straw poll was a huge unforced error. I personally know quite a few social conservatives who were excited by his candidacy, but all of the early enthusiasm for Gov. Perry has evaporated in record time.

Mark B. Lowe has three problems with this ad:

(1) It tries to establish the meme that Romney is a flip-flopper. Since nearly every single voter is already well aware of that accusation, it is a waste of effort. Is the Perry Campaign that out of ideas?

(2) It is a bit dull. It has all the pizazz of a lecture on drying paint.

(3) It illustrates what has been a major Perry problem since day one. He almost always frames his campaign as a contest between him and Mitt Romney. Even during the last few weeks where he was the undisputed frontrunner, he seemed to focus his energy on Mitt, not Obama.

Meanwhile, Romney been concentrating on Obama. Even while Perry has been the King-of-the-hill, Mitt focused on the President. True, he did launch an attack or two Perry’s way, but he always tried to couch it in terms of defeating Obama.

The minute that it became obvious that Perry had imploded last Thursday, Mitt dropped his attacks. Friday at Mackinaw Island, MI — the very day after Perry imploded at the debate — Mitt spoke for thirty minutes without even an oblique reference to his chief rival for the nomination.

The result of all this: People think of Perry in terms of contesting Romney; they think of Romney in terms of contesting Obama. That has to be to Romney’s advantage.

Finally, if you want to get some laughs, watch what SNL thought of the most recent debate:

Romney Endorsed by 10 New Hampshire State Reps

Autumn's glory unfolds on The Granite State's White Mountains. Mitt Romney was endorsed by 10 New Hampshire State Representatives today.

Here’s a real kick-off for the week!


Boston, MA – Mitt Romney announced the endorsement of ten New Hampshire State Representatives.

I am proud to announce the support of these outstanding New Hampshire legislators,” said Mitt Romney. “I am excited to work with these great leaders to help spread my pro-growth message across New Hampshire and put America back on the path to prosperity.”

Governor Romney demonstrated in last week’s debate that he is the only Republican capable of defeating President Obama in 2012. Mitt is clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the field when it comes to understanding the free market and what it will take to put people back to work,” said Representative John Tholl, a former Coos County Republican Committee Chairman. “In 2012, Republicans want a leader who knows how to cut taxes, reduce bloated government spending and turn around our struggling economy. That leader is Mitt Romney.”

Romney has previously announced the endorsement of nine other New Hampshire State Representatives, four New Hampshire State Senators, two executive councilors and two Sheriffs.

(emphasis added )

Count ’em…

State Representatives Endorsing Mitt Romney:

State Representative John Tholl (R-Whitefield)
State Representative Carl Seidel (R-Nashua)
State Representative Ken Hawkins (R-Bedford)
State Representative David Welch (R-Kingston)
State Representative Barry Palmer (R-Nashua)
State Representative John O’Connor (R-Derry)
State Representative Robert Rowe (R-Amherst)
State Representative Frank Sterling (R-Jaffrey)
State Representative Molly Smith (R-Hooksett)
State Representative Michael Weeden (R-Dover)


Jayde Wyatt

Florida & Michigan Straw Polls: Perry Loses Twice, Romney Runaway Winner in MI

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mitt Romney walloped the competition in the Michigan Straw Poll taken Saturday at the Mackinac Leadership Conference…

In a rout, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney trounced Rick Perry and the rest of the GOP field to win the National Journal Hotline/National Association of Home Builders Straw Poll of GOP activists attending a weekend conference in Michigan.

Romney received 51 percent of the 681 votes cast, a whopping 34-percentage point victory over second-place Perry, who garnered 17 percent. It was the second straight defeat for Perry in a straw poll, after he finished second in another contest Saturday in Florida. The twin disappointments, along with weak debate performances, have raised questions about whether the Texas governor will remain the perceived front-runner in the GOP nomination fight.

[…] Michigan is likely to hold its presidential nomination contest on Feb. 28, a week before Super Tuesday. It is also an important state in the general election contest… Read More

Romney is very strong in Michigan, which could be significant if he gets the nomination. He would put Michigan in real play for the General Election against Obama, who simply can’t win if he loses a deep blue state like Michigan. That is actually one of the strongest arguments for Romney being the nominee. He polls fairly strong in some places most Republicans do not.

At a glance:
Mitt Romney – 51%
Rick Perry – 17%
Herman Cain – 9%
Ron Paul – 8%
Michele Bachmann – 4%
Newt Gingrich – 4%
Rick Santorum – 3%
Jon Huntsman – 2%

At Mackinac, a focus on electability – Jonathan Martin 9/25/11

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. — Republicans are desperate to beat Barack Obama. But in Michigan they are also preoccupied with protecting the fragile gains the party made last year.

GOP officials and activists here are hunting for a nominee who can both carry Michigan and bolster down-ballot Republicans at the same time. Stung by John McCain’s decision in the fall of 2008 to pull out of the state, they are intent on finding a candidate who can build on the hard-fought advances of 2010 by winning a Senate race next year and protecting redistricted U.S. House seats and a new state House majority.

That convergence of electability and self-interest may be Mitt Romney’s best selling point with GOP insiders as he attempts to consolidate his strong base of support among Republicans here ahead of next year’s Michigan primary.

Interviews with attendees at the Michigan GOP’s biennial conference at this idyllic resort on an island between the state’s lower and upper peninsulas revealed an all-consuming focus on picking a nominee who can return Michigan to the Republican column for the first time since 1988 and also provide some ballot protection for the rest of the party’s candidates.

Had Romney been the nominee [in 2008], I’d be in my third term now instead of my second term,” said Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), who last year recaptured a seat he won in 2006 but then lost two years later in the Obama-led sweep.
Bill Schuette, the Michigan Attorney General and Romney’s campaign chair here, said the candidate brought up his native state “every single time” he addressed Republicans during the private meetings.

Schuette said that by nominating Romney, Michigan Republicans would help themselves in the general election.

“You’d get a Romney bump, where you’d get a couple or 3 percent,” said the attorney general. “That’s significant whether it’s the U.S. Senate race or the House races, in addition to winning the electoral college.”

You’ve probably heard the results of Florida’s Presidency 5 Straw Poll (briefly referred to in the article above) that was also taken on Saturday. It was a shocker; Herman Cain received over twice as many votes as the expected favorite – Rick Perry.

Gov Romney did not participate (even though I heard Florida Governor Rick Scott tell viewers on FOX and Friends this morning that he did… Scott said Romney spoke at CPAC on Friday and the only thing missing was a Romney speech on Saturday when the votes were tallied.)

For the record, Romney did NOT promote himself in the Florida Straw Poll. Some grass roots supporters were there to tout The Gov (hats off to them!) but there was no effort from the Romney campaign.

FL Gov Rick Scott announces straw poll winners (He’d been saying for several days that the winner of the poll would be our next president; he skips over Rick Perry’s numbers.):

Florida Straw Poll Results (2,657 votes cast):

Herman Cain 37.11%
Rick Perry 15.43%
Mitt Romney 14.00%
Rick Santorum 10.88%
Ron Paul 10.39%
Newt Gingrich 8.43%
Jon Huntsman 2.26%
Michele Bachmann 1.51%

Rick Perry really hoped to carry off the Florida poll trophy; he had campaign staff on the ground in Florida for a week:

Perry raises the stakes on Florida straw poll – By MAGGIE HABERMAN 9/24/11

At a campaign-hosted free breakfast where the 3,500 delegates at Presidency Five were invited, Rick Perry essentially raised the stakes on the outcome of the straw poll at the Florida event later today, criticizing other campaigns for skipping it.

“I think that’s a big mistake,” Perry said. “I think it’s very important.”

What was clear, however, was how much money and effort Perry’s team has put into the straw poll.

On every table was a glossy, two-sided direct mail piece encouraging people to vote in the straw poll, and pitching Perry as “America’s jobs governor” and as having “conservative roots grounded in heartland soil.”

Perry now needs to perform well at an event where he remains favored to win, but where many activists have expressed concern after his debate outing the other night.

He invoked Florida as the state “that picks presidents,” mentioning that it vaulted his Texas predecessor George W. Bush into the White House and raising the memory of “hanging chads” that year.

In an eight-minute speech, Perry slammed President Obama repeatedly and rapped him over the economy.

He also talked about “slick” talkers, a clear nod to his own poor debate performance and Mitt Romney’s more polished outing.

(my emphasis)

I guess Perry thinks “slick” debate talk means doing one’s homework, coming prepared, having a command of the facts, ability to concentrate, stringing a cogent sentence together, offering more than ‘thumbs-up’ talking points, having a jobs plan, and staying awake being fully in the moment.

► Jayde Wyatt

Obama on the Economy: ‘Profoundly’ Not Working

David Plouffe - Senior Adviser to President Obama, former Obama campaign manager

President Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe, said yesterday that the White House Jobs Plan will have a “profound impact”:

White House Adviser David Plouffe: “The president has been very clear as he’s traveled across the country and in the speech to Congress that he thinks the American Jobs Act would have a profound impact on our economy right now.” (CNN’s “State Of The Union,” 9/25/11)

• “We’re going to continue to demand this type of action that is going to have a profound impact on the economy right now.” (CNN’s “State Of The Union,” 9/25/11)

• “We think these things can have a profound impact not just in the next year or year-and-a-half but provide a foundation for longer term growth as we go through the decade.” ” (CNN’s “State Of The Union,” 9/25/11)

The plan will NOT have a profound impact on America’s unemployment crisis:

Associated Press: The President’s “jobs plan” will not make a substantial dent in the unemployment rate for years. “Even if Congress heeds President Barack Obama’s demands to ‘pass this bill right away’ and enacts his jobs and tax plan in its entirety, the unemployment rate probably still would hover in nosebleed territory for at least three more years.” (“Obama Plan Would Make Small Dent In Jobless Rate,” The Associated Press, 9/24/11)

“The persistent weakness of the U.S. economy has left 14 million people unemployed people and more than 25 million unable to find full-time work.”(“Obama Plan Would Make Small Dent In Jobless Rate,” The Associated Press, 9/24/11)

The plan WILL have a profound impact on taxpayers:

To pay for his jobs plan – which even Democrats are hesitant to support – President Obama is proposing hundreds of billions of dollars in permanent tax increases. “While it is likely that the tax incentive portion of President Obama’s plan would deliver few jobs and little economic growth, the permanent tax increases that ‘pay for’ the tax cuts can do permanent harm to the economy. Reportedly, the tax increase measures total roughly $460 billion over ten years.” (Fiscal Fact No. 283, Tax Foundation, 9/19/11)

The Washington Post: President Obama’s deficit reduction plan is padded with more than $2 trillion in tax increases. “The administration’s claim to have come up with $4 trillion in deficit reduction is misleading. The more accurate amount is barely half that, including … $1.5 trillion in tax increases on the wealthy. … The administration further pads its results by giving itself credit for $866 billion in ‘savings’ from letting the George W. Bush tax cuts expire for those making more than $250,000 a year.” (Editorial, “In Debt Plan, Mr. Obama Goes ‘Medium,’” The Washington Post, 9/19/11)

So far, the plan has not had a profound impact on the president’s Democratic allies:

“President Obama anticipated Republican resistance to his jobs program, but he is now meeting increasing pushback from his own party. Many Congressional Democrats, smarting from the fallout over the 2009 stimulus bill, say there is little chance they will be able to support the bill as a single entity, citing an array of elements they cannot abide.” (Jennifer Steinhauer, “Some Democrats Are Balking At Obama’s Jobs Bill,” The New York Times, 9/14/11)

(my emphasis)

CBS Headline: “Even Democrats Skeptical of Obama’s Jobs Act.” (, 9/17/11)

Flashback – The Last Time President Obama’s Advisers Made Predictions About Economic Stimulus, They Were Flat-Out Wrong:

(Romer and Bernstein, “The Job Impact Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Plan,” 1/9/09)

At 9.1%, the unemployment rate remains well above what Obama officials predicted would occur either with or without the first stimulus. The Romer-Bernstein analysis projected that, by this point in time, unemployment would be less 7% with the stimulus in effect and less than 8% without the stimulus. (Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, White Paper, “The Job Impact Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Plan,” 1/9/09)

Unemployment among African Americans is at 15.9% and Obama is facing increasing criticism from black members of Congress. His approval numbers among African Americans have taken a nose dive; 58% say they have “strongly favorable” views of the president, down from 83% just five months ago.

Last Saturday, Obama spoke to the Congressional Black Caucus at their annual awards dinner in Washington, D.C. It was a fiery-worded campaign speech for his base. He clearly isn’t moving to the center; he’s chosen confrontation over compromise.

Obama scolds Black Caucus 9/24/11 (audio ends @:45):

I expect all of you to march with me and press on,” Obama told the audience. “Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on. We’ve got work to do, CBC.”

To read a transcript of Obama’s speech, click here.

Meanwhile, tough times brings out the creative capitalism at Hallmark (9/23/11)

► Jayde Wyatt

Perry Doubles Down on Illegal Immigration Stance, Romney Responds

August 6, 2011 - Texas Governor Rick Perry gives a thumbs up as he takes the stage at 'The Response', a televised Texas prayer meeting held in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

At Thursday’s presidential debate in Tampa, FL, Governor Perry doubled down on his support for discounted tuition rates for illegal immigrants:

Perry, on an in-state tuition break for illegal immigrants: “I still support it greatly.”

PERRY: “If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart. … This was a state issue. Texans voted on it. And I still support it greatly.” (Governor Rick Perry, GOP Presidential Candidates Debate, Orlando, FL, 9/22/11)

At the University of Texas, illegal immigrants are given a tuition discount approaching $100,000 over a normal four-year period:

Tuition costs at the University of Texas at Austin are more than three times higher for out-of-state students than for in-state students.. For the 2011-12 academic year, in-state tuition and fees for undergraduates at the University of Texas at Austin are reported to be $9,794. For out-of-state students, tuition and fees are reported to be $32,506. The annual difference is an estimated $22,712 and the difference over four years is an estimated $90,848. (U.S. News & World Report, National Universities, 9/22/11)

The Washington Post: More Than 32,000 People Have Taken Advantage Of The “Texas DREAM Act “The Texas DREAM Act has given tuition breaks to more than 32,000 students attending state colleges. The law also sparked a national movement to pass a federal version, which has been championed by President Obama and became a bitterly contested issue that failed in Congress last year.” (“Perry’s Immigrant-Education Stand Draws Fire,” The Washington Post, 9/23/11)

What would Governor Perry’s tuition discount look like in Michigan?

University Of Michigan – Ann Arbor: Nearly $100,000 Per Student Over Four Years. For the 2011-2012 academic year, undergraduate tuition and fees at the University of Michigan are reported to be $12,590 for in-state students and $37,265 for out-of-state students. The annual difference is an estimated $24,675 and the difference over four years is an estimated $98,700. (U.S. News & World Report, National Universities, 9/24/11)

Michigan State University: More Than $75,000 Per Student Over Four Years. For the 2011-2012 academic year, undergraduate tuition and fees are reported to be $12,203 for in-state students and $31,148 for out-of-state students. The annual difference is an estimated $18,945 and the difference over four years is an estimated $75,780. (U.S. News & World Report, National Universities, 9/24/11)

■ The day after the presidential debates, Romney spoke at CPAC and had this to say about Perry’s comment that those who disagree with providing in-state tuition to illegals have “no heart”:

Governor Perry said that if you don’t agree with his position on giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants, then you don’t have a heart. I think if you’re opposed to illegal immigration, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart. It means you have a heart and a brain. Legal immigration is good for America. Illegal immigration is something I will stop if I’m president.” –Governor Mitt Romney

During the debate Romney told the audience that the discount “makes no sense,” and on Friday said it was a plan that “cannot be sustained.”

From Politico – another review on Perry’s debate display this week:

Web verdict on Perry: Brutal

The conservative commentariat spoke with near-unanimity Friday on Rick Perry’s debate performance: The Texas governor didn’t just lose, he bombed.

There was no election-ending gaffe or singularly disqualifying remark. But his second consecutive weak outing set off alarms on the right, where too many cringeworthy moments raised questions about Perry’s durability, his seriousness and ability to compete on a stage with President Barack Obama. Worse, after a near-flawless August rollout fueled his rise in the polls and quieted critics who fretted about the quality of the GOP field, Perry’s nationally televised face-plant revived dormant talk — and hopes — about the possibility of new candidates entering the race.

With almost no one willing to defend a performance marked by meandering or inaccurate answers, botched canned lines and the damaging adoption of the left’s critique of conservatives on immigration, it’s hard to imagine how things could have gone much worse for Perry Thursday night.

(emphasis added) Read more here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Mackinac Island, MI: Romney Arrives, Will Speak at Leadership Conf Tonight

Mitt and Ann Romney receive a warm welcome as they arrive at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. Romney will speak tonight at the Republican Leadership Conference. 9/24/11 (AP photo/Carlos Osorio)

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.

On his way to Mackinac Island, MI, Mitt Romney stopped to greet voters at the Driftwood Diner at St. Ignace, MI. 9/24/11

Quick TOUT video of Mitt on the way to the island:


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%

Indiana GOP Forum: Romney Blasts Obama, Remembered For Saving 2002 Winter Olympics

As dusk settles, city lights glow in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. Governor Mitt Romney spoke at a GOP forum in the capital city Friday evening. Attendees mentioned Romney's remarkable work in turning around the 2002 Winter Olympics. 9/23/11

Ahh, the beautiful Hoosier State…

Governor Romney was there last night to speak at a free GOP forum…

An article linked on the Indiana GOP website reported that The Gov’s visit created the most buzz among local Republicans:

His [Romney’s] visit has created the most stir among local Republicans. Far more people have told the Indiana Republican Party they plan to attend Romney’s forum than showed up to hear either of the first two candidates to campaign here: former Godfather’s Pizza Chief Executive Herman Cain and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

While speaking to a large crowd of about 400 party activists at the JW Marriott downtown, Romney ripped into Obama for the uncertainty and pain his policies have injected into the American economy:

Romney hammers Obama in Indianapolis

For about a half hour, he talked to a crowd of Republicans at the JW Marriott downtown. Romney spent the better part of his time hammering President Obama, accusing the president of hurting the American economy by creating uncertainty with his policies on everything from health care reform to new financial regulation.

“We can deal with bad news. Businesses encounter bad news all the time. What we can’t deal with as entrepreneurs and innovators is uncertainty, and virtually everything the president did increased uncertainty in this country,” said Romney.

Romney also said Obama’s policies have generally been harmful to time-honored fundamentals of the country’s economy like capitalism and free enterprise.

Because he’s an experienced businessman who’s created jobs, Romney said he’s the right person to lead the country. Romney is also a former governor of Massachusetts and was credited for making the Salt Lake City Olympics a success.

Romney frequently compared his business experience to that of the president Friday, saying that Obama had no real executive experience going into the White House and that the country is now seeing the consequences.

While speaking, Romney was also complimentary of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. The article points out that perhaps the most interesting party of Romney’s visit might have been what he didn’t say. No mention of Rick Perry…

Romney hammers Obama in Indianapolis:

The Political Hotsheet (CBS News) reports that a number of Republicans attending the GOP forum are most impressed with Romney’s extraordinary work to save the debt-ridden, scandalous 2002 Winter Olmpic Games:

On the stump, Romney has made his success as a businessman his calling card, but a number of Republicans here said they are most impressed with his record rescuing the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City from scandal.

He had a huge problem to deal with. He was kind of thrust into it,” said Wayne Baer, a Romney supporter who described himself as a Republican moderate. “We’ve got a lot of problems on a bigger scale, but you know, I like that. I think he can handle anything.”

On February 8, 2002, Mitt Romney, Pres. George W. Bush, and Jacques Rogge (Pres. of International Olympic Committee) marched together amid heavy security to the center of Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT, to mark the arrival of the salvaged U.S. flag from the World Trade Center and open the Winter Olympic Games. (AFP photo/Robert Schmidt)

This is a perfect place to remind our readers of the extraordinary feat Governor Romney accomplished in salvaging the 2002 Winter Olympic Games:

When the offer came for Romney to take over the troubled 2002 Olympic Winter Games, to be held in Salt Lake City in Utah, she [wife, Ann Romney] urged him to take it, and eager for a new challenge, he did. On February 11, 1999, Romney was hired as the new president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.

Before Romney came on, the event was running $379 million short of its revenue benchmarks. Plans were being made to scale back the games to compensate for the fiscal crisis and there were fears the games might be moved away entirely. The Games had also been damaged by allegations of bribery involving top officials[.]

Romney revamped the organization’s leadership and policies, reduced budgets, and boosted fund raising. He soothed worried corporate sponsors and recruited many new ones. He admitted past problems, listened to local critics, and rallied Utah’s citizenry with a sense of optimism. Romney worked to ensure the safety of the Games following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by ignoring those who suggested the games be called off and coordinating a $300 million security budget. He became the public face of the Olympic effort, appearing in countless photographs and news stories and even on Olympics souvenir pins.[…]

Overall he oversaw a $1.32 billion budget, 700 employees, and 26,000 volunteers.

Despite the initial fiscal shortfall, the Games ended up clearing a profit of $100 million, not counting the $224.5 million in security costs contributed by outside sources. Romney broke the record for most private money raised by any individual for an Olympics games, summer or winter. His performance as Olympics head was rated positively by 87 percent of Utahns. Romney and his wife contributed $1 million to the Olympics, and he donated to charity the $1.4 million in salary and severance payments he received for his three years as president and CEO.

Romney was widely praised for his successful efforts with the 2002 Winter Olympics including by President George W. Bush, and it solidified his reputation as a turnaround artist.

Harvard Business School taught a case study based around Romney’s successful actions.

(footnotes removed, emphasis added)

Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony (Part 1) The Fire Within:

The fire within… an apt description of Governor Romney.

► Jayde Wyatt