Anyone-But-Romney Force Reveals Political Bankruptcy / Mitt, Paul Ryan, & Milwaukee

Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) take a break from campaigning to grab a bite to eat at Culver's restaurant in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin. 4/1/12
(Photo/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Romney/Ryan team continued yesterday taking their timely message to Wisconsinites. They were invited to hold a town hall meeting at Moore Oil Company in Milwaukee. Here’s video of The Gov and Congressman Ryan:

Later in the day, at the same venue, Romney and Ryan were interviewed by FOX News’ Greta Van Susteren:



We’re at a halfway point…

Today’s elections in Wisconsin, Maryland, and D.C. mark the halfway point in the race for delegates. Yesterday, Governor Romney picked up three more delegates… Coincidentally, he’s now halfway to clinching the GOP nomination:

The former Massachusetts governor inched up to 572 delegates on Monday _ exactly half the 1,144 needed _ after the Tennessee Republican Party finalized delegate totals from its March 6 primary. Results in several congressional districts were too close to call on election night, leaving three delegates unallocated.

Romney got all three delegates. He also picked up an endorsement from a New Hampshire delegate who had been awarded to former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Huntsman dropped out of the race in January and endorsed Romney.
[...]
According to the Associated Press tally, Romney has more than twice as many delegates as Santorum. Santorum has 272 delegates, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 135 and Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 51.

Romney has won 54 percent of the primary and caucus delegates so far, putting him on pace to clinch the nomination in June. Romney could substantially add to his lead Tuesday, when 95 delegates will be at stake in three primaries, in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Current reality:

Santorum, who has won 27 percent of the primary and caucus delegates so far, would need 74 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination before the national convention. Gingrich would need 86 percent and Paul would have to win nearly all of them, which won’t happen because most states award delegates proportionally.

Anyone but Romney? Martin Sieff (FOX News Opinion) wrote yesterday that he is “sick of Santorum:

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Wisconsin: Romney & Ryan, Faith & Freedom, Sen. Johnson Endorsement, Santorum Raises Eyebrows


They packed the hall yesterday at the Faith & Freedom Coalition at the Country Springs Hotel in Pewaukee, Wisconsin…

Governor Mitt Romney and Wisconsin’s beloved homeboy and rising GOP star, Congressman Paul Ryan, both speakers at the event, inspired the crowd with their remarks. While speaking, Romney did not mention his GOP primary opponents and focused on President Obama (he also worked in a good comment about Joe Biden). At the conclusion of Ryan’s speech, he introduced The Gov with another strong endorsement (SEE VIDEO BELOW).

◆ Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum also participated – but the latter did something that raised eyebrows

WAUKESHA, Wis. — The current state of the Republican nominating contest was on display in Wisconsin on Saturday, with underdog Rick Santorum vigorously slamming front-runner Mitt Romney, while the former Massachusetts governor ignored his GOP rivals and focused solely on President Barack Obama.
[...]
Santorum’s rhetoric against a fellow Republican is a departure from the typical remarks candidates have given at previous Faith and Freedom events held this campaign season. The group draws a variety of GOP voters, and one candidate bad-mouthing another is usually avoided. But the former Pennsylvania senator did not tone down the attacks he frequently uses on the stump.

◆ MSNBC Nightly News Report March 31, 2012:

Santorum, speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press today, vowed that even if he loses in Wisconsin, he’s staying in the race:

The former Pennsylvania senator dismisses the notion that a prolonged primary would harm the party’s chances against President Barack Obama in November. Santorum says GOP establishment figures are making that argument to convince voters that “they need Mitt Romney shoved down their throats.”


… 
Santorum said he needs to win Pennsylvania’s primary on April 24.


While speaking at the F&F forum, Santorum and Gingrich both referred to Congressman Ryan, but notice the interesting difference:

While Gingrich called the congressman “a great guy,” Santorum referred to Ryan as “some other Wisconsinite.”

Maggie Haberman (Politico) writes:

Since Ryan’s endorsement, Santorum has been largely silent about the rising Republican Party star on the campaign trail. When asked about the endorsement by reporters, Santorum brushed it off, saying: “What I find out is that most endorsements are worth one vote.”

Besides the lies he tells about Governor Romney, Santorum’s rancorous, uncouth, and gauche behavior serves as a continual poke-in-the-eye reminder of why he should not get anywhere near the Oval Office. For someone who claims he got in the GOP presidential race because of “God’s calling” one would think he’d try to do a better job emulating the supposed caller.

By the way, the Romney and Ron Paul campaigns have filed a joint complaint citing “serious and prejudicial misconduct” from Santorum supporters at a previously-held Missouri county caucus.

Here’s video of Wisconsin’s Faith & Freedom forum:
Newt Gingrich: @5:00
Paul Ryan: @25:20
Mitt Romney: @40:45

Rick Santorum: @1hr:29

◆ After speaking at the F&F conference, Gov Romney and Ryan headed to Muskego, WI, to host a town hall meeting. D.G. Jackson, Romney’s campaign shadow, videoed The Gov and Paul Ryan before going on stage:

The Gov and Ryan also spent time at a phone bank in Madison for Governor Scott Walker.

GOOD NEWS…

Earlier this morning on NBC’s Meet the Press, Tea Party favorite Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson endorsed Romney:

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Another Big One: Fmr President George H.W. Bush Formally Endorses Romney

Gov Mitt Romney met with former President George H W Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush last December. (Photo AP/Pat Sullivan)


Today, Governor Mitt Romney announced the support of former President George H.W. Bush:

“As a naval aviator, congressman, ambassador, CIA director, vice president, and president, George H.W. Bush served our country with great devotion and high distinction over many decades. When we talk about the Greatest Generation, we are talking about those like President Bush, who, after Pearl Harbor, enlisted in our armed forces and served with unflinching courage during World War II. This is a man who knows from the ground up – and from the top down – the meaning of responsibility in exercising leadership in our democracy. I am proud to have him as my mentor. Ann and I are grateful to be able to call Barbara and George our good friends. There is no greater honor than earning President Bush’s endorsement and I am grateful for all George and Barbara have done.”

(emphasis added)

FOX News aired the endorsement LIVE this afternoon. This important news, combined with yesterday’s backing from Senator Marco Rubio and the recent endorsement from Jeb Bush, underscores the flood of sentiment that it’s time to end the primary season, rally around Romney, and get ready to battle Obama.

When video becomes available, we’ll post it. Check back for updates!

UPDATE - Maggie Haberman – Politico

George H.W. Bush, re-endorsing Mitt Romney today in Texas and making it formal for the first time – complete with live Fox News footage – was egged on by his wife Barbara:

“Aren’t you going to sing a song for us? Know when to fold ‘em?” she asked her husband, per POLITICO’s Reid Epstein.

“Yeah,” he said. “I do think it’s time for the party to get behind Gov. Romney. And she was reminding me Kenny Rogers sang, ‘It’s time when to hold ‘em and time when to fold ‘em.’ Well I think it’s time for people to all get behind this good man…We’re so convinced and we’ve known Mitt for a very long time, that he’s the man to do this job and get on and win the presidency, and that’s about it. And with no further ado, here’s the man.”

UPDATE 2 - Apparently President Bush 41 loves socks with pizazz. At their meeting today in Texas, he presented Romney with a pair (love it!):

Photo taken by D G Jackson (Mitt Body Man) March 29, 2012 (Click on photo to enlarge.)

UPDATE 3 – Video of the endorsement (FOX didn’t cut away soon enough to get the first part of the endorsement. I’ll try to locate video of the entire event.):


UPDATE 4 – Here’s CNN’s video (Pres Bush speaks; Barbara Bush sings Ann Romney’s praises!):

UPDATE 5 – The Daily Caller is reporting a Paul Ryan endorsement of Mitt Romney is imminent. If true, this would be another breathtaking endorsement! Details here.



► Jayde Wyatt

ICYMI: Video of Mitt’s Appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Romney and Leno discuss Rick Santorum, VP picks, delegate counts, “distracting issues”, tax code, Health Care, Obama’s open mic gaffe, Russia, Afghanistan and federal spending. (Just watched it myself. Way to go Governor – extremely well done!)

Part 1 of 3:

Parts 2 and 3 below the fold…
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Romney: What’s Ahead in March, Delegate Deal Making, Megyn Kelly Interview (FOX News VIDEO)


Last night was quite a night… Diehard Romney supporters held vigil into the wee hours of the morning (happy to note many were here on our chat forum!).

While Nate is writing a recap on yesterday’s results, delegate count, and the math moving forward, let me just say Governor Romney hauled in the most delegates!

Here’s a look at the remaining March madness schedule:
March 17th – Missouri – 52 delegates – Caucus
March 18th – Puerto Rico – 23 delegates – Primary
March 20th – Illinois – 69 delegates – Primary
March 24th – Louisiana – 46 delegates – Primary

● Because it has the most delegates at stake, Illinois will be getting a lot of attention. We’re already hearing it’s another make-or-break state for Romney. Let’s take a look:

GOP contenders turn to Illinois
By Christian Heinze – March 14, 2012

The Mississippi and Alabama contests — like so many other Tuesday primaries before them — were supposed to decide the fate of the GOP presidential nomination.

Except Rick Santorum’s double wins only tabled the decision for a future date. In this case, that might be March 20, when voters in Illinois will cast ballots.

So what do we know about Illinois? There are 69 delegates at stake — 15 of whom are unbound and 54 of whom are bound.

Polling is scant. Last week, the Chicago Tribune released a survey showing Mitt Romney winning 35 percent of the vote; Santorum was second with 31 percent; and Newt Gingrich took 12. Unfortunately, that’s the only meaningful poll of the state in the past five months.

The Tribune’s survey suggests an enormously fluid race, with 46 percent of likely voters saying they could change their minds before next Tuesday’s contest.

That’s a boon for Romney, who’s already begun advertising in the state and can flood the airwaves in the days leading up to the primary.

Heinze outlines the demographic breakdown we’ve been seeing and mentions a couple of wildcards at play. Here’s one of them:

Illinois’ primary system is open. In other words, any registered voter can show up and vote. In Michigan, prominent Democrats, including the liberal site Daily Kos, encouraged Democrats to vote for Santorum to embarrass Romney and extend the primary season. Romney eventually won, but Democrats did, in fact, make the race more competitive. Santorum won Democrats by 33 percent, and that made up 9 percent of the entire voting electorate.

In Ohio, Santorum once again routed Romney with Democrats, but Democrats only made up 5 percent of the electorate — barely one-half of Michigan’s.
. . .
[A] dilemma for Santorum: In Michigan, he took major heat from Republicans for actively courting Democrats through robocalls. To an extent, you could say it might have worked by helping boost the Democratic share of the vote to nearly 10 percent. But it also provoked considerable backlash among the GOP grass roots. Should Santorum woo working-class Democrats and mischief-minded foes of Romney, and if he does, how should he do it?

Continue reading here.

The Illinois primary is less than a week away. Should Santorum court Dems to derail Romney? No. But, he will.

Read how Illinois Treasurer and Romney state chairman Dan Rutherford gave Santorum an opening in Illinois.

Deals for delegates? A rumored development…

Gingrich plan to block Romney could result in a deal for delegates
By Cameron Joseph – March 14, 2012

Newt Gingrich’s plan to keep Mitt Romney from winning the necessary delegates for the GOP nomination means the presidential contenders might have to form a deal in order to avoid a brokered convention, a leading Gingrich surrogate told The Hill.
. . .
Gingrich has publicly stated that his goal is to keep Romney from winning the 1,144 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination.

His spokesman, R.C. Hammond, told reporters Tuesday night that “our goal first is to keep Romney well below 1,000,” according to reports. He added that if that happens: “This will be the first time in our party in modern politics that we’re going to go to the convention floor.”
. . .
“Santorum and Gingrich now trail Governor Romney by margins they cannot mathematically make up,” Romney political director Rich Beeson wrote in a memo Wednesday morning.

“In order to win, both Santorum and Gingrich need to start netting an impossible number of delegates to overtake Governor Romney,” he added.

But while none of the remaining candidates can over take Romney, they could do enough damage to keep him from winning the necessary delegates.

After listening to Gingrich’s post-election interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier last night, it was as plain as the nose on his face that Newt will not be swayed in his quest to prevent Romney from getting the nomination.

Backroom deals make many Republicans nervous; the article continues:

However, a deal among the candidates would give Gingrich more power. He’s widely disliked by the GOP establishment, many of whom would do anything to keep him from being the nominee. But in a meeting between the four contenders he could be a major power-broker and possibly ally with Santorum to help make one of them the nominee.

Read more here.

This could be Gingrich’s last attempt to be relevant. There is no love lost between Santorum and Gingrich; time will tell if the two of them decide to tie the knot.

By the way, NBC has pulled Ron Paul’s last embedded reporter.

Click below the fold to see VIDEO of Romney’s excellent interview today with Megyn Kelly and my happy dance tribute to ALL who voted for The Gov yesterday.

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Romney: CNBC Squawk Box Interview / Gingrich, Santorum, Paul: Futile Delegate Chase? / Unify!

Governor Mitt Romney (Photo Getty Images / Eric Thayer)


Because Super Tuesday is now in the rear view mirror, Mitt Romney supporters are breathing a little easier and enjoying a super Wednesday.

With Romney’s solid victories from Alaska to Vermont, we can see the path to the GOP nomination clearly (more on that in a moment). No rest for Governor Romney, however. He was up bright and early in Newton, MA to be interviewed on CNBC’s Squawk Box. He spoke about election results, Obama’s failed policies, jobs, economy, entitlements, and more:


Romney on uniting different factions of the party if he’s the nominee:

“. . . When we we have a nominee, we will come together because Barack Obama has organized a conservative community. … The community organizer has organized us in a big way. We’re going to come together because we really believe he needs to be replaced – that he’s over his head, that the debt he’s amassed, the jobs he has not created – suggest that this is a guy whose time has come for early retirement.”

Sidenote: Several days ago, when Sarah Palin stated on FOX News that the candidate who really focuses on gasoline prices would be the one to support, one didn’t have to rub a crystal ball to know that Newt Gingrich would somehow, out of thin air, come up with a gas plan real quick. Sure enough, the very next day, Gingrich announced his $2.50 per gallon meme. Now, he thinks he OWNS the issue. Wrong. Romney has been strongly advocating for energy independence since 2007, wrote extensively about it in his book No Apology (published spring 2010), and, at every opportunity, continues to stress the importance of using our own energy resources. (It’s no secret Palin voted yesterday for Gingrich.)

During today’s interview, Romney spoke again on gasoline prices:

Are you happy with high gasoline prices in part because this administration has not been willing to take in energy from other places across America? . . . I think people recognize that the president can’t precisely set the price at the pump, but he can decide how much of the money that’s being paid for oil and gas is going to other nations. And, to get that money staying here and to create jobs here and to stabilize prices here, he ought to be taking advantage of all of our offshore and ANWAR and North Dakota and Oklahoma and Texas oil and gas resources instead of trying to hold them off. Natural gas is a huge win for us. And, through the EPA, he’s been trying to hold that off. Coal is, of course, a major source of our electric power. He’s made it more difficult to get the coal, more difficult to use the coal. And, of course, the Keystone Pipeline bringing energy in from Canada, that was a no-brainer. He failed that test. If we want to get America energy secure, you have to take advantage of the energy resources we have. And, fortunately, with recent discoveries from Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, there’s a lot of energy in this country. Let’s take advantage of it.

Entire transcript may be found here.

Among the varied post-Super Tuesday analysis, we read ‘Romney is a frail frontrunner’. Uh huh. He’s so frail he has more than double the delegates Santorum has and Gingrich and Paul have been left in the campaign dust. No, talking heads. Romney is a formidable frontrunner. Today, Hugh Hewitt pointed out a fact the mainstream media is missing (and gave MRC a nod, as well):

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Mitt Romney: Financial & Economic Expert — Chief Executive with Decades of Experience

NOTE: To see my choice as the Romney PHOTOGRAPH OF THE DAY along with a tribute to the men and women of America’s armed forces, click through below the line and scroll to the end.

In my opinion, Chris Wallace of FOX News is one of the best journalists alive. He is tough in his questions, but most fair, I believe. He is equally tough will all those he interviews. He is by far the most prepared of any journalist I have seen on television and is always ready with an intelligent comeback to any answer provided by the person being interviewed. If Wallace has any partisan biases, I have been unable to detect them.

Remember the question that Governor Romney was asked in the last debate about the biggest misconception voters have of him? Remember he chose to answer that question with a more substantive reply, providing information voters could use? In the following video, Wallace asks him that question again and this time he answers it directly.

Governor Romney provides important answers that the voters need to hear in Michigan and Arizona. His answers are unambiguous and I believe outstanding. Wallace asks questions on the following topics:

  • Afghanistan — Obama’s announced withdrawal and recent apology
  • Gov. Romney’s winning margin in Michigan in 2008 & expected margin Tuesday
  • Who’s going to win Michigan Tuesday?
  • Gov. Romney’s recommendation to allow the auto companies to go through bankruptcy
  • Gov. Romney’s more detailed economic plan detailed
  • Two Cadillacs

Governor Romney exudes a high level of confidence in this clip. I realize I am biased, but I think any objective viewer would agree that Governor Romney is the brightest of the four candidates left in the race. Clearly, he is not merely recalling facts as Gingrich does, but is speaking as an economic and financial expert with decades of experience as a chief executive. See next page for the video, photo, and tribute. (more…)

The Detroit News Joins a Host of Powerful Names in Michigan to Endorse Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney picked up the endorsement of the largest right-leaning newspaper in Michigan this morning. The Detroit News joins the Oakland Press as major newspapers endorsing Gov. Romney here in Michigan.

Gov. Romney has garnered a few other endorsements that are having a greater impact than the media realizes. This about this: In 2010, Michigan had a heated primary for Governor which consisted of 4 major candidates. ALL 4 candidates are supporting Gov. Romney. Pete Hoekstra is running for Senate, so he and Mitt have decided to stay away from public endorsements, but behind-the-scenes, they couldn’t be closer. They even go so far as to allow each other’s campaigns to pass items out at each other’s events. Gov. Rick Snyder has endorsed Mitt, Lt. Governor Brian Calley, AG Bill Schuette, Mike Cox, and Mike Bouchard who were the other two main competitors in the Michigan GOP Governor Primary. I’ve never seen such a strong consolidation of support here in Michigan before. It’s basically unanimous among all the top republicans in Michigan that Mitt Romney is the only choice for Michigan voters.

Chris Christie did a great job on Piers Morgan last night, and you can watch several of the clips here.

Donald Trump talks Mitt Romney on WSGW Radio in Michigan. Donald Trump has done a great job supporting Mitt here in Michigan.

One campaign strategy that has served the campaign amazingly well are the tele-townhalls he and Ann have participated in. Here is the audio of one of those calls. The campaign has run one or two of these calls all week and last week, and people are loving them so much more than the robo-calls.

If you want to see Mitt’s Event in Ohio from the 20th, click here.

Find out what keeps President Obama up at night below the fold. (more…)