So says Jennifer Rubin in her blog (Right Turn) at WashingtonPost.com:
Right Turn has learned that, after several weeks of schedule adjustment, Mitt Romney will now appear at the candidate forum hosted by Sen. Jim DeMint in South Carolina. The Romney camp dismisses the suggestion that this is in response to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s rise in the polls. Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul tells me: “We’re pleased we were able to arrange our schedule so that Gov. Romney can attend Labor Day events in both New Hampshire and South Carolina.” Romney was able to shift a Tea Party Express event in Rollins Park, New Hampshire to Sunday evening. He will remain in New Hampshire Monday morning for a pancake breakfast in Manchester and then travel to South Carolina for the forum.
The official name of the forum is the Palmetto Freedom Forum. It will take place on Labor Day and is sponsored by the American Principles Project.
The Palmetto Freedom Forum is an event that will take place on Labor Day, 2011 in Columbia, SC. The goal of the event is to have an honest discussion with the top GOP Presidential Candidates, giving them an outlet to voice their thoughts on the key issues.
Apparently only those who had a 5% or higher in RCP’s national polls average on Aug. 22nd will be included in the debate. Gingrich is currently at 5.7% and Cain at 4.7%, but both are listed at 5% on the 22nd, so I’m not exactly sure if they made the cut. The others who qualify to attend would be Perry, Bachmann and Paul, and Palin if she should jump in by then. Disqualified candidates include Santorum and Huntsman.
So we know it’s taking place on Labor Day, but can anyone find a time? Television broadcast? Online broadcast?
Rick Perry had three major applause lines during his announcement that will likely sound familiar to most of us. Rick Perry said President Obama has apologized for America, he said Washington is Broken, and he said he Believes in America.
No Apology is the name of Mitt’s book, Believe in America is the subtitle of the paperback version of No Apology, and Washington is Broken was Mitt’s campaign slogan in 2008.
Maybe Rick Perry is running to be Mitt’s VP? What do ya’ll think?
Ann Romney's visit to South Carolina today enabled her to meet Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes and North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hartley. Mayor Hartley has endorsed Mitt Romney. ('Photo Of The Day' from mittromney.com) July 21, 2011
Ann Romney was treated to gracious southern hospitality yesterday and today as she made the campaign rounds in South Carolina for her husband, Mitt Romney. Throughout the two days of events, she shared insights into the personal life and character of her husband, Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.
Yesterday, Mrs. Romney attended a luncheon at Truffles restaurant in Bluffton. Invited guests included members of the Republican Club of Southern Beaufort County, the Sun City Republican Club, the Hilton Head Island Republican Club, and the Beaufort County Republican Party.
Ann Romney made her first campaign appearance anywhere in the nation for her husband, Mitt Romney’s, 2012 presidential campaign bid on Wednesday in Bluffton.
“This is her first stop, her first event of the year, the first one nationally — right out of the gate,” said David Raad, the Romney campaign’s South Carolina director.
Her talk focused largely on the character of her husband of 42 years, how they handled her multiple sclerosis diagnosis in 1998, and their strong family of five sons and daughters-in-law and 16 grandchildren.
She said it’s a good thing for presidential aspirants “to be successful in their personal life … and that’s what I can talk about.
“When Mitt was a young traveling business consultant, he was away a lot and it was very hard for him because he wanted to be home more than anything. I’ll never forget how he would make Herculean efforts to be back just for a night.”
She said other moments in life brought difficult decisions.
“It’s been quite a journey, and now it’s time for Mitt and I to be traveling across the country” and spread a “message that we love this country and that were we’re concerned — that we know our way of life and sometimes maybe even our freedoms may be in peril.
She said she wants her grandchildren to be able to grow up in the country like she did.
“It’s going to be a monumental election,” she said.
“In my heart of hearts, I really believe Mitt will be the nominee,” she said. “There’s some great people running, and they’ll do OK, but Mitt’s gonna win,” she said, drawing applause.
She said her husband will stand out on the top issue. “I think people will be concerned about is jobs and the economy … That’s what he knows. That’s what he’s proven to be very successful at.”
Along with his experience as governor and in private business, where as an investor he has launched and rebuilt companies, he brings his background as running the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, she said.
Ann Romney concluded by referring to her husband’s business success:
“We need his golden touch right now. We need a turnaround. And why not go with the guy who does turnarounds and knows how to do it well.
I’m here to encourage you to think about him as the South Carolina primary will be coming up ….
He really will be a fine president and a wonderful addition. I think you will all be very proud of him.”
Jerry Hallman, chairman of the Beaufort County Republican Party, said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the visit. Hallman’s son worked for the Olympics when Romney took over.
“I like Mitt Romney a lot,” Hallman said, “and I think she’s right in that he has what we need right now.”
After the Bluffton luncheon, Mrs. Romney was treated to a reception sponsored by the Charleston-area National Federation of Republican Women in the North Charleston City Hall.
Today, Mrs. Romney met with voters at Magnolia’s Restaurant in Myrtle Beach. While there she was greeted by Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes and North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hartley. *Mayor Hartley has announced her support for Mitt Romney.
July 20, 2011
Boston, MA – Mitt Romney today won the support of the Mayor of North Myrtle Beach, Marilyn Hatley.
“I am proud to have the support of Mayor Hatley,” said Mitt Romney. “She will be a vital member of my team in South Carolina as I campaign to reverse President Obama’s failed policies and bring jobs back to South Carolina.”
“President Obama’s policies have been failures for South Carolina and the rest of the country,” said North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley. “Rather than lead us toward economic recovery, President Obama has made job creation more difficult for small business owners. Mitt Romney has a proven record of job creation as governor and in the private sector. He is the right man at this extraordinary time to lead our country toward economic recovery.”
Background On Mayor Marilyn Hatley:
Marilyn Hatley Is In Her Third Term As Mayor Of North Myrtle Beach. Hatley has worked on the North Myrtle Beach Woman’s Club and other charitable organizations in the North Myrtle Beach area. In addition to her duties as Mayor, Hatley is the owner of Visible Designs, Inc., a hair salon.
(emphasis added to articles)
It is wonderful to read of Ann Romney’s busy schedule in South Carolina. It’s a general consensus that she is one of Mitt’s greatest assets!
UPDATE: New photo of Ann…
(Love the patriotic spirit evidenced by the fashions of some of the ladies!)
Ann Romney speaks at a reception sponsored by the National Federation of Republican Women at the North Charleston City Hall in Charleston, South Carolina. July 20, 2011
Mitt Romney stands in front of fence separating the U.S. from Mexico with former CA Assemblyman Tony Strickland (now CA Senator) and CA Senator Mark Wyland in San Diego, CA (8/13/07). Yesterday, Romney received endorsements from a group of CA politicians, including Strickland and Wyland.
From prestigious California endorsements yesterday to strong polling results in Florida, Mitt Romney is making coast-to-coast news.
Mitt Romney is solidifying his status as front-runner in the GOP presidential nomination race. On Thursday, he picked up the backing of a group of Californians[...]
That includes House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon and Rep. Mary Bono Mack of the state’s contingent in Washington. The group also comprises state Senate GOP Leader Bob Dutton, state Sens. Tony Strickland, Sharon Runner, Bob Huff, Sam Blakeslee and Mark Wyland; and Assemblymen Paul Cook and Jim Silva.
McKeon cited Romney’s strength on economic issues in his endorsement. “President Obama’s policies have failed California and the country,” McKeon said. “Mitt Romney has a proven record of job creation in both the private sector and as a governor.” McKeon also supported Romney in 2008.
Bob Dutton also added: “Mitt Romney knows how the economy works and he has the much-needed experience to lead the country out of the economic downturn.”
Mitt Romney has a double digit lead for the Republican Presidential nomination in Florida, further cementing his front runner status in the wake of Mike Huckabee’s exit from the race.
Romney is at 27% to 17% for Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, 10% for Herman Cain, 8% for Newt Gingrich, 7% for Ron Paul, 4% for Tim Pawlenty, and 2% for Jon Huntsman.
Romney now has the outright lead in PPP’s most recent polls in all 5 of the key early Republican contests: in addition to the Florida advantage he’s up by 9 in South Carolina, 6 in Iowa, 15 in Nevada, and 23 in New Hampshire.
Romney’s Florida lead is built on a familiar formula. He’s not winning with the far right voters who constitute a plurality of the Republican electorate, but he’s at least staying competitive with them. Meanwhile he’s dominating the field with moderates (a 36-15 lead over Palin) and with voters who identify themselves as just ‘somewhat conservative’ (a 32-15 advantage over Bachmann.)
While Bachmann’s rising with Florida Republicans, Gingrich has tanked. On our last poll he was tied for the lead with Romney at 18%. Now he finds himself in 5th place and with less than half as much support at 8%. Beyond Gingrich other people who have to be seen as losers on this poll are Huntsman and Pawlenty. Huntsman’s 2% standing is consistent with how he’s polling with pretty much every group of voters except beltway journalists. And Pawlenty’s 4% in Florida matches his 4% in South Carolina- he doesn’t have any resonance yet with GOP voters in the south.
A new poll came out on Friday from Public Policy Polling showing Mitt Romney as the only candidate who would keep South Carolina out of President Obama’s reach. We simply cannot risk losing South Carolina’s 9 electoral votes (1 extra thanks to the 2010 census):
Despite Obama’s unpopularity only one of his potential opponents for next year has a clear lead over him in the Palmetto State. That’s Mitt Romney, who’s ahead of Obama by a 50/41 margin. The only other Republican we tested who leads Obama is Jim DeMint, but the home state senator’s margin is a narrow one at 47-44. Beyond that Obama fights Tim Pawlenty to a tie at 42%, leads Newt Gingrich 46-44, is up 43-40 on Herman Cain, and has a 48-43 advantage over Sarah Palin.
South Carolina isn’t the only state where Mitt Romney is the only real threat to Obama’s chances of winning that state. Obama has the same problem in Michigan and Nevada where the former Massachusetts governor is the only person who poses a significant hurdle in capturing that state.
And today’s numbers find him up by 9 in South Carolina at 27% to 18% for Palin, 12% each for Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, 9% for Michele Bachmann, 7% for Ron Paul, 4% for Tim Pawlenty, and 2% for Jon Huntsman.
Romney’s formula for success in South Carolina is the same as in Iowa: dominate with the middle, lead with the center right, and avoid getting completely blown out of the water with the far right. Voters describing themselves as ‘very conservative’ are the largest segment of the Republican electorate in the state at 41% and Palin leads with them at 21% but Romney is at least right there at 20%. With moderates Romney leads by 26 points, getting 41% to Palin’s 15%. And with ‘somewhat conservative’ voters Romney gets 27% to 15% each for Gingrich and Palin.
The facts are clear. Regardless if Mitt Romney is facing other 2012 Republicans or Barack Obama, the people of South Carolina overwhelmingly support Romney.
scroll to the bottom of this post for part 2 of the Piers Morgan interview with Ann and Mitt…
Right before the commercial break preceding the beginning of the interview with Gov. Romney, Piers Morgan segues from the Anthony Weiner story by saying Gov. Romney might be the cleanest politician in America. Part 1 of the interview with Piers Morgan was tonight and Part 2 is tomorrow. CNN has only released the following online so far, but we’ll post both parts in their entirety as they become available.
I have to say this interview was exciting. Piers Morgan is a tough interview and the more he pushed and prodded Mitt, the better Mitt ended up doing. It must get boring answering the same questions interview after interview and Gov. Romney really seemed engaged and excited to be tested a bit more than he usually is in interviews. I love that Mitt is using the argument that our cartoon so well illustrates a lot more now.
As reported here, PPP is going to release a poll of South Carolinians that shows some very good news for Mitt tomorrow! Interesting that the media continues to say Mitt is such a weak front-runner than shouldn’t even bother competing in Iowa or South Carolina. Tomorrow’s poll will probably show that reality tells a different story than the media has been.
Given the choices of Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitt Romney, who would you most like to see as the Republican candidate for President next year?
Mitt Romney 27%
Sarah Palin 18%
Herman Cain 12%
Newt Gingrich 12%
Michele Bachmann 9%
Ron Paul 7%
Tim Pawlenty 4%
Jon Huntsman 2%
Someone else/Undecided 9%
WITHOUT Palin: Mitt Romney 30%
Herman Cain 15%
Newt Gingrich 15%
Michele Bachmann 13%
Ron Paul 10%
Tim Pawlenty 5%
Jon Huntsman 2%
Someone else/Undecided 11%
Some of Part 2 of Gov. and Ann Romney’s interview with Piers Morgan below the fold: (more…)
Gov Mitt Romney met with small business owners at Meetze Plumbing in Irmo, South Carolina. The event was organized by S.C. Rep. Nathan Ballentine. 5/21/11
South Carolina was the exclamation point on a very good week for Mitt Romney today!
Romney’s first visit to the Palmetto State this election cycle began with a morning event at the home of S.C. Representative Nathan Ballentine. Gov Romney then attended an informal meeting, arranged by Ballantine (one of Gov Nikki Haley’s top lieutenants in S.C.’s legislature), at Meetze Plumbing in Irmo. The gathering provided an intimate setting for community business owners to voice their concerns about staying viable in this economy.
*Ballentine tweeted earlier this morning:
Enjoyed hosting @MittRomney in our home and our community today! Thanks to everyone (especially the business owners) who attended!
Hoping to blunt Romney’s foray into South Carolina, an “Independent” group, consisting of former Obama White House Staffers and former S.C. Gov. Jim Hodges (Dem), released a negative ad which coincided with The Gov’s visit. It ran on local TV stations.
Irmo, South Carolina (CNN) – Mitt Romney spoke to a button-downed group of small business owners Saturday in the early primary state of South Carolina, but with frequent nods to the Constitution and states’ rights, he sounded like he might have been at ease addressing a Tea Party rally instead.
Romney, who donned jeans and rolled-up shirtsleeves for his first visit to South Carolina as a potential Republican presidential candidate, questioned President Barack Obama’s understanding of the role of government and basic economic matters.
“I believe in the Constitution,” Romney said. “I believe in what the Constitution said, that the government that would deal primarily with citizens at the local level would be local and state government, not the federal government. I don’t think the president respects states like I do.”
“I respect the rights of states to come up with their own answers and their own solutions to compete with one another,” he added.
The former governor’s argument conveniently dovetails with his aggressive defense of the health care plan he implemented in Massachusetts, which has drawn scorn from some conservatives because of its strong resemblance to President Obama’s health care law.
Later, taking questions from the roughly 30-member audience, Romney went out of his way to address the elephant in the room.
“Someone’s got to ask me about health care right?” Romney said with a chuckle, prompting several voters to raise their hands.
He responded that, if elected, he would immediately repeal “Obamacare” and give states block grants to develop their own health care programs.
Romney cited a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board that could halt construction of a new Boeing facility in South Carolina. The North Charleston plant is expected to create thousands of jobs.
“How in the world can the president justify the federal government taking power from South Carolina and not allowing South Carolina to compete on a fair and level playing field?” he asked. “It’s simply unexcusable.”
Romney was also asked about Rep. Paul Ryan’s plans for Medicare:
Romney responded that he will roll out his own ideas for Medicare at a later date but blasted the president for not coming up with his own solution.
While he applauded Ryan for thinking seriously about fixing the entitlement debt burden, Romney said Ryan’s plan “is not the same as my plan.”
“The Ryan plan and my plan are on the same page,” he said. “We have the same objectives. My plan is different than his. It’s not identical.”
A crowd of about 40 in a hot warehouse stacked with plumbing supplies cheered when he said it was time for politicians to spend less time thinking about getting re-elected and more time on “thinking about how to get the country on the right track and put Americans back to work.”
Mitt Romney fills containers with food from Farm Boys restaurant in Irmo, S.C. to serve later at a meeting with local business leaders. 5/21/11
Although Governor Nikki Haley was unable to attend the event due to scheduling, Romney spoke with her on the phone on Friday. Hayley’s spokesman, Rob Godfrey, said this:
“They were just touching base,” Godfrey said. “The governor told Governor Romney she was sorry they couldn’t catch up this time, and he let her know that he’d be back often.”
After the confab concluded, Romney treated the audience to trays of barbecued pulled pork, hush puppies and jugs of iced tea (which he and his staff purchased beforehand from Farm Boys restaurant).
Did you know? Nathan doesn’t keep his State House salary. He donates his salary to local community groups and organizations and in 2006 designated funds specifically to scholarships for deserving seniors in our community.
Who else does this sound like?
UPDATE by Ross:
UPDATE 2 by Jayde: To see photos of Mitt mingling with folks at Farm Boys restaurant and Meetze Plumbing, click here (click on photo on left-hand side).
The issue at hand is, what does that mean for Gov. Nikki Haley? Ballentine and Haley, former deskmates in the House, rarely make a move without the other. Haley supported Romney during the 2008 primary, and Romney endorsed Haley during her campaign for governor. Miss. Gov. Haley Barbour and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin did as well.
But, with Barbour out and Palin unlikely to run, and her best friend siding with Romney, is this a sign Haley is with the Romney camp, too?
Democrats are running ads to hurt Gov. Romney in South Carolina this weekend. Revolution 2012 at RightSpeak makes some interesting observations on the attacks.
The Democrats are attacking Mitt for supporting Supreme Court Justices like Thomas and Scalia as well as saying he is on the same page as Paul Ryan. Other than that, they try to use a play on words to say Mitt Romney changes his mind a lot but literally gives 0 examples to support their attack. President Obama is probably angry that an ad this pathetic was used against his fiercest competitor. I could be giving President Obama too much credit though, maybe he thinks it will be effective. If the Democrats spend a billion dollars on attack ads like this, Gov. Romney is going to be whistling all the way to the White House. Check out the response from the Romney camp:
‘President Obama and his team are desperate to change the subject to anything other than jobs and the millions of Americans out of work,’ Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Romney’s presidential exploratory committee, said in a statement. ‘With 9.6% unemployment in South Carolina, voters are looking for a jobs plan not a smear campaign.’
According to Politico, the following e-mail has been sent to some supporters of Gov. Romney.
Just this morning, the New York Times posted a story, “Group Unleashes Early Ad Against Romney,” about President Obama’s reelection campaign machine starting attack ads in South Carolina against Governor Romney. All the while, South Carolina is hurting. Like many states suffering from the failed policies of the Obama administration, the Palmetto State has seen 3,800 more jobs in April disappear than in the previous month; and they are currently experiencing 9.8% unemployment.
After campaigning so famously on “hope” and “change,” the President and his team have now resorted to governing on fear and misdirection. Already, former Obama aides and union leaders have been commissioned to lead outside political attack groups — which aren’t limited in the amount of high-dollar donations they can receive — and President Obama himself plans to raise an additional $1 billion.
As part of their effort this weekend, they’ll be welcoming Governor Romney’s visit to South Carolina with a misleading, negative attack ad — their first ad of the campaign. There is no doubting it — the vast amount of money that President Obama has raised over the last few years is being put towards silencing his opposition. Don’t be silenced — donate today.
Make no mistake. Governor Romney plans to confront these attacks head-on. He will not allow these tactics to slow him down. Governor Romney’s message of restoring a prosperous economy and bringing jobs back to the American people is too crucial to be suppressed by political maneuvering.
I hope you’ll join me and stand with Mitt today. Help him show these outside political attack groups that they’re out of tune with America’s core beliefs, and do so by donating today. Your contribution and support is crucial to continue to push back against these negative attacks.
Thank you for your support.
P.S. These attacks will continue. Share this with your friends and family and help Governor Romney expose President Obama’s real agenda. Please ask them to donate $5, $10 or $25 today.
It’s turning out to be a BIG, busy week for Governor Romney.
After his $10.25 million lollapalooza fundraiser on Monday, The Gov stopped by The Grand Canyon State for a couple of days to continue meeting with concerned citizens. Ever mindful of Obama’s projected $1 billion reelection piggy bank, a fundraising reception in Tempe, AZ was also on his schedule:
(Click on image to enlarge.)
A veteran public relations consultant has joined Romney’s campaign team. Evangelical Mark DeMoss, founder of the nation’s largest PR firm exclusively serving Christian causes, will serve as senior adviser to Team Romney. Besides his outstanding credentials, what is unique about DeMoss is that he felt so strongly about Governor Romney on the very first day he met him, he told The Gov he wanted to work for him and wouldn’t take any pay.
Mark DeMoss is currently president of the DeMoss Group, which is a large Atlanta-based public relations agency that focuses on serving Christian leaders, businesses, and non-profit organizations.
“Governor Romney is uniquely qualified and competent to lead our country out of turbulent economic times and create jobs,” DeMoss said in a statement released by Romney’s exploratory committee. “He has worked in government long enough to know how government works, but not so long that he only knows how to work for the government.”
The campaign press release did not mention any religious component to DeMoss’s role, although in 2008 he was on the Romney campaign’s Faith and Values Steering Committee and spoke out prominently about why evangelical Christians should not discount Romney because of his Mormon faith.
DeMoss said in an interview later that he would play a similar role this time.
“I’ll reach out to evangelicals I’m sure, because I know that audience pretty well,” he said. “I’ll help organize meetings, to get people of influence in front of the governor or get him in front of them.”
COLUMBIA, S.C.—Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will use one of former President George W. Bush’s campaign lieutenants as a top South Carolina adviser to his presidential exploratory committee.
Romney’s campaign said Thursday that David Raad will be a senior adviser.
In 2000, Raad was Bush’s regional director in South Carolina’s northwestern counties. He went on to work for the U.S. State Department and returned to direct Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign in Missouri.
It’s an answer that a lot of us expected, even though we’re anxious to see our man on the debate stage. Here’s a statement from top Romney advisor, Matt Rhoades:
“Gov. Romney will not be participating in this week’s South Carolina debate because it’s still early, the field is too unsettled and he’s not yet an announced candidate. Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party have both been notified of this decision. Gov. Romney is planning to visit South Carolina on May 21st and he looks forward to debating there closer to their primary.”
The impatient part of me wants Romney to go out swinging — right now — but the strategy conscious part of me tells me that this is a good call by the Romney camp.