Romney Sets Alabama Fundraising Record: $2 Million Evening– Inside Report from MRC Blogger Jeff Fuller

Mitt Romney came to Birmingham, Alabama last night and held a stellar fundraising event … leaving town with a cool $2,000,000 from me and my fellow Alabamians.

Reports are that this is the largest fundraising total for any Alabama political event. Held at The Club, which overlooks downtown, Romney held a VIP photo reception, followed by a general reception, and tied things up with a dinner.

Cool flash effect on my License plate while overlooking downtown Birmingham from The Club. Taken during the record-setting Mitt Romney fundraiser on August 15th, 2012

A write-up of the event highlighted some of our future President’s words:

“The median income for a family has dropped $4,000 in the past four years,” Romney said. “Gasoline prices have doubled. Food prices are up. Health care prices are up. Utility prices are up. People in middle income families are getting crushed and one out six Americans are now living in poverty.

“He is out of ideas. He is out of excuses. And we need to make sure in November we put him out of office,” Romney said to a surge of applause from supporters.

… the crowd included an all-star lineup of the state Republican party. Romney was introduced by U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, after the crowd was warmed up by U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey. Gov. Robert Bentley was there as was former Gov. Bob Riley. Lee Styslinger, CEO of Altec, Inc., hosted the event.

US Senator from Alabama, Jeff Sessions, introduced Mitt Romney at The Club in Birmingham, AL

My wife posted to her Facebook page that the atmosphere was “electric,” and she hit the nail on the head! Mitt had the crowd going, and there were 3-4 times as many people present as at a similar fundraiser held at the same place almost exactly one year ago, last August, which we also attended. The crowd was timid then, as the GOP nomination was being hotly debated and two southerners, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich were on the rise. In stark contrast, there was no timidity there tonight! These folks are excited to see Romney and Ryan take over the White House and were showing that with their enthusiasm and their pocketbooks.

More from the article above:

Romney cited numerous examples of how individuals, in business and politics and society can make a difference. He saluted Lech Walesa, the Polish labor leader who stood up to the Soviet Union and went on to become president of Poland. He gave a nod to Alabama, mentioning Rosa Parks and her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus leading to the arrest that helped spark the civil rights movement.
“It is remarkable the impact that one person can have,” Romney said.

And it is the collective activity of individuals free to pursue their ambitions that makes the U.S. economy the envy of the world, Romney said, not government planning.

Our economy runs on freedom,” Romney said. “That is how it works.”

So, Vice President Biden, do you think the man who singles out and praises Rosa Parks at a private GOP fundraiser in Alabama “wants to put y’all back in chains” !?!?! Time for Vice President Ryan, eh?

One other tidbit, not mentioned in the article, is that Mitt said he met recently with Condoleezza Rice (final VP vetting interviews possibly?!?!) and she shared a story with him of the important role one person can play. This individual courage was displayed by an old Romanian woman in a rally crowd who called her authoritarian dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, a “liar” and started a revolution. As detailed in her book “No Higher Honor,” Dr. Rice (an Alabamian, by the way) recounts:

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Santorum & Gingrich Want Obama as President for Five More Years — Truth Revealed by History & Logic — Powerful Video Indeed!

Santorum and Gingrich seem determined to repeat history and hand the election over to Obama for a second term. And nobody knows history better than Mr. Gingrich (Santorum does not seem to care about history and would that we all believe what he says and just vote for him).

Over the years, I have not been a big fan of Dick Morris as he always seemed to me to have similar DNA to that of Gingrich, Blagojevich, and Trump — that of possessing stratospheric levels of self-esteem, leading to frequent bouts of condescending rhetoric. But I must admit, his analysis these last several months has been quite reasonable, measured, intelligent, and spot-on (what has gotten into him?!!).

There have been four conventions with since 1960 with “floor fights” — two Democrat and two Republican (’64, ’68, ’72, and ’76). In all four cases, the resulting nominee lost the general election!

Both Santorum and Gingrich now know they cannot win the nomination by garnering enough delegates outright with the remaining schedule of states in the primary cycle. Their only hope?

To force a floor fight at the end of August, which leaves virtually no time to take the fight to Obama before the November election. History is totally on Obama’s side if Republicans opt for a floor fight at the convention — Obama knows it; Santorum knows it; and Gingrich knows it. And since this is true, both Gingrich and Santorum (and any person that votes for either of them) effectively acknowledge they want Obama to be President in a second term.

Listen carefully to the simple logic laid out here by Morris about voting in Alabama and Mississippi:

Four years ago, I was an ardent supporter of Governor Romney, fully expecting him to win against Huckabee and McCain. Even when the trend was for McCain to win, I wanted nothing more than for Governor Romney to take it all the way to the convention and force the showdown. Absolutely!

Instead, he did the right thing. He stood down and went all out in support of McCain — becoming his strongest surrogate — even raising $20 million for him! Why? Governor Romney decided to do everything within his influence to unify all Republicans early behind the obvious winner in order to build the strongest campaign possible against the Democrat nominee. Like millions of Romney supporters, I was very disappointed. I wanted to go all the way and fight it out, knowing that my candidate was the right candidate. What would Mitt do in this very situation? We know what Mitt did!

Quoting Dick Morris from this video clip:

“This fight is over!” “It’s over.”

“Anybody who votes for Gingrich or Santorum in Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, or Illinois is basically voting for a deadlocked convention.”

“Vote for Romney now…Why? Because I want to beat Obama, and you can’t do that if you go to into the convention without a candidate. Not if your convention is the last week of August.”

“It’s over. We’ve made our choice. Romney has 54% of the delegates at this point.

What drives Santorum and Gingrich at this point, when they know that their only chance is a knock-down, dragged-out fight at the convention? For they know that the result of that process is sure victory for Obama and the probable loss of more Senate and House seats. Obviously, Gingrich and Santorum are highly motivated to stay in the race through the convention, for they have said as much. What then is their motivation?

Ego? Revenge? Bigger book sales down the road? I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt. Four years ago at this time in the cycle, Governor Romney was in full campaign mode in support of our party’s candidate. Governor Romney fully subordinated his ego and personal ambition at that time and went to work! And you know what? He worked harder than any other surrogate on the campaign trail for John McCain! Look it up.

The title of this article states that Senator Santorum and Speaker Gingrich want Obama to be President for five more years. I do not believe they do. However, their desire to do whatever they can to take the Republican race to a floor fight at the convention in late Summer will certainly seal the deal for Obama and they know it. Those who vote for them at this point, know it as well.

If it is true that they do not want Obama to have a second term as President, then they are motivated by something other than solid Republican principles — indeed, they are driven by ulterior motives not associated with the best interests of this great nation.

Mitt Romney: Crossroads in the South — Krauthammer Comes Out for Mitt — Inspiring Aspiration

The Wall Street Journal yesterday carried three insightful articles by authors Kimberley Strassel, Michael Medved (in Romney’s camp), and Danny Yadron. Each one contributes to the narrative that Gov. Romney is the very best of the five remaining candidates to be our next President.

MUST WATCH: Before I get to the articles, this video clip of Charles Krauthammer is great. He is one of the very best, most objective political analysts alive in my opinion — and definitely one of the brightest. He hits all the important points of the race in this clip — tells why Santorum cannot win; uses the “Buckley Rule” as to how to pick the best conservative candidate; says Gingrich should be “holding court”; and best of all: he wants Romney in the White House! First time Krauthammer has come right out to give such a strong opinion in favor of Governor Romney ——–>


I actually like Romney, I think he’s a very good man, and he will make a very good President. I’d like to see him in the White House and I’d have no hesitation supporting him. It’s the Buckley Rule: He always said that in any election vote for the most conservative candidate who can win! In my analysis, Santorum has no chance of winning the White House in the general election. It’s an election about the economy and what energizes Santorum is social issues — it’s the wrong year for social issues.” ~ Charles Krauthammer

Strassel makes some good points in her article, but the main point of her article is missed completely in a key paragraph:

Though only—and this is key—if he has locked in those core voters on the other side of the Divide. Yet the Romney campaign seems to be taking for granted that they will ultimately jump to his side. In the upcoming Mississippi and Alabama primaries, the campaign will continue to target more upscale urban and suburban communities. A senior campaign aide airily dismissed Mr. Romney’s Super Tuesday weaknesses, noting: “The areas we didn’t do as well in are rural and they are more anti-Obama.” Meaning, who else are these guys going to vote for come November?

How about: no one. They could stay home.

FALSE!

She totally missed the point of Romney’s aide above! Those who are voting in large blocks for Romney are the more affluent, college grads, older voters, etc. Those in the rural areas voting for say Santorum, and who are more anti-Obama, are more ideological. She implies these would stay home in the general. This is simply not born out at all. If their ideal candidate does not make it, their greater passion against Obama will be realized by voting for Gov. Romney. I have yet to see any of these voters interviewed on TV to say they will not vote if Romney is the nominee. They will come out in droves.

Ms. Strassel has spotted a slight change in Romney’s message that others of late have also discovered. Rather than refer to the middle “class” or any class, he is now talking about the ability of any American to reach their goals and dreams related to a much better standard of living – those dreams to which we all aspire. Reagan was naturally outstanding in this type of message. Gov. Romney has been delivering this message for awhile now; it is one important reason people are leaving Santorum for Romney. Strassel concludes her piece here: (more…)

Romney Readies ‘Prosecution of Obama’ and Mississippi Gov Phil Bryant Endorses Mitt


The project will illustrate with ads and speeches “how Barack Obama’s policies have hurt the middle class, given more and more people concerns about their jobs and prices, and put downward pressure on households.” Added the insider, “what Obama has done so far hasn’t worked and, when needed, he didn’t lead.”

The campaign will offer Romney’s alternative story-line: that he is a business and political leader who has a plan to fix the economy and bring back jobs.

Read more at WashingtonExaminer.com

Mitt Romney made the following statement on the Senate vote to block the Keystone XL pipeline:

President Obama has once again blocked the Keystone XL pipeline today. He personally lobbied Senate Democrats to vote against the project, asking them to eliminate jobs and reroute desperately needed Canadian oil away from the United States and toward China. This decision makes a mockery of his so-called ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy and is the latest reminder that he has taken unprecedented steps to stifle energy production and drive up energy prices in this country, all while wasting billions of dollars on failed green projects. His political strategists may think that he can continue saying one thing about energy while doing exactly the opposite, but I will spend this campaign reminding the American people of his actual record and proposing policies that will guarantee our economy the reliable, affordable supply of energy we need.

On the heels of the largest newspaper in Alabama endorsing Mitt, former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley: Romney Has the Experience and Plan to Get the Country Working Again.

Charles Djou: Hawaii Voters Have the Chance to Vote for a Proven Leader on Tuesday.

Mitt Romney today announced endorsements in Jackson County, Mississippi. Read them below the fold. (more…)

Romney Dominates Nevada Caucus; Entrance Polls Tidbits

Well, the final results aren’t final yet . . . but it’s clear that Romney won this important swing state’s caucus, and won it big. (Update . . . Romney did get just over 50%, but the entrance poll results have just been revised this morning, so much of what you see quoted below is somewhat off from what the linked poll says NOW. Sorry, I’m not going back and re-calculating things at this point).

He’s got 43% of the vote with 43% of precincts reporting, but the results of Clark County (Las Vegas) as not coming in as fast as expected. Don’t fret though Romney fans, Mitt will win a majority of the votes and I’m guessing he’ll be somewhere between 52-55% of the total vote when all is said and done. If things track as closely as they are in the entrance polls, Clark County should go for Mitt by over 60% (and they’ve nailed the non-Clark County…rest of NV…percentage at 43%, exactly how the real results have turned out)

Debunking the “Romney won Nevada because of the Mormon factor” myth:

Yes, Mitt dominated among LDS voters with 90% choosing Romney, BUT (and it’s a very big “but”), EVEN IF NOT A SINGLE MORMON WENT TO VOTE, ROMNEY WOULD HAVE WON THE STATE WITH A 42%-26% margin over Gingrich.  Romney won Catholics 52%-19% over Newt and “White Evangelical/Born Again” by a solid margin of 46%-26% over the former Speaker.

Debunking the “See, the poor won’t vote for Romney” myth:

On CNN’s coverage tonight, the anchors/pundits seemed to be getting as much mileage as possible out of the fact that the only economic demographic that Romney did NOT win was those that make $30,000 or less (which were only 10% of the voters in NV last night).  They were trying to tie this to Romney’s “I’m not concerned about the very poor” comment and even went on to conclude that this “underscores the fact that blue-collar workers, who you can’t win without their support, do not see that this is a guy that will fight for them.”  SERIOUSLY?!?!?  I realize that these pundits aren’t statisticians, but it’s pretty straightforward to figure out why he didn’t win this demographic.  First off, he hardly “lost” this demographic.  Paul and Newt both got 31%, and Mitt got 30%, a virtual 3 way tie for first.  Secondly, the age of the voter is VERY determinative of income when looking at your youngest age group especially.  Voters aged 18-29 were only 8% of the vote (quite similar to the 10% in that income of $30K or less), and Paul won that group 40% to 39% over Romney.  Paul has been wining the young college-aged voters in almost every state . . . it’s his base and he’s definitely turning out this group of folks that do not typically vote in a GOP primary.  Good for Paul. But these college kids are a HUGE portion of the “makes less than $30,000 year” group, and I don’t think anyone would consider college kids “the very poor,” they are just in a temporary low-income stage of their lives.

“Strong Moral Character;” Mitt good, Newt Very Very Bad:

In perhaps the most revealing entrance poll finding, those that felt a candidate having “Strong Moral Character” was their number one trait they sought in a President, Mitt got 54% of the vote … Newt got 1% of those voters.  No, that is not a typo, ONE PERCENT (Paul got 32% and Santorum got 13%).  Looks like Nevada voters are pretty good judges of character, eh?  THIS IS WHY YOU’RE LOSING NEWT!! YOU BLAME MITT FOR YOUR LAGGING VOTE TALLIES, BUT YOU NEED TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR BUDDY!

Debunking the “Strong Conservatives and Tea Party voters don’t like Romney” myth:

Like New Hampshire and Florida, Romney, once again, won self-identified conservatives and supporters of the Tea Party in Nevada.  This time though, he won A MAJORITY of these groups.  Romney beat Newt 54%-21% among conservative voters and 50%-23% among Tea Party supporters.  Yet I still see pundit after pundit say that Romney still has a lot of work to do to appeal to conservatives (while they “obviously” love Newt).  CAN THEY NOT READ A POLL?!?  Among “very conservative” voters he Mitt still won 49%-24% over Newt, and even beat him 39%-30% among those “strongly supportive of Tea Party.”  Some narratives are hard to kill, but when a state in the Northeast (NH), Southeast (FL), and West (NV) all show Romney winning conservatives and Tea Party supporters I think it’s proof positive against that media meme. The real take-away/new-media-narrative should be that Newt has work to do to appeal to as many conservatives as Romney has been.

Odds and Ends:

The Economy was the number one (even by a majority) issue on voters minds, and Romney carried these voters by 62%.  By an even larger margin, the candidate quality of “Can Defeat Obama” was number one, and Romney absolutely dominated here with 73% of the vote.  WOW!  ”Right Experience” was the top quality to only 15% of voters, but Romney cleaned up here too with 55% (Rick Santorum pulled in a whopping 1% here).   Romney also continues to dominate the Suburbs winning with 69% there; historically this is a key demographic for winning a general election.

Turnout Issue:

Newt and some liberals keeps saying that Mitt’s trying to suppress turnout in order to win.  When we look at the field compared to 2008, however, I don’t think it’s any surprise that turnout is lower.  Last time around there was much more diversity, and much more famous personalities in the field.  You had a Pro-Choice candidate with strong personal appeal/popularity in Rudy Giuliani, War Hero John McCain, popular actor Fred Thompson, and folksy former pastor Mike Huckabee in addition to Mitt and Paul all in the race this far into the process.  Substituting character-challenged Gingrich and personality/experience-challenged Rick Santorum in place of Giuliani, McCain, Thompson, and Huckabee is beyond even comparing apples and oranges. They all had more money and organization that either Newt or Rick too and that is how turnout is driven. Like all of Newt’s complaints/excuses, this one rings hollow as well.

CONGRATS MITT AND NEVADA!! ANOTHER GREAT WIN FOR ROMNEY!!

Mitt Romney doesn’t care about poor people? WRONG!

In the 24 hour news cycle, the story of the day has been Mitt’s comments to CNN in the early morning after his Florida win. While I think even the most ardent Romney fan would admit that this could and should have (and will be) phrased more adeptly, the liberals have taken and run with the partial quote that he’s “not concerned with the very poor” … It looks worse in print that in the context of the interview:

Mitt cares deeply about the poor, and his actions speak louder than words. How many “journalists” have bothered to mention that Mitt has given over $7,000,000 (SEVEN FREAKING MILLION!) to charitable organizations in just the last two years? Records from before then show the Romney’s consistent giving millions upon millions to organizations that care for the poor. By contrast, Joe Biden gave only $3690 to charity in an entire decade … that’s PROOF of someone that doesn’t care about the poor. From 2001-4, the Obamas made nearly a million dollars, but donated LESS THAN 1% of that income to charity.

Or what about when Mitt gave cash out of his pocket to the lady in South Carolina who said God guided her to follow Romney’s campaign bus to find help to keep her lights on? The EXACT SAME CNN REPORTER (Soledad) even reported about that a couple of weeks ago … does she have no memory?

Mitt doesn’t care about poor people? Demonstrably false and easy to debunk (and this is without even delving into fact that Mitt, as a Mormon Bishop for several years, dedicated much of his time to caring for the poor in a very “hands on” fashion). If Obama and team push this theme it will come back to bite them. Mitt’s done more to care for the poor than any snarky reporter or any of his political rivals.

Recall Vic’s post from a couple days back that highlighted Romney’s life of service and included the following YouTube:

Additionally, Brit Hume on Fox News today adroitly argued that anyone who wants to “make hay” or be offended by this out-of-context quote wouldn’t be voting for a GOP candidate anyways. I’d have to agree.

Alabama Leaders Support Mitt Romney

Mist rises from the Cahaba River on a chilly autumn morning in Alabama. Governor Mitt Romney has received seven more endorsements from Alabama leaders. Oct 21, 2011

Mitt Romney has announced more endorsements from the picturesque state of Alabama:

Boston, MA
I’m honored to receive the support of these distinguished leaders from Alabama,” said Mitt Romney. “We will work together to reduce government spending, ease the regulatory burdens that are stifling small businesses and create jobs. President Obama has failed and it’s time to turn around this economy.”

Announcing his support, State Senator Cam Ward said, “Mitt Romney is the candidate with the vision our country needs. As Governor, he balanced the budget without raising taxes and created jobs. I am confident that, as president, he will be able to get our country moving forward and put Americans back to work.”

(emphasis added )

Alabama Leaders Endorsing Mitt Romney:

State Senator Cam Ward, Co-Chair Alabama Legislative Steering Committee
Ambassador Bill Cabaniss
Mary Scott Hunter, Alabama State Board of Education
Richard Bollinger, Councilman, Montgomery, AL
Jeff Peacock, Alabama Republican Party Vice Chair, Districts 1,2
Sue Neuwien, Alabama Republican Party District 2 Chair
Marty Connors, Former Alabama Republican Party Chairman

Alabama Leaders Already Endorsing Mitt Romney:

• Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey
• Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard
Lee Styslinger III
• Congressman Mike Rogers
• Former Congressman Jack Edwards
• State Representative Phil Williams
• State Representative Lesley Vance
• State Representative Steve Hurst
• State Representative Randy Wood

Way to go, Alabama!

► Jayde Wyatt

Alabama: Romney Personally Delivers Paperwork to be on Ballot

Gov Mitt Romney shakes hands with Alabama GOP state party chairman Bill Armistead as he turns in presidential paperwork. Birmingham, AL 8/31/11


Signaling that he doesn’t intend to concede southern votes, Mitt Romney showed up in person at GOP headquarters in Alabama to turn in his paperwork and fees in order to be listed on the Alabama GOP primary ballot:

Presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stopped at the Birmingham offices of the Alabama Republican Party on Wednesday to file his papers and pay his qualifying fee to be on the ballot in Alabama in 2012. The one-time frontrunner is the first candidate to qualify in Alabama and told party officials this is the first state he has qualified to run in, according to the party.

The primary in Alabama is scheduled for March 13 and is one of three states with a primary that day, according to the Alabama Republican Party.

Governor Romney was the first presidential candidate to call and congratulate me after I was elected chairman of the party, so I’m pleased he’s also the first to qualify to run for president in Alabama,” said state party chairman Bill Armistead. “And of course we’re very appreciative that he decided to qualify in person. This testifies to the important role Alabama will play in next year’s primary season. Our decision to move the presidential primary to March has ensured that Alabama Republican voters have significant influence on who will top the Republican ticket come next November.”

Governor Romney has a well-organized and formidable campaign organization in place and many influential Alabama Republicans supporting him,” Armistead said. “I sincerely hope that this won’t be the last time he decides to visit Alabama before next spring’s primary election.”

Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey is the chairwoman of Romney’s Alabama Leadership Team.

Other members include U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers; former U.S. Rep. Jack Edwards; state Reps. Phil Williams, Lesley Vance, Steve Hurst, and Randy Wood; and Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos. The finance chairman for Romney in Alabama is Lee Styslinger III.

(emphasis added)

Brief look at Romney after turning in paperwork at GOP headquarters in Birmingham, AL (Disregard the little slow-mo replay at the end!):

Note: Alabama currently has a 10 % unemployment rate.

► Jayde Wyatt