Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Romney on ABC Nightline

ABC Nightline have been doing a series "The Contenders". This week they spent the day with Mitt Romney when he was campaigning in Iowa.

It's worth looking at, it shows the Mitt Romney that many Americans are not yet familiar with.

And it also discusses the Mormon issue, and show some disturbing poll results regarding the electability of Mormon candidates. Why a candidate's faith matters so much is unclear, and just slightly worrying. But Romney's response is good.

Check out part 1 below.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

DeMint Campaigns with Romney

Mitt Romney spent yesterday in key state South Carolina touring with Senator Jim DeMint.

Having already secured the support of DeMint, Romney yesterday was endorsed by 3 prominent locals, former Governor Jim Edwards, former Congressman Tommy Hartnett and Republican National Committeewoman Cindy Costa.

Romney said that these are a "remarkable group of people and their support means the world to me."

Romney continues his tour of South Carolina this morning at a breakfast meet and greet in Colombia.

Romney has been to South Carolina a number of times in the past year.

South Carolina's other Senator, Lindsey Graham is supporting front runner, John McCain.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Mitt Romney at Conservative Summit

Mitt Romney was in Washington D.C on Saturday to deliver a speech to the National Review's Conservative Summit.

Hoping to differentiate himself from lead candidate's John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, Romney is campaigning hard for the conservative vote.

Romney spoke of the need for fiscal responsibility, and his desire to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Romney Donated to Democrats

Following on from the questions raised over Mitt Romney's moderate past, it has been revealed this week that Romney donated money to Democratic candidates in 1992.

Romney donated money to Democrat Rep. Richard Swett and Rep. John LaFalce. He also made a contribution to an unsuccessful Democrat in a Utah Senate seat.

A Romney spokesperson said the following on the issue.

"A $250 contribution made almost 15 years ago is obviously greatly overshadowed by strong conservative governing and a proud Republican record of balanced budgets and pro-family advocacy."

Romney in South Carolina Monday

Mitt Romney will be heading to key early state South Carolina on Monday.

Romney will be appearing in Aiken, Anderson, Charleston and Columbia.

South Carolina is a strong state for frontrunner, John McCain. Romney will be attempting to cut back some of the lead McCain has in the polls.

New Poll - Romney on 7%

Mitt Romney has come in 4th in a poll released today by CNN.

The poll has Rudy Giuliani on 32%, John McCain on 26% and Newt Gingrich on 9%.

It was conducted between 19-21 January and has a margin of error of 5%.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hoekstra Joins Romney

The senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Pete Hoekstra has joined the Mitt Romney exploratory committee to advise on U.S intelligence matters. He will also be co-chair of the Michigan State organization.

Hoekstra said that he knows that "...the professionals who serve in the Intelligence Community will be well served under Governor Romney."

On Tuesday, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert joined the Romney team.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Romney Supports Bush Health Plan

Responding to the State of the Union Address by President Bush, Mitt Romney has said that he supports the plans to make health insurance more affordable.

As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney presided over a new plan to protect those who couldn't get health care.

Mitt Romney's statement on the State of the Union here.

Romney is currently in Israel and yesterday gave a speech at the Seventh Annual Herzliya Conference.

Hastert Joins Romney

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has joined the Romney exploratory committee in what is sure to a big boost for his chances to secure the Republican Nomination. Hastert is a senior player in the Republican Party and was Speaker from 1999 until early January when Nancy Pelosi took over.

Romney said that the addition of Hastert to his team was " a clear indication that our message is being embraced across the country."

Other Republicans endorsing Romney include Senatot DeMint, Rep. Dave Camp and Rep. Marsha Blackburn.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

POST/ABC Poll - Romney 3rd - 9%

In a poll conducted last week by the Washington Post and ABC, Mitt Romney secured 9% of respondents, equal with Newt Gingrich who has yet to declare if he is running.

Leading the poll was Rudy Giuliani on 34%, followed by John McCain on 27%.

A number of other declared candidates like Tom Tancredo and Jim Gilmore were on 1% each.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Romney supports gun owners

Mitt Romney was at a gun show in Florida on Friday and said that he was "...proud to be among the many decent, law-abiding men and women who safely use firearms."

Romney said that "Americans should have the right to own and possess firearms as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution".

Romney is still seeking to attract the conservative base of the Republicans. However, his record as Governor and Senate Candidate in Massachusetts may come back to haunt him. Massachusetts has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and although Romney did attempt to placate gun owners, his stance may not wash with many in the GOP.

However, apparently Romney attended the gun show with the Vice President of the NRA. His campaign might just be working.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Major fundraising success for Romney

Mitt Romney has succeeded in raising over $6.5million in one day for his Presidential Campaign after a team of 400 volunteers made over 15,000 phone calls to supporters across the country.

The Romney camp called the event "National Call Day" and Mitt said that he was overwhelmed by the incredible response. Romney had apparently hoped to raise just $1million.

Mitt Romney supporters like the Chief Executive of eBay and Missouri Governor Matt Blunt were on the phones requesting donations.

Some Presidential campaign commentators have said that a serious candidate would have to raise up to $100million. This effort by Romney on one day puts him well into the category of being taken as seriously as McCain and Giuliani.

That is, if he hasn't already exhausted his donor base. According to
Time Magazine earlier this week, Romney had just over $500,000 in the campaign account and placed him at odds of 15-1.

This funraising effort would take him to the top of the GOP candidate list with over $7million.

It's a very good start.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Romney explains the 94 debate

Mitt Romney has issued a press release on that debate with Ted Kennedy in 1994.

He has also followed up with a brief video, submitted on youtube, which shows him talking on the phone to Glenn and Helen from, answering a question on his statements during the 94 debate. In a remarkable coincidence, a camera just happened to be there filming, and the answer to the question was uninterrupted for well over 1 minute. Tough question too!

Nevertheless, this almost instant response from Romney was a clever move. The story hardly had a chance to hit the media before Romney himself, not a campaign aide, responded. And what a good explantaion he made, the video makes Romney look genuine and willing to accept what he calls his past mistakes as well as appearing extremely confident and comfortable. It's a good pitch to the social conservatives in the GOP.

Watch the video here.

Romney supports Bush troop surge

Mitt Romney has issued a statement that he supports President Bush's decision to send an extra 21,500 troops to Iraq.

Romney said that "In consultation with Generals, military experts and troops who have served on the ground in Iraq, I believe securing Iraqi civilians requires additional troops."

Mitt Romney joins John McCain as another candidate to support extra troops to try to contain the violence in Iraq. They stand in contrast to potential candidate Chuck Hagel who today called the Iraq War “the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam.”

The Democratic National Committee have criticized Romney for his statement and have linked it to his apparent attempts to secure the conservative base of the GOP. DNC press secretary Stacie Paxton stated that "Apparently Romney will endorse any of President Bush's failed policies if it helps him run to the right, even if it means ignoring our military leaders and sending more American troops into the middle of a civil war in Iraq."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mitt Romney's moderate past on Youtube

It doesn't take long these days for a candidate's previous statements to be put out into the public domain. No longer do we have to wait for the negative attacking advertising.

In this youtube post from the 1994 Senate election debate with Ted Kennedy, Romney makes his position known on the various social issues which could challenge his push to capture the conservative base of the Republican Party.

This is abbreviated coverage of the debate, but it highlights issues like abortion, gay rights, affirmative action and the Reagan Administration.

The debate emphasises the fact that Romney is extremely moderate on all of these issues.

Regarding abortion, Romney states that "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. My personal beliefs...should not be brought into a personal campaign. I do not impose my beliefs on other people. Those beliefs are very dear to will not see me wavering on that or being multiple choice"

Romney also distances himself from the Reagan Administration, calling himself more of an Independent.

Watch the video here.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Exploratory Committee for Romney 08

Mitt Romney has officially declared that he has set up an Exploratory Committee for a possible bid for the Republican nomination for President. On his final day in office Romney stated that he has "...decided to take this initial step of forming an exploratory committee in order to raise the resources and build the campaign organization required to pursue the highest office in our country".

Serving as Governor of Massachusetts for the last 4 years, Romney has built a varying reputation, both within the state and across the country.

Romney is Mormon, and this is increasingly becoming an issue for the media - although why this is deemed to be an issue is unclear. The main reasons cited by media outlets is because there has never been a Mormon President and that some in the Republicans will never vote to nominate a Mormon. It is perhaps the same logic many media agencies will place on the Obama and Clinton tilts.

That aside, the biggest problem for Romney lies in his record. Not only has Romney been a Republican Governor in a moderate state, he made a bid for the Senate in 1994 against Ted Kennedy. In doing so, he has made many comments in the past particularly on gay rights and abortion issues - positions he had which he has now changed.

He has obviously seen the light. Romney will be making his pitch to the socially conservative wing of the GOP, seeking to capitalise on the seemingly moderate labels given to McCain or Giuliani.

Romney's first major announcement was to sign the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge", to ensure that there are no increases to the marginal income tax rate.

He has surrounded himself with a team of advisors, including Colorado Governor, Bill Owens, and former Members of President Bush's team.

At this stage Romney is considered third favorite behind Giuliani and McCain. However, he is clearly the leading contender on the conservative side. It remains to be seen if his "flip flopping" in the past as one commentator noted, will damage his chances for the nomination.