Five Brothers: The Romney Campaign Blog
Absolutely Proud of Him
Yesterday I was in Phoenix for business meetings when my dad was suspending his campaign from Washington D.C. Just as the meeting ended, I commandeered the monitor in the conference room and caught the last few minutes of my dad’s speech at CPAC. There are so many thoughts to express, but I think my comment to Mike Luo from the New York Times today captures most of what I’m feelng: "I just couldn’t be anything but absolutely proud of him. I’m so proud of his fight."
My brother Josh and his family are staying with us in San Diego for the weekend as we all get back to "normal life":
"There's actually no choice in the matter."
Also, while I'm on the blog, I want to point out this quote from Rush Limbaugh today, in case you haven't already seen it:
“I think right now Romney probably -- as the campaign has coalesced and as the campaign has progressing on down the highway -- I think the one candidate of the three still out there on our side … in saying who more closely embodies all three legs of this conservative stool, you'd have to say that it's Mitt Romney. There's actually no choice in the matter. It certainly isn't Senator McCain."
17 of 21
First of all, apologies about not posting any Florida pictures. My camera unexpectedly broke down before the trip, and I didn't have enough time to get a replacement. Even without the pictures to prove it, I can assure you that I actually did go. My wife, Andelyne, and I, toured around Florida in the Mitt Mobile, with most of our campaigning in the northern part of the state. We were very, very impressed with the enthusiasm and friendliness of the people we met there. It was quite heart warming, and humbling to see all the hard work that people were putting in to get my dad elected president. After a few days there, I remember thinking there was no way that we could lose Florida, because of the huge outpouring of support everywhere we went. Turns out, I was partly right - we didn't win Florida, but we won Northern Florida! (And yes, I'll take credit for that).
Since then, life has been a little busy for our family. Twenty-one states will be voting tomorrow, and we've done our best to get to as many as we can. By last count, since January 29, someone in the family has been campaigning in 17 of those states. Here they are, in alphabetical order: Alabama, Alaska (way to go Josh - not easy to go from Florida to Alaska in the middle of winter), California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia. (And no, I won't take credit for that - I've had to go back to work, so that's all been done by Mom, Dad, Tagg, Matt, Josh, and Craig)
Dad spoke today at a huge rally in Atlanta, GA. He’s doing a 24-hour swing all across the country. A staffer told him on a conference call last night that if he wanted to go to California tonight, the major drawback would be that he wouldn’t get to sleep as he’d have to turn back around and fly to WV right afterwards. His response? “Nah, don’t need to sleep. Let’s go to California.” I don’t know how he keeps fighting like this, he’s doing a great job. Watch the rally for a minute or two, carried here live on CNN, he takes a good couple of whacks at McCain and really stirs the crowd up pretty well.
The Show Me State Gets a Look at the Romney Campaign
My mom, dad, Craig and I have done our best to show the Romney campaign to Missouri. While my dad was speaking in St. Louis, I was making my own stops in St. Louis, Joplin, Lebanon, and Springfield. My mom is campaigning in Kansas City on Feb 4.
Here’s a shot addressing some supporters in Joplin:
Here’s a shot of me taking some questions from the press in Missouri:
The Base is Beginning to Rally
In addition to many high profile talk show conservatives, many evangelical leaders are also rallying for Mitt and realizing that he is the best face to represent the party. Here are a few great examples of their thinking:
Reverend Rob Shenck: "After careful and prayerful consideration, I have concluded that an evangelical vote for Mike Huckabee is a vote for John McCain, and a vote for John McCain will be a disaster for this country. Let me explain. It's clear to me and many others that Mike Huckabee is not broadening his appeal enough to win the primary."
John Schroeder of Article 6 Blog: "The conservative voice in the Republican party is at stake - everybody agrees on that, and Evangelicals are the energy, motivator, and banner carrier for that voice. Conservatives lose and Evangelicals are on the bench, if they are in the stadium at all. In other words, we stand on the precipice I feared from the beginning. The current electoral calculus is such that a vote for Mitt Romney is the only way to preserve that voice."
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson: "Love of God, family and country are the most important values in my life. All are under attack in America as never before. I believe that Governor Romney, though not without flaws in his record, is a decent, highly capable man who believes in these same values."
Sadie Fields of the Georgia Christian Alliance: "'I believe that Governor Romney is the best man to run the country for the next eight years. He’s the only candidate running who has created jobs,' said Fields, whose Christian Alliance — formerly the Georgia Christian Coalition — is the most active religious conservative political group in the state."
Romney is Okay in Oklahoma
I made a trip to Oklahoma on Feb 3 in advance of their primary on February 5th. Here’s a picture of me greeting a couple of potential voters, Rita and Garrett, in Miami, OK. They had just seen my dad on TV and were impressed:
Here’s a very unoriginal picture of the “Welcome to Oklahoma” sign:
Kevin McHale Supports Romney in Minneapolis
Growing up in Boston, I was a huge Celtics fan in good years and bad. My favorite team had to be McHale, Bird, Parrish, Ainge and Johnson. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw Kevin show up at a campaign event for my dad. I told him about going to a Celtics game recently with Craig where he wore Kevin McHale’s actual shoes and shorts from the early 80’s. The shoes were huge but the shorts were oh so short on Craig. The look on people’s faces when Craig tore off his sweats to reveal his shorts at the game was priceless.
Here’s a picture with Kevin, his wife Lynn and me and my dad:
Here’s a picture of my dad fielding questions at a press conference in Minneapolis:
How We Won Maine And What It Means
We won the Maine caucuses yesterday by an astounding 30 points, gaining more than 50% of the vote. We won by bringing out 2 groups of people -- those who knew how well my Dad governed the state of Massachusetts, turning around a faltering economy, balancing the budget, etc., and those who decided to heed the rallying cry being put out by conservative thought leaders like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Lars Larson, etc. to stop John McCain from becoming the face of the Republican party. Mike Huckabee was a non-factor as he continues to show that he is mainly a regional candidate, and as many people realized that a vote for him would essentially be a vote for the guy the national press wants to anoint.
Why do some in the mainstream media seem to want to hand this race over to McCain when we have won 4 states and he has won 3? It may have something to do with the fact that they agree with him on the very things that make conservatives upset -- they agree with his positions on amnesty for illegals, on raising gas taxes to stop global warming, on speech stifling campaign finance reform laws, and they are comfortable that he admits to not really being motivated that much by social issues. We are in this race to win, and expect to win a lot of delegates on Tuesday. We don't think any of the GOP candidates will win enough delegates to lock up the race, and we will fight like crazy to make sure the Republican party continues to stand for those principles that have helped make it the grand old party--fiscal consevatism, social conservatism, and a strong national defense. We hope the rest of the country realizes what is…
Campaigning in Alaska
On the flight to Fairbanks I took a picture of Mt. McKinley on a clear day from the plane:
After freezing for an hour on this street corner we all went back for a bite to eat where I sampled all of the Alaskan classics: moose, salmon and whale. Oh so good.
"John McCain Hates Me"
A great read and another voice explaining what is at stake for the Republican Party. Please spread the word--vote for Mitt Romney and help stop Senator McCain:
San Diego Rally and Endorsement
My wife, kids and I were able to attend a rally in San Diego with my dad where Congressman Brian Bilbray announced his endorsement. My kids couldn't get over how many enthusiastic supporters were there to cheer him. It's gratifying to see so many conservative leaders getting behind my dad's candidacy (and I just saw that former Senator Rick Santorum endorsed him today).
Here's a picture of us trying to keep our balance on one end of the small stage:
Here's a picture of a buddy of mine who came to support my dad:
I am in Alaska today campaigning for my dad where there seems to be overwhelming support for him. I will be spending the day in Fairbanks where the high is expected to hit negative 13. I am scheduled to spend an hour or so holding signs and waving from a street corner. We will see how long I last. I will send in pictures when I make it to a computer.
Heart of the Party at Serious Risk
Joe Scarborough today did a great job describing what is at risk if the Republican party nominates John McCain as it's nominee. Take a look and let me know if you agree:
Likewise, Mark Levin wrote a very insightful column today with this as the key line, "If conservatives don’t unite behind Romney at this stage, and become vocal in their support for him, then they will get McCain as their Republican nominee and probably a Democrat president. And in either case, we will have a deeply flawed president." Read the entire article here, it's very insightful:
Well, we were disappointed to not win the Florida primary last night, but we have 7 days to get our message out to the conservative voters all across the country and make sure they vote for the one candidate who will maintain the Reagan coalition of economic conservatives, family values voters, and strong national defense conservatives.
On a lighter note, a friend sent along this YouTube clip, and while I don’t necessarily agree with all the content, I did think it was pretty funny. Enjoy:
As I've been traveling around Florida this week I've met a lot of people who have approached me to say they had been with Fred Thompson prior to his leaving the race, but that they're now firmly with us. They like my Dad's position on the issues, his appeal to the Reagan coalition of conservatives, they like his business and executive experience, and they like his demeanor. I've had many say to me how much they appreciate that he is gracious but tough even to his enemies, he's not afraid to fight but they know he will fight fair (no push polls, no negative 527 groups, no personal animosity).
Over the last few days it's been an honor to pick up so many of Fred's former supporterson the team (Sen. Cochran, Morton Blackwell, former Rep. David McIntosh, numerous Georgia legislators, and several impressive legal advisors). We welcome all you FredHeads to Team Romney. He's in this to win it and to help fix Washington, and we really appreciate your support.
A Boston Sweep
I thought I was a big Patriots fan, then one of my best friends from high school sent me this photo of him and his new son. His name? Brady. Nice work Jeff, not sure how you convinced your wife to let you pull that one. My hat's off to you.
Here's rooting for a Boston sweep-- World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Championship, and US Presidency.
Turnaround at Bain & Company
My Dad's message that he can help strengthen America's economy not only in the short term but also in the long run, as we face increased competition from Asia, has really resonated with voters. The following video is from a business colleague, Kelt Kindick, telling a quick story about how my Dad rescued Bain & Company, a consulting firm that was on the verge of collapse. Kelt later served in my Dad's administration as CFO of Massachusetts, as well. I think you'll enjoy it.
"His Performance Was Flawless"
Dad had another great debate in Florida last night. He came off as clearly the best qualified to help fix our economy. And you know you're doing well when both Chris Matthews and David Gregory love your performance (Matthews called my dad's performance a preview of the general election). But even better is when you get praise from conservative commentators like Pat Buchannan. Take a quick peek at his recap in this video.
This blog sums up the MSNBC debate pretty well. Love it.
The Huckabee stimulus plan?
MSNBC First Read
by Domenico Montanaro
The look of incredulity on Romney's face was priceless when Huckabee was talking about building two lanes of highway from Bangor to Miami to stimulate the economy (to give people jobs). That look on Romney's face said, "Buddy, are you serious?" Particularly after Romney showed his handle on economics and went into the weeds comparing Bush's plan to his own.