Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Rescinding on Romney?

By Ryan Sager

Here, I'm tempting the Great Rule of Headline Question Marks with a question the answer to which is: not yet.

I've pondered in recent days whether I've been too harsh on Mitt Romney's faltering campaign for the presidency. But now we have a man described by the Hotline as "the most powerful Republican fundraiser in the South," currently in the Romney camp, speculating openly about his candidate dropping out of the race.

What's more, he's even naming the candidate whose team he wishes he could join — if only he hadn't committed too early to Mr. Romney: Fred Thompson.
In this interview with the Tennessean, Ted Welch talks up Mr. Thompson while ostensibly reaffirming his loyalty to Mr. Romney:

"Back in January, I had no idea that Fred was even thinking about it," Welch said. "I went ahead and committed to (Massachusetts Gov.) Mitt Romney because I thought he was the best of the lot that had shown interest in running. It would be very inappropriate and very unfair for me to say to Mitt Romney, 'Hey, Fred Thompson decided to run and I'm gone. Bye.' I'm not going to do anything like that. I made a commitment, and I'm going to stick with it, so long as he is in the race.

"If he, for some reason, were to drop out, my choice would naturally be Fred Thompson."
Welch made sure to say that last sentence several times: If Romney's out, Thompson is Welch's guy.

I can hardly imagine a less ringing endorsement for Mr. Romney. If Mr. Welch was committed to his candidate, and confident of his candidate's future, he wouldn't be speculating about his candidate's impending departure from the race.

Mr. Romney can post any dollar amount in the world. He can build a Scrooge McDuck-style campaign treasury and swim around in it all day. It still doesn't make him a viable candidate for the presidency.

The comparison is increasingly made between Mr. Romney's candidacy this year and that of the former senator from Texas, Phil Gramm, in 1995-96. Mr. Gramm, of course, raised a tremendous amount of money in that race, but he still didn't make it to the New Hampshire primary. And, one might note, they were both favored by National Review (OK, National Review has yet to endorse anyone, and one of the magazine's senior editors has come out publicly for John McCain. But Mr. Romney has been the subject of much glowing coverage in the magazine and on the magazine's blog).

The question, then, is when do major players start rescinding on commitments to Mr. Romney?

The answer: not yet. But it could be soon.


Anonymous said...


Are you being paid by any of Giuliani's supporters in Utah to go after Mitt Romney?

Go to youtube and type in Giuliani and abortion and 1989. You'll see

1. what Giuliani looked like when he had a flap

2. Giuliani saying that poor women have a right to have publicly funded abortions.

On CNN, Giuliani said poor women have a CONSTITUTIONAL right to have publicly funded abortions.

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