Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Romney Surrogates Less Than Enthusiastic About Romney

Mitt Romney has been having well-documented trouble winning over skeptical conservatives. His electability argument has suffered as other candidates have risen in the polls, including in head-to-head match-ups with President Obama. And while that electability argument has garnered support from GOP officeholders and former candidates, it may be hiding a bigger problem for Romney: He’s having trouble winning over those already on his side.

Two stories today shine a light on Romney surrogates or endorsers whose support for the former Massachusetts governor is lukewarm at best. First, Jon Huntsman appeared on “Morning Joe” today and, as National Journal’s Matt Vasilogambros noticed, suggested support for a third party:

Huntsman, who endorsed Mitt Romney after he dropped out of the presidential race, went on the attack against the Republican Party and the debate process on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” However, he expressly said that he would not run as a third party candidate.

“I’m not a surrogate for anybody,” he said. “All I can say is I’m looking at the political marketplace. And I’m saying this duopoly is tired and we’re stuck in a rut. We’re not having the discussions in this country that we need to have.”

Chris Christie also appeared on “Morning Joe,” and offered this defense of Romney’s candidacy:

Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., seems to have learned from Rick Santorum’s mistake in endorsing Mitt Romney in 2008, as Christie explained his support for Romney this year by pointing to the weakness of other Republicans rather than praising the candidate as an ideal conservative.

Christie told Morning Joe that he endorsed Romney “because of the people offering themselves from my party for president of the United States, it was clear to me that he was the best of the group and that he was the only one of the group that I thought gave us a good chance of beating the president.”

Okay then! Meanwhile, Romney seemed to have locked up Jeb Bush’s endorsement, only to have Bush ask the Romney camp politely to stop saying that. I wrote about why Bush would withhold his endorsement last month, and how it might actually have helped Romney realize that he cannot rely on others to get him elected president.

So the morning after a debate that supposedly went well for Romney (or at least didn’t go well for his main rival), Romney’s surrogates went on TV to proclaim that they’re either not actually his surrogate (and in fact that you should probably vote for someone else, in Huntsman’s case) and that Romney is still the right man for the nomination because, well, have you seen the other guys?

Romney may very well have been close to getting Bush’s endorsement, but that ship seems to have sailed. At this point, he needs to keep the support of those who have already endorsed him.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.