« Happy holidays from Charlie Crist(mas) | Main | Even Burmese pythons have Washington lobbyists »

What Mitt Romney's FL tele-town hall says about his campaign

Mitt Romney hosted a Florida tele-town hall meeting that didn’t yield a whole lot of news but spoke volumes about the state of the Republican presidential race in Florida.

Right now, it seems that only Romney is running here -- a result of his superior organization and money. His supporters are advertising for him. His campaign is pushing early vote-by-mail absentee ballots (at least 370,000 of which have been requested by Republicans). And he’s stopping in the state every month or so to pick up campaign money and some free TV time.

The only serious challenger to Romney right now, Newt Gingrich, only named a Florida manager this month. If Gingrich doesn’t win one of the early states (South Carolina?), chances are high that Romney wins Florida in the Jan. 31 primary.

Romney began and ended the 30 minute call with a pitch for absentee ballots. His campaign said it called "thousands" of supporters and urged them to dial 1 if they supported Romney. Those who couldn't get their questions asked or answered were told to stay on the line and leave a message for Romney's Florida staff, who would help them out or sign them up to help the campaign.

The questions tonight from the Romney supporters also reflected the Republican electorate. They’re concerned about illegal immigration, Israel and the size of government. And though they’re conservative, a few callers sounded a little worried that their government programs – Medicare and Social Security – are on the chopping block. Romney assured them it wouldn’t happen.

In his opening, Romney took aim at President Obama for supporting entitlements

“The president seems to believe in an entitled nation,” he said. He knocked the president for supporting higher taxes and unions. “President Obama seems to want to turn us into Europe,” he said.

Romney said that, unlike the president, “I understand how small business works and how big business works.”

First call: Annette from Naples who wanted to know about illegal immigration.

“This is not our toughest problem to solve. It’s a problem our politicians don’t want to solve,’ Romney said. He said he supports a border fence in places, but would also “crack down on employers” who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. He said he also opposes giving “illegal aliens” amnesty, college-tuition help or drivers’ licenses.

Gary from Daytona said he was concerned with Obama’s “czars.” Romney chuckled: “I’m not going to have people called ‘Czars.’”

Barbara from Leesburg said she is 65, single, self-employed since 30 and has little to show for it, in part because of the government, which she said intrudes into her bedroom, bathroom, yard, etc.

 “What are you going to do to get the government to leave me alone?” she asked.

Romney promised a less “intrusive” government, and fewer regulations: “We’re on the same page,” he said.

Another caller, Wayne from Orlando, said he frequently hears he may not get his Social Security check this month. Said Romney: “Don’t worry, we’re going to protect your Social Security.”

Jane from Lakeland wanted to know if he’d “demolish ObamaCare.” Said Romney: “I intend to repeal ObamaCare.”

Holley in Pensacola asked Romney what specific federal agencies he would you slim down, or eliminate. Romney didn’t name specific agencies, but he said he’d get rid of duplication and would repeal “ObamaCare” and eliminate subsidies for the National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, Amtrak.” He would also give states more control over Medicaid, which he would essentially block grant.

Romney said he’d also trim the federal payroll by about 10 percent.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Maine Halyard

In other words, Romney doesn't have any ideas of his own, which is why he's borrowed a few good ones from Ron Paul.

The real question for Romney is "How many trillions of dollars will you throw at your buddies on Wall Street during your presidency?"

Odinkitty

Romney's top 3 contributors
1. Goldman Sachs
2. Credit Suisse Group
3. Morgan Stanley

Bailout anyone?

The elitist, flip flopping Mitt Romney. The more I learn about Romney the more I can barely tell the difference between him and Obama! You know his campaign contributors are going to expect favors so expect more of the same, expect more corporate welfare!. You know what Mitt says, "Corporations are people too"!
Does America really need another bought and sold Politician in Washington? Mitt Romney doesn't even know how to treat a dog humanely! http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Politics/story?id=3329017&page=1

nursewren_bsn007

So tired of all the shallow comments. People please get out of yourself and brainwashed thoughts...REALLY listen and learn that what Gov. Romney says. You might just be surprised if you tried to hear with open ears and not preconceived ideas!

Eric

Corporations are people......
Odinkitty is a liar. She works for the Obama campaign as a paid troll and pretends to be a Republican. Be careful people, the deceit has already started.

TroyS

Most of Jeb Bush's staff went to work for Mitt Romney in 2007, in part because Jeb's term was ending at that time. Romney had a large, well-organized operation here in FL earlier than anyone as a result. People like me who are active in local politics remember that, and we want to get behind someone who will run a credible campaign operation. Romney is the only candidate I see who has the chops and the right message to take it to Obama at a grassroots level.

Tex

I noticed that Odinkitty gave sources and facts, whereas nursewren just shouts "liar" with no rubuttal link or data, hmmm, Romneyesque if I ever saw it!

Jared

You want facts? Romney has turned around many businesses. He lifted the likes of Staples, Sports Authority, many other businesses, turned around the Olympics, cut taxes 29 times in Massachusetts, brought them a balanced budget in a largely democrat state (he knows how to work with others). If elected, he'll be able to turn around our economy with or without a Republican congress. You may not agree with everything Romney says, but he is the man to fix the economy (and the best debater in the current field, in my opinion)

jefff

Obama was elected because everyone jumped on his bandwagon. Now we have about 35% of Tea Partiers doing the same thing on the Republican side. What is this, Tea Party Coolade Drinkers? The best qualified person may not always be who you always like. Question, Let's see who is really honest! If you were to invest your whole months salary, which candidate would you give your money to so you can make a profit?

LarryFromFlorida

Romney will win the nomination. The only question is how much abuse will he take from the ignorant (some have commented here) before it's official. I'm one of those who think he can be a better candidate because of the smears and lies.

Slavalyuba

The only question Republicans should be asking Romney is "how are you going to beat Obama in November?". Everything else is just white noise.

Jed

Mitt 2012!

Finally a President who wants to serve all 300 million Americans and future generations by fixing the economy.

Maybe then we can fix our own economies and millions more can get jobs and start businesses without fear of ObamaCare and over regulation!

stuntmanmike

Give em hell Mitt!

coltakashi

Romney doesn't make extravagant claims about what he will do as president because he appreciates the real limits of the power of that office. He doesn't plan on becoming a one-man Supremest Court to overrule the constitutional Supreme Court, like Mr. Gingrinch has proposed. He is not conjuring money out of thin air to reduce taxes.

This is a man who earned millions of dollars because people were willing to trust him with their companies and their money. He is both intelligent and a man of integrity. He is not running for president to increase his chances of earning millions as a TV talk show host, or to sell a book. He stopped actively seeking to increase his wealth over a decade ago, and has concentrated on public service, supporting himself, as a leader for the 2002 Olympics and for Massachusetts as governor, not earning money by lobbying as a Washington insider. He is a solid family man, a father and grandfather, who has given thousands of hours of unpaid service to the poor through his church.

The comments to this entry are closed.