Mitt Romney Gets in the race for President by Mitch E. Perry

02/13/07
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday

Mitt Romney, the Republican Governor of Massachusetts until last month, officially announced he’s a candidate for the GOP nomination for President this morning (roll tape#1 o.q.”applause””)

Romney made  his announcement in Michigan, at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. Romney was born there,  and his father served as Governor in the 1960’s there.  Also Michigan hosts a key early Primary election next year.
Calling for “innovation and transformation in Washington, the 59 year old Romney has been hailed by some political analysts as being on the top tier of GOP presidential candidates, along with John McCain and Rudy Guiliani (roll tape#2 o.q.”applause”)As USA Today reports, Romney is casting himself as a competent manager; a successful entrepreneur; a conservative governor who fought gay marriage and passed a universal health-insurance plan; a turnaround artist who saved the 2002 Olympics from financial ruin and ran an unprecedented security operation for the games just a few months after 9/11. But will it be enough.  Despite vast media attention, a Fox New Poll shows Romney at getting just 3 percent nationally of Republican support.  Daryl Paulson is a Political Science Professor with the University of South Florida at St. Petersburg.  He says Romney’s poll numbers will inevitably rise (roll tape#3 o.q.”Florida Republican Party”)In fact, Romney has pulled several advisors associated with Jeb Bush on to his campaign team.  While Governor Charlie Crist and many of his supporters are backing John McCain for the GOP nomination.Before running and winning for Governor in Massachusetts in 2002, Romney helped organize the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City earlier that year.He ran against Ted Kennedy for Senate in Massachusets in 1994, where he ran as a moderate Republican.  When he ran in 2002 and won in one of the most liberal states in the country, he also ran as a moderate.  But he began to change his stances on key issues, like abortion , during the middle of his term, and now positions himself as the candidate for Christain conservatives in the party to embrace.But when printed comments, and worse, videos appeared on YouTube, showed him expressing liberal social views, some conservatives said they couldn’t trust him.John Stemberger is an Orlando Attorney, and one of the leading Christian conservatives in the state.  He says he has yet to endorse a candidate and maintains an open mind, but he does sound warily in describing his feelings about Romney (roll tape#4 o.q.”  at Governor Romney”)And then there is his religion.  Romney is a Mormon.  A new USA Today/Gallup Poll shows that 72% of Americans surveyed said they would vote for a qualified nominee who is a Mormon.  That compares with   94% for a black nominee and 88% for a female nominee.Romney is a Church “elder”who served as a missionary and whose great-grandfather had 5 wives.  USF ST Pete Political Science Professor Daryl Paulson (roll tape#5 o.q.”work cut out for him”)But Paulson says that this will not be the first a serious candidate for President has had to contend with concerns about his religion. (roll tape#6 o.q.”of public policy”)

After his announcement kickoff in Michigan, Romney flew to  Iowa to campaign among caucus-goers…. before flying to South Carolina

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