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BLITZER'S BLOG: Romney backers confident in nomination
March 12th, 2012
03:25 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: Romney backers confident in nomination

By Wolf Blitzer, CNN

(CNN) - Mitt Romney’s supporters are increasingly confident their man has the Republican presidential nomination all but wrapped up although they know he still has work to do.

Their confidence is underscored by what they want to discuss. Here are some examples:

Perhaps because of all the attention focused on the HBO film “Game Change” and John McCain’s 2008 selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, one insider suggested that it’s now already time for Romney to focus on candidates really qualified to take charge if necessary.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman keeps coming up all the time. He’s a former director of the Office of Management and Budget and special trade representative under President George W. Bush. He has the added advantage of representing a potentially decisive battleground state. He’s popular there as well as among the Republican Party’s conservative base – an absolutely essential factor for Romney.

Another Romney supporter predicted that Newt Gingrich will have no choice but to drop out sooner rather than later because his campaign money will evaporate and the former House speaker will not want to go into personal debt. The pro-Gingrich super PAC, funded by Sheldon Adelson, certainly can continue generating millions of dollars to fund ads, but that money can’t be used for day-to-day campaign expenses.

So what about Rick Santorum? One Romney supporter says the former Pennsylvania senator eventually will see the handwriting on the wall, and will start to focus on 2016 – the way Ronald Reagan began focusing on 1980 after losing the Republican presidential nomination to Gerald Ford in 1976. Santorum, this person said to me, will look at Reagan’s playbook, especially if Romney were to lose to President Barack Obama in November.

These are some of the random thoughts from various Romney backers who believe their man will win the party’s nomination no matter what happens Tuesday in Alabama and Mississippi. But one final note: They acknowledge they might be indulging in some wishful thinking.

Follow Wolf Blitzer on Twitter: @WolfBlitzerCNN

RELATED STORY: Crowley: Strong showing for Romney in South could be beginning of end

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Filed under: 2012 election • Mitt Romney • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Name*Kaye Halliday

    There are so many people that don't know the real Romney. Since when does knowing how to make money in the real world and paying your debts make u a bad guy. What an upside down world we live in. Wouldn't you like our nation to have professional help getting out of debt?!! We better do something fast guys or we are in real trouble. Just look at Greece and see where we are heading. Get behind Romney before it's too late!!

    March 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  2. Griff

    "So stop hiding behind the UN, and go direct to the government in Lebenon with an option to allow Nato into their country. They're going to want some kind of relationship in Lebenon with whoever is left in control of the Mediteranean after all this Muslim agression around them finally comes to negotiations."

    March 12, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  3. mikeybronx

    Mr. Blitzer you of all people i thought was beyond establishment pressure but it seems you too are a bought individual. You can't silence the majority come election day. RON PAUL 2012 and thats that.

    March 12, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Wes / MD

      Although I'm a democrat and I will vote for President Obama in this election, I do have to admit that Ron Paul dispite his isolationist theories, does have the most realistic views of the future between all the GOP candidates. To bad he doesn't have the name recognition that the rest of the GOP field has, or the money, or he would actually be a real contender. The fact is no matter how much you shout Ron Paul the reality is, it aint going to happen.

      March 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  4. Tylenol666

    Romeny and His FOX NEWS Friends wont make it to the County State Line let alone the White House,, Go buy another CADDY for you Wife

    OBAMA-BIDEN 2012

    March 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  5. trucapote

    romney should be confident he is one of the most accomplished individuals to run for President in decades and Americans are getting increasingly disgusted and fed up with the current president on a daily basis now. just wait until gas hits $5+ all across the country and the court strikes down obamacare as unconstitutional.

    March 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  6. Allnfun

    Romney doesn't care about the Average American,Being President is Something he want,Just To Brag About It..

    March 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  7. Dave

    Those who are undecided need to think seriously about things. Gingrich is a has-been, and his temper and inability to connect with independents make him a liability. Santorum claims he is conservative, but loves earmarks and teams up with unions and Michael Moore to get democrats to vote for him instead of Romney. Romney, on the other hand, is not a Washington insider. He has a record of success in business, in the Olympics and as governor. He takes bad situations and makes them better (a skill which is certainly needed today). He is intelligent and has great leadership and management skills. He has raised more money than the other candidates and he polls better against Obama too. He has more votes, states and delegates than the others. The choice is easy if people look at the facts.

    March 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  8. Thom

    It would be nice to read just one intelligent comment on these boards. Sorry, I was just dreaming.

    March 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  9. Jim Canna

    As concerns the Republican Primaries: You're missing the forest for the trees. It doesn't matter who's in 2nd, or who's in 3rd in the delegate count. The strategy is – keep Gingrich & Paul in the race, and TOGETHER – ALL 3 COMBINED, along with Santorum – if their delegate count reaches 50.1% then the convention will be open, and the Republicans will nominate someone other than Romney! THAT'S THE STRATEGY!

    March 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  10. open400

    If there has ever been a candidate just trying to buy the presidency, Romney is the guy!

    March 12, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Dave

      Romney has to spend more because Obama attacks him, Santorum teams up with the Democrats to vote against Romney, Gingrich lies about Romney's so-called negative ads, and Rush, Hannity, Lavin, Ingraham all blast Romney on the airwaves. The truth is, Obama fears Romney and the extreme right hates Romney's religion.

      March 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
      • Lev

        So true. Romney has the backing of thoughtful people who invest heavily in this country (college educated, successful). He is attacked from all sides. I am fed up with the talk radio crowd and their brand of patriotism (self aggrandizement/wealth accumulation). Go Mitt. Go America.

        March 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Carmen

      And how much did President Obama spend when he ran? And how much will he spend this election?
      Am so tired of hearing the other canidates complain about how much Romney spends when they spend all they can get their hands on. If one of the others wins, is he going to whine when President Obama out spends him? What a bunch of babies!

      March 14, 2012 at 2:09 am |
  11. curious

    It's possible that the republican nominee will come from a brokered convention. If so, that debate could look like the debit ceiling fiasco, after republicans fail to agree on a candiate.

    March 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  12. CaptainObvious

    No wishful thinking here, Wolff. Romney has such overwhelming support in California, the West Coast, the Pacific, the Intermountain West, the North East, and in areas along the East Coast that the his guaranty of getting the official nod from the GOP by the end of April is certain. That said, he also looks poised to do well, and potentially win, in several states in the deep South and also several more in the Midwest - Illinois particularly appearing to be a slam dunk.

    Might as well get this over with and focus on the real problem: Obama.

    March 12, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Katty

      I am utterly delighted to hear that.,.,.Oregon could learn a few lesson tho...not a doubt in my mind but the sheep seems bent on Obama again...no way can I understand that unless we have a lot more Paul's than Peters.

      March 12, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • TomNPitt

      Well – i guess it's a slam dunk. Sounds like all corners of the country over welmingly support Romney! Let's skip the Convention and the election. Let's just put Romney in office now, so the world will be one again with God!!
      i'm Romney – and I'm a Moron!

      March 12, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
  13. Henry Fords

    Obama's reelection will be a cakewalk. The GOP has nobody and no ideas. They'll try their best to pledge their "allegiance to Israel" but the jewish vote will still go the Dems way. And bring up social issues like gay marriage, abortion, birth control to try n get the "catholic bloc" but the Catholics will still vote dem. The only people they can carry are the old white men and evangelical religious extremists and those people are on their way to extinction. Besides, does anyone really believe they would come out in droves to vote for a Mormon? Get real here people, get ready for another 4 years of angry tea party activists and angry Rush LImbaugh.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  14. Lev

    Rick Santorum is such a phoney. What on earth does conservative even mean? He is a big government hack who will do anything to be elected (note: all he has is lobbying and politics). Unfortunately the GOP voting populace doesn't seem to be clever enough to see him for who is is...and besides, who has been more negative to the other Mitt or Rick? I just love voters who base their decisions not on reason but on silly emotions. Vote for Rick to start a megachurch not be President of the free world. It would be much more fitting.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  15. Ben

    Wolf, I just watched your interview with General Allen. You constantly showed your total lack of understanding to Afghanistan and the Afghan people by referring to the people and government as Afghani. Afghani is the name of their currency. The people are Afghan.....just like General Allen so respectfully referred to them. Do the same. PS, your questions were not very intelligent. You made it appear that every in Afghan is an enemy to US and NATO forces. I have many Afghan friends I have worked with throughout the years and would gladly enjoy a meal in their homes again should I have the opportunity. The average Afghan is far more intelligent about the situation on the ground than you are.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  16. Byron Lawler

    The General you have on your program now is not creditable. Please do not let him get away with spouting the military line. There is not way we are going to get anything done in Afghanistan now

    March 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  17. Byron Lawler

    That General you have on your program now is full of shit. Do not let him get away with platitudes. There is no way we are going to accomplish anything now. Byron J. Lawler

    March 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  18. GOP = Greed Over People

    Whiskered "mom Jeans"?

    Really, Romney!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  19. Katty

    I wish all news media could wise-up and accept the fact there are those of us that are excited
    about having a President Romney in the White House...obviously there are more
    of us wanting a victory for Romney that any of the other candidates.....we are
    tired of the news media downplaying our preference and ignoring how we feel.
    Santorum had the same chance to build an organization,
    solicit funds, etc. as everyone else did – too bad he wasn't smart enough to do so.
    Too many ridiculous debates – which is the only reason Santorum is still
    around....will be so happy when he has to swallow his ego and exit-stage-left.
    Maybe it's time the media quit disrespecting those of us that want Romney.
    Wise up before you lose us...and face the fact there are those of us that do care….

    March 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Dave

      Well said Katty. The media is doing everything to keep Romney back, but he is far ahead and picking up steam.

      March 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • bikemal

      Well put Katty! I'm amazed to see so many supporters of Romney in Oregon, yet the media, like the Oregonian newspaper, portray him as continually struggling. Not to mention the unflattering photos they seem to come up with of him and other Republican candidates.

      March 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Pat Anderson

      When I was 12 and 1/2 years old, I belonged to the Kingsmen Drum and Bugle Corp, sponsored by the likes of Disney, Bob Hope...etc. We became the first Drum Corp International champions and were invited to perform on the steps of the United States Capital building. What stands out in my mind is that our group was invited to perform at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake. When we arrived, we were uninvited because of the 130 kids performing, 2 of us were black, my brother and I. The other 128 kids could perform if we were excluded. Thank God, the other 128 kids had more sense than the Mormon church. I personally would never vote for a person who knowingly subscribes to a religion that does not believe that all people are created equally. Sure the Mormon church has admitted minorities into the church subsequent to the aforementioned occurrance, but their belief in inequality of race and sex has not changed. The point is simply this: How can Mitt Romney be the President of the United States when he does not believe in the founding principles of the Constitution?

      March 12, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
      • Skeptical

        Interesting post. I could not find your name on the roster for the championship 1972 corp. Your story is curious given that many black musicians performed at the Salt Lake Tabernacle before and after this time such as Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, and others. Also, the general leadership of the Mormon Church includes individuals from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, including blacks. Somehow, this account does not add up.

        March 13, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  20. JT

    Senator Santorum, you're no Ronald Reagan.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  21. open400

    WE had the Wall Street 2008 meltdown and we are still digging our way out of that mess! Why would we want a Wall Street speculator type talking of removing regulations as President? Wasn't it lack of regulation and enforcement of the laws we had that caused the 2008 mess in the first place?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Dave

      Remember that the democrats created the housing mess with the bogus regulations about fair housing (forcing banks to make loans to people who could not afford them). Also, the democrats have added debt, deficits and unemployment since 2008. They have closed drilling so gas prices are up. I could go on and on, but you will never face the truth.

      March 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
      • TomNPitt

        That's what Limbaugh said too!!

        March 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  22. Danram

    Assuming that he's interested, Marco Rubio is another person who would have to be very high on Romney's list of VP candidates. He can help ensure that Florida votes Republican, and it's hard to envision a scenario where Romney can beat Obama without carrying Florida. Rubio would also help with hispanic voters nationwide, and no doubt the right wing of the GOP would be pleased with the selection as well.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • TomNPitt

      And the fact that Rubio was a Mormon when he was younger, should just about guarantee even more of the Florida Mormon vote!!

      March 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  23. Lucky18

    Both Santorum and Gingrich have called Romney a "liar"...first time in presidential politics!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  24. BR

    Get out the vote for Obama 2012!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • jim

      You will have to get them off the couch first. Maybe even off their obama phone.

      March 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  25. Alger Dave

    Hate to take up the blogosphere here, but another thing: with Romney the 'most electable' (which you shouldn't believe for a second), many GOP voters are holding their noses and voting for this guy. A lot of braver GOP voters are actually voting for who they like – apparently 'unelectable' folks like Santorum and Gingrich. If the GOP establishment hadn't christened Romney as the 'winner' early on, or if anyone else (Santorum, for instance) had been given more of a shot in the media earlier on, Romney would be out today. The establishment loves Romney (because they're secretly not social conservatives, but only fiscal ones – greedy folks who want to hold onto their money), but most of the rest of us GOPers don't. Sorry, but that spells a loss this fall. If that happens, mark my words that the GOP establishment will blame social conservatives instead of taking 2 seconds to look at the primary polling to figure out that most GOPers want a social conservative... not a guy who no one can trust to vote their way on any issue (read Romney) – DUH! Do the math! Romney only carries NE states by over 50% – everywhere else social conservatives carry the vote easily between their candidates.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  26. cali girl

    The problem with Romney is he is out of touch with the American people. Just this morning says he is not taking medicare and is going with his private insurance. Just how many Americans can do that, with rising costs going on everywhere and private insurance rates beginning at $1000 a month. This is no answer and will only add more strife to the already suffering retired Americans.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  27. Alger Dave

    I hope Romney backers are wrong! Me and my GOP majority-of-the-base social conservatives have been voting for our favorite social conservative candidates this winter and spring – unfortunately Santorum AND Gingrich, who have carried (together, mind you) over 50% of the vote in nearly every contest. In 2008 I held my nose and voted for a great guy, albeit socially moderate John McCain. You knew where he stood on the issues, but he wasn't that conservative. Now, it looks like my choice may end up being McCain-lite – otherwise known as Mitt Romney – a sometimes conservative, sometimes liberal but always uncertain super-rich elite guy who cannot connect with anyone outside of the Hamptons. I"m sorry but I don't know if I'll be able to vote for this guy! I've been a good GOP guy, but I think it's now time to send the message to the GOP – stop nominating social RINOs. How does it benefit social conservatives to vote for a guy we simply cannot even trust to back us up on any social issues? What's the point? At least with Obama I'm pretty sure what I'm getting. With Romney it's a crap shoot!

    March 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Mike

      Dave – Everyone keeps saying that Romney isn't even winning 50% of the vote so thus isn't liked by the "base". However, if you go back and look at past elections, it is exactly the same! The winner usually doesn't get over 50% until after the majority of the rest of the field drops out. The reason this year it has taken longer is because of the GOP voter rule change that gives proportional delegates in states instead of the usual winner take all. This was put into place to create a longer primary season – and it has worked. Romney is doing very well compared to past eventual winners and doing very well given the rule change this year. If they hadn't changed the rules, Romney would have won 70% plus starting early February.

      March 12, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  28. Jim Thomas

    Anybody will be better than obama.I think it is also firing squad time for the muslam at Ft.Hood especially if our G.I.is nailed for 16 bomb carrying people in afganistan.Stand up Americans before it is to late.Jim Thomas Phx.Az.Go USA

    March 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • K3Citizen

      That's what the Democrats said about the republicans in 2008. You guys claim he's Muslim, so if that was true then we can't afford Christians or Muslims as president any more because they spend too much. Vote Jewish if you want a real change.

      March 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • witha k

      Correction: anyone who feels there was any justification to killing the 16 Afgans WOULD NOT be better than Obama. Also, any candidate that led people to believe they supported such twisted views WOULD NOT be better than Obama. Fort Hood was tragic. The murder of the 16 Afgans was tragic. Enough said!

      March 12, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • RU Serious?

      Wow. Just wow.

      March 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
      • Lina

        In watching the inaitil coverage of Election 2012, it s clear media pundits seem to believe only they know who ll be the best person to defeat Barack Obama (if he or she even can) and lead the country.Amazing, innit? Like they would actually know/care what the best candidate is? Just look at the one they are supporting, and don't vote for them!!

        May 21, 2012 at 8:40 am |

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