Mitt Romney 2008 Presidential Campaign

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Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was a Republican candidate for President of the United States in 2008. Romney filed to form a presidential exploratory committee with the Federal Election Commission two days after leaving office. He official announced his candidacy on February 13, 2007 at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. Once considered a long-shot candidate, Governor Romney was later recognized as a front-runner in the race. He has appealed to conservatives as the pro-life alternative to moderate Republican Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. Romney frequently called himself a "three-legged stool;" the three "legs" referring to his being a national defense conservative, a fiscal conservative and a social conservative. His campaign, however, ended up with disappointing results on Super Tuesday and he withdrew. He later endorsed Senator John McCain.

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Campaign development

As chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Mitt Romney spent a lot of time in 2006 campaigning across the country for Republican gubernatorial candidates. While he did not run for reelection as governor, in 2004 Romney set up a federal political action committee (PAC) called the Commonwealth PAC, which raised 2.71 million during the 2006 election cycle. On January 3, 2007, his next-to-last day in office as governor of Massachusetts, Romney filed to form a presidential exploratory committee with the Federal Election Commission. He officially announced his candidacy for President about a month later. Romney was the first candidate in either party to start running television and radio ads. The ads focused mainly on his record as governor, running the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, and his work as a very successful businessman. Romney's five sons had been actively campaigning for their father, traveling around in a campaign bus called the "Mitt Mobile, A Five Brothers Bus."

Ames Straw Poll

On August 11, 2007, Mitt Romney won the Ames Straw Poll. He received 31% of the vote at the Straw Poll, a larger margin that then-Texas Governor George W. Bush received in 2000. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee came in second with 18%.

Fundraising

Mitt Romney did well in fund raising. During his first fund raiser as a presidential candidate, he raised 6.5 million dollars when his goal was to raise 1 million. During the first quarter Romney raised more money then any other Republican presidential candidate with $23 million.


Caucuses and Primaries

Mitt Romney held a lead in Iowa early on in the race, but doubts regarding his Mormon faith plagued Republicans; Mike Huckabee, who was better-aligned with the Christian denominations of Iowans, rose to prominence among evangelicals. Huckabee won by means of a spirited campaign that brought evangelical Christians to the polls in high numbers. Romney's loss was highly criticized as a failure of his fundraising momentum, as he had spent over $7 million in Iowa compared to $400,000 by Huckabee. Mitt Romney's campaign against Huckabee and Fred Thompson over Christian ideals was not well-calculated, as Romney had fashioned himself a "conservative's conservative" and was not ready for an attack from a more socially-conservative candidate.[1]

Afterward, the Huckabee victory in Iowa Huckabee's victory in the Iowa caucus helped McCain get the momentum he needed to defeat Romney shortly afterwards in the New Hampshire primary. Romney's losses forced him to concentrate his efforts on the upcoming Michigan primary. He managed to win a victory in Michigan and later Nevada. He also went on to compete against McCain in Florida, but lost by a narrow margin. On Super Tuesday he managed to win: Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Utah. Huckabee managed to take a sweep of a lot of southern states, while McCain took northeast, southest and large population states, such as California and Michigan. Romney's showings on Super Tuesday were disappointing and he decided to withdraw from the race and endorsed Senator McCain.

Endorsements

Congressional

Governors

Other well-known figures

Criticisms

Romney's critics attack his inconsistent track record on issues such as abortion and gay marriage to the point where he has gotten the nickname "Multiple Choice Mitt." A man dressed as a dolphin calling himself Flipper has appeared at some recent conservative gatherings to bring attention to Romney's inconsistent stands on abortion and gay marriage. Although Romney now identifies himself as pro-life and anti-same sex marriage, he claimed to be pro choice and supported same-sex rights as late as 2002. These swaps coupled with his Mormon affiliation puts him at odds with much of the Evangelical right, but a PollingReport.com chart from September 2007 indicates that Mitt was still polling at approximately 10% within the GOP primary forecasts.

Mitt Romney also changed his positions on gun control. He was originally for it, but recently joined the NRA, an organization opposed to it.

See also

References

  1. Luo, Michael. "Miscalculations dogged Romney from the Start." February 8, 2008. New York Times.
  2. http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Oct16/0,4670,RomneyBobJonesIII,00.html
  3. http://web.archive.org/web/20071227112415/http:/www.mittromney.com/News/Press-Releases/Endorsement_Willke

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