Some 2008 Romney Supporters Are MIA for 2012

Thursday, 02 Jun 2011 01:15 PM

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A number of advisers, donors and endorsers who supported Mitt Romney 2008 bid for the White House are absent from his 2012 attempt. Some of those who were with him in 2008 are not convinced he can win the GOP nomination or defeat President Barack Obama, The Washington Post reported.

romney supporters 2008While some are consultants who have not been offered jobs this time around and others have signed on with rivals, others are elected officials and party leaders. They are publicly wondering if Romney can connect with voters, the Post reported.

“I was proud to be with Governor Romney, but I also am interested in hearing from the other candidates,” New Hampshire politician Ovide Lamontagne told the Post. “I’m looking to identify the most conservative candidate who can win. This is a different election than in 2008.”

Nonetheless, Romney has a strong team of donors and members of the GOP establishment. Holdovers from 2008 include longtime advisers Beth Myers, Eric Fehrnstrom, Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens. Also on board are campaign manager Matt Rhoades and political director Rich Beeson, the Post reported.

Missing are the many elected officials who endorsed him in 2008. They are currently on the sidelines waiting to see how 2012 shakes out. The absences have been noted by the Democratic National Committee, which created an online yearbook of “Romney defectors.”

“I don’t think the voters are looking for somebody who’s going to be recasting himself,” Bruce Keough, who ran Romney’s 2008 New Hampshire campaign, told Mother Jones magazine. Romney’s 2008 Iowa state chairman, Doug Gross, is neutral as is Gentry Collins, his former Iowa director. Nicole Schlinger, who ran Romney’s grass-roots efforts in Iowa, is now with the campaign of former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, the Post reported.

Gross told the Post, “A lot of folks think of him as a very intelligent, capable, successful strong guy who could potentially be a great president, but we didn’t win last time. There’s a legitimate question as to the extent to which Governor Romney can connect with voters in a way that will allow him to be both a successful candidate and a great president.”

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