Romney Takes on Tea Party in Idaho

Image: Romney Takes on Tea Party in Idaho

Friday, 21 Mar 2014 09:38 AM

By Courtney Coren

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Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney this week campaigned in Idaho for Gov. Butch Otter and Rep. Mike Simpson, who have primary battles against tea party challengers, to prevent the GOP from veering "wild right."

"I'm here today in Idaho . . . to make sure people understand that the people I'm standing with right here are the right team of conservative leaders to help the people of Idaho," Romney said, according to NPR.

The former Massachusetts governor also is campaigning for Sen. Jim Risch, who is facing his first reelection campaign, but not a serious primary challenger. Idaho's primary is in May.

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Romney hosted fundraisers for Otter on Thursday and Simpson on Wednesday.

"I also acknowledge that they are men of character and vision, and they've done a heck of a good job," Romney said. "And if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

According to David Adler, director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University, Romney's purpose in the state is to help with voter turnout and to keep the Republican Party from veering "into the wild right, which will hurt Idaho and hurt America."

Adler said that voter turnout is key for establishment Republican candidates because "the assumption [is] that there are more moderate members of the GOP then there are hard right wingers."

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