Romney Takes Turn Rallying MN Gop for EmmerRepublican Mitt Romney razzed Democrats Monday over a political climate shift that he said favors the GOP heading into next month's election.
By: Associated Press,
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney razzed Democrats Monday over a political climate shift that he said favors the GOP heading into next month's election.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who has had White House ambitions, used a rally for Minnesota's Republican nominee for governor to play up the different feel between this year and the 2008 election that catapulted Democrat Barack Obama into power.
"Back then you had Oprah saying he was 'the one.' You had Chris Matthews saying his leg was tingling. You had Time magazine saying the Republican Party was an endangered species. Now look who's got the message. Look who's got the passion," Romney said, drawing hoots from a few hundred people wedged into a hotel ballroom.
Romney is the latest in a parade of Republican all-stars to get involved for state Rep. Tom Emmer in a governor's race that both major parties deem competitive. On the Democratic side, Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton have stood with the Democratic nominee, former Sen. Mark Dayton. Obama is due to campaign for Dayton in Minneapolis on Saturday.
Emmer is trying to make up ground on Dayton, who has led in recent polls. A third candidate, the Independence Party's Tom Horner, is polling in the teens but considerably trails the other two.
Romney led a $500-a-head fundraiser for Emmer before giving his pep talk to devoted Republicans at a separate rally. He said voters are going to give a boost to Republicans this fall because Democratic policies "have failed."
"They're trying to smother that spirit with their taxes and red tape and burdens and we're not going to let them do it," Romney said.
Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty decided not to seek a third term and is instead weighing a run for the White House; Romney could be one of his challengers if he does.
The rally was aimed at pushing committed supporters to do more in the final two weeks.
"Everyone has to get ahold of the rope and pull with everything they've got," Emmer implored the crowd. "We cannot look at each other on Nov. 3 and ever say to each other 'If we woulda. If we coulda. If we shoulda.'"
Max Hugoson, 56, an engineer from Minnetonka, said he doesn't buy the polls showing Emmer behind and says the candidate should benefit from a conservative enthusiasm missing two years ago.
"In 2008, we got burned by the fact there were a lot of conservatives who didn't vote," Hugoson said. "They're going to be there this time and I think some of the independents are going to be swept along by the wave."
Democrats have high hopes for Minnesota, which hasn't elected one of their own as governor since 1986.
The Democratic National Committee sent $250,000 to the state party for late-election efforts, a party spokesman said Monday. DNC Chairman Tim Kaine plans to be back in Minnesota on Wednesday for an event at the University of Minnesota after appearing in the state in September.