Romney will return to Iowa, but campaign says 'no change' in strategy
September 21st, 2011
02:49 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney will return to Iowa, but campaign says 'no change' in strategy

Washington (CNN) - His advisers insist there is no change in campaign strategy, but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will return to Iowa this fall as Texas Gov. Rick Perry threatens to overwhelm his GOP opponents in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

"There has been no change in our strategy," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. "Mitt Romney will campaign in Iowa enough to show that he is a conservative businessman who can defeat President Obama, put people back to work, and turn around the economy."

Romney's Communications Director Gail Gitcho said the same: "There is no change. He will campaign in Iowa this fall."

So did Romney's top Iowa adviser David Kochel, who emailed: "No change in strategy."

Their denials came on the heels of a Washington Post story Wednesday that said the Romney campaign has "reversed" its Iowa strategy and plans to step up its efforts in the state in the coming weeks in order to blunt Perry's momentum there.

Romney officials said the candidate will make a return appearance in the state soon but offered no details.

Perry, meanwhile, just concluded a two-day swing through western Iowa and has opened up a solid lead in the Hawkeye State since joining the race in August - roughly six points ahead of his nearest rival there, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, according to an average of state polls by RealClearPolitics.com.

A blowout win in the caucuses next year might give Perry a major burst of momentum that could swamp his rivals and carry him through other key nominating states.

Romney has largely focused his efforts this cycle on the primary state of New Hampshire, which follows Iowa in the nominating process.

The Romney campaign said Perry's rise to the top of the polls has nothing to do with any plans to return to Iowa.

Romney has never ruled out competing in Iowa, but has made just two visits to the state this year and skipped the closely watched Ames Straw Poll in August after winning the contest in 2007 during his last presidential campaign.

He walked a fine line earlier this year when pressed on how committed he is to competing in a state that essentially derailed his campaign in 2008, when he came up short to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee after staking his campaign on a win in the caucuses.

"We are going to do what we think is best calculated for me to become the nominee and for me to win the White House," Romney said at a Des Moines forum in May when asked about his Iowa strategy.

"I will be here plenty and you will get to know what I stand for," he added.

Yet some of Romney's Iowa supporters from 2008 have griped for months that the candidate has not been there enough.

Romney has a core base of support in Iowa left over from his last campaign, said Doug Gross, a Des Moines attorney who chaired Romney's Iowa effort in 2008.

But without precious Romney face-time, he said, those backers have started to look at other candidates.

Gross said Iowa remains "fertile ground" for Romney because establishment-friendly Republicans are still unsure about the combative and socially conservative rhetoric they hear from Perry and Bachmann.

Gross said he expects the candidate to show himself in Iowa sometime after October 1, and said Romney should spend as much time in Iowa as he did in 2008.

"I would like to have seen him out here earlier because Perry has already taken some of his votes out here," Gross told CNN. "If he wants to be serious about Iowa, he needs to get out here."

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Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Save America, spay and neuter tea baggers.

    September 21, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has been overwhelmed and thrown under the bus by the tea bagger party. I will miss Mitten's Monday morning quarterbacking and talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    September 21, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Having read the previous Mittens article on social security, it is plain that he is clueless. There is no way Mittens can endorse Paul Ryan's plan, and then, two months later, tell confused older Floridians he has a plan. What a tool. He reminds me of the former republican candidate from Minnesota, only Michele is much smarter than Mittens.

    September 21, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. Clowncar Palin is off 'er meds

    Good news for Iowa. You won't need to use your sleeping pills during Romney's stay. He's got you all taken care of.

    September 21, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Victor

    he's flip flopping again............nothing new

    September 21, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Oh, that Mitt!

    You can run around all you want, Mitt. But you still can't outrun your track record.

    Ranked by the US Dept. of Labor as being the 47th worst governor out of 50 states in jobs creation. Made his millions by dissecting companies – selling off their assets and outsourcing the jobs. JUST what this country needs...........

    September 21, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. carrotroot

    You know .... If Romney was the current front-runner he would not be going to Iowa.

    September 21, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    Pretty simple.... He's trying to put a dent in Perry's numbers so Perry doesn't come out ahead of Bachmann in iowa. He wants Bachmann to win in Iowa (figuring she won't win anywhere else), then Mitt will win in NH, and then Mitt can possibly take SC as well.

    September 21, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    Dominican mama 4 Obama says "we DID NOT GO TO WAR with Lybia"...

    First, it s Libya, NOT Lybia. And second, dropping bombs and shooting missiles to take out buildings and troops sure sounds like war to me. Dumb libtards think they can just call war something else and the whole world will believe them.

    September 21, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. No Amnesty for Teabaggers - Impeach Republicans

    In a previous article, the teabaggers were having their own supercommittee meeting at a Denny's. To a teabagger, the Buffet rule is a four plate maximum.

    September 21, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. No Amnesty for Teabaggers - Impeach Republicans

    I am really interested to see who Joe Walsh, dead beat dad and teabagger representative, will endorse. As a teabagger from Illinois, he represents those real republican family values. How dare his children get the $117,000 due them.

    September 21, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    "Mitt Romney will campaign in Iowa enough to show that he is a conservative businessman who can defeat President Obama, put people back to work, and turn around the economy."
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    He is one of few people that has the experience and capability to pick up after 4 years of what Obama is doing to America and get back to a situation where businesses are confident to hire and grow again. This will involve a serious focus on getting government spending in control ( and regardless of what Obama says, it can be done without pushing grandma oevr the cliff ), arranging free trade agreements with other prosperous countries and putting in a tax structure based on reason, not political convenience.

    I look forward to a Romney/ Obama debate. Romney has such a better plan it will be interesting to see Obama trying to explain his way out of the things he has done. It will be reason vs. excuses. Who do you think will win that one?

    September 21, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "Regulation nightmares

    Regulation nightmares are keeping many small business owners up at night. Red tape is either adding more costs or gumming up the hiring process. Here's what seven entrepreneurs had to say about it. "

    Why thank you CNNMoney for that anecdotal BS. Experts, including people like Richard Williams at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, which has ties to Koch Industries (Koch's chairman and CEO, Charles Koch, sits on the Mercatus Center's Board of Directors), have written letters to Congress time and again to explain that there is no evidence nor any academic reasearch supporting the contention that regulations "kill jobs." In fact, what they do is "redistribute" jobs. While they may have anecdotally harsh effects on a particular business, the overall effect is to kill some jobs while creating others. Who do you think does environmental testing, teaches people how to do, makes the equipment with which they do it, finances the equipemtn with which they do it, operates the equipment with which they do it, etc. etc. etc.? The GOP is full of feces and selling nothing more than ideological "it simply must work this way because we theorize that it does" malarky. There's absolutely no reason whatsoever for CNN or the rest of the MSM to be going out of its way to help them make ridiculous arguments. Sorry you couldnt' manage to get yoru business off the ground within the regulatory framework...maybe you just weren't freekin smart enough...or maybe you should have gone into a different business.

    September 21, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |