Sparks, Nevada (CNN) - Two Nevada mayors peeled back the curtain from Mitt Romney's famously organized campaign effort Friday, revealing the GOP candidate has long sought to maintain relationships with local leaders in the fourth voting state.
At a business leaders' round table in Sparks, Nevada, the mayors of Reno and Sparks effusively thanked Romney for personally reaching out to them during local crises.
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When it was his turn to speak, Reno Mayor Bob Cashell took the opportunity to thank Romney for calling in sympathy after a stunt plane crashed into a crowd of spectators in mid-September, killing 11 people.
"I can never tell you how much it meant to me when I picked up my cell phone and answered a call from you," Cashell said. "You called me to tell me your hearts and prayers were with me, and that you would do whatever you could. I can never tell you how much that meant, and I really appreciate it."
"Nobody else running for this office or anything called me up, except you," he added. "I can't tell you what it meant to me during that time."
Romney expressed his sympathy again, deftly broadcasting his knowledge of local Nevada concerns.
"This part of the state has been hard hit, I know that," he said. "Fires, and shootings, and of course the air race tragedy. This has been an awfully tough time."
The mayor of Sparks, Gino Martini, chimed in and added he, too, had received a call from Romney in September after a shooting at a local hotel and casino.
"I was blown away by receiving a voice mail," Martini said. "It was very, very impressive that someone would be that attune to what's going on in the nation and everywhere in the United States, that you would call little ol' Sparks, Nevada."
The mayor added enthusiastically that Romney took the time to "get my cell phone number from somebody."
"It cost me ten bucks to get that number," Romney quipped.
Martini said he had never deleted the voice mail from his cell phone.
Romney won Nevada's caucuses in 2008 and is expected to do well when voters weigh in on Saturday. His campaign has long touted its painstakingly organized ground game that is vastly superior to many of his GOP rivals, and could make the candidate difficult to beat as more states begin to vote in the Republican primary.
After he heard from the business owners around the table Friday, Romney reiterated many of the points from his stump speech.
The GOP candidate acknowledged a drop in the nation's unemployment rate, but criticized President Obama for slowing the rate of economic growth.
Notably, of the 14 business owners sitting around in the storefront of Western Nevada Supply Company, none was female. And with Romney that made a conspicuous 15.
The campaign said the owner of the company had handled the invitations, and while female business owners had been invited, none was able to attend on short notice.
So now Flipper the Elitist Robot is making jokes about $10 phone calls? Sheesh, this flaccid fool is so out of touch with regular Americans.
Romney is a good dude....
I want my damned taxpayor dollars back from these Republicans to go to the employers who have created jobs and hired people. These Republicans weren't sent to Washington to "get Obama" they were sent to work for you and I, they have failed all Americans.
Is Ms. Streitfeld a reporter for CNN, or part of Romney's media outreach? Perhaps there's no difference. In any case, thanks for the puff piece, but here's the news about Nevada: it's a state with an unusually high Mormon demographic, at 7%. 25% of that 7% are consistent Republican primary voters. This is why Romney's up by 20 points in Nevada. It's not because he called some guy to express sympathy for a tragic accident.
Anonymous, That is a bit of a stretch...And by a bit, I mean irrelevant with a high degree of ignorance exhibited. Like whichever candidate that you want...But there is no arguing that making those calls shows some real class.
Gullible simpletons who are easily satisfied. Yeah, you got a call from Mitty or Obama or whomever. What difference does it make?
The shootings and the plane crash made national headlines. I would not exactly call things that make national headlines "local" issues. Anyone who pays attention to the news everyday heard about the incidents. It is misleading to use those incidents as examples of Romney being "in touch" with local NV issues. If Romney knew about the owner's truck breaking down or something like that, then I would be impressed.
Anonymous I can't believe you would be so nit-picky! Give me a break. I make money references all the time and I am not well to do at all. Please judge people fairly instead of on something so trivial as this. I bet you $10 that by meeting you for ten minutes I could just be as nit picky with you (pun intended) I had to put it in parenthesis because I know it would be lost on you!!
"Romney is a good dude...."
Rmoney is a psychopathic corporate predator without an ounce of character or integrity. There, FIFY.
Romney's face will soon appear on the Chinese yuan.
►"You called me to tell me your hearts and prayers were with me..."◄
Wow, Romney has two hearts; I thought he didn't have anything at all!!
"I make money references all the time and I am not well to do at all."
Don't assume the world operates on a yardstick. Neither I, my family or friends make those kinds of jokes.
making mental notes of all the good deeds, its adding up.. i think he's a good guy
"But there is no arguing that making those calls shows some real class."
Really? And why would you assume those calls were genuine, rather than a calculated political move dreamed up by Karl Rove and his minions? Given the fact that Rmoney's campaign is highly stage managed, as noted by the reporter, this all sounds pre-packaged to me, YMMV.
Anonymous sounds like the bitter gingrich supporter still angry over the fact that FL didn't buy into the dog whistle racism that SC did.
Romney is capable of fixing this economy. Obama can be a good preacher.
I don't believe a word of it. Show me the phone bills!
I don't think Romney was influence-peddling when he did these things. I think we should also go about doing good, and keep our mouths shut about what we think others' ulterior motives are.
C'Mon DNC – Put somebody IN there, we need a DEMOCRAT for 2012 !!
For The People !!!
Democrat 2012 !!
People are still supporting this idiot – really?
Hey Jacob – your loser choice for President actually let Trump endorse him. Yeah that's what he needs after "admitting" he doesn't care about the poor. He's pretty much done – even if he does get the nomination. Also, I bet all your reasons for not liking Obama are just as air filled as the other haters.
@Brenda Simons – "I think we should also go about doing good, and keep our mouths shut about what we think others' ulterior motives are."
Wouldn't it be nice if the right-wingnuts followed that advice with respect to our President.
What a joke! This flaccid field of clown car candidates is so weak, the GOBP deathcult is about to nominate the guy who lost to the guy who lost to President Obama.