Romney to N.H. Republicans: Pick someone who can win
August 6th, 2013
07:05 PM ET
8 months ago

Romney to N.H. Republicans: Pick someone who can win

Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET on 8/6

(CNN) – It was some of the harshest criticism directed at Mitt Romney during his 2012 GOP primary battle: he was the “safe” candidate the establishment thought had the best shot of beating President Barack Obama.

And despite his general election loss, Romney still says his best advice for early state voters is to back a candidate with a viable shot of taking the White House.

“As the first-in-the-nation, you will have a big role in choosing our next nominee for president. My guess is that every one of the contenders would be better than whoever the Democrats put up. But there will only be one or perhaps two who actually could win the election in November,” Romney told New Hampshire Republicans Tuesday, according to a prepared copy of his remarks.

Romney was attending his first political fundraiser since he lost last November’s election. The event, a benefit for the state Republican Party, was held near his vacation home in Wolfeboro, along Lake Winnipesaukee.

“Think it through. Stay smart,” Romney told the group of Granite State Republicans. “Get behind those candidates; volunteer for them, campaign for them, vote for them. It is long past time for real change in Washington.”

Taking a stance against some fellow Republicans in Congress, Romney urged against using a government shutdown to defund the president's health care law. Some conservative lawmakers – including Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah - are using impending budget battles as leverage, vowing to oppose any measure that provides funding for the federal government that includes funding for the Affordable Care Act.

"I'm afraid that in the final analysis, Obamacare would get its funding, our party would suffer in the next elections, and the people of the nation would not be happy," Romney said. "I think there are better ways to remove Obamacare."

Following his election loss to Obama, Romney spent much of his time out of the public eye.

He recently re-entered the spotlight, holding a conference in Park City, Utah, that featured several prospective 2016 presidential candidates and other national leaders, as well as some of the GOP's major donors.

In an interview at the conference with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger, Romney said, "we're thinking about ways that we can still make a contribution to a country we love very deeply."

Romney has also hinted at playing a role in assisting fellow Republicans in the 2014 midterm elections.

At Tuesday’s fundraiser, the former Massachusetts governor said it has been “hard to watch or read the news” in the first months of Obama’s second term.

“What we feared would happen, is happening,” Romney said, pointing to the nation’s unemployment situation and a series of overseas crises, including in Syria and Egypt.

“The administration has made things worse, not better. It is enough to make some people simply throw in the towel,” he added, before offering his own advice to the conservative donors.

“We have got to stay smart, very smart,” he said. “Our policies have to be the smartest, the best, the most promising. We cannot change policy to follow popularity; in the end, right prevails. We can change policy if new information shows us that we were wrong-of course, that's part of staying smart.”

Romney is very familiar in New Hampshire, the state that traditionally holds the nation's first presidential primary.

He is a former governor of neighboring Massachusetts and most of the southern part of the Granite state is in the Boston media market. He also spends time at his vacation home.

Romney was a big supporter and fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican Party and for GOP politicians and candidates in the state in the years leading up to his 2008 and 2012 runs for the White House.

New Hampshire is also a battleground state in the general election, and Romney kicked off his 2012 presidential campaign there. He returned numerous times to meet with voters.

MORE: Was Mitt Romney right about Detroit and Russia?


Filed under: Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Mitt Romney's back."

    Dude never did have much common sense.
    This continual need for the spotlight only highlights how an adoring Mitt Romney sees Mitt Romney.
    Now if only he'd get a clue and see how "real" Americans see Mitt Romney ... going as far back as, oh I don't know, November 2012.

    Psst. Romney. Here's a hint: "the little people" have seen quite enough of the Romney kingdom. Too much, actually.

    August 6, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    CNN better do us a favor by leaving him alone and enjoy his life. Mitt, just ignore all this dirt, enjoy your life–go to London, Paris, Venice etc or go to India to see Taj Mahal. Just enjoy–we love you still as an American. God bless!!!

    August 6, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. the hippies were right

    Isn't it funny how a man can be considered a savior of America. Then he loses an election. Then the same person with the same experience and beliefs is no longer considered the savior. Such a silly game we play!

    August 6, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  4. Wake up People!

    Well, well, well, if it ain't the Great White Hope......

    August 6, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. kirk

    I wonder if he amended his tax return yet?

    August 6, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. Data Driven

    The key graph:

    "While general admission tickets to the event are sold out, VIP tickets priced up to $1,500 per couple are still available."

    The VIPs have moved on, Mitt. I suggest you do the same.

    August 6, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. tom l

    @kirk
    So, Mr. Reid goes on the senate floor to talk about how he has heard that Romney didn't pay his taxes. Now where could he have possibly gotten that information? Oh yeah, perhaps it was the IRS that leaked that information. This is just another reason why it is so obvious that the IRS targeted conservative groups. It is so obvious.

    August 6, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  8. kirk

    It is? Yes huge scandal. Koolaid good

    August 6, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Fund raising is something that Romney's good at. That's why he was picked by the SLOC to save the Winter Olympics. It's why I always say the following about him. He's a salesman, not a statesman.

    August 6, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. KC

    @tom I

    Did you miss the memo? The IRS was targeting both conservative and progressive groups. I know that FOX probably glossed over the targeting of liberals or is that the reason why they aren't talking about this event as much.

    August 6, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. kirk

    All under republican leaders.I'm shocked. I just assumed since he is not running that he would refile. 13%is a horrible tax burden.

    August 6, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wake up People!

    Well, well, well, if it ain't the Great White Hope......
    -------------------------------------------------
    Tee hee hee!!
    Babe....LOL!!

    August 6, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. kirk

    Once a tool always a tool.just could not vote for a man who felt it necessary to screw hard working Americans out of their retirement fund to add to his already rediculous caymen accounts. 100mjllion Ira.100 miilion trust fund.I can see the need garage elevators don't build themselves

    August 6, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. Randy, San Francisco

    The fact that Romney is still prominent on the political stage is an indication the Republican/Tea Party isn't ready make changes. The Republican/Tea Party national brand will continue its swift decline with another presidential defeat in 2016. The Republican/Tea Party will be doomed as a regional and local party.

    August 6, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. onlyfacts

    Actually Tom I your opinion doesn't make it obvious the IRS targeted conservative groups. Romney's taxes have nothing to do with conservatives groups filing for tax free status. Also, Romney didn't hide the facts that he has a lot of money in "offshore" accounts. The only reason a person puts his money there is to keep the IRS from taxing you on it. Romney stated he is doing nothing illegal. Harry Reid isn't so dumb after all. You cannot also deny the fact that the IRS also targeted Liberal groups. I know you don't want to hear the facts, because it's hard on the ego, but facts are facts!

    August 6, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. Sniffit

    "The main driver of the premium increases is the Obamacare mandate that coverage be offered to everyone, said Kevin McCarty, Florida's insurance commissioner."

    No it's not. It's because FL's GOP/Teatroll legislature, just this past year, repealed any authority/power of the insurance commissioner to negotiate premium rates, so that the insurers could attempt to gouge people buying on the exchanges. FL and OH are run by GOP/Teatrolls who have carefully arranged for premium rates to go up on the exchanges so they can complain that the ACA caused it. The fact that CA and NY can manage to do it AND get premium rates to drop is evidence of this fact. The article below skips the steps that these red state legislatures have taken in order to deliberately cause a paradoxical result. Disingenuous reporting at best.

    August 6, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    @kirk

    Hush now. There are those on the ticker who absolutely WANT the screw put to hard working Americans by forcing them out of their hard earned retirement funds, accrued pay increases, accrued vacation time, and all those other "perks" that take away from Corporate profits, and one presumes, 401K investments.

    August 6, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. MaryM

    Guess republicans still have not learned their lesson from the 2012 elections. Same ol garbage, different day. republicans really want to go the way of the dinosaurs.

    August 6, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. rs

    I think what we're seeing here is another attempt by more mainstream (i.e. "moderate") members of the GOP trying to get out in front of and dilute the TEA Party lunatics. This is probably a very sensible action, and ties in with Christie's more bombastic approach taking on Rand Paul.
    The regular GOP needs to have the TEA Party back in the box by 2014, or the GOP is toast.

    August 6, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  20. Bill

    Is this part of the GOP "rebranding" effort. Someone at headquarters is asleep at the switch (memo to Rinse Preibus). This goof needs to be put on a shelf and forgotten. Trotting him out like this only serves as a reminder to people what a disaster the GOP has become and why they continue to lose elections.

    August 6, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Anybody else thinking that based on the disposable trash that the GOP has insofar as "candidates" for 2016 that Mittens might seriously be considering throwing his size 28 3/4 hat into the ring....AGAIN?!
    Talk about having unlimited disposable income.
    I'm sensing a return of her royal highness to the limelight she so craves.

    August 6, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. Fred Finegold

    Romney the Mormon for president.

    NEVER!!!!

    August 6, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. Tom

    The fact that there are Republicans willing to pay $1,500 bucks to see Mitt again is kind of mind boggling. I wonder how many fellow Republicans will jump at the chance to have Mitt "help" them in 2014?

    August 6, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. rs

    tom l

    @kirk
    So, Mr. Reid goes on the senate floor to talk about how he has heard that Romney didn't pay his taxes. Now where could he have possibly gotten that information? Oh yeah, perhaps it was the IRS that leaked that information. This is just another reason why it is so obvious that the IRS targeted conservative groups. It is so obvious.
    ___________________________
    C'mon Tom, conspiracy theories are silly. You mean no one, but Mr. Romney and some deep force within the IRS ever saw his returns? Not accountants, business associates, people in the Caymens, book keepers, office staff, secretaries, mail boys, family? Nobody? You don't make $50k a day and no one knows or sees.
    Think of this as Mr. Romney's 47% gaff- it *might* have been one of the "little people" Romney has to tolerate that did the deed.Far more likely than an agency of the federal government headed by a Republican, don't you think?

    August 6, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    rs wrote:

    I think what we're seeing here is another attempt by more mainstream (i.e. "moderate") members of the GOP trying to get out in front of and dilute the TEA Party lunatics. This is probably a very sensible action, and ties in with Christie's more bombastic approach taking on Rand Paul.
    The regular GOP needs to have the TEA Party back in the box by 2014, or the GOP is toast.
    ------------------------
    I agree. The Grand Old Tea Party is starting to remind me of "Animal House". It keeps getting crazier by the moment.

    August 6, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
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