Mitt Romney strikes again
May 1st, 2014
11:57 AM ET
4 months ago

Mitt Romney strikes again

(CNN) - Mitt Romney is playing an increasingly large role in campaign politics, especially for a man who says he has no intention of running for higher office again.

Thursday the former Massachusetts governor and two-time White House candidate gave his support to a GOP Senate candidate in Oregon. The endorsement is the latest sign that the 2012 Republican presidential nominee plans to play an influential role in helping to shape the future of his party.

Romney endorsed Dr. Monica Wehby, a Portland pediatric neurosurgeon running in Oregon's May 20th Republican primary for Senate. The winner of that contest will face off this November against first-term Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, who Republicans think may be vulnerable if 2014 turns into a wave year for the GOP.

"Dr. Wehby is the kind of leader Oregon needs – someone who has strong experience outside of government, who can bring trust and accountability back to Washington. Dr. Wehby is putting forward a positive and conservative vision for her campaign that will make Oregonians proud," Romney said in a statement obtained by CNN.

Oregon is a vote-by-mail state, with ballots being sent out starting Thursday and voting ending on May 20. Wehby, a first time candidate is running against state Rep. Jason Conger, considered the more conservative candidate in the primary race.

CNN special coverage: 2014 midterm elections

Romney's endorsement of Wehby, first reported nationally by Politico, follows the Tuesday endorsement of the doctor by another 2012 Republican presidential candidate: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who's a co-host of CNN's "Crossfire."

Monday NewRepublican.org announced that it was going up with television, digital and radio spots in support of Wehby. The organization was formed early last year, following the 2012 GOP election defeats, by a group of Republican veterans to refocus the party's messaging and policy goals in an attempt to broaden the GOP's appeal beyond its traditional demographic base.

The spots are the group's first paid TV commercials to back a candidate. NewRepublican.org founder Alex Castellanos, a veteran GOP strategist and CNN contributor, said his group is spending six figures to run the spots through primary day.

Oregon's Democratic Party said the new ads and endorsements are a move to prop up Wehby by establishment Republicans "due to their failure to connect to women or minority voters."

"Newsflash to Monica Wehby, and the rest of the D.C. GOP establishment: if you want to appeal to women voters and rebrand your party, support women on issues like equal pay, raising the minimum wage, and funding programs supporting women's health, don't compare high heels to work boots in television ads," Democratic Party of Oregon Chairman Frank Dixon said in a statement.

Wehby, who enjoys the support of several GOP senators including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, grabbed some attention last week for a campaign ad of her own. The 60-second spot highlights a woman who was advised to consider terminating her pregnancy because her unborn daughter had spinal problems. The woman then goes on to recall how Wehby operated on her daughter shortly after she was born, and that the girl is now a healthy 12-year-old.

Romney's new role

Romney's endorsement of Wehby comes on the same day that he's featured in a new television commercial for Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho.

The spot, by Simpson's campaign, uses a clip of Romney saying "Mike Simpson, fighting for a balanced budget amendment. A-plus rating from NRA. A-plus rating from Right to Life. Fighting to hold down taxes and balance the budget."

The ad buy for the commercial is described as "sizable."

Last month Romney stared in a television commercial put out by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in support of Simpson, who faces a fierce primary challenge this year from a candidate backed by many tea party groups and by some conservative Washington-based organizations. One of those groups, Club for Growth, has gone up with ads critical of Simpson, and another, the Madison Project, this week starting running a spot that called the eight-term congressman a "Nancy Pelosi Republican."

Simpson was an early backer of Romney's last presidential campaign. Another big backer, former California state lawmaker Tony Strickland, is running for an open U.S. House seat long held by the GOP. Last week, as first reported by CNN, Strickland was endorsed by Romney.

Romney's backing of Strickland came one day after he endorsed state lawmaker Andy Tobin in the Republican primary for Arizona's 1st Congressional District. The Arizona House Speaker was a supporter of Romney's 2012 White House bid.

Key races to watch in 2014

Romney stayed far from the political spotlight following his bruising November 2012 election defeat to President Barack Obama. But starting last spring when he hosted a summit in Park City Utah of some major political and business leaders, and last summer, when he headlined a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican party, he's been getting more and more involved in shaping the future of his party and guiding the national conversation.

So far this cycle he's endorsed or donated money to nearly 20 candidates, many of them establishment favorites who backed Romney in his White House runs.

With the two living former Republican presidents, George W. Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush, both staying far from the political conversation, Romney has begun to fill the void as a party elder.


Filed under: 2014 • House • Mitt Romney • Oregon • Senate • Senate Race
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. DRAKE MALLARD

    There was a man call mitt romney who did too little too late with tax havens and offshore accounts. He was a rich man he was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan/ Rich from birth, raised in prep schools, no early exposure to minorities outside of maids, a powerful daddy to clean up his misstepss . timely exemptions from military service What a dope this trust fund baby was. His tax-cut math just doesn't add up. He never had to earn anything he talk smack about 47% not paying taxes and responsibility to care for them, Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing you-name-it. He said saved business with “creative destruction." It's the age-old theory that the new must constantly attack the old to bring efficiency to the economy, even if some are destroyed along the way, mitt was born-insecure, he understand the hardships facing ordinary Americans. For example, one of his cars was out of gas so he have to pump his own gas he know hardship. born-insecure, jock-jawed ! His Tax policy are made up of small mystical creatures and health problems are already solved through the miracle of .emergency rooms! He loves being able to fire people who provide services to him. mitt the twit is not concerned about the very poor because We have a safety net there. He lost to a man with unemployment at 8% /Now look at him shiver. Beg for mercy, rich man.

    May 1, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    smith

    @Rudy-You didn`t read Gurgy`s comment. Gurygl askes why Mitt was being put in the spotlight. Gore also threw himself in the spotlight with his global warming fodder.
    -----------------------------
    I understood it to be a rhetorical question. Mitt puts himself in the spotlight. Mitt Romney has been a complete disgrace to his party, acting like a sore loser. Unlike Gore, Romney has not acted like a someone who could have been POTUS. He's acted like someone who lost the vote to be the next CEO.

    Mitt is endorsing candidates 18 months after losing the general election. There's no comparison. Stop manufacturing one, and making up excuses for Romney's excesses.

    May 1, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Abbey

    Mitts go it right with Russia and Putin. The Democrats should get their tail whipped for this.
    ---------------------------------
    The voters got it right about Mitt, too. Had Romney won, we'd be saying to ourselves "nuclear winter is coming."

    May 1, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    One thing Gore DIDN'T do was run around bashing Bush about every decision he made. And he damn sure wasn't running around pretending he was the POTUS.

    Unlike another loser we all know....

    May 1, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. Richard Right

    Many of you realize that Romney was the better candidate but you are so committed, you must insult, amazing.

    May 1, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda/Minnesota

    @ smith

    Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I believe after Al Gore encouraged Americans to get behind GW after the recount was ended, he left politics behind and stayed out of the fray. I can't think when he spent his time publicly endorsing other candidates prior to 2008.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Correct Lynda.
    Gore used his spotlight which he earned as ex-v.p. to focus attention on an issue that some would like to dismiss as hogwash: global warming.
    He did not use his spotlight after being robbed to endorse or inject himself into the poltical careers of wannabe's that are going nowhere fast.
    IMO.

    May 1, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. wyoming21

    Why do GOP'ers get violent words attached to their actions.. Romney strikes......Obama supports. McCain confronts, Pelosi asks.........Boehner launches attack.....Reid speaks from the senate floor..... It's all about perception, and the media spin and slant for their favored party.

    May 1, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Richard Right

    Many of you realize that Romney was the better candidate but you are so committed, you must insult, amazing.
    -----------------------------
    Insulting? Seriously? Telling the truth is an insult in your binder? If telling the truth about Romney blaming "free stuff" for his loss, then I'm proud to be guilty as charged.

    May 1, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    LOL. The endorsement of a three time loser. Just like shrub #43 now endorsing his brother jeb.
    What a bunch of clowns!

    May 1, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    smith

    @Gurgyl-They bring up Mitty the same way they brought up Gore. Gore was defeated also.
    ----------
    That's false. Al Gore began doing humanitarian work. You know, that whole global warming thing. He even started up his own cable network. No, Al Gore was not active in the political arena as you want to suggest.
    --------
    Profiting off the global warming pseudo-religion to the tune of $100 million is hardly "humanitarian work". As far as his own cable network???? Naaaahhhhh... Courant TV wasn't political in the least..........

    May 1, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Thomas

    I could never vote for a guy who wants to privatize Nation Parks for there natural resources .

    5 sons , none volunteered for military duty , not one !

    Mitt is a corporation .

    May 1, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Denise

    Many of us realized that he was the better candidate? Really? lol

    May 1, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. Gurgyl

    --neither Mittens nor Jebbens a worth to be cooks in WH. Understand?

    May 1, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. Silence DoGood

    @wyoming21
    Why do GOP'ers get violent words attached to their actions.. Romney strikes......Obama supports. McCain confronts, Pelosi asks.........Boehner launches attack.....Reid speaks from the senate floor..... It's all about perception, and the media spin and slant for their favored party.
    -------------
    After supporting (originally) a crazy rancher with guns and friends with guns breaking the law and threatening law enforcers with violence, it just kinda makes sense.
    And then you have the crazy core Tea Party which has on many occasions literally advocated a violent overthrow of the government and assassination. It kinda makes sense.

    May 1, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. Silence DoGood

    @Richard Right
    Many of you realize that Romney was the better candidate but you are so committed, you must insult, amazing.
    --------–
    Yeah the 47% lazy sinner losers just loved him.

    May 1, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    smith

    @Gurgyl-They bring up Mitty the same way they brought up Gore. Gore was defeated also.
    ----
    That's false. Al Gore began doing humanitarian work. You know, that whole global warming thing. He even started up his own cable network. No, Al Gore was not active in the political arena as you want to suggest.
    --–
    Profiting off the global warming pseudo-religion to the tune of $100 million is hardly "humanitarian work". As far as his own cable network???? Naaaahhhhh... Courant TV wasn't political in the least.......
    ===============================================================
    Why, thank-you again, Fair. This makes 20,000 Romney bucks I owe you. Despite smith's insistence to the contrary, the cable network was NOT political in the least. Likewise, Gore's global warming work was no more political than Romney's dancing horse.

    May 1, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. S. B. Stein

    So he wants to be a kingmaker. I think he'd be better off leaving things to other people.

    May 1, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. ritmocojo

    How can you get an endorsement out of an empty suit?

    May 1, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. Monomachos

    Drake hates rich people.

    Your profile of Romney shows that you never bothered to learn the truth about Romney and bought the "rich men don't understand me" line hook, line and sinker. yes his family was wealthy, but they still instilled values of hard work, self-reliance, and concern for the less fortunate into their children. George Romney supported the civil rights movement early on. Mitt made his own fortune and did nothing illegal in doing so or in investing his money. Whatever money his parents left him was donated to charity. I don't know what it is that makes people dislike smart successful people, but at least get your facts right.

    May 1, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. Vic of New York

    And that role is... supresing the other 47% ?

    May 1, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. WOW

    Yeah Denise...REALLY!!!!...after seeing what this Administration is doing to our country, we could NOT have done any worse!!!

    May 1, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. Torsten

    Hope he runs again. There hasn't been as virtuous and capable a man to run for high office probably ever, in this country.

    Apparently both low ends of the electorate fail to realize it. That's why America isn't a country anymore– rather just a field of play.

    May 1, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Bigd9749

    Mitt stay home and watch your wife play with her tax-payer funded horses

    May 1, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
1 2