February 4th, 2008
07:09 AM ET
13 years ago

Romney predicts conservatives will stop McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/03/art.romneyle.ap.jpg caption=" Romney appeared on CNN's Late Edition Sunday."](CNN) - Mitt Romney predicted Sunday his party's conservative base will rally behind him on Super Tuesday in order to prevent John McCain from winning the Republican nomination.

"What I have to do is continue to see what's been happening the last few days, specifically that is conservatives across the country are saying, 'whoa, we have to get behind Mitt Romney,'" he said on CNN's Late Edition.

"You've got people like Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham and the list goes on and on and on - Hugh Hewitt, Lars Larson - conservative voices, both from radio and from publications, are saying, 'you know what, we've got to get behind Mitt Romney,'" he continued. "We really can't afford John McCain as the nominee of our party."

Following McCain's victory in Florida Tuesday, some prominent conservatives have expressed dismay with the prospect of the Arizona senator capturing the Republican nomination. On Wednesday, talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said McCain's rise was the product of a 'fractured' conservative base and an "uninspiring" GOP presidential field.

"He is not the choice of conservatives, as opposed to the choice of the Republican establishment — and that distinction is key," Limbaugh said. "The Republican establishment, which has long sought to rid the party of conservative influence since Reagan, is feeling a victory today as well as our friends in the media."

Meanwhile, conservative commentator Ann Coulter said Thursday she would support Hillary Clinton over McCain.

"If you are looking at substance rather than if there is an R or a D after his name, manifestly, if he's our candidate, than Hillary is going to be our girl, because she's more conservative than he is," Coulter said. "I think she would be stronger on the war on terrorism."

But McCain also picked up support from some key conservatives this week, such as former Solicitor General Ted Olson and Georgia Sens. Johnny Isaacson and Saxby Chambliss, and on CBS Face the Nation Sunday the Arizona senator said, "I have a strong conservative record that I'm proud to run on."

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- CNN Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: John McCain • Mitt Romney
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. True Vote

    "Chameleon, you come and go, you come and gooooo" Romney you have NO CHANCE!! I rather look at a rainbow to see that many colors. GO Huckabee!!!!!

    February 5, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. fightingformyrights

    I am definitely a Mitt Romney supporter. He is the only one I want to vote for. I'm so tired of people saying that he flip-flops on things. All of the candadates have changed positions on things. If that is the worst thing they can find about Romney then it is not rocket science to figure out. He is clean, honorable, and an outstanding conservative leader. McCain looks like an angry person who I feel would not be a good mediator with foreign affairs. We need someone who will get the job done by someone who can unite America. Mitt Romney is the man with the plan!

    February 5, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. fightingformyrights

    Mike Huckabee is hurting the conservative republicans by staying in the race. He knows he cannot win but continues to do so to hurt Mitt Romney. If he really cared about our country, he would get behind the conservatives and stop thinking about himself.

    February 5, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. Waiting in Oregon

    The RNC needs to understand that by trying to shove McCain down our throats, they are alienating their base. We’ve stood by while President Bush spent like a drunken sailor, and as the leader of the party, “forced” Republican legislators to follow along. Many lost their seats in 2006 because of the Presidents’ poor leadership. (It wasn’t the war) We’ve been waiting for a true conservative, and we won’t be robbed. We will sit this one out if McCain is the nominee for two reasons.
    1. It will send a strong message to the “Grand Old Party” to stop taking us for granted. You need us!
    2. If Hillary or Obama wins, we’ll see a repeat of 1994 in 2010. The Republicans will come up with an actual plan like their ’94 Contract with America. How novel!
    Huckabee is very conservative on social issues, but is not fiscally. (Bush repeat)
    Romney has a record of being conservative on both social and fiscal issues, and that is why he will get my vote.

    February 6, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
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