April 4th, 2008
11:15 AM ET
15 years ago

Former Romney backer warns McCain not to pick him for VP

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/04/art.nomitt.cnn.jpg
caption="Conservative activists are speaking out against a Romney spot on the GOP ticket."] (CNN) - Conservative leader Paul Weyrich – who endorsed Mitt Romney’s presidential bid – has signed on to an open letter from more than two dozen movement activists to John McCain warning him not to select the former Massachusetts governor as his VP pick if he expects their support.

"If Governor Romney is on your ticket, many social conservative voters will consider their values repudiated by the Republican Party and either stay away from the polls this November or only vote down the ticket,” they write in a message posted online by a political action committee called “Government is Not God.”

The letter – topped by the headline “NO Mitt” - will run as a print ad in cities visited by McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, beginning with his Arizona stop this weekend.

The group includes supporters of Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee like activists Gary Glenn and Janet Folger, along with conservatives who have long criticized Romney for his past stands on issues like abortion.

Weyrich endorsed Huckabee after Romney left the race. The activist’s opposition to the former governor marks a complete reversal from his position as recently as last month, when he told the National Journal that McCain was unlikely to select Romney as his running mate – but that he should.

"If he selects somebody bad from our point of view, it's going to be very difficult," he told the magazine. "It will reinforce prejudice against him. If he selects somebody pretty good, it'll be moderately helpful.... It would help if he selected Mitt Romney, but he won't."

Filed under: John McCain • Mitt Romney
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Chuck, TN

    Romney would be the one person who can guarantee a Democratic win. The Independents hate Romney and the Social Conservatives don't trust him. The only ones who back Romney are the Fiscal Conservatives.

    April 4, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. P

    to TJS: if you don't want to vote for someone who changes their beliefs to get a vote than changes them again, who are you going to vote for????????

    April 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. Obama Supporter

    The guestion is, can he admit he was for Romney before he was against him, or will he pull an HRC and deny ever supporting Romney? 😉

    April 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Allison R.

    When will social conservatives realize the world is moving on without them?

    April 4, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Anabelle Lee

    It'll be Charlie Crist. Governor of Florida.

    April 4, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. William from AZ

    Don't worry, the only way McCain would ever win this November, is if he changes his name to Barack Obama.

    April 4, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. Brian

    Mitt should be VP of the Goo Ol'boy Party..... oh wait he dosn;t fit the mold of White male protestant..... the only nominations that the GOP can give in their history

    April 4, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. Mike

    I highly doubt Romney ever made it on to McCains list anyway. If McCain looks for a conservative for his ticket he is going to look for a "Reagan Conservative" like Haley Babour who appeals to both sides and not just the right. Going all the way to the right is just as bad as going all the way to left, either way you will eventually fall off.

    April 4, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. Daniel

    Mormons should never be able to run for any type of office. They're brainwashed.

    April 4, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. Linda of Atlanta

    The Republican Party will loose this election because it is so controlled by a few people with very narrow views, but lots of money. They personify arrogance and entitlement. I will be happy to see their era of dominance and division ushered out of the White House and hopefully out of Congress.

    April 4, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. Saad

    I think McCain and Romney will make a good couple. Far better, above and beyond the Bush and Cheney ticket.

    April 4, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. mike

    This ad campaign is being supported by all Huckbee supporters and is a continuation of the Anti-Romney/Mormon, Huckabee fight. I believe McCain will see through religious intolerance and pick the best person to be his VP. I believe this person will be Mitt Romney

    April 4, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. Daniel

    He does have magic underwear, and he comes from the one true chruch. The one true church with less then 1% of Americans.

    Hello... a gay man has more of a chance then a Mormon.

    April 4, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    These "No Mittsters" should stop this petulant nonsense immediately lest they give any more support to their "takes-a-village" opponents, currently in the undemocratic (but very Democratic) process of destroying themselves.

    April 4, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. Theo

    I think it's more important where they stand now, and their recent track record, rather than how they were 15 years ago. Reagan was originally a Democrat. Dennis Miller and Evan Sayet were both staunch Liberals who've almost completely changed their stance after seeing the Socialist agenda of modern Liberals following 9/11.

    I think it would be refreshing to have Mitt at VP. It would be good to have an honest, forthright, moral, and upstanding person as the right-hand adviser to the POTUS. Huckabee's religious bigotry (against all Mormons) is alarming, and he had a much weaker showing at the polls (he only barely beat Romney despite staying in the race months longer).

    April 4, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Donald, SC

    “Government is Not God.”

    That is exactly what Rev. Wright said in his unedited sermon. So now are these folks also anti-Americans? Or does the title only apply to retired ex-marines who fought for their country, but describes her behavior as it is?

    April 4, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Hamilton

    And they couldn't just send him an e-mail or give him a phone call? Such attention mongers those Republicans

    April 4, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Shannon Shiflett

    I think it's high time the Republican Party kicked these right-wing neo-conservatives out of their party. Instead they count on these fake religious leaders and their human cattle congregations to vote them into office, and then they are obligated to make laws based on their ideological irrationality, and it's not good for the American people, and it is not the will of the American people. Let these people and their imaginary friend Jesus form their own 3rd party and see how far they get. Nowhere, God willing.

    April 4, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. David

    Okay, just so I understand correctly, if McCain were to pick Romney as his running mate right wing conservatives would either not vote at all or vote Democrat? That's beyond laughable. It is the stupidest argument I've ever heard.

    Obama is staunchly pro-abortion rights. He voted no on the proposition to ban partial birth abortion. How does voting for him help the right wing cause? Hillary Clinton is pro-gay rights. She wants to repeal "don't ask don't tell" so gays can serve openly in the military. She also supports civil unions so gays can obtain legal rights enjoyed by straight married couples. How does voting for Hillary help the right wing cause?

    So go ahead you ultra conservatives. Vote for Obama or Clinton and cut your nose off despite your face. What a bunch of morons.

    April 4, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. j williamson

    Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to millions of illegals in the mid-1980's. This caused millions more to swarm here to wait for the "next one." That wasn't so conservative, though Reagan has been made something of a secular saint by the right-wing of the Republican party. Go figure.

    April 4, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. Independent In Texas

    I think McCain should talk Clinton into switching parties and running as VP. She has a better chance of wooing conservatives than he does.

    McCain/Clinton '08!

    April 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. Dave

    First, in spite of a reversal on his position on abortion, Romney won the values summit in the summer.

    Second, Romney is considered by most republicans to be more conservative than McCain. McCain needs to win over the conservative base or he will lose the election.

    Third, McCain is strong on defense issues and terrible on economic issues. American is in financial crisis, and Romney has expertise in this area.

    I don't know what McCain will do, but he is crazy if he does not have Romney as his VP.

    April 4, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. Charlotte

    McCain needs to think about this decision. This VP could finish out his term. I, for one, am very concerned who would replace McCain in the event of his demise. I will write in Hillary if Obama is the nominee. McCain will beat Obama and we're stuck for 4 more years.

    April 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. After further review,Texas

    Cindy runs the show,always has,always will.

    April 4, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. Franky

    By the way, how do you know if you're a conservative??? I mean, it just happens??? But on the other hand, I guess you just wake up one day and say, "I'm a conservative today"! LOL!!! The only conservative person that I know for a fact is my sister, that's it. And she's a Republican for crying out loud, LOL!!! Hmmm, come to think about it, I guess I'm also one..........but I don't feel like one, LOL!!! Yep, politics are weird I tell you...

    April 4, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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