Homecoming for Romney as new video comes out
February 16th, 2011
11:18 AM ET
12 years ago

Homecoming for Romney as new video comes out

Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney's in Utah Wednesday, one day after he made a swing through the crucial early-voting state of Nevada.

The former Massachusetts governor and former Republican presidential candidate, who appears to be gearing up for another bid for the White House, is meeting with friends, supporters and potential donors in Utah, a senior Romney adviser confirms to CNN.

The meetings come as Romney released a new video highlighting parts his speech Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The video, which has the feel of an extended campaign commercial, is up on the website of the Free and Strong America PAC, Romney's political action committee, and will be emailed out to PAC supporters.

CPAC is the largest annual gathering of conservatives from across the country and, coming less than a year before the start of the 2012 presidential primary and caucus calendar, it was the first real cattle call for probable and potential GOP White House hopefuls. The conference concluded with a presidential straw poll. Romney came in second for the second straight year to Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who also made a bid for the last Republican presidential nomination.

Monday found Romney in Nevada, where the state's caucuses go third in next year's GOP presidential primary and caucus season. Romney gave a keynote address to the International Franchise Association's annual conference in Las Vegas and met with potential campaign donors.

The visit to Utah is a homecoming of sorts for Romney, who went to school at Brigham Young University, headed up the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and once owned a home in Park City.

Romney won 90 percent of the vote in Utah's 2008 GOP presidential primary. But this time he may have some competition. Former Utah Gov. and current U.S. Ambassador to China John Huntsman is considering a bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Huntsman says he'll leave his post in Beijing to return stateside by the end of April.

A Deseret News/KSL poll released Saturday indicates that in a hypothetical match up between Romney and Huntsman, 56 percent of Utah voters say they'd back Romney, with 26 percent supporting Huntsman. Among Republicans, Huntsman's support drops to 15 percent compared with Romney's 72 percent. Utah's GOP primaries are closed to non-Republicans.

Both men are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. LDS members are the dominant voting bloc in Utah.

- CNN's Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report

- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    The republicans are going to lose big-time in 2012. Their lies are bigger and bigger and bigger. For instance –today they say the gov't added 200,000 jobs - NOT TRUE - the gov't added about 55,000 jobs. Why are they such liars? If they can't win by telling the truth, then maybe they should NOT WIN.

    February 16, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. GaryB

    Let's see... Romney inherited his wealth and company. His company's main approach to business was to buy up other companies, lay off workers and sell off the parts, increasing unemployment of regular Americans while making rich people richer. In other words, he's the perfect modern Republican.

    February 16, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. james Miller

    Fact – Class warfare has begun in Congress and one of these days soon, we will begin to see the same open revolution here in America as overseas. The wider the disparity grows between the "haves" and the "have nots", the closer we are.

    February 16, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. Dale

    Speaking as a Mormon myself, I would never vote for Romney. He is a pro-war corporatist. Everything he is about is more money for the top 5% of the US population, at the expense of the rest. Typical GOP'er.

    February 16, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    Mitt Romney is in an excellent position heading into 2012 for many reasons. He understands how the economy works and what the Federal Government's role is with respect to the economy. He understands how to run a large organization such as the federal government. He has a strong and consistent set of values, the better to base decisions on. And he is absolutely electable. People across the country are ready to see a more responsible and effective brand of management over the federal government. Hoping and crossing your fingers can only get you so far... we can do better.

    February 16, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Bob in PA

    Give it up Mitt !
    You obviously didn't make much better in Massachusetts during your tenure there. You are not going to get into the White House.

    February 16, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. diridi

    This guy never wins...if he wins, America is going to be just like Bush era, and Reagan era...total looting...

    February 16, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |