Romney not changing mind on Florida straw poll
September 9th, 2011
12:51 PM ET
12 years ago

Romney not changing mind on Florida straw poll

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - Rick Perry is going to take part in a straw poll later this month in Florida, but Mitt Romney's not changing his mind about skipping the event.

The Texas governor's campaign confirmed to CNN that Perry will personally take part in the Florida GOP's "Presidency 5" straw poll on September 24 in Orlando.

On Monday, Sept. 12th, CNN will broadcast the "Tea Party Republican Debate," live from Tampa, Florida at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.

"Gov. Perry is fully committed to participating in P5," Perry campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan told the St. Petersburg Times on Friday. "The governor is committed to working hard for the vote in Florida. We have the beginnings of a very good organization in Florida and believe the governor's message will win support in Florida."

But a spokesperson for Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who's making his second bid for the White House, told CNN Friday that they have no plans to change their strategy. Romney also skipped last month's GOP presidential straw poll in Ames, Iowa. In June the Romney campaign said that while they respect the straw poll process, they would not take part in straw polls this cycle and instead "focus our energies and resources on winning primaries and caucuses."

The Saturday straw poll follows a GOP presidential debate, which is part of the "Presidency 5" events, on Thursday, and a CPAC Florida gathering on Friday. All three events are being held in Orlando. Romney will be on the stage at the debate and will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference gathering on Friday.

Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and former Utah Gov. and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman will also be on stage at the debate and speak at the CPAC event but will not take part in the straw poll.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who's making his third run for the presidency, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania have also committed to the straw poll, which should draw around 3,500 Republican activists from across the Sunshine state. Florida is expected to play a crucial role in picking the next GOP presidential nominee. If the current primary and caucus calendar holds up, Florida may vote right after Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    Mitt doesn't have the guts to be part of a straw poll ... Parry skips events in the name of helping out with the fires in Texas (granted, his dedication ebbs and flows, depending on how badly he needs it as an excuse to be a no-show) ... None of these Repub "contenders" seem to have what it takes to lead anything, let alone the US.

    September 9, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    I love that photo of the twins separated at birth. One became a secessionist and the other a flip flopper. They are finally reunited and doomed to fail!

    September 9, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    I'm beginning to question Romney's willingness to snub this particular voting block of constituents, be it a straw poll or not. Actually, I'm beginning to question a great deal concerning Romney. His arrogance is starting to show, and with it, a ignorance of who actually WILL be voting for him, and why. Corporate elites might bring in the cash, but snickering at the actual voters isn't a brilliant move, no matter who is running. He really DOES need the St. Petersburg votes to gain the nomination he seems to be taking for granted will be his. Saw some of this same disdain come through in the last debate as well. Romney doesn't seem to play well with others and often times appears mifted when asked to do so. Oh well, his loss, not mine.

    September 9, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    I have YET to see a picture of Rick Perry where he didn't look like he was one dot short on his dice. For some reason though the GOP seems attracted to the non-bright looking candidate. GW Bush, not a bad fella but not one of the smartest looking guys on the planet for sure. Then you have other favorites like Bachmann, Palin, nutjobs like Glenn Beck all seem to be in the sight of the GOP. Heck Huntsman, Romney, even Gingrich don't look nutty and look at where they are at the moment in the polls. There's something screwy going on here!!

    September 9, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Who knew? I thought all the lemmings were extinct, and yet here we have found a pocket of surviving lemmings known as the GOP exhibitting rudimentary tribal social behavior by organizing to choose which lemming is the lemmingest lemming to lead them. Someone call National Geographic and Animal Planet, stat.

    The lemmings leading the lemmings...some might compare it to the the blind leading the blind, but after watching the GOP for the past few decades, I'm pretty sure they see the cliff and run towards it on purpose.

    September 9, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Drogo, who bit the dust

    Romney/Perry 2012 – t's so obvious.

    September 9, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    The eyes are a look into the soul.

    Perry's eyes are cold and dead looking (kinda like a shark). He gives me the creeps.

    September 9, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    $arah Palin said, ""They're [polls] for strippers and cross-country skiers..."

    September 9, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Bill NY

    In any other dimension of existence both of those guys would be in the looney bin, not holding political office.

    September 9, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    I'm no Rick Perry fan by a LONGSHOT but I can't believe the press is giving Romney a free pass on his views of SS. Romney is a snake if ever I saw one. On this McCain was right. At least Perry doesn't flip flop on every issue and I'll give the devil his credit. When attacked on SS / Ponzi Scheme and the death penalty (which I was completely sick to my stomach of the applause) Perry at least TOOK A STAND and backed up his words. Something I've NEVER seen from Romney.

    Should Romney become president (and I doubt this) I will leave the country right away but I will make sure to turn on my television and laugh at those of you who elected him. When he and his five (good for nothing sons who never served in the military) are standing there over your sons/daughters coffins – I will laugh; when he tells you he's FOR SS but is working fiercely to privatize it – I will laugh; and when he sends your jobs overseas – I will laugh even harder. Don't be fooled by this man Romney. There's nothing worse than a person who doesn't take a stand. It's usually because he doesn't stand anywhere.

    September 9, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    The Florida GOTP have decided to try and bend the rules and "in-party" agreements. Typical. I know many conservatives who that rules are for fools and paupers.

    September 9, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. Nunya Biznezz

    If you buy what these 2 used car salesmen (Romney & Perry) are selling. You will not be happy with the product you receive.

    September 9, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. AntiFringe

    Let the Republican party choose their candidate. Let the Democratic party choose their candidate. Let other parties choose their candidate. Then, let the people vote.

    The way we do it now is just a circus.

    September 9, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Lynne

    I know this has nothing to do with this new story, but the picture should be titled "When Ken dolls get old!!!!!" I should have bought stock in Aqua Net and Cover Girl foundation

    September 9, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. Voice of Reason

    Straw polls are completely meaningless. Any poll where the candidates can PAY people to vote for them, and people can vote multiple times, has NO BEARING on reality. I dont blame Romney for not taking part, and would argue that this probably shows better financial judgement on his part.

    But it doesnt matter, because the GOP is now the most marginalized fringe group in the main Tea Party, and Romney isnt loud enough or stupid enough to appeal to the TP base. Here's to a Perry/Bachmann ticket! (An easy win for Obama)

    September 9, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. thomas

    CNN , great story !
    "The contrast between the personalities of Mitt and George is pretty pronounced," he told me. "Though both fairly forceful, dynamic characters, Mitt, quite frankly, is the plastic man.
    "He looks like his father in many respects but the directness and openness of George Romney simply is not there. You get the feeling everything is calculated, beyond his changing positions on the issues. It's like everything he says - it just doesn't have the veracity, the ring of candor that you got from his father."

    Now I understand why Mitt is abscessed about being President . he has something to prove !
    I wish Mitt would explain way none of his five sons did any military service , Mitts Father would be to the point !

    September 9, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |