- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Romney makes strong pitch to GOP gathering
Question of the Day
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Connecting with an audience crucial to his presidential hopes, a relaxed Mitt Romney spoke to GOP state chairmen here at a luncheon Friday that left many party officials more encouraged that he could credibly go up against President Obama in November.
Building on a strong introduction from Arizona Sen. John McCain, the party's nominee four years ago, Mr. Romney managed to speak respectfully of the Democratic president, saying he has met and liked Mr. Obama the man. But on issues ranging from the economy and energy to free trade and America's place in the world, Mr. Romney said the president had been a disappointment as the nation's CEO the past four years.
Some of the elected GOP officials said later it wasn't so much the words – some were funny, few were memorable – that Mr. McCain and Mr Romney used, so much as the confident way they spoke them.
The former Massachusetts governor, who has all but wrapped up the GOP nomination, quipped that Mr. Obama's idea of promoting domestic energy was to approve expensive things above ground but not below, where the truly abundant and cheap energy sources reside.
"I'll build the [Keystone] pipeline myself if I have to," he said with a determined-looking smile, referring to a massive Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline that Mr. Obama had refused to put on hold in the face of strong environmentalist concerns.
Mr. McCain, whose own performance on the stump in 2008 often lacked verve and passion in making the case for his candidacy, this time won repeated rounds of applause and a few standing ovations during his presentation of Mr. Romney to 40 state party chairmen and another 40 Republican National Committee officials.
When it came Mr. Romney's turn, he proceeded to talk directly to his listeners. Sometimes criticized privately as "wooden" on the stump, Mr. Romney generated what appeared to be real emotion from the audience that he had failed to elicit during his failed 2008 bid and for much of the current political cycle as he struggled to clinch the nomination.
Repeating his often-told stump story about witnessing passengers at a Boston airport spontaneously salute the casket of a U.S. serviceman killed in the Middle East arriving home, Mr. Romney brought tears to the eyes of many listeners.
At one point, Mr. Romney named each of his nomination rivals in thanking them for making the contest useful to GOP primary and caucus voters. Nods of approval spread through the audience at the Fairmont hotel here.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
- GOP 2014: Oklahoma's Mary Fallin follows in her parents' footsteps
- GOP 2014: In New Mexico, Susana Martinez is the hope for Hispanics
- GOP 2014: Thriving economy, school choice fuel Bobby Jindal agenda in Louisiana
- GOP 2014: Scott Walker survives, Wisconsin thrives
- GOP 2014: From House to Statehouse for Indiana's Mike Pence
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- House GOP resurrects border bill, predicts successful Friday vote
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Islamic militants seize Benghazi as U.S. evacuates Libya
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors