Inside the Beltway: Romney goes Hollywood

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There are some eight months left in the 2012 presidential race, so brace for impact: The big shots are charging up glittering campaign machines, worthy of the silver screen. President Obama already has wooed Tinseltown and much of California, even as his strategists huddle to produce a blockbuster voter outreach, maybe in 3-D.

But wait. Mitt Romney is not to be outdone. On March 27, the Republican hopeful puts on his best matinee idol demeanor and heads to Hollywood for a major fundraiser with Harry Sloan, chairman of Global Eagle Acquisition Corp., a media and entertainment concern, and the former CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Mr. Sloan has deep GOP roots. In 1987, President Reagan appointed him to the President’s Advisory Council on Trade and Policy Negotiations.

Can the Romney/Sloan alliance rally and energize Hollywood conservatives and GOPers? Could be.

“Hollywood’s most prominent Republicans may have been tight-fisted so far in the presidential race, with only a handful of moguls such as Terry Semel and Lionsgate Vice-Chairman Michael Burns cutting checks, but that could change as the field narrows,” writes Brent Lang, film reporter for the Los Angeles-based the Wrap, which first reported the upcoming fundraiser.

McCAIN WON’T GO

“This new movie that comes out, people ask me if I’m gonna watch it. I tell them it’ll be a cold day in Gila Bend, Ariz.”

(Sen. John McCain on whether he plans to watch “Game Change,” HBO’s upcoming drama based on the 2008 election, featuring Ed Harris portraying the Arizona Republican and Julianne Moore as a carefully contrived Sarah Palin.)

SANTORUM GOES DEMOCRAT

“We’re selling to not just Republicans, but Republicans and Democrats — Reagan Democrats, who are the key for us winning Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and Michigan.”

(Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, during a campaign stop Tuesday in Perrysville, Ohio.)

GINGRICH GOES TACTICAL

High-profile advisers to Republican hopeful Newt Gingrich have contacted editors and publishers at major newspapers in five Super Tuesday states with a bold “call to conscience” — but no solicitation of endorsement, they say. Former congressmen J.C. Watts and Robert Walker penned a letter outlining Mitt Romney’s “falsehoods,” complete with graphics, stats and drama.

“The purpose of this letter is to ask you to look at the facts we include and if you agree about the threat they pose to the integrity of the electoral process we ask that you use the mighty voice of America’s newspapers to warn voters about Gov. Romney’s attempt to use money and mendacity to secure the Republican nomination,” the pair write.

“We ask you to speak out against a candidate with a great sense of entitlement and very little sense of accountability. We ask you to protest a candidacy and a campaign without a conscience. We ask you to censure and thwart a way of politics that if left unchallenged could corrupt our electoral process and democratic system for a generation,” Mssrs. Watts and Walker say in the letter, on its way to newspapers in Washington, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Ohio.

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