Four months ago, former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney came to Michigan to endorse and raise money for U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra's gubernatorial run.On Monday, he was back, but it was Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder who was getting the benefit of the Michigan native's support.OK, that sounds about right. Mitt will endorse anyone until someone wins, then he's all for that guy. Friends call Mitt "The Pope" because his endorsements are infallible. Especially the ones he makes after the election.
Hoekstra worked tirelessly on Romney's presidential campaign in 2008, and Romney was returning the favor during the primary."But it's not like Mitt ever really liked the guy," said a Romney staffer who asked not to be named. "It just gave him a good excuse to come back to Michigan and get some fudge. Mitt really likes the fudge."
Romney said it was Snyder's ability to attract Republicans, independents and Democrats during the Aug. 3 primary election that makes him the right choice. Plus he won. "Let's put aside the party labels. Party labels lead to party positions," Romney said. "Shoot if I had to stick to republican positions, my stump speech woudl be only six minutes long--and I'd probably still contradict myself.
For Georgia Dixon, 59, of Bloomfield Township, having the Romney name attached to Snyder's campaign can only help. "He's so handsome," Dixon said of Romney after getting her picture taken with him. "And with Snyder, hopefully we'll get a new direction for the state. What's he running for again?"
The Romney visit, which included a stop at Snyder's campaign headquarters in Bloomfield Hills and a Birmingham fund-raiser, came during a week when the gubernatorial candidates are making their running mate selections and gearing up for their party conventions this weekend. "Pure coincidence. Mitt is not being considered for the lieutenant governor's position," said an aide to the Snyder canpaign.
Romney left the state shortly after.