By Ros Krasny
(Reuters) – Opinion polls come and go, but for those with money on the line Mitt Romney is now a heavy favorite to win the 2012 Republican presidential nomination and go on to challenge President Barack Obama.
Two electronic markets that allow wagering on real-world events have the former Massachusetts governor well ahead, days before the first votes are tallied in a months-long series of state elections to pick the Republican nominee.
The impossibly handsome, all-American foursome that walked into the Windham Restaurant on Thursday morning might have meant that a Ralph Lauren photo shoot was getting under way. Or it could have just meant that the Romney boys were back in town.
With Papa Romney busy campaigning in Iowa, four of his five sons — Tagg, Matt, Josh and Craig — as well as his grandson, Joe, stumped for the candidate in New Hampshire, regaling voters with stories of Mitt and his various exploits as family man extraordinaire, legendary household tightwad, savior of the Salt Lake City Olympics, and so on.
CONCORD, New Hampshire (Reuters) – Square-jawed and clean-cut, four of Mitt Romney’s five sons made a campaign swing through New Hampshire on Thursday to push their father’s presidential bid and try to boost his credentials as a family man.
While the elder Romney stumped in Iowa ahead of the January 3 caucuses there, Tagg, Josh, Matt and Craig Romney met voters at a coffee shop and ate lunch with local Republicans in New Hampshire, which holds its primary in the Republican race to nominate a presidential candidate on January 10.
Republican White House hopeful Newt Gingrich has termed his failure to make it onto the presidential primary ballot in Virginia, the state where he lives and is leading in the polls, in pretty grandiose terms, comparing the weekend events to Pearl Harbor. That allowed rival Mitt Romney to get off a zinger on Monday as he prepared to leave the friendly confines of New Hampshire for three days of tough campaigning in Iowa.
On Saturday, Gingrich’s national campaign director Michael Krull put out a statement after his candidate was knocked off the Virginia ballot for failing to garner enough verifiable signatures from residents: “Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941: We have experienced an unexpected setback, but we will re-group and re-focus with increased determination, commitment and positive action,” Krull said on Facebook.
TILTON, New Hampshire (Reuters) – - Ten days before the first votes in the 2012 Republican presidential race, Mitt Romney’s well-funded campaign machine has held off the most serious challenge to his White House bid and is keeping him near the top of the pack.
The denting of his main rival, Newt Gingrich, endorsements from respected Republicans and a series of well-received media interviews over the past couple of weeks have boosted the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign.
BERLIN, New Hampshire (Reuters) – A more confident and energized Mitt Romney is putting his people skills to the test in New Hampshire as he tries to fix a likeability issue that hurt his failed bid for the White House in 2008.
The Republican presidential hopeful is shaking hands, signing autographs and pumping diesel in a dozen appearances over three days in a classic campaign bus tour aimed at winning the Republican nomination backed by television ads.
Perhaps it’s no surprise to know that Mitt Romney is a car nut.
After all, Romney grew up in Michigan, where his father, George, once ran American Motors Corporation before becoming the state’s governor and launching his own failed bid for the White House.
Romney talked about his cars at campaign stops in Lancaster and Randolph, New Hampshire – and even offered to buy a classic car.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could be excused for having flashbacks to the 1960s when he went door to door in Berlin, New Hampshire, on Thursday.
The former Massachusetts governor worked in France as a Mormon missionary from 1966 to 1968, one of the church’s thousands of earnest young men (mostly) who knock on doors and proselytize. At that point Romney had plenty of doors slammed in his face, but on Thursday, not so much.
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Reuters) – Congressman Ron Paul is one of the favorites to win the Iowa caucuses vote on January 3 but his libertarian and isolationist message may to be too much for Republican voters and party grandees as the nomination process moves to other states.
“What he could do is turn a victory in Iowa into a heart attack for the Republican establishment. They see him as someone they really can’t relate to very much,” said Tobe Berkowitz, a communications professor at Boston University.
BEDFORD, New Hampshire (Reuters) – Republican Mitt Romney kept his sights on President Barack Obama on Tuesday as he kicked off a series of events aimed at locking up his front-runner status in the important early voting state of New Hampshire.
The former Massachusetts governor spoke to a fired-up crowd of supporters at the historic Bedford town hall.