The presidential election ended almost nine months ago, but Mitt Romney re-emerged Tuesday to continue his fight against President Barack Obama’s policies and assert himself as a Republican Party elder at a time when the party is struggling to find its path forward.
Romney sought to re-establish himself as a force within the GOP with a speech in the politically crucial state of New Hampshire, weighing in on the fractious battles to play out within the Republican Party since last November.
The former Massachusetts governor most pointedly sought to tamp down a charge led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Tea Party conservatives, who have vowed not to fund the government — risking a government shutdown — unless Obama’s health care law is defunded.
The former presidential candidate shared his thoughts on the debate, telling several hundred Republican donors at a fundraiser in New Hampshire, “we’ve got to stay smart, very smart.” The Daily Rundown’s Chuck Todd reports.
“I badly want Obamacare to go away, and stripping it of funds has appeal. But we need to exercise great care about any talk of shutting down government,” Romney said. “I’m afraid that in the final analysis, Obamacare would get its funding, our party would suffer in the next elections, and the people of the nation would not be happy.”
Having lost last fall’s presidential contest, many Republicans eagerly shuffled Romney to the dustbin of history following the election, and he has mostly shied away from the public spotlight since that defeat.
His speech was a remarkable effort by Romney to revive his reputation as a force in the GOP, following an election in which the former Bain Capital CEO struggled for months to rally conservatives behind his candidacy. Record-low performances among Latino voters and an absolute deficit in digital infrastructure versus the Obama campaign prompted Republicans to engage in post-electoral soul-searching, the implicit assumption of which was that the Romney campaign had failed on many fronts.
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