Tampa, Fla.—Four years after John McCain’s presidential campaign wrote off any effort in Michigan and stopped competing for its electoral votes in October, the state’s Republicans made it clear Sunday night that they were going all out this fall to deliver to Mitt Romney the sixteen electoral votes from the state of his birth.
“We’re going to win because we know Mitt Romney and we’ve got boots on the ground for him,” State Attorney General Bill Schuette, co-chairman of Romney’s campaign in Michigan, told Human Events Sunday night. Noting that unemployment in the state is still hovering at the national average of 8 percent, Schuette said that “you could ask Michiganians the question Ronald Reagan made famous—are you better off now than you were four years ago?—and most would say ‘no.’ Too many are still out of work and they feel there is too much spending by government.”
Schuette said that the sharply different visions of America of Romney and Obama would work to the Republican nominee’s advantage in Michigan. Voters will see in Romney, he said, “a jobs guy and a private sector guy, who wants more opportunity and more freedom, as opposed to someone who wants more dependency on government and bringing us closer to European-style government.”
State Party Chairman Bobby Schostak agreed, saying most polls show Obama and Romney “four or five percentage points apart but no more.” He also dismissed analysis that the administration-backed auto bailout would be a major asset for Obama in Michigan.
“The bailout is the subject of a lot of conversation,” Schostak told Human Events , “but it’s all a lot of nothing. The new design of autos and not the bailout are mainly responsible for the auto industry’s rebound, not the taxpayer-backed bailout.”
Former Oakland County GOP chairman and veteran political consultant Paul Welday told us that Romney has an advantage “in that we’ve all grown up with the name. His father was governor and is a legend and several family members have been involved in politics. He’s got to carry Oakland, win big in western Michigan counties such as Kent and Ottawa, which are Republican. But he also has to win in Macomb County, which is strongly blue-collar and culturally conservative. It is here that his pro-growth agenda, and the choice of Paul Ryan, will help tremendously—reaching conservatives who don’t read Human Events but do read Sports Illustrated.”