Mitt Romney Active in Florida, Other States, Amid Buzz of 2016 Run
Around the State
Former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., went to bat for a Republican congressional hopeful in Florida this week and will turn his attention to flipping a seat for the GOP in the U.S. Senate in the days to come as buzz continues that he will make a third try for the White House in 2016.
On Monday, Romney, the GOP’s presidential nominee who came up short against President Barack Obama in 2012, endorsed Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo who is running in the Republican primary to challenge U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., in November. Garcia is considered a top target for Republicans.
"I am proud to stand with Carlos Curbelo, a young conservative leader who will work hard to reform our government, balance the budget, and improve the quality of life for the people of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties,” Romney said in his endorsement on Monday. “As an education reformer, Carlos puts students first. In Washington, he will put his community and our country first. I urge my friends in Florida's 26th Congressional District to vote for Carlos Curbelo.”
"Gov. Romney is a great leader who has dedicated many years of his life to serving our nation, with a vision for future generations, and always striving to make us better and stronger,” Curbelo said. “In the last election he earned the support and respect of many millions of Americans. I am honored to have his endorsement, and I share his vision for a smaller, limited government that will lead to more freedom and a robust economy for every American.”
Romney doubled down on his support for Curbelo on Tuesday, emailing supporters in an attempt to rally behind the Florida Republican.
“Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking to Carlos Curbelo and letting him know that he has my full support in his campaign against Joe Garcia in Florida’s 26th Congressional District,” Romney wrote. “South Florida deserves strong leadership -- something that has been missing under Joe Garcia.”
Romney called on Republicans to support Curbelo with their checkbooks.
“Nancy Pelosi and her super-PACs will spend millions of dollars to smear Carlos' name and retain the seat,” Romney insisted. “We can't let them do that.
“I am proud to endorse Carlos Curbelo’s campaign,” Romney added. “It is clear to me that though our country faces many challenges, we can count on Carlos Curbelo to be part of the solution.”
Democrats pushed back against Romney’s endorsement, noting he lost the district to Obama in 2012 and trying to link Curbelo to Gov. Rick Scott.
“Carlos Curbelo’s favorite Republican pal isn’t really Mitt Romney – it’s Gov. Rick Scott,” said David Bergstein, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). “Curbelo endorsed Scott’s draconian cuts to Florida’s schools and supported cutting hundreds of education jobs himself – all while funneling millions of tax dollars to his corporate campaign contributors. Just like the Rick Scott Republican that he is, Curbelo puts himself, his political cronies and his dysfunctional politics first – which is exactly why South Floridians can’t trust him in Congress.”
Recent polls have found Romney to be increasingly popular, with some surveys showing him beating Obama if the election were held today. Romney has grow increasingly active on the campaign trail in recent months, including backing GOP hopeful Joni Ernst as she looks to win the U.S. Senate seat currently held by the retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s, R-Mass, efforts to defeat U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., in New Hampshire. Iowa and New Hampshire, of course, start the procession of state contests that determine the presidential nominee, leading to speculation that Romney intends to launch a third bid for the presidency.
In the days to come, Romney will be turning to West Virginia where the GOP hopes to flip the Senate seat held by the retiring U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and pick up a congressional seat.
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