and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

Barbara participates as a "state leader" in
Romney campaign's Boston press conference

Romney for President Campaign Headquarters
Boston, MA
Monday, February 4, 2008


CLT executive director Barbara Anderson participated as one of the "state leaders" invited to speak in support of former Gov. Mitt Romney at a news conference this morning.  The well-attended media event was held at the Romney for President campaign's Boston headquarters, and led by his lieutenant governor, Kerry Healey.

Barbara spoke of the importance Gov. Romney played in defending the taxpayers -- especially his and Healey's successful efforts in vetoing the Legislature's retroactive capital gains tax and halting its plan for taxpayer subsidized reduced state college tuition for illegal aliens.

She also reminded the media in attendance of the value of a sympathetic governor's veto or threat of one.  "Some fail to remember or recognize what a governor can prevent through a veto.  Many bad bills failed to be adopted because of Gov. Romney's veto pen [and the two-thirds vote required in both the House and Senate to override it].  What bad things for taxpayers and citizens didn't happen is often not reported, recognized, or remembered."

E.g., see:  "Eminent domain: We won one!"

Kerry Healey had the best comeback of the event, when asked by a reporter what it meant that U.S. Senator John McCain, Romney's rival for the Republican Party's presidential nomination, had arrived in Boston yesterday to campaign in Massachusetts.

"The New England Patriots had a perfect 18-0 winning season until he showed up yesterday and our team lost the Super Bowl last night."

Chip Ford

(Click on my photos below to enlarge)

News reports of the event

State House News Service
Monday, February 4, 2008

McCain rallies forces at Fanueil Hall,
Romney camp touts presidential bid

By Kyle Cheney and Catherine Williams

Bay State supporters of Sen. John McCain described him Monday as more electable than Gov. Mitt Romney and better able to attract moderate and Democratic voters, while prominent Romney supporters said he saved the Corner Office from being lost to the Democrats in 2002 and alleged his critics are sour over patronage politics.

As McCain took to Romney’s turf, delivering a stump speech in Faneuil Hall, the Romney campaign tapped local GOP leaders in an effort puncture the air of inevitability that has surrounded the Arizona Republican’s campaign since his victory in the Florida primary last Tuesday.

“Perhaps the mainstream media would like us to think that John McCain is inevitable and I’m sure that he would like us to think that he is inevitable. But it’s really the people who get to vote,” said former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, who is leading the ex-governor’s Massachusetts campaign.

“It’s not politicians who endorse people. It’s actually the people who get to choose who is the next president of the United States. I think that when they look at McCain’s record and when they look at all of the experience and skills that Mitt Romney presents, they’re going to choose Mitt Romney.”

The morning events showcased the split among Massachusetts Republicans. Romney supporters attributed the divide to the former governor’s eschewing of patronage and backroom deal-making.

“We have a lot of people here in Massachusetts that didn’t like the fact that Mitt Romney did things a little differently as governor of Massachusetts than some of his Republican predecessors,” Sen. Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth) at Romney’s North End headquarters this morning. “Under [former governor Bill] Weld, [former governor Paul] Cellucci especially, projects were doled out based on political considerations. Romney didn’t play those games and a lot of legislators didn’t like that. Same thing with appointments. He didn’t trade jobs for votes.”

Barbara Anderson, head of Citizens for Limited Taxation, said Romney’s local enemies were bitter about not getting any favors from the governor.

“You have the people who didn’t get what they wanted from Mitt Romney – didn’t get the lieutenant governor nomination, didn’t get their lieutenant governor as the only candidate running for the Republican nomination so she can lose and give us the Democrat earlier than we got him,” she said. “You’re seeing the Republican pettiness on the side of McCain, which is a perfect fit, because if there’s ever been anyone pettier than McCain, I haven’t met him in politics.”

Anderson, an independent who said she was sick of the state GOP’s intraparty squabbling, added that Romney deserved support from Massachusetts Republicans merely for his efforts to get them elected.

“He tried everything he could to get Republicans elected, which is one reason Democrats don’t like him,” she said. “They took that personally, but that’s what he was supposed to do. No one’s giving him any credit for that. Cellucci didn’t do it. Swift didn’t do it. But Mitt was out there actually trying to elect Republicans in a state where it wasn’t possible.”

Romney push to elect Republicans to the House and Senate in 2004, half way through his four-year term, but the effort failed, with Democrats gaining seats that year in the nation’s most lopsided Legislature.

Although Romney backers insisted that a hard look at his record would lead Republicans to vote for him, several key local Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei and former governor Jane Swift, looked at the same record and drew different conclusions.

Cellucci, a Rudy Giuliani backer who joined the McCain team when the New York mayor dropped out of the race last week, said McCain’s across-the-aisle appeal would get him elected and keep the Republicans in power.

“We have to have a nominee who can bring in those Independents and Democratic votes,” he said. “John McCain has a track record of doing that. It’s the only way we’re going to win.”

Sen. Mike Knapik echoed that view.

“I don’t think Romney could attract the centrists, the moderates and the independents,” he said.

McCain is popular among independents voters, who make up 50.3 percent of the Massachusetts electorate. His moderate views on immigration, campaign finance reform and global warming have endeared him to moderates and drawn the fury of the party’s base, which has been reluctant to get enthusiastically behind him. A win for him here, the fourth-largest delegate-holding state participating in Super Tuesday, would embarrass Romney, who headed Massachusetts from 2003 until 2007 and plans to spend Tuesday night in Boston watching the results roll in.

Former Treasurer Joseph Malone, who also shifted to McCain from the Giuliani camp, told the News Service McCain brings “credibility” because of his military record and Congressional experience.

“Mitt Romney is not of the same caliber or experience as Sen. McCain,” said Malone. “He was a fine governor but this is a step up the ladder. He may make a terrific president someday down the road, but right now John McCain is the man for the times.”

Swift, who was elbowed out as the GOP standard-bearer in 2002 by Romney, was an early backer of McCain, despite policy differences.

“My only reservation is that Sen. McCain is a little too conservative for me,” said Swift, who has backed McCain since February 2007. “But he has been a committed conservative, in certain ways, on the fiscal issues where we have lost our way.”

Swift said McCain’s cross-party appeal, painted as a liability by the Romney campaign, made him viable in the Massachusetts primary.

In his morning speech, McCain reflected that optimism.

“We have a very good shot at carrying the state of Massachusetts,” he said.

Romney supporters questioned whether the support for McCain from local officials was genuine, considering many of them backed Giuliani first.

“Senator McCain was Jane Swift’s first choice but Senator McCain was not Senator Tisei’s first choice,” House Minority Leader Bradley Jones told the News Service. “I would say this, that there are 24 Republican legislators and 20 of them support Governor Romney. “If you were a starting pitcher and you went 20 and four, most people would think that you were doing pretty well.”

Jones added that if it weren’t for Romney, Swift would have been crushed in the 2002 gubernatorial election.

“I would say that had it not been for Mitt Romney coming back and running for governor in 2002, Jane Swift probably would have gotten beaten like a rented mule by [Democratic nominee] Shannon O’Brien,” he said.

Asked for Romney’s chances in Tuesday’s vote, Healey took a pass and indicated that Romney may forge ahead regardless of the results.

“John McCain took this state eight years ago. He has always had a strong base of support here,” she said. “It is a state where independents can vote in the primary. I won’t rule out any possible outcome. But I can tell you that it won’t have any impact on our strategy moving forward, whether we win the state or come in in a close second. We’re going to be moving forward, collecting every delegate we can and fighting in each state.”

One undecided Republican voter, Paul Black of Hingham, told the News Service he attended McCain’s rally to see the Arizona leader up close.

“I think the Republican Party needs a shake-up,” said Black.

According to a primary-eve poll, Barack Obama has a slight edge over Hillary Clinton among Massachusetts Democrats, and Romney holds a 13-point lead in his home state over closest McCain among Republicans here. Obama's two-point lead reflects his months-long erosion of Clinton's dominance in the state and falls well within the Suffolk University/7NEWS survey's 4.9 percent error margin. A full 27 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of Republicans said they might change their minds before the primary. Romney commanded 50 percent of the GOP with McCain registering 37 percent, Mike Huckabee 4 percent, and Ron Paul 3 percent, with 6 percent undecided.

The MetroWest Daily News
Tuesday, February 5, 2008

On Super Tuesday eve,
McCain rallies in Romney's home state
By Lindsey Parietti

Presidential candidate John McCain ventured into Mitt Romney territory Monday, holding a rally at Faneuil Hall and praising the New England Patriots the day before the Massachusetts primary.

“I understand the advantage that Gov. Romney has here, but we’ll be fighting for every state,” McCain said....

An hour after the McCain event, Kerry Healey, lieutenant governor under Romney, rallied conservative supporters, including House Minority Leader Brad Jones, R-North Reading; Barbara Anderson, executive director of the Citizens for Limited Taxation; and Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, at the former governor’s downtown headquarters.

“It’s quite disturbing that once John McCain came here, the Patriots didn’t seem to do so well,” Healey joked, when asked if McCain’s visit was intended to get under Romney’s skin.

Healey would not say whether Romney hopes independent voters will pick up Democratic ballots instead of throwing themselves behind McCain as they did in 2000.

“John McCain took this state eight years ago, and he has always had a strong base of support here,” Healey said after the press conference.

“It is a state where independents can vote in the primary, so I won’t rule out any possible outcome. But I can tell you it won’t have any impact on our strategy moving forward whether we win the state or come in a close second.”

Anderson said independents like her who vote based on economic issues and who want “competence and grown-upness” in the White House will go for Romney.

Cellucci predicted unenrolled voters, who make up 50 percent of the Massachusetts electorate, would turn out for McCain.

“Obviously if Sen. McCain does well here, he’s going to be doing well around the country,” Cellucci said. “I think he’s going to win a lot of states (Tuesday) … and Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney will have some decisions to make come Feb. 6.”

Associated Press
Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Independents May Hold Sway In Mass.
By Steve Leblanc

Boston — Bluest of blue Massachusetts may seem like the ultimate Democratic stronghold, but the single largest group of voters here — slightly more than half of the electorate — are not enrolled in any party.

Those independent voters, who can vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary today, could decide if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama wins the Democratic nod, and whether hometown son Mitt Romney fends off a late challenge from John McCain in the GOP contest.

Independent voters in Massachusetts make up 50.3 percent of the state's 4 million voters. Registered Democrats account for 36.8 percent and Republicans make up 12.1 percent. Smaller parties make up less than 1 percent.

While independent voters historically do not participate in large numbers in primaries, the closeness of the races and intense interest could draw more than usual to the polls, observers said.

McCain, who is hoping for an upset win on Romney's home turf, has benefited from support by independent voters, and during a Boston rally Monday stressed his ability to stretch beyond the core conservative base of the Republican Party.

“I will reach across the aisle to the Democrats and work together for the good of this country,” McCain said. “That's what you want us to do, is work for the good of this country. You are tired of the gridlock. You are tired of the frustration.”

Romney, who has been appealing to the Republican base of social and economic conservatives, is still a draw for independent voters, his backers said.

Massachusetts anti-tax activist and Romney supporter Barbara Anderson said the former Massachusetts governor should appeal to unenrolled voters like herself.

Anderson said she took an Internet test that allows voters to check off which issues are important to them and see which candidates most closely reflect those. At first Rudy Giuliani's name popped up, until Anderson, a self-described libertarian, ranked her issues by importance.

“To me the issues are taxes, because of what taxes fund which is bigger government, and illegal immigration, and competence and grown-upness in the office of the presidency,” said Anderson, “So as an independent, my choice was Mitt Romney.”

On the Democratic side, Clinton's Massachusetts campaign director Mark Daley said the New York senator isn't ceding independent voters to Obama.

He said the campaign has been reaching out to unenrolled voters with phone calls and door-to-door canvassing. He said Clinton has the experience to make headway on those issues most important to independent voters.

“A lot of independents are focusing on the hardships of the economy and the foreclosure crisis and concerns about our troops in Iraq,” Daley said. “We want them to ask which candidate is best prepared to lead the country on day one.”

Obama spokesman Reid Cherlin said the Illinois senator has succeeded in wooing independents in the early voting states — and hopes to repeat that success in Massachusetts.

“Independents are very solutions oriented. They are sick of the partisanship. They are very opposed to the war in Iraq,” Cherlin said. “Sen. Obama has shown that he has an appeal to all segments of the independents, the Democratic base and some Republicans.”

A big turnout of independent voters on Tuesday could give a boost to McCain and Obama, according to Paul Watanabe, a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

“Those independents who vote on the Republican side, that would be good news for John McCain. He may get the bulk of his support from independents,” Watanabe said. That, however, might not be enough to lift McCain over Romney, he said.

On the Democratic side, unenrolled voters may make the difference in a very tight Massachusetts contest.

“If there is a big independent turnout, I don't think it will break overwhelmingly for one candidate, but most of the conventional wisdom is that it will help Obama,” he said.

A Suffolk University/WHDH-TV telephone poll of 400 likely Republican voters and 400 likely Democratic voters conducted between Feb. 1 to Feb. 3 found the Democratic race nearly dead even with 46 percent backing Obama and 44 percent backing Clinton — a statistical tie.

On the Republican side, Romney held a lead with 50 percent compared to 37 percent for McCain, with Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul in single numbers. The poll had a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

On Monday, three of the top four candidates were in Massachusetts stumping for votes.

Clinton drummed up support at a rally at Clark University in Worcester, while Obama planned an evening event at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston with U.S. Sens. Edward Kennedy, John Kerry and Gov. Deval Patrick.

McCain, who won the GOP presidential primary in Massachusetts eight years ago, held a morning campaign rally at Boston's Faneuil Hall. Romney planned to return to Massachusetts Tuesday afternoon to vote in Belmont and watch returns in Boston.

Massachusetts state Secretary William Galvin predicted a heavy turnout in both Democratic and Republican primaries, with more than 30 percent of the electorate showing up at the polls — a number he said could climb even higher.

He said most of those independent voters will probably cast ballots in the Democratic race.

“I think they are more likely to break to the Democratic side, because most independent voters in Massachusetts have historically Democratic roots,” he said.

Polls across the state are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

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