Weyrich Backs Away from “No Mitt” Ads
Paul Weyrich stepped away from the “NO MITT FOR VP” ads. The Free Congress Foundation sent me this press release:
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
(For Immediate Release)
Re: Paul M. Weyrich Statement on the “NoMitt” Campaign.
Recently I received a phone call from someone asking if former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney should be Arizona Senator John McCain’s selection for Vice President of the United States.
I said, “No” because I did not think this was the best path for Romney right now; nor was it, in my view, the right fit for McCain. My understanding was that this was to be a personal letter to the Senator; it was not clear to me that this was to be an advertisement.
Thus, I now request that my involvement in this effort be disregarded as this effort to influence the Senator moves on.
I did support Romney in the early primaries and then supported former Arkansas Governor Huckabee when he and McCain were the last two candidates in the field.
That Senator McCain most likely will be in a position to select a Vice Presidential nominee is a failure of our movement, including myself, to unite behind a single candidate. In the unlikely development that the Senator would ask for my view on this matter, I would convey it to him in private as I have traditionally done.
That’s pretty nebulous with what World Magazine reports from a recent meeting of social conservatives:
The room—which had been taken over by argument and side-conversations—became suddenly quiet. Weyrich, a Romney supporter and one of those Farris had chastised for not supporting Huckabee, steered his wheelchair to the front of the room and slowly turned to face his compatriots. In a voice barely above a whisper, he said, “Friends, before all of you and before almighty God, I want to say I was wrong.”
In a quiet, brief, but passionate speech, Weyrich essentially confessed that he and the other leaders should have backed Huckabee, a candidate who shared their values more fully than any other candidate in a generation. He agreed with Farris that many conservative leaders had blown it. By chasing other candidates with greater visibility, they failed to see what many of their supporters in the trenches saw clearly: Huckabee was their guy.
Was it buyers remorse for Weyrich? He admits he and his fellow conservative leaders blew it by not uniting behind a candidate. These leaders don’t think much of Sen. McCain, sound like they don’t think he’ll win, and are looking beyond November to 2012 or 2016.
Weyrich saw how silly he looked to oppose Romney as VP while endorsing him for President so he backed away from the ad. Nevertheless, these new bits of info reinforce my belief that some conservative leaders are already making sure Mitt isn’t the presumed frontrunner. They’re backing Mike Huckabee. The never-ending campaign continues.