As they say in the news business, Mitt Romney was a good get for Tom Emmer.
Not only did the former governor of Massachusetts and GOP presidential contender attract some 200 donors at a $500-a-plate fundraising dinner for Emmer Monday, he later worked up a crowd at a rally at the Ramada Hotel in Bloomington.
With just two weeks before the election, Emmer needs to rouse every base within the Republican base, from the fiscal conservatives to the Tea Party discontents to the patriots.
Romney, who sounds and looks like a corporate CEO, rolled up his sleeves and delivered a brief speech to a crowd of about 500 at the rally. He didn’t focus on fiscal conservatism as anticipated, but on the new social hot buttons: the Constitution, patriotism and American exceptionalism.
“It’s not just about failed policies in Washington,” Romney said. “Liberals are changing the very face of America. We are a nation of pioneers and liberals are trying to smother that spirit.
“America needs no apologies to the world,” he said. “The best ally peace has ever known is the United States of America.”
The crowd gave him love as he doffed his jacket and worked the line of attendees for pictures.
Minnesota’s GOP candidate for governor was impressed as well.
“Mitt Romney, wow — he is really a standard bearer for American exceptionalism,” Emmer said in an interview after the rally. “Yes, he just touched on the fiscal policy. But people in Minnesota that I meet, we know what the problems are. When you remind people it’s about the American spirit, you heard them here tonight — they don’t want leaders who apologize for America.”
Preceded by visits by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the Romney event was billed as Emmer’s big fundraiser before Election Day. But with two weeks to go, Emmer acknowledged he can’t let up until he touches those GOP bases a few more times. Don’t be surprised to see another Republican heavyweight come to town for Emmer before Nov. 2.
Update: As mentioned above, we now have confirmation that two more big GOP names will rally for Emmer. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will join Gov. Tim Pawlenty at a rally for Emmer Saturday, Oct. 30, with location and time to be announced later.