Romney Pulls an All-Nighter to Pull it Out

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Feb 05, 2008 8:23 AM
Sensing that there was a momentum shift in California yesterday, Romney was on the West Coast last night, holding a rally in Long Beach before taking a red eye back to West Virginia to address the state convention there this morning.

"We said, you know, something's happening out in California; we got to get back to California," he told a crowd of about 1,000 who gathered for an evening rally in a Long Beach airport hangar. Among them were about 25 members of Romney's extended family.

When he kicked off his journey in Tennessee on Monday morning, Romney declared, "If I win California, that means you're going to have a conservative in the White House."

California's delegates are awarded proportionally by congressional district, so there's no winner-take-all moment for Mitt in the union's most populous state, but capturing the popular vote there would certainly be a feather in his cap, and reason to continue after Tuesday.

Romney's running attack robocalls in Georgia,  aimed at McCain:

“John McCain and Ted Kennedy wrote an amnesty bill. And McCain teamed with another liberal Democrat to write campaign finance reform.

“John McCain also joined with Democrats to vote against the Bush tax cuts. And listen to what Bill Clinton says about John McCain: ‘She and John McCain are very close. They always laugh that if they wind up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history.’

“No wonder former Senate Republican leader Rick Santorum said — quote — John McCain was not only against us, but leading the charge on the other side.”

And, Huckabee:

“Mike Huckabee raised taxes by $500 million and increased the sales tax by 37 percent. Huckabee pushed state-funded scholarships and tuition for illegal immigrants.

Mike Huckabee even criticized President Bush’s policies on the war on terror. That’s why conservative leaders [and radio talk show hosts] like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham are supporting Mitt Romney for president.”

This is the heart of the message:

“Don’t split the conservative vote. Let’s stop the McCain moderates, and take back our party with a viable conservative candidate for president.”

Those calls, incidentally, are not the weasly robocalls he got called on, which criticized McCain for voting against the prescription drug bill, even though Romney claims he too would have voted against it.

Update: Ouch. Rick Santorum on McCain's various endorsements:

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum criticized "the bigwigs who are lining up like lemmings" behind McCain. "You have only one choice," Santorum said at the Romney event in Nashville. "Not Mike Huckabee. Certainly not John McCain. It's Mitt Romney."