Romney nomination after Texas 'likely'
29 May 2012, 14:24
Washington - Mitt Romney is likely to formally seal
the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday with a big victory in
Texas that may give him a burst of momentum in his 6 November showdown
with President Barack Obama.
Texas has 155 delegates at stake in
its Republican primary election and Romney needs less than half of
those to put him past the 1 144 threshold needed for the nomination.
campaign officials think he will get enough delegates to put him over
the top, a resounding achievement after a long, winding campaign battle
that has seen him outlast a series of conservative rivals.
a close fight brewing with the Democratic incumbent, a Lone Star state
win will put a positive spin on the week for Romney, who is holding his
own against Obama despite intense attacks against his record as a
private equity executive and former Massachusetts governor.
will not be in Texas. Instead, he will be campaigning in Las Vegas on
Tuesday with a conservative rival he defeated for the nomination, Newt
Gingrich, and real estate tycoon Donald Trump.
A victory will
put to rest any lingering suggestion that Romney could face a
conservative challenge at the Republican convention in Florida in late
August as Gingrich had threatened to do when the race was still close.
"It means he is bullet-proof," said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean.
it means Romney and his campaign can start to help line up convention
speakers and negotiate the party's policy platform with the Republican
It also sets up a five-month sprint to the 6
November presidential election that is already well underway with Obama
attempting to define Romney as a heartless corporate raider for his
work at Bain Capital, a private equity firm.
Romney and the
Republicans are running even with Obama and the Democrats in raising
money in what should assure an even playing field in television
advertising that will be critical in swaying voters in the months ahead.
Romney is keeping his sights trained on
Obama's handling of the tepid US economy, a strategy that appears to be
helping him in an uphill fight to unseat a sitting president. Polls show
voters give Romney the nod over Obama when asked who would be better on
Romney, who lost the Republican presidential
nomination to Senator John McCain in 2008, told Wall Street Journal
columnist Peggy Noonan he senses "a much higher degree of anxiety today"
over the economy compared to four years ago.
"People [are] much less confident in the security of their job, less confident in the prospects for their children," he said.
Romney campaign feels heartened that he appears to have withstood an
initial round of attacks from the Obama team over Romney's work at Bain,
which bought and restructured companies, sometimes resulting in a loss
"We feel that the president's message is backfiring and
his attacks on free enterprise and Governor Romney's record in the
private sector are embarrassing him and his campaign," said Romney
campaign spokesperson Ryan Williams.
The Obama camp is using
Bain to try to undermine Romney's main argument for why he has the savvy
to take on the economy - his business record.
"The job of a
president is to lay the foundation for strong and sustainable
broad-based growth - not one where a small group of speculators are
cashing in on short-term gains. It's to make sure that everybody in this
country gets a fair shake," Obama told supporters in Iowa last week on