Mitt's move may open more doors

Published: Friday, Feb. 15 2008 12:14 a.m. MST

Jeffrey Berry, a political science professor at Tufts University in Boston, said Romney might not want to be McCain's pick. Especially given the tough time Republicans may have winning in November.

"I don't think this is the beginning of a 'Romney for Vice President' movement," Berry said. "If Romney comes to the conclusion that McCain is going to lose, he might not want to be on the ticket."

Republican consultant David E. Johnson, the CEO of Strategic Vision, said there's an obvious reason why Romney won't be McCain's pick for the nation's No. 2 spot — the "animosity between the two."

"Mitt Romney would jump at the chance, and it would help McCain with conservative voters," Johnson said, but there are issues between them that "run very deep and very personal."

But at the press conference, Romney and McCain took the focus off their often-tense relationship and instead looked to how their teaming up will help Republicans beat the eventual Democratic nominee.

"Even when the contest was close and our disagreements were debated, the caliber of the man was apparent," Romney said. He described how he and McCain shared laughs at debates.

"I recognize it is time for us to put aside our differences and focus on the places where we think we have common ground," Romney said. "Right now, the Democrats are fighting, let us come together and make progress while they're fighting."

Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York are locked in an increasingly tight battle for the Democratic nomination.

"Gov. Romney will help me draw the stark differences that exist between myself and the things that he and I stand for and believe in, and the Democratic candidates," McCain said. "I look forward to his continued very important role of leadership in our party that he has exercised in the past and will exercise even more so in the future."

The move is another step in the quickly changing election landscape. In Florida, Romney and McCain attacked each other's records before the Jan. 29 primary, which McCain ultimately won.

After McCain picked up significantly more delegates on Feb. 5th's Super Tuesday, Romney promised he was in the race until the Republican National Convention. But following a day of closed-door meetings with his staff and family members, Romney called it quits.

E-mail: suzanne@desnews.com; lisa@desnews.com

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