Mitt Romney, other GOPers, claim Rick Perry unelectable in presidential race

Published: Friday, Sept. 16 2011 10:52 a.m. MDT

Republican presidential candidates, from left, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry cover their hearts during the playing of the National Anthem before a Republican presidential debate Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, in Tampa, Fla.

Chris O'Meara, FILE, Associated Press

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and other ranking Republicans have started making the argument that Texas Gov. Rick Perry can't beat President Obama.

"Gov. Perry in his book says Social Security has been forced on us and by no measure is Social Security anything but a failure," Romney told Sean Hannity on his show last week. "If we nominate someone who the Democrats can correctly characterize as being opposed to Social Security, we will be obliterated as a party."

Romney's not the only one making this argument.

"I am pointing out that this person (Rick Perry) is in every way unelectable on a national scale," wrote John McCain's daughter Meghan McCain in a piece from The Daily Beast. "… I want Obama to be a one-term president, and nominating Rick Perry would guarantee that will not happen."

Former Bush-era chief of staff Karl Rove and '08 GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee have likewise lent their voices to the idea.

Rove called Perry's stance on Social Security "toxic in a general election" on Good Morning America. "… (Republicans) could blow it by having a candidate who could not appeal to the swing voters in this election, who are, who are conservative-minded independents, Latinos, white working class voters, the same kind of people that gave us a huge margin in the 2010 congressional election."

Ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a former foe of Mitt Romney during the 2008 Republican primary, said on Laura Ingraham's radio show that "Mitt may be the most electable Republican." He continued, "I want us to win. Of course I'd love to win with someone who thinks like I think, believes like I believe, 100 percent. That's not going to happen. So I've got to figure out where our best shot is."

Despite all this talk about electability, the Romney camp is not about to "make electability the crux of their campaign," according to an article in The Boston Globe.

"Running as the most electable is fool's gold," said Romney's adviser Ron Kaufman according to the Globe's piece. "I've watched people say, 'Vote for me because I can get elected.' But they lose a poll, and suddenly they're toast."

EMAIL: hboyd@desnews.com

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