DUBUQUE, Iowa — Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz got a thank you Monday from presidential candidate Mitt Romney for rounding up support from 47 of his fellow House members.
Chaffetz is traveling with Romney around Iowa today in a final statewide campaign swing before Tuesday's GOP caucus vote, the first test in the 2012 race for the party's nomination.
"I was invited to come out today," Chaffetz told the Deseret News. "This is a very important vote, so to be involved in the smallest of ways is exciting."
Chaffetz shared the stage at a rally inside the Weber Paper Company warehouse with Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, and Romney family members, but did not address the crowd.
The 3rd Congressional District Republican endorsed Romney last year, even though he served as the campaign manager and chief of staff to former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., the other presidential candidate with Utah ties.
"I have nothing against Jon Huntsman. I am just pro-Mitt Romney. I think he has the best chance to win and I want to beat Barack Obama," Chaffetz said. "So it's a little tough that way. But my message isn't anti-Huntsman."
Romney, Chaffetz said, is "the best person for the job. He's got the best organization. He's got the fundraising in place. And I think in a one-on-one debate, he'll be far superior."
Romney's wife, Ann, told the newspaper that there's more energy surrounding the campaign this election than at this point in 2008.
"I feel there is a passion among everyone," she said. "They're starting to get to the point of figuring it out. They've dated a lot of other people and they're saying, 'Okay, who am I going to go steady with? Who's the one who can take us across the finish line?'"
Still, even the candidate's wife stopped short of predicting a victory Tuesday night.
"Whether that translates into a one, two or three, I can't tell you. I don't think anyone can ever say how the caucuses are going to turn out, because no one can figure that out," Ann Romney said. "But I sense we'll get a good send-off from here."
The only one of the Romney's five sons to live in Utah, Josh Romney, told the newspaper that he has no plans to run for office.
After his father's last bid for the White House, Josh Romney toyed with running against Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, or even for governor.8 comments on this story
"I never really thought about it too seriously. We have a lot of kids at home," said the father of five children, ranging in age from 1 to 9.
So will Josh Romney reconsider in a few years?
"Much later, if ever," he said. "We're just right now focused on my dad, getting him to the White House. I think it's going really well."
His mother suggested that there could be another Romney in politics — likely once his children are a little older.
"He (Josh) might change his mind. We don't know," Ann Romney said. "He's a natural. His kids are too young, I do tell him that."