NewsMax - Mitt Romney Rises To The Top
By: Ronald Kessler
"Suddenly, the mainstream media are taking Mitt Romney seriously.
"'60 Minutes' just featured Romney as its lead story Sunday night. Time magazine has Romney on the cover this week. The Romney campaign is besieged with interview requests.
"The surge in interest follows Romney's widely perceived 'win' in the Republican debate on May 3. A recent New Hampshire poll has Romney leading the GOP pack in the key primary state.
"'The last couple of weeks have been important for Mitt Romney in terms of enlarging his presence on the national stage,' Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney's traveling press secretary, tells me.
"From the beginning, he says, 'We expected there would be a long run-up to the time when people around the country got to know Mitt Romney, but that once they did, they would respond positively to his record of leadership in the private sector, running the Olympics and as governor.'"
"As outlined in NewsMax Magazine's recent profile, Romney to the Rescue, Romney is a Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School graduate who started Bain Capital, a venture capital firm, from almost nothing in 1984. It now has assets of $40 billion.
"Romney's personal assets are estimated at between $190 and $250 million. A trust for his children and grandchildren has assets of another $70 million to $100 million.
"Romney took over the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and turned a $397 million budget shortfall into a $56 million profit. As Massachusetts governor, he turned a $3 billion deficit into a surplus.
"Along the way, Romney developed a health insurance plan that will cover all Massachusetts residents and is now being copied by other states.
"When it comes to abortion, Romney as governor took pro-life stands, which is far more important than what he said in 1994 during a debate with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Romney vetoed bills that authorized embryo farming, therapeutic cloning, and access to emergency contraception without parental consent."
"In fact, Romney began Bain Capital with zip: He spent a year raising $37 million to start the company. By investing in companies like Staples even before the office supply firm opened its first store, Romney turned Bain Capital into one of the three or four largest venture capital firms in the world. During the 14 years Romney headed Bain Capital, its annual average internal rate of return on realized investments was more than 100 percent.
"Many conservative leaders who attend Grover Norquist's Wednesday meeting in Washington have been skeptical of Romney. They now tell me they think Romney is the one. And why not?
"His record is a conservative's. His campaign staff is conservative, many having migrated from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's staff. And Romney is personally a conservative, being both pro-life and so frugal that his wife Ann tells me that when they were just married, he would insist on going to a local creamery to buy milk because it was cheaper than buying it at a nearby store. Instead of buying popcorn at a movie theater, Romney has been known to pop it in advance and take it with him. Imagine Romney with a veto pen in his hand.
"Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, himself has touted Romney in introducing him at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference and other events."
"On '60 Minutes,' Romney demonstrated why he may outshine even Ronald Reagan as the great communicator. Anxious to find a flaw, some commentators like Wallace suggest that may mean he is too perfect.
"Asked about that by Jay Leno, Romney said his family may differ with that description.
"'I'm far from perfect. ... I can kick back. I can have a good time,' Romney said. 'But you're not going to hear about it. What goes on in Disneyland stays in Disneyland.'"