It is no secret that many on the right have been wary of Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential aspirations and remains unconvinced by his recent claims that he is a champion of their cause. It is also no surprise that, because of this, Romney has been doing all that he can to win them over.
Since appearing alongside the likes of Tony Perkins, Bishop Wellington Boone, James Dobson, Don Wildmon, and others at the Family Research Council’s “Liberty Sunday,” Romney has steadily been working to establish his right-wing bona-fides.
For example, he recently signed the “Taxpayer’s Protection Pledge” put out by Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, as did Sen. Sam Brownback. In addition, Romney has begun stacking his exploratory committee with right-wing activists such as Gary Marx of the Judicial Confirmation Network and Jay Sekulow of Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice.
Joining Marx and Sekulow will be James Bopp, a right-wing powerhouse whose list of clients, according to his biography, reads like a who’s who of the Right:
[T]he National Right to Life Committee, Focus on the Family, Susan B. Anthony List, All Children Matter, Catholic Answers, Christian Broadcasting Network, Gerard Health Foundation, Priests for Life, Traditional Values Coalition, Salem Radio, Vision America, the Christian Coalition, and the Republican parties of Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont. He has argued numerous campaign finance cases in defense of pro-life, pro-family, conservative and Republican party groups, including four cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. He also serves as General Counsel for the James Madison Center for Free Speech and is a member of the Republican National Committee.
Romney is clearly competing with Sen. Brownback and the newly announced campaign from Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for the support of the GOP’s most right-wing activists. And since Brownback and Huckabee are considered long-shots, at best, Romney is quietly positioning himself to be the Right’s candidate-of-choice when the GOP primary field begins to narrow, giving him a distinct advantage over the other front-runners, Sen. John McCain and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.