LAS VEGAS – Mitt Romney told New Hampshire supporters today that he will stand behind whatever Secretary of State Bill Gardner’s decides regarding the Granite State’s primary date, as long as it ensures that it is the first primary in the nation.
“I’m aware of the dispute between Nevada and New Hampshire over setting the date for the first-in-the-nation primary,” Romney said on a conference call this afternoon.
Romney went on to say that he respects “New Hampshire’s status as the country’s first primary.”
“I will take my lead from Sec. Gardner and I know he’s acting in good faith and in due consideration of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary law,” Romney said.
“I support a quick resolution of this dispute that recognizes New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary status.”
Nevada’s decision to make Jan. 14 the date of its caucuses means that under New Hampshire law, a primary must be held by Jan. 4. But that date is just four days – not the required seven day gap – after the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.
Gardner has so far suggested a Dec. 6 or Dec 13 primary date in New Hampshire, while others suggest that Gardner might have to bend the rules and accept a Jan. 7 or Jan 10 date.
Romney also took questions from callers, the majority of which were focused on fellow GOP contender Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 economic plan.
“He’s a good guy and he’s put a proposal out there, but it still needs a lot more work,” Romney said. “As we take a very close look at Herman Cain’s proposal, there will be some people who find it very troubling.”
He later added that he believes Cain’s plan will put an unfair burden on middle-class Americans, a direction Romney says he thinks is “the wrong way to go.”
“If you want lower income taxes, then you want to go with the Romney plan,” he said.
Before ending the conference call, Romney lauded New Hampshire voters for their support, reminding them that he’s “thinking of them” from Las Vegas, where he’s preparing for tonight’s CNN debate.