The pundits may be split and the polls may be inconclusive but Michigan’s governor is sure: Mitt Romney will win his home state in Tuesday’s Michigan primary.
“I believe he will,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder responded when I asked him Sunday on “This Week” if Romney will win Michigan. “If you look at where he’s coming from the polls, now that he’s had a chance to campaign in Michigan, he’s come up well in the polls.”
The latest Michigan poll, conducted last week by NBC/Marist, showed Romney in a statistical tie with Rick Santorum.
Snyder, who endorsed Romney, said his private sector experience and “track record” of creating jobs prove he is a “great candidate.”
“I think Governor Romney is a great candidate, and I think he would be a great president,” Snyder said. “You really have a case where you’ve got a state that if you talk to our citizens, it’s about jobs and the kids and their future. And I think as the campaign focuses on that, as we get into the general election, I think we’re going to see a good race.”
Snyder emphasized that the auto bailout should not be an issue in either the primary or the general election, despite the massive impact it had on voters in Michigan.
The bailout is one area where Snyder and Romney do not agree. Snyder said the bailout “is working” while Romney does not support the bailout.
“The question shouldn’t be dwelling on the auto bailout,” Snyder said. “It really is the question of what are the candidates really talking about to help someone find a job today and tomorrow?”
President Obama is already ramping up his general election line of attack against Romney’s “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” stance, releasing an ad in Michigan Thursday that says “every Republican candidate turned their back” on Detroit when “a million jobs were on the line.”
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, one of the Obama campaign’s 30 national co-chairman, said Republicans are being “foolish” for insisting that the government should not step in to help when help is needed.
“It’s about government helping people help themselves,” Patrick said Sunday on “This Week.” “And so being as bright-line as some of the candidates are today about government never participating is foolish.”
On health care, for example, Patrick said his state’s “hybrid” model of a partnership between the private sector and the government makes health care in Massachusetts “successful.”
While former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney aims to downplay the changes he made to his state’s health care system, the Patrick is touted the law as “enormously important.”
“It’s very, very popular,” Patrick said. “Ninety percent of our residents have access to primary care today. It’s added 1 percent to state spending. It has not been the budget buster that folks claim it has been outside of Massachusetts.”
At last week’s Republican debate in Arizona, Romney’s chief rival Rick Santorum blasted the former governor for assisting the “government takeover of health care” by creating a model in Massachusetts for Obama’s national health care law.
“The whole reason this issue is alive is the bill you drafted in Massachusetts – “Romneycare” – which was the model for Obamacare,” Santorum said at Wednesday’s CNN debate.
Romney shot back that Santorum was actually to blame for the law, which is highly unpopular among Republicans.
Romney claimed Santorum’s support for Sen. Arlen Specter, who switched to the Democratic Party, gave Democrats the votes to pass Obama’s health care reforms.
“If you had not supported him, if you had not supported Arlen Specter, we would not have Obamacare, so take a look in the mirror,” Romney said.