June 11, 2010

Analysis: Mitt and mitts: Romney plays ball with Ehrlich

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Before keynoting Thursday night’s GOP fundraiser, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a once and possibly future candidate for president, stopped at an Arnold ball park where ex-Gov. Bob Ehrlich was watching son Drew’s baseball game.

“I’m just a scout for the Red Sox,” Romney joked.

Romney endorsed Ehrlich’s bid to retake the State House, touting Ehrlich’s record from his first term. “He stood up to big government and deficit spending,” Romney said. He said Ehrlich’s policies would help “to attract business and grow business,” and grow jobs.

“We both governed in pretty difficult states with very hostile legislatures, so we have a lot in common,” Ehrlich said. “He’s a friend when in you’re in office; he’s a friend when you’re out of office.”

Asked whether the anti-incumbent mood in the electorate might hurt Ehrlich, Romney commented, “All incumbents aren’t bad, just most of them.”

Ehrlich said he thought voters would be selective. “It’s not purely ‘throw the bums out,’ ” he said.” It’s not going to be simply anti-incumbent.”

Ehrlich has yet to officially file for governor, partly because he hasn’t chosen a lieutenant governor candidate to file with him.

“I’m available for that,” Romney joked.” I’m currently unemployed.”

Romney has a political action committee, but no official campaign structure. “It’s so different, not being a candidate,” said Romney, who’s going around the country helping the party and other Republican candidates raise money. There’s “no stress,” he said.

Ehrlich has until July 6 to file. Former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, now chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Ehrlich waited till July to name him in 2002.

Check out some video of the action by George Lettis at WBAL TV.