Former RNC Chairman Not Sold on Romney

Posted March 7, 2011 at 6:31pm

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has to fight off an elephant if he expects to capture the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Monday on ABC’s “Top Line.” Steele conceded that Romney’s health care overhaul in Massachusetts inspired President Barack Obama’s health care law.

“I’m sure that’s a talking point his team does not want to have out there,” Steele said of Romney. “But the reality of it is that it is [the inspiration].”

Steele continued: “For Mitt Romney, he’s got a health care elephant in the room he’s got to deal with among the base.”

Steele indirectly suggested that Romney, who delivered his first New Hampshire speech of the cycle last weekend, is not the right man for the job.

“My hope is that someone will emerge, and I don’t think that person has yet, that really strikes a chord, not just with the conservative base, but really with those crossover voters, those independent voters …” Steele said. “There’s also a financial or fundraising component here as well. As you noticed with the Mitt Romney donors, some of them are saying, ‘Well, let’s kind of wait and see who else gets into the race; we’re not willing to write the check right now.’”