Election 2012
6:21 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Romney name doesn't guarantee ballot magic In Michigan

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 1:37 am

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney plays up his Michigan roots when he talks to voters in the state where he grew up.

In 2008, Romney won the Republican presidential primary in Michigan. On the campaign trail, he likes to tell stories about his father, George, who was an iconic governor of Michigan in the 1960s:

"He said, 'It sure is great to be in Mount Clemens today,' even though he was in Mount Pleasant. My mother was sitting behind and said, 'George, it's "Pleasant." ' He said, 'Yes, it's pleasant in Mount Clemens.' "

The Romney name has appeared often on the statewide ballot in Michigan over the years, but the results have been mixed.

George Romney won three terms as governor. But Mitt Romney's mother, Lenore, was soundly beaten in 1970 when she was the GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate.

Her daughter-in-law Ronna Romney ran for Senate twice in the 1990s, losing once in the primary and once in the general election.

Mitt Romney's brother Scott was rejected by a state Republican convention when he sought the nomination for Michigan attorney general in 1998. As a consolation prize, Michigan's Republican governor named him to a vacancy on the Michigan State University board of trustees.

Copyright 2012 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit http://michiganradio.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, when Mitt Romney is in places like Grand Rapids, Michigan, he likes to plays up his Michigan roots. It's the state where he grew up, and the Romney name has appeared often on the statewide ballot over the years.

But as we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, the results have been mixed for Romneys who run in Michigan.

RICK PLUTA, BYLINE: On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney likes to tell stories about his father, George Romney, who was an iconic governor of Michigan in the1960s.

MITT ROMNEY: He said, it's sure is great to be in Mount Clemens today...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: ...even though he was in Mount Pleasant. So, my mother sitting behind says, George, it's Pleasant. He said, Yes, it's pleasant here in Mount Clemens.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

PLUTA: George Romney won three terms as governor of Michigan. Mitt Romney did win the 2008 Republican presidential primary here. But history shows the Romney name is not ballot magic in Michigan.

Mitt Romney's mother, Lenore Romney, was soundly beaten in 1970 when she was the GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate. Her daughter-in-law, Ronna Romney, ran for the Senate twice in the 1990s, losing once in the primary and once in the general election.

Mitt Romney's brother, Scott, was rejected by a state Republican convention when he sought the nomination for Michigan attorney general in 1998. As a consolation prize, Michigan's Republican governor named Romney to a vacancy on the Michigan State University Board of Trustees.

For NPR News, I'm Rick Pluta in Lansing, Michigan.

GREENE: You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.