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Monday, June 4, 2007
posted by jason | 12:50 PM | permalink
Gary Marx is Mitt Romney’s Conservative Coalitions Director. Prior to joining Team Romney, Marx was President of Principium Consulting, Inc., and Vice President with Century Strategies, LLC. Marx was the Conservative Coalitions Director for Bush-Cheney in 04 and can be credited for much of the success they enjoyed amongst the conservative grassroots community. Mr. Marx was also the Executive Director for the Judicial Confirmation Network for the nominations of Chief Justice Roberts, and Samuel Alito. It’s a real honor to interview Mr. Marx.

1. Why did you choose Romney?

My own conclusion was very simple as I looked at the 2008 field. There remains only one conservative candidate who has the combination of character, message, organization, communications skills and fundraising to win in the primaries against the likes of John McCain and Rudy Giuliani and then beat the Democrats in November. I saw in Gov. Romney a leader who governed by conservative principles in the bluest of blue states and withstood the most difficult attacks of the liberal left wing in Ted Kennedy’s back yard. I saw in Gov. Romney a leader that could bring change to Washington in important ways on immigration and spending and campaign-finance reform. But what meant most to me is that Gov. Romney has pledged to nominate Supreme Court Justices in the mold of Scalia, Thomas, and Roberts.

2. What is the number one issue you hear on the grassroots level?

With conservatives, I continue to be asked about the Gov.’s position on immigration and life. I am pleased to be able to tell voters that Gov. Romney has governed as a Pro-life leader every chance he has had. His record as Governor backs up his conversion on this issue. Facing difficult and emotionally packed issues he stood up for life and vetoed a so-called “emergency contraceptives” bill and funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Regarding immigration, going back to the CPAC conference many months ago we have been letting voters know that it is absolutely false that Governor Romney supported the McCain-Kennedy plan of last year. In fact as Governor he empowered state troopers to enforce the laws and arrest illegal immigrants.

3. What bearing does the recent immigration proposal seem to have on your efforts?

It has provided Gov. Romney another chance to lead and speak out about how the proposed Z visa would in fact be amnesty-lite. Once again conservatives can see another way that Gov. Romney would bring real change to Washington as the next President.

4. What are your biggest hurdles as Conservative Coalitions Director?

I think that it is just building a foundation of trust between leaders and voters who don’t yet know Gov. Romney. He wasn’t a national figure or long-time Washington D.C. insider so it is going to take some time and effort for people to get to know him. We have seen day-in and day-out that as people get to know the Gov. they like him and want to support him.

5. Romney is polling well in some key states and the recent Rasmussen poll has him ahead of McCain. Do you think there is the possibility of peaking too early?

I think that would be a great problem to have but at the end of the day it is likely to be a long campaign with many ups and downs. We are pleased though with our monthly progress in so many of the key early primary states like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Michigan where we have spent time getting to know voters.

6. Internal tension is par for the course for almost any political campaign team but the Romney campaign likes to be exceptional in everything it does. How does it fair on this issue?

Having worked on or very close to the past three GOP presidential campaigns going back to 1996, I have seen a lot. This campaign team works very well together and has already achieved some exceptional things.

7. How were your efforts on behalf of Justices Roberts and Alito similar or dissimilar to yours under of Romney and Bush/Cheney?

During the Roberts and Alito confirmation battles, the Judicial Confirmation Network built a network or grassroots leaders in key states to pressure Senators to support a fair up-or-down vote and conservative judicial nominees. It has some comparison in that now I work with many of the same conservative leader to convince them to support Gov. Romney as our nominee and in turn build strong state-based coalitions. In 2004, in my role heading out conservative coalitions for Bush-Cheney, I started out with nearly every conservative leader supporting on board. Now I have the challenge of putting together that same coalition for Gov. Romney.

8. I was reading at Democracy Now a roundtable discussion you were involved in during the Roberts hearings at. You mentioned Roberts as a home run pick several times. You also mentioned Bush’s judicial picks as the top domestic issue during that time. How important are correct judicial picks to you, grass roots activist and Romney? What are the most important characteristics in a Romney Supreme Court pick?

I think that judicial selection is still the most powerful all encompassing issue for conservatives. There will be times where an issue like immigration will become red-hot but a judge can come along and single handedly ignore the constitution and the law at will and impose their own view of immigration laws upon a state or the nation. Conservatives now understand that no matter whether you are a social, economic, or national security conservative we all unite around the need to have judges who will be faithful to the text of the constitution. Governor Romney understands just how important this issue remains to not only conservatives and but also how it impacts his children and his grand children. Supreme Court nominations are perhaps the longest lasting legacy of any president.

9. In your experience, how strong of a role do grassroots leaders play in the process?

I believe that there is no more powerful element at play in these state level GOP primaries than grassroots leaders. I think grassroots organizing and the role that leaders play in it cannot be overestimated. Rush Limbaugh likes to say that abstinence works every time it is tried. I feel the same way about grassroots organizing and that is why our campaign has invested so strongly in doing just that in all of the early primary states.
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Most Conservatives who actually take the time to look at Mitt's record and get to know him have no problem with him at all.

By Anonymous GeorgiaMom, at June 5, 2007 at 7:09 AM  

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