HH: Quick segment with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Governor, welcome back, what an amazing number. $20 million plus in contributions in the first quarter, what do you put that success to?
MR: Well, you know, frankly, I’ve been up and down the country, and I’ve been pushing pretty hard my message, and that is that the real source of America’s strength is the American people, and it’s time to get government off our backs and strengthen the American people by letting them keep more of their own money, not getting it taxed away by improving our schools, by getting health care for people that’s private and affordable, and the message is connecting with people, and I’m getting great contributions over the internet, and through the mail, as well as through people I’ve spoken with, and converted to my team. So I’m pretty pleased that the message is resounding, and I’ve got the support I would hope to get.
HH: That website, www.mittromney.com. Governor, all of your other major opponents, five out of the big six, have raised money in $4,600 dollar increments, putting half of some donations into the general election campaign. You chose not to do that. Why not?
MR: Well, we want to focus on the primary. I think other folks, you know, had other things they were trying to do, and get money in while they were able to. I’m not worried about getting the money for the general. Once I’m the nominee, if I’m lucky enough to get that spot, I’m convinced that Republicans all over the country will support me. So we’ll get money for the general, but this first quarter, we wanted to concentrate on the message, getting our message out, and making sure that we had the funds necessary to fun a primary campaign, because that’s what I’m in the middle of.
HH: A lot of speculation on the web about your “burn rate,” meaning how much cash do you have left after raising $20 million. Can you disclose that, Governor?
MR: Well, I’m going to let the reports that come out in a week or two lay that out. I’m not sure exactly what the number is. But obviously, when you raise money, there’s a cost of fundraising, and the cost of getting the computer systems, and getting things on the web and so forth, and those costs will obviously be used throughout the entire year. But for us, this is a campaign about a very clear message, and that is we can strengthen the American people in this country, we’re the greatest nation on Earth, and we just need to get back to the things that make us great, if we want to have a great future.
HH: One minute left, Governor. Would you welcome Senator Thompson’s entry into this race?
MR: You know, you welcome anybody that wants to get in at this point. As that old line goes, come on in, the water’s fine. It’s a terrific time for people to get a chance to look at the different candidates. I really think that people want someone other than a lifetime politician. They want somebody who spent their life in the private sector, who knows why jobs come, why jobs go, how to build our economy, how to strengthen the American people. And so the more politicians that want to come in, I think the better it is for me to distinguish that I’m a guy who’s spent his life in the private sector, in small business, and big business, and I know how the economy works.
HH: Mitt Romney, congratulations on a tremendous first quarter. www.mittromney.com, America.
End of interview.