Romney Plays Trump Card In Las Vegas

After stumbling with remarks suggesting he was indifferent to America's poor, Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney was endorsed on Thursday by one of the country's most famous wealthy businessmen - real estate mogul and reality television star Donald Trump.

Trump, who put his own net worth at up to $7 billion, said he was backing Romney in the race for the nomination to oppose President Barack Obama in the November 6 election because of his knowledge of the economy.

"Mitt is tough, he's smart, he's sharp," Trump said, standing before a line of American flags at his Trump International Hotel, Romney and his wife, Ann, to his right.

"He's not going to allow bad things to continue to happen in this country we all love. So, Governor Romney, go out and get 'em. You can do it," Trump said. He said he was willing to campaign for Romney and would consider donating to his Super PAC - the independent political group spending tens of millions of dollars in support of Romney.

Romney cemented his position as Republican front-runner by trouncing rival Newt Gingrich in Florida's primary on Tuesday, and holds a strong lead in polls of likely Nevada voters ahead of the state's caucuses on Saturday.

"This signifies a further consolidation of the Republican base," Republican strategist Ford O'Connell said.

"But, given Romney's comments yesterday, I could see (Obama's campaign) would like to tie this as a way to portray Mitt Romney as someone who is not in touch with the plight of the average American."

Read more from Sam Youngman and Ros Krasny at Reuters

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published this page in In The News 2012-02-02 19:00:00 -0500
Analysis & Political Strategy