Rep. Tim Griffin was one of the early Arkansas endorsers of Mitt Romney for President, along with Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr. Recently, they were also joined by Congressman Steve Womack. As chair of the Romney for Arkansas campaign, Griffin filed the official paperwork with the Secretary of State yesterday, but added some odd remarks on the primary in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette…
Griffin, who is chairman of Romney’s campaign in Arkansas, said he hopes the GOP presidential nomination “will be pretty much wrapped up” by the May 22 primary.
Asked if it would be bad news for Romney if Arkansas’ presidential primary is still in play on May 22, Griffin said, “I think it is bad news for anybody. This is the process. It is good to have vigorous debate. It shouldn’t go on forever. I certainly don’t want to have a brokered convention. So debate and disagreement within the party is normal. … Vigorous debate is good. I am totally for that.
“I think at some point, depending on how long this goes on, we know where everybody stands. The people paying attention for the primaries have heard plenty of answers on plenty of questions and it is time for us as a party to make a decision. I am not saying we are not there yet. But I think we will get there long before May, and I hope we do.”
I found this odd on a couple fronts.
First, it is odd that the chair of a candidate’s state campaign is hopeful his state does not matter. Griffin made a similar statement earlier this week during a live chat with Talk Business when Roby Brock mentioned that perhaps the primary would make it to Arkansas and he would be responsible for delivering the state for Romney. “Don’t give me that responsibility,” replied Griffin.
Second, it is odd that an Arkansas Republican Congressman would not want his state to have an impact on the Republican primary process. Note that Griffin is not only saying that he hopes that Romney is the nominee, but that the primary ends “long before May” when Arkansas votes.
It could be that Griffin hopes it ends before Arkansas as he thinks it likely that Romney will lose badly in Arkansas. Polls from surrounding states in Oklahoma and Tennessee show Romney losing, and he was shellacked by Santorum in the Missouri primary. A defeat here could be embarrassing to him, but personally I wish my Congressman was advocating that my vote would count in the primary, not hoping for an early end.