Governor Bill Haslam could soon step up his role campaigning for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Last night Romney lost out to Rick Santorum in three states, and the race seems poised to stretch into Tennessee next month.
When asked what Haslam makes of Santorum’s newfound momentum, the governor joked he’s been wrong in predictions about the race several times already. But Haslam said he expects a long primary season, and that Tennessee will play a “critical” role with its vote next month.
Haslam also says he doesn’t buy the argument that Romney’s struggle to fend off conservative challengers reflects a divided GOP.
“It seems like any primary that’s contested you always hear that. It was that way with President Obama and Secretary Clinton in the last primary. I think there’s always a sense of ‘We don’t like the options here.’ People say that on the front end and as it plays out, some – most of that gets forgotten as a candidate is chosen.”
Haslam said as a Romney backer he’d make appearances and reach out to contacts as the campaign asks. Early voting in Tennessee’s primary starts next week.
58 Republican delegates are at stake in Tennessee’s primary on March 6th.