February 7, 2007
Regula backs Romney's bid for president
By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service
WASHINGTON Rep. Ralph Regula on Tuesday jumped on the Mitt
Romney band wagon, announcing his support for the former
Massachusetts governor in his bid for president.
Regula, R-Bethlehem Township, joined what the Romney campaign
describes as a congressional whip team that will rally support
for Romney on Capitol Hill.
Romney, 58, a Republican, plans to officially announce his
candidacy in his native state of Michigan on Tuesday. His late
father, George Romney, served as Michigan governor in the 1960s
and made an unsuccessful bid for the GOP presidential nomination
Regula was described by his staff as being in meetings all
afternoon and was unavailable to discuss his endorsement.
But Romney's spokesman, Kevin Madden, said Regula's support is
important because the 18-term congressman is well-respected
among House Republicans.
"It gives us a great deal of credibility," he said.
The Romney exploratory committee, currently functioning as the
campaign, issued a statement saying congressional supporters
"will be powerful voices for our conservative agenda of lower
taxes, smaller government, traditional values and a safer
The addition of Regula and several other congressmen to the
effort brings to 22 the number of House lawmakers endorsing
Romney now has more endorsements from House Republicans than
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. McCain is widely viewed as the GOP
front-runner even though some polls show former New York Mayor
Rudy Giuliani with more support among Republican-leaning voters.
Congressional backers of Romney include former House Speaker
Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky. Rogers is a
member of the House Appropriations Committee who vied with
Regula for chairmanship of the committee in 2005. GOP leaders
chose Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., as chairman in the three-way
Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La., is heading the Romney effort in the
Sen. George Voinovich, R-Cleveland, has not yet endorsed anyone
in the 2008 presidential race.