Mitt Romney is headed to Minnesota this morning fresh off of his commanding victory in the Florida primary last night, and according to a report in The Boston Globe, part of the reason is to receive an endorsement from his one-time rival for the GOP presidential nomination, Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
Aides to Romney and the Minnesota congresswoman have been in conversation in recent days about securing the candidate’s endorsement by the Tea Party favorite and forceful public speaker, The Boston Globe has learned.
Not only would it add to the impression of Romney consolidating the GOP base after rebounding in Florida from his South Carolina loss, but it could help Bachmann by earning her an ally to help her pay off her lingering campaign debt.
The Globe was told that negotiations were still underway as late as last night, but the Romney camp stammered to explain why the GOP frontrunner would make a beeline for Minnesota – which doesn’t vote until Feb. 7 – when both Nevada and Maine are next on the calendar.
This morning however Ms. Bachmann blasted out a statement calling the story entirely false.
“Let me be absolutely clear — there are absolutely no negotiations between me and the Romney campaign regarding any pending endorsement of Governor Romney. I continue to speak with all the candidates and plan on uniting behind the presumptive nominee. The Boston Globe article today is completely false and I call on the Globe to retract their article.”
It is hard to know what is really going on here. Floating that a rumor is forthcoming could help the Romney folks create the impression that even conservative Tea Party types are lining up behind their candidate. And since Ms. Bachmann maintains that she will not endorse, it seems unlikely to lead to her getting angry and going off to endorse Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich.
But this still begs the question: why is Mitt Romney in Minnesota?
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