Romney backers reject Murdoch, Welch calls

Updated July 4, 2012 at 9:45 AM
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WOLFEBORO, N.H., July 4 (UPI) -- Mitt Romney supporters rejected calls by conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch and U.S. business executive and author Jack Welch for a campaign shake-up.

"Gov. Romney respects Rupert Murdoch and also respects his team and has confidence in them," Romney press secretary Andrea Saul said after the News Corp. chief executive officer wrote on Twitter Sunday Romney's presidential campaign team was outmatched by President Barack Obama's.

"Met Romney last week. Tough O [Obama] Chicago pros will be hard to beat unless he drops old friends from team and hires some real pros. Doubtful," Murdoch wrote.

Murdoch, 81, was among 50 people who met with the former Massachusetts governor at the Union League Club of New York, a private New York City social club, Thursday afternoon.

Welch, 76, a former General Electric Co. chief executive officer, later sent out a Twitter message in support of Murdoch's shake-up call.

"Hope Mitt Romney is listening to Murdoch advice ont campaign staff..playing in league with Chicago pols..No room for amateurs," the message said.

Murdoch followed up his first Twitter message with another Sunday after a follower said Romney needed more stomach and heart to go with his brains.

"Romney has all these and more, but just to see more fight. And Hispanics a surrender to O. Cn not afford, hurts senate too," Murdoch's message said.

On Monday Murdoch added through Twitter: "Romney people upset at me! Of course I want him to win, save us from socialism, etc but should listen to good advice and get stuck in!"

Republican strategist and pollster Kellyanne Conway, who also attended the Union League Club meeting, told The Washington Post Murdoch's campaign-staff issues were never raised at the meeting.

"I can tell you confidently and competently that neither Gov. Romney or anyone in that room raised any talk of personnel, let alone a shake-up," she told the newspaper Tuesday.

Romney, vacationing in New Hampshire, is standing by his team, Saul said.

The team includes a mix of longtime aides, including senior Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom and long-time confidante Beth Myers.

Fehrnstrom sided Sunday with the White House and repudiated GOP leaders by saying the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate is a penalty, not a tax.

In March, he said that after Romney won the GOP nomination at the end of August, he would start a new, less right-wing campaign from scratch, likening the change to shaking an Etch A Sketch toy -- a comparison Romney's opponents have used during the campaign to suggest he is inconsistent on issues.

Myers, who ran Romney's 2008 presidential campaign, is heading the search for Romney's running-mate. She was his chief of staff when he was governor and later headed his political action committee before being named a senior adviser on his White House bid.

She learned politics alongside GOP political consultant Karl Rove in the 1980s, The New York Times said.

Romney huddled at his vacation estate on Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, N.H., Tuesday with Myers, campaign manager Matt Rhoades, senior campaign strategist Stuart Stevens and wife Ann Romney, officials said.

He planned to make his first official public appearance of the week Wednesday, marching in Wolfeboro's Fourth of July parade.

His vacation is to end Sunday when he goes to fundraising events in New York and returns to the campaign trail.

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