"A Very Quick Romance"
Feb. 6, 2007 Interview with Rep. Jim McCrery (R-LA)

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION:  How did you come to support Gov. Romney?

REP. McCRERY:  I have a former staffer [Sally Canfield] who is one of his domestic policy advisors and she spoke very highly of Gov. Romney after joining the campaign gosh maybe a year ago, nine months ago.  And Sally would sing his praises every time I talked with her.  I'd bump into her on Capitol Hill or something.  And so I kind of had a curiosity about the man.  Looked into him a little bit.  Liked what I saw.  I particularly liked the way he dealt with health care in Massachusetts.  His plan in Massachusetts shares some features of a health care reform proposal that I've been promoting for several years, including and individual mandate.  So I was intrigued by that.

And then out of the blue, early December, he called me and chatted for a few minutes and asked me to consider helping his campaign.  I said, well I appreciate your call and I'm certainly open right now; I'm not committed  to anybody, so I'll be happy to consider it.

A week later he calls me back and says, I'm back; I'd still like for you to consider joining my campaign.  And I said, well I'm still not ready to commit.  He said, well could you fly to Boston and meet with me and you can ask me anything you want; we'll chat...and said I'd just like to speak to you face to face.  So I said well I'll get back to you.

So I finally decided to go up to Boston and I did.  Met with him and his wife and his borther for about an hour in their home in the Boston area, had a great conversation, and did ask him a number of questions and was very happy with his answers, and still wasn't ready to commit, but I told him I would think about it.

So I got home and I told my wife that I was impressed but still not ready to commit--said we need to do some research, some further research.  So we both got on the Internet and pulled everything we could find on Romney and read it.


REP. McCRERY:  Yeah.  She likes Google; I like Yahoo.

So after doing that, and my wife and I talked about it, I talked with my staff here on Capitol Hill and a few friends, and just decided that he was the best guy for the job.  So I called him back a few days after Christmas and said okay.

McCrery noted that among the questions he asked Romney in their meeting was how he is going to deal with the Morman question.  "I was very satisfied with his answer," McCrery said, noting that Romney "couches his response to that in terms of his values...the values that we all espouse as Christians and God-fearing people."  McCrery also said that he had not talked to any other candidates but had "had a couple of calls from people in the campaigns asking me to keep my powder dry."

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