Sen. Blunt: Romney can win in November

Missouri senator on GOP race, Obama's record


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Well, whatever you do, please do not count this guy out. Rick Santorum says he is ready to put on a show in the Show Me State tomorrow. And that’s just for starters.

As voters cast their ballots, a new poll shows that Santorum beats President Obama in a head-to-head matchup nationally.

Does that have my next guest worried?

Republican Senator Roy Blunt is a key Romney supporter. Senator, those who are opposing Mitt Romney argue it is a little too soon to call it a day and say this race is over, so, a bit premature to say follow the leader and the winner.

SEN. ROY BLUNT, R-MO.: Well, I think it is time to say the race is over, to tell you the truth.

Romney has got -- had decisive wins in New Hampshire and Florida and Nevada. He’s going to have more in the next few days. And I think he is the only one with the resources and the national campaign to get this done.

But I like all these of the other people who are still in this race. Rick Santorum is a good friend of mine. I just think -- somebody said the other day that the contest is over, the competition is over, but the race hasn’t ended yet. And I think there is a lot to be said for that.

I believe it is pretty clear who has the national campaign that can really get this job done, and I think it is Mitt Romney. And I think not only. If he gets elected president, I think he can be a great president and has the best chance to be elected.

CAVUTO: You might be right, sir, but you are pretty good with numbers -- actually, better than I am with them -- and I am looking at about 100 or so delegates. You need over 1,144 of them to get the nomination.

BLUNT: Right.


CAVUTO: So we are a long way from Tipperary, right?

BLUNT: Well, but there is a lot to be done that, if it you have not gotten it done, you can’t get it done either, Neil.

On the Missouri ballot tomorrow, Newt Gingrich failed to file. That’s something that was pretty fundamental to a campaign. I actually filed the papers for Romney. And there is no petition. There is no anything. You just have to have somebody show up with your document and say, I am here to file for Governor Romney.

And Newt Gingrich failed to get that done. The Virginia ballot -- I just don’t think there is enough infrastructure out there to support the other two campaigns. Ron Paul has the infrastructure, another friend of mine, but not likely to be the nominee.

I do think that the quicker now we behind to rally behind the person I believe is going to be the nominee, the more likely you are to get the focus back on the Obama economy and this president. This needs to be an election about the president’s performance, the Obama economy, and what we are going to do about it.

CAVUTO: You again might be right, but if you look at it, Senator, for all the votes that have been cast, Mitt Romney has scored about a third of them, just of those Republicans who voted in these primaries and caucuses thus far, and that is but a plurality of all the registered Republicans in those states.

Now, the momentum certainly might be in his favor, having maybe won the last couple of races. But I can understand those other candidates saying, well, we are a long way from finished. We’re a long way from him sealing the deal. And we are a long way from saying that, in February, we have to call it a day, when we know other races, like the Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama one that went well into the late spring damaged the party -- we know, in that case, it didn’t.

BLUNT: Well, we will see.

I think most of the things that have come up in the primary up until now have not been harmful. I think these questions needed to be answered. And I think I have leader a lot, as others have, about the great job- creating career that Governor Romney had. The way he has responded, the way he has defended an opportunity society has been a good thing. And he has learned to do that in this primary.


BLUNT: And that is what primaries do.

CAVUTO: I understand, sir, but do you think that there is something to what this angst is expressed by some, certainly not all conservatives, within the party who are just leery about him?

BLUNT: Well, you know, I noticed -- I thought it was particularly interesting the last two sets of primaries, when you break down the voters -- like, in Nevada, I think the Tea Party voters, the people that said they were most closely aligned with the Tea Party, tended to vote more for Romney than anyone else.

If you look at the breakdown of the segments, he is getting the votes across the board in the Republican primary that you would want someone to get. And I just believe that, eventually, our party gets focused back on what this election is about, and they rally around a nominee.

And only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum really know whether or not they have got the national support or the national fund-raising network or whatever it takes to make this campaign work. I don’t see that myself. I will be surprised if it is there. I do think Romney has that. I think Ron Paul has that.

They can go the distance. And I think in that kind of competition with these four people, Mitt Romney is not only the nominee. I think he is likely to be the next president of the United States, because people are going to get focused again on what this election is about it. It is not about us fighting each other. It’s about the economy. Gas prices are going to almost double since Obama became president by May.

CAVUTO: We will watch closely.

Senator, always good to have you. Thank you.

BLUNT: Good to be with you. Good to see you, Neil.

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