What happens if Mitt Romney loses Michigan?

Romney campaign press secretary Andrea Saul weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 20, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: Senior adviser to the Mitt Romney campaign Eric Fehrnstrom saying Michigan is not a must-win for Romney.

Does Andrea Saul agree with that? Andrea is the campaign’s national press secretary.

What do you say, Andrea? Not a must-win for Mitt Romney, his native state?


What’s a must-win are the 1,144 delegates to get the nomination. Now, with that being said, I think we are going to win Michigan. We’re going to fight as hard as we can to win Michigan. And so...


SAUL: ... and Arizona next week.

VARNEY: If it’s not must win, it would be a big blow, would it not, for Mitt Romney to lose his native state? His father was governor of Michigan; big loss.

SAUL: Well, again, we’re fighting to win Michigan.


SAUL: And there are a lot of states that Governor Romney has close ties to. Massachusetts is where he governed. Before, in New Hampshire, being next door, that was a must-win. We have gone through all these states.

And so far we’re really doing well. We have a 3-1 advantage over delegates over our opponents. And we’re really focused on the delegate count and what it going to take to get those delegates to secure the nomination.

VARNEY: Newt Gingrich says if Governor Romney doesn’t win Michigan, he should drop out, Romney should drop out.


VARNEY: You’re going to laugh about that, but what do you say?

SAUL: Well, Speaker Gingrich and Senator Santorum couldn’t even get on the ballots in their now home state of Virginia.

So what -- it takes an organization, it takes a resources, it takes a message, and Governor Romney has all of those. As I said before, we’re leading the other candidates in the delegate count and we have the message that voters need to hear, which is an outsider, a businessman that can beat President Obama.

VARNEY: Andrea, but Republicans don’t love him. Do they? They have not embraced Governor Romney. They don’t love the man, do they?

SAUL: We have seen different candidates go up and down. And as soon as the spotlight turns on the next one, you see them go down again.

And the one candidate that’s been consistent throughout this is Governor Romney. He’s been at or near the top this entire race. And we have seen people come and go, whether it be Herman Cain or Governor Perry or Governor Huntsman, Governor Pawlenty. One by one, the spotlight shone on these different candidates, and Governor Romney is the one that has prevailed.

VARNEY: All right.

SAUL: And so we have -- we know that this is a tough-fought battle.

It’s an important position. We’re running for president of the United States, so this shouldn’t be easy. So that’s we expect it is going to be difficult. But there are a lot of questions left unanswered about our opponents. Most recently, Senator Santorum is under the spotlight.

VARNEY: I get that. Andrea, I do get that. And I’m watching this race very, very carefully.

But what it seems to me is the Republican Party is losing its focus of going after President Obama and his record. They’re spending much of their time attacking each other. And you have just done that.

SAUL: Well, look, the goal is he’s going to take on President Obama and who could beat him.

Right now, we’re all getting ready. Whoever the nominee is will go after President Obama and his billion dollars that is going to have to try to tear down the candidates. But we have to get a nominee first. And so that’s why it’s important to show differences in the record.

For instance, Senator Santorum...


VARNEY: Then attacking each other is surely to some degree destructive, isn’t it? Because you’re losing that focus.

SAUL: I can assure you every day, every one of these candidates is going ever after President Obama. And that’s including Mitt Romney.

He’s talked all along how President Obama just doesn’t get it on the economy, whereas Mitt Romney spent his life in the private sector. He spent 25 years as a businessman and entrepreneur in the real world economy. He knows what it’s like to balance budgets. He knows what it’s like to make payrolls. And this president doesn’t.

And that’s why we think that Governor Romney provides the clear contrast to President Obama and would be the best person to go up against him.

VARNEY: All right, Andrea Saul, thank you for joining us, ma’am. We do appreciate you being with us today. Thank you.

SAUL: Thanks for having me.

Content and Programming Copyright 2012 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright CQ-2012 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.