CBS: Mitt Romney A 'Political MVP' in 2014; Obama Not So Much

In the only coverage of the upcoming midterm election on Thursday's network morning shows, CBS This Morning offered a surprisingly positive profile of Mitt Romney's popularity on the campaign trail contrasted with President Obama's absence amid sinking poll numbers. Correspondent Nancy Cordes opened the report by proclaiming: "You could almost call it the Romney redemption tour. Two years after his crushing loss, he is now the most sought after Republican on the campaign trail."

Cordes announced: "In all, Romney has headlined 44 fundraisers and campaign events this year, in 21 states....clearly the center of attention. Posing for pictures, signing books. The crowd at this diner in Atlanta applauded when he sat down to have a hot dog."

On other end of the political spectrum, Cordes noted:

The President, by contrast, has not appeared at a rally for a Democrat since November of last year. He did shoot pool with Colorado's Democratic governor this summer, but Colorado Senator Mark Udall, who is also up for reelection, took a pass. And frequently highlights his differences with the President, who's approval ratings in the state have dropped to 39%.

Cordes concluded: "Polls confirm Romney is having a moment. 53% of Americans said in July if the election were held again, they'd vote for Romney."

Following the report, co-host Norah O'Donnell observed: "What a strong contrast to see how much someone like Mitt Romney's out on the trail and then the President is not." Fellow co-host Charlie Rose added: "It looks like he's enjoying it."

The segment was a dramatic change from Wednesday's This Morning, when Cordes touted criticism of "sick, pathetic, and disgusting" GOP ads.

Here is a full transcript of the October 9 story:

7:30 AM ET TEASE:

GAYLE KING: Coming up in this half hour, no Republican is more in demand this election season, but can the crowds convince Mitt Romney to throw his hat in the ring again? He talks to Nancy Cordes.

7:35 AM ET SEGMENT:  

NORAH O'DONNELL: And this morning we are less than a month away from the midterm elections. One man is out on the campaign trail almost as much as the candidates. Mitt Romney is seeing his political stock rise. But does that mean he's changing his mind about the next big race? Well, Nancy Cordes went right to the source. Nancy, good morning.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Mitt's Moment?; Romney Becomes Political MVP on Campaign Trail]

NANCY CORDES: Good morning. You know, you could almost call it the Romney redemption tour. Two years after his crushing loss, he is now the most sought after Republican on the campaign trail. Every candidate wants him at their side, the crowds are chanting, "Run, Mitt, Run!" And so, we wondered if there's any part of them that's thinking of taking them up on it.

He's hit six states in just the past eight days. The latest was Utah last night.

MITT ROMNEY: We're going to win this time! We're going to win!

CORDES: He's been asked to campaign for everyone, from the top Senate Republican...

ROMNEY [Campaign for Mitch McConnell]: And I'm looking forward to seeing him as the majority leader.

CORDES: ...to Georgia's attorney general.

ROMNEY: You going to vote for that man? Good to hear it.

CORDES: In all, Romney has headlined 44 fundraisers and campaign events this year, in 21 states. And even though he's stumping for others, the 67-year-old former Massachusetts governor is clearly the center of attention. Posing for pictures, signing books. The crowd at this diner in Atlanta applauded when he sat down to have a hot dog.

The President, by contrast, has not appeared at a rally for a Democrat since November of last year. He did shoot pool with Colorado's Democratic governor this summer, but Colorado Senator Mark Udall, who is also up for reelection, took a pass. And frequently highlights his differences with the President, who's approval ratings in the state have dropped to 39%.

CORDES: Are you walking a fine line when you criticize the President? After all, he won here in Colorado twice.

SEN. MARK UDALL: Look, I think we're all big boys and big girls and we don't always agree. And that's actually what's really wonderful about Colorado, we've got a spirited political discussion always here.

CORDES: Polls confirm Romney is having a moment. 53% of Americans said in July if the election were held again, they'd vote for Romney. He set off fresh speculation when he told radio show host Hugh Hewitt, "I'm not running," but that, "circumstances can change."

ROMNEY: How many of you voted for me in 2012?

[CROWD RAISES HANDS, CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

CORDES: We caught up with him in Littleton, Colorado, where his answer was more categorical.

[To Romney] What factors are you weighing as you decide whether to take another run?

ROMNEY: I'm not running, I'm going to be helping someone else who is. We don't who that is yet, but we're going to get a good Republican.

CORDES: However, the next two states on his travel schedule are Iowa and New Hampshire, two key primary states. So make of that what you will.  

The White House points out that the President has headlined some 55 fundraisers for the party this year. And, Norah, Charlie, and Gayle, they say he will hit the campaign trail for at least one candidate between now and November 4th.

O'DONNELL: That's interesting. What a strong contrast to see how much someone like Mitt Romney's out on the trail and then the President is not.

CHARLIE ROSE: It looks like he's enjoying it, doesn't he?

O'DONNELL: Yes.

GAYLE KING: Yeah, it goes from that to they applaud when you come down and order a hot dog. Okay, alright, not a bad thing.

ROSE: But as Norah said, small consolation.

KING: Yes, that's right. Thanks, everyone. Nancy, we thank you.

Campaigns & Elections 2014 Congressional Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CBS CBS This Morning Video Nancy Cordes Mitt Romney

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