Romney brushes up on his Southern slang in preparation for Dixie primaries

posted at 6:00 pm on March 9, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Mitt Romney doesn’t have to master the South — he could lose both Alabama and Mississippi and still secure the nomination — but he’s made an effort to connect in Dixie anyway.

Entering the region as an underdog against Rick Santorum, Romney first deployed his Southern version during a Wednesday afternoon visit to Pascagoula, Miss., blending stump pitches on energy and the military with a shout-out to campaign aide Garrett Jackson, a 2009 Ole Miss grad, who he travels with “more than my wife.”

“He’s now turning me into an, I don’t know, an unofficial Southerner,” Romney said in front of several giant oil-drilling rig platforms sitting at the port. “I’m learning to say ‘y’all.’ I like grits. Things are, strange things, are happening to me.”

On cue, Romney kept the Southern shtick going Thursday morning at a town hall-style rally in Jackson, Miss. Standing next to Gov. Phil Bryant, a recent endorser who’s from one of the most conservative counties in the state, Romney opened with a local salute.

“The governor said I had to say it right: Mornin’ y’all. Good to be with you,” Romney bantered. “I got started right this morning with a biscuit and some cheesy grits. I’ll tell you! Delicious.”

The reviews of his Southern act have been mixed. (If he really wanted to bowl everybody over, he’d accompany every Southern handshake with a friendly, “How’s your mam’n’em?” Guess Garrett Jackson hasn’t taught Mitt that one yet.) One Mississippi rally-goer told Politico that Romney’s appropriation of Southern linguistic efficiencies like “y’all” could be perceived as “disingenuous.” Another said she was essentially indifferent to his pretense of a Southern personality — but wouldn’t be indifferent to his success story if he would only tell it in a way that conveyed that it’s possible for the middle class to attain what he has. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant declared, “I think people in Mississippi like Mitt Romney.”

According to Rasmussen, that’s true: Romney has an 8-point lead in the state. ARG puts Newt Gingrich up by four, but it still looks like a Romney win in Mississippi is possible, maybe even likely — and, again, Romney doesn’t have to win to stay in the race. Gingrich has made a win in either Mississippi or Alabama (and preferably both!) do-or-die. If he wins neither, he’ll probably be out. Santorum, too, needs a victory in one or both to knock out Gingrich and to bolster his narrative that he’s the leading counter to Romney.

Both Gingrich and Santorum are running out of money with which to mount a fight, though. Gingrich opted to forgo a Monday fundraiser to do a little last-minute campaigning in the South, recognizing that if he raises $1 million Monday but loses Mississippi and Alabama Tuesday, he’ll have no campaign left to finance. Santorum recently said he’s “burning through [his] savings.” Romney, too, has had to spend more than he planned — but he has better-positioned supporters to hit up for more cash. Donor fatigue might be the single biggest drawback to a long primary!

At this point, it would be encouraging to see Romney take a Southern state other than Virginia (namely, Mississippi); it would weaken the argument that he’ll be unable to count on the support of the South in the general election. Romney has acknowledged that the South is “a bit of an away game” for him. Now’s when he needs to prove that he’s got what it takes to lead the entire country, not just the Northeast or the ultra-wealthy or establishment Republicans. Clearly, that’s what the Romney camp is thinking, too. Hence his “Southern makeover.”

To parrot Santorum’s advisers, though, it’d also be nice if Alabamans voted to make this a two-man race so, at the very least, we’re able to learn if all non-Romney votes up to this point really have been anti-Romney votes or whether the majority of Republicans really are OK with Romney as the nominee.


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I lived almost 36 years in Texas and I can’t say I’ve ever ate grits. I will say I moved up near the Canandian border where they’ve never heard of a spice and far away from my beloved Tex-Mex and lost a ton and a half of weight. Secret? Move away from the South where we fry everything.

On topic, Mitt is awkward as can be. Can’t seem to help himself. That being said, he was just trying to “relate”.

TXMomof3 on March 9, 2012 at 9:42 PM

he’s so incredibly awkward!

Sachiko on March 9, 2012 at 9:01 PM

…yes…but I don’t dislike him for it…it’s sort of a nice dork thing…because he is OUR dork!

KOOLAID2 on March 9, 2012 at 9:44 PM

He’s not like Hillary or Obama who lapses into dialect depending on what crowd they’re addressing. He’s aware of it, and lets us all in on it too. He knows it’s important, but he doesn’t pretend it comes naturally to him. Because … it certainly does NOT.

Paul-Cincy on March 9, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Do you think Romney is in fact a japanese Robot infiltrator?

Swerve22 on March 9, 2012 at 10:41 PM

KERRY: “Kin I get me a huntin’ license here?”

HILLARY: “I ain’t no ways tahrd.”

ROMNEY: “Pardon me, have you any Grey Poupon, y’all?

Schadenfreude on March 9, 2012 at 10:49 PM

good grief this guy sucks worse than McCain did. I didn’t think such a thing was possible.

I feel for you Romney guys. He’s going to probably drive some of you to some kind of chemical abuse/emotional breakdown with the level of suckness he’s displaying.

Obama is so beatable…gas prices..unemployment..scandals…and we nominate this spineless loser that won’t go after him. Oh well. It will be fun watching Romney implode. I’m sure even after he hits rockbottom, he’ll start digging.

austinnelly on March 9, 2012 at 11:56 PM

He’s just a nice guy. He’s a dork for sure but he is way smart and by all accounts of people that know him personally, he is trustworthy. We already have a cool President and he sucks.

grosven on March 10, 2012 at 12:02 AM

Romney has been told time and time again – and his election results have told him time and time again, that he NEEDS to reach out to the Conservative Base in the Republican Party if he wants to WIn.

He OBVIOUSLY has NO INTENTIONS WHATSOEVER of doing that.

He has not talked to or acknowledged ANY “Tea Party” Leaders
He has not talked to or acknowledged ANY Conservatives in the RNC
He has shown LESS interest in acknowledging Conservatives than only ONE PERSON I know of: McLame

He has played footsie with The Environmentalists – and he has Stroked Obama

He has only Given Conservatives ONE THING:

The Finger – and he has SAID that he INTENDS to KEEP DOING THAT Louder and LONGER!!

He is the only Candidate WORST than McCain

williamg on March 10, 2012 at 12:24 AM

erstwhile JohnGalt23.

Just Sayin on March 9, 2012 at 9:22 PM

erstwhile?

hawkdriver on March 10, 2012 at 3:11 AM

OK, I admit it, sometimes I wish we’d won.

Knott Buyinit on March 10, 2012 at 3:24 AM

Obama is so beatable…gas prices..unemployment..scandals..$1.5 trillion deficits..$15+ trillion debt..adding a huge new entitlement when we already have $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities..and we nominate this spineless loser that won’t go after him.

austinnelly on March 9, 2012 at 11:56 PM

imasoulman on March 10, 2012 at 3:41 AM

erstwhile?

hawkdriver on March 10, 2012 at 3:11 AM

Oh criminy. NO! I mean to write ” earnest,” not “erstwhile.”

Just Sayin on March 10, 2012 at 8:13 AM

ROMNEY WINS GUAM.

mountainaires on March 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM

ROMNEY WINS GUAM.

mountainaires on March 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM

OH BOY, OH BOY!! He also won Mariana Islands – WOW!!! A grand total of 18 delegates that are proportional and unbound. Big whoop-de-do.

KickandSwimMom on March 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM

ROMNEY WINS GUAM.

mountainaires on March 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM

And in celebration, all of his supporters ran to one side of the island and made it tip over.

I agree. Big whoop.

kingsjester on March 10, 2012 at 9:50 AM

OH BOY, OH BOY!! He also won Mariana Islands – WOW!!! A grand total of 18 delegates that are proportional and unbound. Big whoop-de-do.

KickandSwimMom on March 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Why, that’s more delegates than Santorum got in Colorado, Georgia, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Nevada, N. Dakota or Vermont. Whoop-de-do.

Ya, but…but..but…

jan3 on March 10, 2012 at 9:54 AM

A biscuit and cheese grits? Yummy. I’d eat ‘em with Mitt if I could, but I’m on a diet!

This rank hypocrisy from the anti-Mitt Romney crowd and the media in furtherance of this “gaffe narrative” is ludicrous.

You sound like you’ve NEVER HEARD A POLITICAL SPEECH IN YOUR LIVES.

EVERY POLITICIAN IN HISTORY does this when he or she travels to make speeches. When in foreign countries, Presidents ALWAYS make reference to some local cuisine they’ve tried, some local team, some local landmark. When in states politicians ALWAYS make reference to some local reference point, sports team, cuisine, or landmark.

Republicans/conservatives echoing liberal media narratives against Romney are fools; no, worse than fools, they are TOOLS.

Can you see the echoes of John F. Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” in this famous Reagan speech?

http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/reagan-tear-down.htm

You can “google” other political speeches throughout history–both domestic and foreign–and discover that Romney was just doing the historical political thing–acknowledging local culture!

mountainaires on March 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM

…yes…but I don’t dislike him for it…it’s sort of a nice dork thing…because he is OUR dork!

Romney is DORKEY COOL

LOL

gerry-mittbot-dorkey cool himself

gerrym51 on March 10, 2012 at 9:59 AM

WOW!!! A grand total of 18 delegates that are proportional and unbound. Big whoop-de-do.

KickandSwimMom on March 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM

My God. You’re really a moron aren’t you?

Why don’t you write to Santorum and ask him how important those 18 delegates in Ohio were that he didn’t GET because he didn’t bother to get on the ballot in 3 districts.

So far, Santorum’s lost approximately 100 delegates because he didn’t get on the ballot in Virginia, DC, Ohio, Illinois, and districts in several other states.

Romney has managed to get on the ballot and earn delegates in every state and district. It’s the groundwork of campaign organization that any credible candidate must do. And, it’s why Mitt Romney will be the nominee for the GOP.

mountainaires on March 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

OH BOY, OH BOY!! He also won Mariana Islands – WOW!!! A grand total of 18 delegates that are proportional and unbound. Big whoop-de-do.

Kickandswimmom.

You keep posting this and I have to keep pointing out that most of Santorums delegates in caucuses are in the SAME EXACT SITUATION.

gerrym51 on March 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

OH BOY, OH BOY!! He also won Mariana Islands – WOW!!! A grand total of 18 delegates that are proportional and unbound. Big whoop-de-do.

KickandSwimMom on March 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM

And how many did Santy and Newt get from these two elections?

rich801 on March 10, 2012 at 10:05 AM

This is what happens when elitists try to mess with the peasants. Everything goes wrong

liberal4life on March 10, 2012 at 10:12 AM

I was born in Tennessee and love grits. I’m proud of my heritage but since I moved to Michigan when I was 5, I haven’t said Y’all to anyone. What a phony. Try being real, that’s what people respect and when most people don’t expect out of a politician. Once again, why am I supposed to vote for this guy?

flytier on March 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM

BTW I went to college in South Carolina and still didn’t say y’all!

flytier on March 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Can this man stick to business and management, and stay away from trying to be funny, he is pathetic.

evergreenland on March 10, 2012 at 10:16 AM

OH BOY, OH BOY!! He also won Mariana Islands – WOW!!! A grand total of 18 delegates that are proportional and unbound. Big whoop-de-do.

KickandSwimMom on March 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Mitt won by enough to get all the delegates on the table there. To put that in perspective, a place like MS has 40. The winner of a 4-way race is likely to come away with barely 20 due to proportional allocation. So Mitt’s win in the Islands is as good as the winner is likely to get in such an important state as MS.

MJBrutus on March 10, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Maybe Oprah can teach him how to turn the illiterate southerner thing on and off.

Crusty on March 10, 2012 at 10:32 AM

I lived almost 36 years in Texas and I can’t say I’ve ever ate grits.

TXMomof3 on March 9, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Grits is really a deep south food. I’ve lived in Texas all my life but my parents always had grits because my father was from Mobile, AL and was raised on grits and collards (that’s collard greens for our Yankee residents here). I never liked them because they tasted like cream of wheat. When Romney gets to Texas, I’d expect him to talk about chicken fried steak with cream gravy.

Grits is also an acronym for girls raised in the south.

TxAnn56 on March 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Grits is also an acronym for girls raised in the south.

TxAnn56 on March 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

So then I guess I have eaten grits! I just didn’t know it :-)

MJBrutus on March 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM

It’s “y’all”, Mitts, not “youse all”.

timberline on March 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM

After losing (either the nomination or the election) Willard can take his vaudeville show on the road and make back some of those millions he wasted on negative advertising.

Annar on March 10, 2012 at 11:14 AM

attention Mittbots

http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/03/poll_barack_obama_leads_in_mas.html

Mitt can’t even beat Obama in OWN HOME STATE.

PappyD61 on March 10, 2012 at 11:26 AM

“Mitt Romney doesn’t have to master the South — he could lose both Alabama and Mississippi and still secure the nomination — but he’s made an effort to connect in Dixie anyway.” – Tina

Parroting Paula Dean just aint gonna make it.
Mittens looks sillier every day.
So, y’all wanna another buffoon in the White House, eh?
Willard will go over in the South like Forrest Gump in the North.
headshakingly lame
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on March 10, 2012 at 11:27 AM

“Y’all buy this here insurance, or I’ll throw all yer’ ass’ in jail.”

-Governor Mitt Romney, with a corncob pipe in his mouth.

portlandon on March 9, 2012 at 6:12 PM

thread winner, right thar.

PappyD61 on March 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM

“The governor said I had to say it right: Mornin’ y’all. Good to be with you,” Romney bantered. “I got started right this morning with a biscuit and some cheesy grits. I’ll tell you! Delicious.”

Mr. McRomney, I know Possum Holler.
Possum Holler is a friend of mine.
You Yankee Boy are no Possum Holler.

now……….git.

PappyD61 on March 10, 2012 at 11:32 AM

“Y’all buy this here insurance, or I’ll throw all yer’ ass’ in jail.”

-Governor Mitt Romney, with a corncob pipe in his mouth.

portlandon on March 9, 2012 at 6:12 PM

thread winner, right thar.

PappyD61 on March 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM

♫♪ Ding, Ding, Ding ♫♪

Willard shore aint no stump-jumper!
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on March 10, 2012 at 11:45 AM

At the end of that conversation, I got the impression we had both pretty much agreed the tenor of comments here was bad on both sides. If you’re trying to say if was my responsibility to make your side of the argument, I’ll say I at least in part did that. Where you asserted no one took up for Governor Ronmey, I pretty quickly provided a comment where someone called him “not a Christian” and I corrected that charge.

Can I say that the more we exchange, the more confused I become with your point?

hawkdriver on March 9, 2012 at 8:05 PM

And I wouldn’t have said one word if you hadn’t, at the beginning of this thread, again fulminated against the “d1cks” who “throw out any and every vulgar name you can muster for Newt, Rick and their supporters.”

Gelsomina on March 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Romney has been told time and time again – and his election results have told him time and time again, that he NEEDS to reach out to the Conservative Base in the Republican Party if he wants to WIn.

He OBVIOUSLY has NO INTENTIONS WHATSOEVER of doing that.

He has not talked to or acknowledged ANY “Tea Party” Leaders
He has not talked to or acknowledged ANY Conservatives in the RNC
He has shown LESS interest in acknowledging Conservatives than only ONE PERSON I know of: McLame

He has played footsie with The Environmentalists – and he has Stroked Obama

He has only Given Conservatives ONE THING:

The Finger – and he has SAID that he INTENDS to KEEP DOING THAT Louder and LONGER!!

He is the only Candidate WORST than McCain

williamg on March 10, 2012 at 12:24 AM

This^^^

What a phony Romney is, with his mom blue jeans, open collared shirt and y’alls. He thinks conservatives in the south are dumb hicks and will fall for this schtick. Lame.

IndeCon on March 10, 2012 at 12:20 PM

My God. You’re really a moron aren’t you? mountainaires on March 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

This made me skip the rest of your comment. If you’re trying to influence anyone, you’re not doing a very good job of it.

JannyMae on March 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM

What a phony Romney is, with his mom blue jeans, open collared shirt and y’alls. He thinks conservatives in the south are dumb hicks and will fall for this schtick. Lame.

IndeCon on March 10, 2012 at 12:20 PM

If southern conservatives DO fall for his schtick, he will have been proven correct! And that looks very likely to happen!

MelonCollie on March 10, 2012 at 12:26 PM

on Drudge linked to Rasmussen, Mitt leads Obummer 48-43

have Marco Rubio as veep to seal Florida and Hispanic vote

Woody from Toy Story and Newt the fat thrice married pig need to drop out

nparga23 on March 10, 2012 at 12:27 PM

PappyD61 on March 10, 2012 at 11:32 AM

You’re even frothier than usual today. Must be getting scared :-)

MJBrutus on March 10, 2012 at 12:39 PM

If southern conservatives DO fall for his schtick, he will have been proven correct! And that looks very likely to happen!

MelonCollie on March 10, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Why shouldn’t he’d think they fall for his schtick – It worked for Santorum.

JFS61 on March 10, 2012 at 12:40 PM

If southern conservatives DO fall for his schtick, he will have been proven correct! And that looks very likely to happen!

MelonCollie on March 10, 2012 at 12:26 PM

You’re right. He needs to turn up the phony schmaltz to show them just how authentic he is.

MJBrutus on March 10, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Obama is so beatable…gas prices..unemployment..scandals..$1.5 trillion deficits..$15+ trillion debt..adding a huge new entitlement when we already have $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities..and we nominate this spineless loser that won’t go after him.

austinnelly on March 9, 2012 at 11:56 PM

It is this exactly. +1000

Theophile on March 10, 2012 at 1:48 PM

It is this exactly. +1000

Theophile on March 10, 2012 at 1:48 PM

And yet, virtually all the national polls for the last year have shown Romney consistently the strongest opponent for Obama.

So the question is, where do you half-wits get your convictions? You don’t like Romney, so you assume he can’t win, and you support either the moron Santorum who is too stupid to submit a full delegate slate (“Duh, it says three names here, so let’s list one.”) or even qualify for state ballots properly, or the serial sleazeball Gingrich who has maintained the highest consistently negative public standing of any American politician for the last 20 years, even years after he left office?

Thick as bricks . . .

Adjoran on March 10, 2012 at 2:03 PM

I hate it when yankee scum come down here & try to act & talk southern just to get some votes & shit on everyone after! Yankee go home!

Confederate on March 10, 2012 at 2:10 PM

And yet, virtually all the national polls for the last year have shown Romney consistently the strongest opponent for Obama.

Yeah, polls pushed by the main stream media and the leftist meme that the only way to beat Obama is by going as liberal as possible whilst in the Republican party. That meme (fostered and fed by the left-wing media) is one of the things contributing to the death of this country.

So the question is, where do you half-wits get your convictions? You don’t like Romney, so you assume he can’t win, and you support either the moron Santorum who is too stupid to submit a full delegate slate (“Duh, it says three names here, so let’s list one.”) or even qualify for state ballots properly, or the serial sleazeball Gingrich who has maintained the highest consistently negative public standing of any American politician for the last 20 years, even years after he left office?

It would help your arguments if you weren’t so insulting and condescending.

Thick as bricks . . .

Adjoran on March 10, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Project much? :) :) :)

Theophile on March 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Why shouldn’t he’d think they fall for his schtick – It worked for Santorum.

JFS61 on March 10, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Touche, JFS.

MelonCollie on March 10, 2012 at 9:01 PM

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