GOP Presidential Primary

Romney rushes to clarify his comments on union bargaining legislation

FAIRFAX, Va. — Mitt Romney sought to overturn his controversial comment on unions Wednesday, saying he supports Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) “110 percent” in limiting collective bargaining power.

Romney, during a visit to a GOP phone bank in Ohio Tuesday, earned the ire of conservatives when he indicated he would not take a stand on Ohio ballot Issue 2, which seeks to overturn Kasich’s legislation limiting the collective bargaining power of government union workers.

{mosads}”I fully support Gov. Kasich’s Question 2 in Ohio,” Romney said at a campaign stop in Virginia Wednesday. “I’m sorry if I created any confusion there.”

Romney said he did not want to weigh in on the other Ohio ballot issues and meant to express his lack of familiarity with those issues on Tuesday.

Besides earning conservative ire, rival Rick Perry criticized Romney’s remarks, noting Tuesday he supports Kasich on the matter. The Ohio Democratic Party hammered Romney on the issue, too.

Romney clarified his stance after thanking volunteers at the Fairfax County Republican Committee Headquarters in Northern Virginia Wednesday. Virginia’s Gov. Bob McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling accompanied Romney, speaking ahead of the former Massachusetts governor following the grassroots event.

Volunteers at the GOP center are making calls in support of Republicans running in Virginia’s legislative elections this November.

McDonnell, a popular Republican governor who also has close ties to Perry, said last week he won’t consider endorsing a presidential candidate until sometime after the Virginia elections take place. But he complimented Romney on his business experience and for laying out a “specific plan” to create jobs.

“There are no endorsements today, although those are always welcome,” Romney said.

He added: “I’ve asked every governor for their endorsement.”

McDonnell’s name also regularly comes up as a possible vice presidential candidate. Romney sidestepped questions on his possible VP pick, however, saying it would be “presumptuous” of him to make that choice ahead of the nomination.

Bolling endorsed Romney in August, and also serves as chairman of Romney’s campaign in Virginia.

“It’s great that he’s taking time away from his own campaign to help support our efforts in Virginia this year,” Bolling told The Washington Post on Monday. “That’s the kind of person he is, and our activists and candidates really appreciate that.”

Romney held a fundraising event Tuesday night in Northern Virginia at the McLean home of technology executive Bobbie Kilberg.

He will hold a fundraiser with members of Congress at the American Trucking Association in Washington, D.C., Wednesday afternoon that costs $500 a head. Congressional attendees include Romney supporters Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), House Oversight and Government Reform chairman; Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (Calif.); Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (Mich.); Rep. Tim Griffin (Ark.); and Sens. Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Orrin Hatch (Utah), according to NBC News. 

Tags Orrin Hatch Roy Blunt Tim Griffin
See all Hill.TV See all Video