TAMPA, FLA., (WWJ) As Tropical Storm Isaac bears down on the Gulf Coast, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder took time from the Republican National Convention to say he’s fully convinced Mitt Romney will take his state’s 16 electoral votes.
“Yes, he can,” Snyder said about whether Romney can win Michigan, adding, “When you look at the polls, they’re basically tied and when you look at the margin of error on them, either candidate could win this thing. And there are still 70-some days to go, so there’s still a fair amount of time going on. Michigan should be a real battleground.”
Snyder is among the Republicans present for the full pomp and circumstance of the GOP Convention in Tampa, Fla., not far from Isaac’s fury. There shouldn’t be any surprises at the convention, he said, except whatever Tropical Storm Isaac brings to the table.
“Our big challenge was the storm going by and people were resilient on that,” the governor said. “The big concern with Isaac now is just everyone’s thoughts and prayers are with those in New Orleans and Mississippi, where it’s going to hit landfall.”
He added the potential hurricane is on everyone’s mind at the convention. “People talk about their concern for people and the Gulf Shore, where the hurricane could land,” he said. “A number of Republican governors actually stayed back in their states because they’re focused on this … People are taking this very seriously and we are all concerned about where the hurricane hits land, the damage it could do.”
On the convention itself, Snyder said social media has changed the way it runs, but he thinks the traditional nominating convention is still a necessary practice.
“I still think they’re relevant, I think it’s a great opportunity for people to get together, it’s a focal point for good national discussion and bringing people from all across the country together,” Snyder said. “I think the format, in terms of how it gets covered is changing around quite a bit and I think what you’re going to continue to see is limited network coverage in terms of TV coverage, but in terms of social media and everything else, you’re going to see a continuation of the conventions, but communicating it through streaming, other methods of communication.”
One of the things Snyder will do at the convention is officially announce that Michigan Republicans give their votes to Romney and Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, and Snyders is in the perfect position — literally — to do it.
“The best part is Michigan is right up front,” Snyder said. “We’ve got a tremendous position and hopefully that will be a good highlight for Michigan. You come down to the podium and we’re center, right in front.”
He added the convention isn’t about negotiating and making policy, it’s just about celebrating the candidates and “people doing good things.”
Snyder supports Romney, saying his election would bring good things to Michigan by alleviating the dysfunction in Washington, D.C.
“Michigan’s the comeback state right now, we’ve done well, we’ve still got a long way to go, but we’ve improved tremendously in terms of our economy, jobs,” Snyder said. “But if you look at it, we could still do better, and one of the things holding us back is the dysfunctionaliy in Michigan. Washington’s a mess … One of the great opportunities is potentially new leadership, and Mitt Romney’s got a great background to do that … Let’s start by creating a better environment out in Washington to go along with the good environment we have in Michigan.”
Locally, Snyder weighed in on the casinos issue after the state Board of Canvassers rejected a proposal Monday that could lead to eight new Michigan casinos, saying, “I appreciate them doing their work … The outcome of most of that will just end up in court, it will go to the Court of Appeals, and given the way things are going these days, most likely people will try to take it to the Supreme Court.
“It’s unfortunate, all this litigation and arguing over these ballot proposals,” Snyder added. “I hope our citizens really look at these proposals carefully. Changing the constitution is a major issue and most of these proposals I believe are not appropriate to be changes to the constitution.”