Those words were spoken today by Georgette Mosbacher, RNC Finance Co-Chair and huge GOP fundraiser, after Chris Christie’s announcement. The “we” is all the big bundlers, fundraisers, and money folks who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the field to be set — and that quote represents the coalescing around Mitt Romney that is expected to happen rather quickly now. Mosbacher went on to say:
“I think tomorrow, we’ll be contacting one another and probably put something together with Romney… And I would say that the race is now Romney and Obama. Quite frankly, the enthusiasm wasn’t there at the outset. He’s less conservative than a lot of us would like. However, our first and foremost goal is to defeat Obama. And we do believe Romney, in terms of independents, will be a strong candidate. We will coalesce behind him now… the time has come to get behind him… Tomorrow I’ll be on the phone all day. Quite frankly, it’ll be easier, because now we know who it is who will be our nominee. So we will pull our Rolodexes out and get to work.”
Fellow bundler and sideline-sitter John Catsimatidis added, “I’m going to go with Mitt Romney. I don’t think Perry has it in him to do it. He’s a lot better than Sarah Palin, but not a lot lot better.”
In related news, Romney also scored another major fundraiser from the Draft Christie movement: Ken Langone. Langone is the founder of Home Depot and is described as a “titan” in the political money scene. He backed Rudy Giuliani in 2008, helping Giuliani out raise the other candidates. There is evidence that a great deal of the money that had sat on the sidelines so far in this race will now fall into Romney’s coffers.
Rick Perry, for his part, got the endorsement of another Draft Christie member: Gary Kirke, a west Iowa investor and casino owner who had also been sitting on the sidelines until this afternoon.