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May, 3rd 2009

Romney jokes that he was left off TIME's list because he's not cute enough

– Liz Mair

Just a joke?  You decide:

Mitt Romney, left off Time's list of the 100 most influential people, takes a jab at the list and, by extension, the Republicans on it.

Romney jokingly suggesting in an interview with CNN's John King that they'd been included for looks, not influence:

KING: As you launch this effort, anyone who picks up "Time" magazine this week and sees the 100 most influential people, will see two Republicans in that magazine. They'll see Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh. Is that helpful, hurtful, indifferent?

CANTOR: You know, they are two individuals that have a lot of ideas, and our party should be about ideas. That's what this effort is about and the National Council for a New America, and that is what they're about. So I don't think any of us should have any monopoly on the ideas. And I know that there are some who like to make it all about personalities, but it's about ideas. It's about how we take this country forward.

ROMNEY: John, I'd like to have a lot more influential Republicans. I think there are a lot more influential Republicans than that would suggest. But was that the issue on the most beautiful people or the most influential people? I'm not sure. If it's the most beautiful, I understand. We're not real cute.

Aw, Mitt, fret not.  One thing I can absolutely agree with female (and gay) Romney fans about is that you're a pretty good-looking guy.  I think you're equally good-looking to Sarah Palin, for sure, and you're definitely cuter than Rush.  As to whether or not that means you should have been included on the list, well, I'd have to pore over it in greater detail.  Probably so (as you say, there are a lot more influential Republicans than TIME's list seems to suggest).  But it's also probably better to not say things that could be interpreted as you sounding a tad bitter about not being included given your still-present political ambitions and your evident position as a leader within the GOP.

On a slightly different note, I will add that Cantor is right that the GOP should be about ideas, and ideally, TIME's list might have been compiled by reference to who has them (and who has the really good ones).  However, I'd add that as a Rush non-enthusiast, I don't personally think of him as an "ideas man," whether or not Cantor does.  Even if he were, I'm not sure I'd say the GOP should be about his ideas. 

Of course, for that matter, I've had my disagreements with Romney, too (I gather he touted his health care plan, which I've been criticizing on and off since 2006, quite heavily yesterday).  He is much more an "ideas man" than Limbaugh (and I'd say more an "ideas man" than Palin is an "ideas woman," which should not be seen as a knock on her as much as me saying Romney can be pretty cerebral).  But I'm not sure I want the GOP to be about his ideas, either-- at least not where health care is concerned (as I've previously mentioned, within the current field of potential 2012 Republican candidates, Romney actually doesn't look so bad to me, though). [intro]

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