Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican who may run for president in 2008 and would become the first LDS president if elected, stopped off in Boise this morning for a rally for Republican candidate for governor Butch Otter. Romney gave a stirring, patriotic talk to a group of GOP supporters gathered at the Powerhouse Event Center, peppered with a few homey jokes. He talked of seeing American Olympic gold medal winners with tears running down their faces as they sang along to their national anthem, hands over their hearts. “It’s because they’re honored to represent this land which is the hope of this world,” Romney said. He repeated that thought later after telling the story of how former Idaho Republican Chairman Blake Hall’s son signed up for another tour in Iraq after being badly wounded by an improvised explosive device. “There’s something great about this great land we live in, an inspiration to the world,” Romney said.
Romney joined Otter and Idaho Sen. Larry Craig for a few minutes before the rally to answer questions from the media. Otter was asked why he brought in the governor of Massachusetts to campaign for him. “Because he asked to come,” Otter responded with a grin. But Romney said he wasn’t sure how it got arranged; he’s been traveling around to lots of states to boost Republican gubernatorial candidates, and is off to Oregon this afternoon. Otter said he was off on a campaign bus tour when the visit was arranged. “I’d like to say I called my friend Mitt,” he said. Romney said, “I don’t know where it came from. Somebody had a good idea. … I’m trying to visit as many states as I can in the waning days of this election.”