Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says unseating incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas is critical to the future of the nation.
Speaking to reporters in North Little Rock after headlining two fundraisers for Republican candidate Tom Cotton, he didn’t talk much about the candidates, but said it’s about the balance of power.
"This will make a difference. This could well be the race that determines who will have the majority in the Senate," Romney said.
His visit is the latest by national Republican figures who are lending support to Cotton in a race that most polls have shown to be close.
On Tuesday Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, came to Little Rock, saying Arkansas "will be ground zero" in the battle to regain the Senate.
Romney said Republicans having a majority in both chambers of Congress would allow the party to pass laws directly challenging the president’s agenda.
"The entire nation cares about this race," Romney said. "They care about this race because the question is, are we going to take the course that has been set by Barack Obama and (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid or are we instead going to take a course which leads to better jobs and higher incomes and a secure boarder and more energy and lower prices? And you know that by electing Tom Cotton you’re going to see a different direction taken in America."
While Romney was defeated in his bid for the White House in 2012, Cotton noted that Romney was overwhelmingly supported by voters in Arkansas.
"Arkansans are people of great common sense and practical wisdom. That’s why they voted for you by more than 23 points two years ago. And, as is often the case, Arkansans were a little bit ahead of the rest of the country in that wisdom," Cotton said. "If the rest of the country had followed Arkansas’s lead, our state and our country would be much better off today."
Pryor spokesman Erik Dorey responded with this written statement.
It's too bad that Gov. Romney hasn't spent more time in Arkansas, because he'd know that folks here don't want to wait until they're 70 for Medicare and Social Security, like Congressman Cotton has recklessly voted to do. Arkansans know Mark Pryor is a reliable and independent voice for our state, and he'll stand up to his party or the president when their policies are wrong for Arkansas.