Uh Oh, Mitt: More Key Campaigners Ditch Romney

| Fri May 6, 2011 9:46 AM EDT

The bad news just keeps coming for GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney. As I first reported on Wednesday, Romney's 2008 campaign chief in New Hampshire, Bruce Keough, has rejected the Romney campaign's entreaties to return for the 2012 race. Now, two more Romney alums from 2008—his California political director and state finance co-chairman—have jumped ship.

The Orange County Register reports that Mike Schroeder, a former chair of the California Republican Party, has said he's not reprising his role as Romney's California political director this time around. Schroeder blasted Romney's 2008 campaign as "one of the most brain-dead campaigns I've seen. I was planning 15 months in advance, but their planning window for events was five days. That meant they didn't focus on California until five days before the primary." Schroeder also told the OC Register that Romney's support for universal health-care in Massachusetts will be a major liability in challenging the president on his own health-care reform effort.

The other southern California GOPer to bail on Romney is Scott Baugh, the OC's GOP chairman. (Baugh's group, you might remember, made headlines when a member of the OC GOP sent around an email depicting Obama as a chimpanzee, a move Baugh condemned.) Baugh said he wasn't supporting any particular candidate, but instead was "busy building the party and preparing to support whomever the nominee might be." He added, "I don't have a candidate and that's true of a lot of us. This is the latest I've ever gone without picking a candidate."

The defections don't seem to be hurting Romney too much with voters—at least for now. A pair of New Hampshire polls surveying GOPers in the Granite State put Romney far ahead of the GOP field, with double-digit leads in both polls. Romney also won the backing of former New Hampshire House speaker Doug Scammon and his wife, who'd both supported Rudy Giuliani in 2008.

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