Embracing perhaps the most polarizing figure in the Bush administration, Mitt Romney will hold a fund-raiser at the Jackson Hole, Wyo. home of former Vice President Dick Cheney this summer.
The Romney campaign confirmed Monday that it sent a save-the-date e-mail to supporters advertising the “memorable event” in a “beautiful summer destination” on July 12.
Cheney, who had a heart transplant in March, retains clout and cachet within the Republican Party but also has detractors. He unapologetically advocates severe interrogation methods, including waterboarding, which is widely categorized as torture.
Both Cheney and former President George W. Bush have endorsed Romney, and the presumptive GOP nominee has added Bush aides, like Ed Gillespie, to his campaign team. But Romney has appeared wary of associating too closely with Bush and Cheney, and the last Republican team to win the White House has seemed unsure whether prominent support would help or harm Romney’s cause.
Bush’s endorsement, for instance, came after protracted silence and was delivered unceremoniously last week when he answered a reporter’s question while stepping onto an elevator.
Nevertheless, Romney has praised what he characterizes as the business-friendly climate of the Bush years. Republican National Committee spokeswoman Alexandra Franceschi said last month that the GOP’s 2012 economic platform would be virtually identical to Bush’s, “just updated.”
And Romney has expressed a favorable view of Cheney, in particular, saying the former vice president possesses the qualities he will look for in a running mate.
“Whether you agree or disagree with him, this is a man of wisdom and judgment, and he could have been president of the United States,” Romney said of Cheney at a campaign event in September. “That’s the kind of person I’d like to have -- a person of wisdom and judgment.”
Callum Borchers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.