Mitt Romney made a rare campaign stop in South Carolina Monday, touring the Boeing facility here with his newest backer in his bid for the Republican Partys presidential nomination, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Pawlenty, whose own quest to win the GOP nomination fizzled last month after he failed to win a straw poll in neighboring Iowa, said Romney was the most qualified and electable Republican candidate in the field.
Electable was the key word. As Pawlenty touted Romney during a press conference at North Charleston City Hall, he repeatedly used the word, saying Romney was the most electable candidate by far.
Recent polls show Texas Gov. Rick Perry has knocked Romney from his perch as the GOP front-runner, but Romney and his backers suggest the former Massachusetts governor is more electable than the fiery, controversial Perry.
Until Perry entered the race, Romney has been on cruise control, seldom even addressing his partys headline-grabbing upstart candidates like Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann. Now, however, Romney must navigate over bumpy terrain if he is to win his partys nomination.