Gov. Bill Haslam says he’s “having a little fun” at the Republican National Convention this week between finding ways to brag about Tennessee in his various party duties and cheering on the GOP.
But he’s also finding himself in a handful of videos and interviews, including one with a Cleveland TV station curious what he thinks of his brother, Jimmy, buying the Browns football team.
“I don’t know how anybody — and I mean that — who I think is as competitive and committed to winning as my brother is. And that’s true in business, it’s true if we’re out jogging together, it’s true if we’re playing a family softball game. The NFL’s a competitive world, and I think it will help to have an owner that feels that way,” he explained, adding that politics and football share plenty of similarities.
“You think about it. They’re both very visible, you both have a fan base that feels very passionate about what you’re doing, and then you obviously have people who aren’t cheering for you,” he said.
But on the political side, the governor found a way to talk up Tennessee at the convention while announcing the state was dedicating 58 delegates to back Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president.
“Madam secretary,” Haslam called out, “Tennessee, the Volunteer State, a state with no income tax, low debt and a budget surplus, a state that first had the votes finally giving women the right to vote, and a state that with selfless disregard for the fact that we had a native son Al Gore in the race pushed George Bush over the top in 2000, proudly cast all 58 votes for the man who’s more than ready to take on the challenges facing this country, Gov. Mitt Romney.”
And in a video update sent home yesterday, courtesy of the Tennessee Republican Party, the govenor applauded Romney’s wife, Ann, for showing a different side of the nominee:
“When you’re running for office, people can cast you a lot of different ways. And people have portrayed Mitt Romney as this kind of heartless person who just is a cold, hard business person. And I think Ann shined a light on Mitt that was very different, as a husband who was caring, mainly, above all else, someone who was selfless.”
The governor is expected to be in Tampa through tonight’s speech when Romney will officially accept the GOP nomination.