Former Massachusetts Gov. and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney formally endorsed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton on Thursday in North Little Rock, saying the race between Cotton and Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor is critical to the GOP's efforts to win control of the Senate.
Romney, who unsuccessfully challenged President Barack Obama in 2012 but carried Arkansas by a wide margin, spoke to reporters alongside U.S. Rep. Cotton after appearing at a campaign event at the Wyndham Riverfront hotel in downtown North Little Rock.
Romney spoke a day after campaigning for and endorsing Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson in Jonesboro. He said he is "campaigning for people I believe in" in races across the country.
"I obviously can't go to all the states and all the races that I care about, but there are some that are really critical and this state is one of those," Romney said, noting the gubernatorial race and Cotton's. "This will make a difference. This could well be the race that determines who will have the majority in the Senate."
Obtaining the majority in the Senate and the House would give Republicans power to pass laws that directly challenge an Obama agenda "that has not worked," Romney said.
"If you have the Republican majority in the Senate, even by one vote, and a Republican majority in the House, we will be able to pass laws that deal with immigration, that deal with energy, that deal with a whole series of issues that are affecting the American people," he said. "And those will go to the president's desk. And the President will either sign them or veto them. We'll see who's really the person of 'no' at that point."
Cotton, who represents Arkansas' 4th District after winning that race in 2012, noted Romney that year carried Arkansas by more than 23 points.
"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."
Read more about this story in Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.