Sen. Pat Toomey: Romney is ‘solidly conservative’

Updated

With the GOP nominating fight effectively over, Mitt Romney must now try to get skeptical conservative voters excited about him as the party’s standard-bearer. And on Morning Joe Wednesday morning, he got a useful seal of approval from a leading small-government lawmaker.

Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican and staunch conservative, told the panel that Romney “is truly committed to limited government and smaller government.”

Toomey, a former head of the small-government advocacy group Club for Growth, told the gang that as Massachusetts governor, Romney cut spending, lowered taxes, and pushed through several deregulation initiatives.

“His message has been solidly conservative,” said Toomey (Romney himself said in February he was a “severely conservative” governor.) “I think we’re going to be pleased with him.”

Expect to see this a lot in the coming weeks and months: a parade of conservative Romney backers being trotted out to assure Tea Party types that Romney is one of them. But that’s not the only challenge Romney faces. He’s also starting to pivot back to the center as he gears up to take on President Obama and woo swing voters.

That’s not an easy maneuver to execute – especially simultaneously. 

Sen. Pat Toomey: Romney is 'solidly conservative'

Updated