4:40 pm Nov. 28, 20111
Mitt Romney's presidential campaign today named a 26-year-old lawmaker as chairman of their campaign in New York City.
The appointment of Eric Ulrich, a city councilman from Queens, was made in a public statement released by Romney's state chair, Guy Molinari.
Ulrich, a freshman lawmaker who has his own re-election fund-raiser next week in Howard Beach, said he has never met Romney in person, but is sure he can be the next president.
"I'd love to meet him," said Ulrich. "I'm doing this for the country."
He also said, "I think one-on-one, he stands the absolute best chance of unseating an incumbent president, which doesn't happen very often."
Ulrich said he's not bothered by the inability of the former Massachusetts governor to pull away from the rest of the primary field.
"Every week, it seems to be a new flavor," Ulrich said, speaking on a cell phone near City Hall. "Romney's support is solid, as far as I can tell."
Ulrich said Romney's private-sector experience made him "uniquely" qualified to be the Republican nominee and to turn the economy around.
"The companies that he's been involved with transforming into the '80s when he worked with the Bain Capital and into the '90s, they're still around today," he said. "Staples is around, Office Depot is around, Domino's Pizza is around. He has extensive experience in the private sector which some of the other candidates do not possess."
When asked about criticism that Romney changed his position on a number of issues, like abortion, health care and taxes, Ulrich said that sort of evolution is nothing extraordinary, let alone disqualifying.
"Look, Romney in many ways is like Ronald Reagan," he said. "Ronald Reagan, when he was governor of California, signed one of the most liberal abortion laws in the state's history, and then here he was, writing a book about defending human life in the womb. So, I believe that legitimately, people should be allowed to have a change of heart. There were Democrats who voted against the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and then they went on to serve in Senate and in Congress. They obviously had a change of heart on civil-rights matters. Times change, people change. I think that people should be allowed to have a change of heart or change of opinion on certain matters."
As chair, Ulrich's responsibilities will include making sure there is a full roster of Romney delegates and alternates on the primary ballot in New York City.