CHEYENNE — Gov. Matt Mead doesn’t get to deliver a formal address at the Republican National Convention, but he’s getting some national exposure nonetheless at the event this week in Tampa, Fla.
Mead, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, said he has done about eight interviews with national TV and radio programs.
As chairman of the Republican Governors Association’s energy policy committee, Mead said he addressed energy issues in two TV interviews. The radio interviews covered a wider range of topics, he said.
He also has addressed convention delegations from two other states.
Mead said GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s energy policy positions are much better than those under the Obama administration because Romney gives energy producing states a greater role in environmental issues related to energy development.
“This is where we live in these states, and we insist upon a clean environment, and if you look at what Romney rolled out, I think it is a more state-centric energy policy than we currently have in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “It’s a state responsibility issue to be sure, and if we go in that direction then individual states have to make sure that we can do the right thing with regard to balancing energy and the environment.”
Mead also talked up the virtues of Wyoming when giving the state’s presidential delegate vote total on Tuesday during the count of presidential delegate votes. He noted that the state was the first to grant women the right to vote and mentioned the state’s tourism and energy industries and other attributes.
“As they were going around the room there and you kept hearing everyone saying they were the greatest state in the world I thought ‘well it’s great Wyoming is last because I’m going to need a long rebuttal here to correct all these errors,”’ Mead joked.
“The one thing I forgot is, I didn’t actually say who I was so I’m sort of the mystery man reporting on Wyoming,” he said.
Twenty-eight of Wyoming’s 29 delegates voted for Romney, while one voted for Ron Paul. Romney easily won a majority of Wyoming’s GOP delegates during caucuses earlier this year, while Rick Santorum won two and Paul one.
Mead said while a few delegates were disappointed their preferred candidate did not win the GOP nomination most have rallied around Romney.
“Now the choice is between re-electing President Obama or electing Mitt Romney, and those are the realistic choices,” Mead said. “Those who are disappointed, whose Republican candidate didn’t win, certainly there’s expectation that they prefer President Romney to a President Obama, and so the stance at the convention from my standpoint is that the people have coalesced and are fully on board with supporting Gov. Romney.”
Mead said there are protests around the convention but nothing disruptive so far. He said it’s hard getting out of the convention hall because of transportation issues and the packed schedule that resulted from the convention being delayed one day by newly downgraded Tropical Storm Isaac.
The activity of thousands of people, delegates and media attending the convention also amazes him.
“Just so many people in such a small area, it’s a little bit of a shock for somebody coming from Wyoming,” he said.