Posted Jul 13, 2012 8:27am EDT
With The Drudge Report driving speculation that Condoleezza Rice is now a leading contender in the Republican veepstakes, campaign surrogates and supporters say Rice electrified Mitt Romney’s circle last month with a speech she delivered at the candidate’s closed-door June fundraising retreat in Park City.
Rice’s forceful and surprisingly partisan 13-minute address — audio of which has been obtained by BuzzFeed — won her two standing ovations from the gathering of big-money donors and GOP elite. It was widely considered the highlight of the weekend, several people present told BuzzFeed.
The standout performance took several people in Romney’s orbit by surprise. One surrogate said he was surprised by the red meat rhetoric employed by Rice, who has largely eschewed the political arena in recent years, devoting her time instead to an academic career at Stanford.
“She’s either very worried about a socialist threat to America, or she wants to be Vice President,” the surrogate said.