The voters may not know it yet, but Mitt Romney is the guy they want.
That's the general assessment of the road ahead from former Gov. Pete Wilson in an exclusive News10 interview Tuesday from the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
"I think the American people are going to learn what they should already know," says Wilson, "which is that this country is suffering a far worse economy than it needs to. And that it will continue to, if the current administration remains."
Wilson, who served two terms as governor and was himself a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 1996, rejected any notion that the problems in Washington, DC are equally shared by both the Republican-led Congress and President Barack Obama.
"He inherited a crisis," says Wilson of Obama, "but he made it far worse."
Wilson, 79, also seemed to suggest that the Republican party's path back to strength in California may lie in fixing the state's economy.
"You do what we did in the 90's," says Wilson, who went on to say that the political cash of organized labor is primarily why the state GOP hasn't been able to keep up... also offering a hint of where he may stand on this November's attempt (the second since the 1998 initiative he promoted, but which lost) to limit the political influence of union dues collected by paychecks.
"There has been a great deal of money available to Democratic candidates," he says.