BOSTON (AP) _ Acting Gov. Jane Swift suggested that ``powerful men'' were trying to force her out of the race for governor, and said she has no intention of stepping aside for Winter Olympics chief Mitt Romney.
Swift was responding on Thursday to moves by some Republican leaders to draft Romney to replace her at the top of the GOP ticket.
``I guess I should be accustomed to powerful men trying to tell me that they know better than I do what it is I should be doing,'' Swift said. ``My husband and I made that decision, and I appreciate everybody else's input, but the decision has already been made.''
Swift's comments come after reports that Republican operative Neil Chayet contacted Bush administration officials to intervene to ease Swift out, possibly by offering her a federal job. Bush officials declined to get involved.
In addition, this week a group of about 15 Republican town committee chairmen from around the state created a Web site and set up a toll-free phone number dedicated to drafting Romney to run.
Romney, who has homes in both Utah and Massachusetts and once ran for the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts, has not said whether he will run for governor. He says only that he is considering his options.
The Republican primary is Sept. 17.
A recent Boston Herald poll showed Romney favored over all five Democratic candidates, while Swift had less support than three of them.
Chayet said Thursday that he'd met with Swift's chief of staff, Stephen Crosby, who convinced him Swift was determined to run.
Swift became acting governor when Paul Cellucci left office to become ambassador to Canada last year. He had tabbed the former state senator as his running-mate in 1998.
She is the first woman to serve as governor of Massachusetts and the nation's youngest governor. Last May, she became the first governor of any state to give birth while in office when she had twins.
Elizabeth Sherman, senior fellow for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts, said Swift's reference to ``powerful men'' could help her with women.
But Democratic consultant Mary Breslauer said Swift's remarks were designed to deflect attention from real political problems, which she said have nothing to do with gender but ``a steady stream of missteps.''
``The fact is, Jane Swift has a problem with both men and women,'' she said.