The Case For Mitt Romney

Why Mitt?  I’m asked the question almost every day.  Friends will pull me aside at church, casual acquaintances will stop me at Wal-Mart, and longtime colleagues will call for extended conversations.  They see me as a rare breed:  The “movement” conservative who is unabashedly, enthusiastically for Mitt Romney.

Why?

The answer begins with the time, this moment in American history.  Every few decades, turns in the business cycle, changes in culture, and policy mistakes conspire to make us question ourselves.  Is the American Dream still alive?  Will our children do better than we did?  Is America, after two hundred years of growth and hope, finally in decline?

The Great Recession may be over but what came afterwards — high structural unemployment and massive deficit spending — looks more like France than America.  We’re worried.  And with good reason.

Four years ago, a worried America turned to an untested, brand-new Senator from Illinois, a man who promised not just “hope and change” but that he could even heal our planet.  But we’re wiser now.  We’ve seen that behind the soaring rhetoric was the “Chicago way,” and an approach to fiscal policy that was unconventional only in its recklessness.  A pork-laden stimulus package more costly than the Iraq War?  Check.  A health care plan rammed through with procedural tricks and against the express wishes of a majority of Americans?  Check.  Unthinking class warfare against job creators and job providers?  Check.

We need a turnaround.  And there’s no better-qualified politician in America to execute a turnaround than Mitt Romney.  It’s what he’s done his entire career.

As a much younger man, Mitt Romney was named CEO of the struggling Bain & Company and brought it all the way back from the brink, leaving it financially healthy and prosperous. He helped found Bain Capital and turned it into an economic powerhouse, creating thousands of private-sector jobs and leaving it with $4 billion under management.

After his private sector success, he was called to save the Salt Lake City Olympics – the first post-9/11 games – from corruption and fiscal collapse. He turned an almost $400 million deficit into a $100 million profit - all while maintaining safety and security in tense times. Then, as governor of Massachusetts, he turned a $3 billion budget deficit into a $700 million surplus and left office with a 4.7 percent state unemployment rate.

Imagine for a moment  you’re interviewing a job applicant.  Your company is struggling, and you need somebody who can make you profitable again.  Several of the applicants have impressive-sounding ideas, but only one of the candidates has actually made it happen — has actually executed the turnaround — not once, not twice, but three times, in different places and contexts.  That person gets the job, and it’s not even close.

Yes, I know the presidency is about more than economics.  We also look to our presidents to defend life and to be a force for good in our culture.  And that’s what makes Mitt Romney’s record all the more impressive.  In Massachusetts — one of America’s most liberal states — he won a political leadership award from Massachusetts Citizens for Life after he vetoed expanded access to the so-called “morning after” abortion pill and vetoed a bill permitting embryonic stem cell research.  And in the battle for marriage, Maggie Gallagher, founder of the National Organization for Marriage, writes: “Mitt Romney didn’t just oppose court-ordered same-sex marriage with words, he fought hard, including behind the scenes.”

What does all this mean?  It means that Mitt Romney — an admitted convert on the abortion issue — has a better conservative record than did Ronald Reagan before he became president.

Yes, Mitt Romney is the architect of “Romneycare,” but if you actually look at the history, you’ll see that he did exactly what we’d like to see blue state conservative governors do.  Faced with veto-proof Democratic majorities committed to a punitive and destructive health-care reform, he expressly sought the counsel of leading conservative thinkers to fashion a much better alternative to the Democratic plan and then succeeded in passing it with overwhelming bipartisan support.  No, it’s not perfect (as Mitt freely admits), but Massachusetts citizens have a far better health plan than they’d have if Mitt weren’t governor.

As for Romneycare’s differences with Obamacare, I can summarize them in two sentences:  In Massachusetts, Mitt Romney balanced the budget then reached across the aisle to create a popular health reform program that was specifically designed for the unique needs of his state. Barack Obama, on the other hand, created a huge new entitlement program in an era of record deficits by ramming a possibly unconstitutional, one-size-fits all mandate through a reluctant congress and over the expressed objections of a majority of the American people.

Finally, I support Mitt Romney in part because of his faith. Faithful to his wife and an exemplary father to his sons, there has never been even a hint of scandal around Mitt.  He is a man of integrity because of his faith, not in spite of it, and if he makes it into the oval office I’ll know his values are grounded in something far more profound than political expediency, opinion polls, or purely personal philosophies.

If you wondered why I’ve spent countless hours over the past six years arguing that Mitt Romney should be our next president.  Now you know.  Republicans should not think they’re “settling” for Mitt; instead they’re selecting the right man at exactly the right time.

Let the turnaround begin.

  • Annette

    Amen! This oughta be a commercial in Iowa. Any way we can squeeze it into 30 seconds? Well said! Well said!

  • Liz

    Mr. Romney is competent, intelligent, moral, and can do hard things. Let’s get this thing going.

  • Mark in Cali

    You are a scholar and a gentleman Mr. French. Very compelling case!

  • Larry

    David, I certainly respect your intellect, character and work … but this characterization of Mitt’s record differs substantially from the views others offer on the same man during the same period of time. Additionally, videos offering his own words regarding “RomneyCare” are likewise inconsistent with this picture.

    His annuals budgets increased significantly over the previous year’s budget (his last year found him submitting a budget with sought an additional 10.12% increase in spending … wow! According to FactCheck (with the Annenberg Foundation) while Romney claims he inherited a 3 billion dollar budget, it was actually a 1.3 billion dollar shortfall (less than half of what Mitt claims).

    Did he close the gap? Yes. By nearly doubling fees (a sort of tax) and closing “loopholes” for businesses (in a state plagued by burdensome tax rates for businesses) which further depressed a struggling jobs market (leaving Massachusetts with the 3 worst performing economy in America and the 2nd worst for citizens relocating away from the state in search of employment).

    It is difficult for me to view this as championing conservative principles. Nor do I find Mitt seeking free market solutions in his signature healthcare initiative. He publicly thanked Ted Kennedy for the significant role he played in crafting and securing endorsements for the health plan. This does not inspire confidence.

    The most glaring challenge for me, however, are the significant number of wholesale reversal in position on key issues … that occur with decisions to seek particular offices. He has been a religious man for most of his life (moreover, a deeply principled man of faith) so I cannot attribute these shifts to that.

    Indeed, the timing and nature of the changes seem entirely fitting with the actions of an expedient. That, coupled with elements of his record leave me puzzled by your choice as well. Furthermore, apart from assurances of his character I’ve not been given sufficient reasons to change my mind.

    Perhaps you can offer an explanation for these concerns … I’m mean substantive explanations. I’d really like to hear them … though Mitt’s recent remarks concerning Newt leave me even more puzzled by his claims to conservative bona fides.

  • Mark

    As always, you’re right on the money, David.

  • Ryan in Texas

    Responding to Larry:

    It is a true statement for Romney to say that he faced a $3 billion budget shortage when he came into office. This was discussed on factcheck.org. The $3 billion deficit was the only projection available at the time, and it was what they all worked with in the decisions Romney made when he came into office. Unexpected revenue from capital gains taxes and federal grants came in and closed off $1.8 billion of that deficit…but still Romney ended it with a $700 million surplus, so this is still a very respectable achievement.

    Also – you need to learn the difference between a fee and a tax. A tax is a compulsory payment to support the cost of government. A fee is a non-mandatory, non-compulsory charge to support the cost of a specific service provided by government to an individual. Fees should be priced to cover the cost of the specific service provided. If fees are not sufficient to cover the cost of that specific service, then taxpayers end up subsidizing the service that an individual receives from government. Fees should be raised when they are insufficient to cover the government’s cost of providing the service — this is prudent and it is conservative (because you are preventing free loaders.)

    • Larry

      Ryan, that would only have been a true statement going in … not on the other side. To continue to represent the deficit as being 3 billion is misleading at best. Nor is a fee a non-mandatory, non-compulsory charge (that’s kinda goofy Ryan). If you require a deed, a license, etc you MUST pay the fee … its not optional.

      Additionally, it appears you are unfamiliar with the concept of fees as a tax by another name … it is. Government increases revenues by requiring more money from the people it ostensibly serves.

      There is little prudent about increasing fees/taxes because government lacks fiscal restraint. Government grew under Mitt’s leadership … it did not shrink. Baseline budgeting permits you to claim restraint even as you grow the bottom line.

      Ryan, your answer is precisely why I’m struggling with Mitt’s candidacy. In place of honest, objective answers I continue to read pieces are a strained effort in apologetics and require a suspension of disbelief to seem plausible.

      This problem seems endemic to the campaign is quite probably the reason for Mitt’s persistently low numbers. If the truth tells another story then present it. If it doesn’t, for Pete’s sake acknowledge that and just tell me you really like the guy and screw the facts. Its insulting to toss out a narrative that’s flawed and expect others to embrace it though.

  • Jim Tills

    Responding to Larry:

    The obvious error in your erudite questioning of Mitt Romney’s record as Governor is the absence of achknowledgment that the 85% Democratic legislature he had to work with fought him tooth and nail on almost every issue. To accomplish what he did in light of that great obstacle is not only impressive, it is nearly a miracle.
    His ability to work both sides of the aisle is one of his great strengths. However, the proof of having given 800 vetoes during his four years is indicative of the difficulties inherent in slowing down growth of governmental programs when facing a Democratic majority. You claim government grew during his administration and imply that that is a large negative. Actually, without his incredible leadership, governmental programs with their increased costs could easily have multiplied to the point of bankrupting the State of Massachusettes. Instead, the debt was eliminated, a surplus obtained, and a 2 billion dollar rainy day fund established. That is incredible leadership and your attacks upon his performance are biased and uncalled for.

    • Larry

      Jim, that is immaterial. His actual record, his actual words, the timing of his about-faces … these are the pertinent facts. Reagan’s very conservative agenda enjoyed exceptional traction despite a Democrat majority in the House.

      He made a difference because he was, decidedly, a conservative whose positions were the effect of his political philosophy … not expediency. He offered dramatic change … not excuses. I am deeply concerned by the apparent absence of such dedication to principle.

      Worse, substantive changes in position occurred only AFTER choosing to run for president. He was trending toward an unsuccessful bid for a second term when he made that choice. The following election saw dramatic losses for Republicans statewide. Reagan, on the other hand, won re-election in a 49 state landslide.

      Very, very big difference.

      • americanfirst

        Larry

        It really sounds to me that your choosing to look for a negative at the expense of all his positives and his honestly good virtues.
        In your first post you noted “He has been a religious man for most of his life (moreover, a deeply principled man of faith) so I cannot attribute these shifts to that.”
        A principled man can only be measured by his principled actions, right? short of that, there is no barometer by which to guage.
        Sometimes, this facet of Romney’s personality isn’t so subtle. In July 1996, the 14-year-old daughter of Robert Gay, a partner at Bain Capital, had disappeared. She had attended a rave party in New York City and gotten high on ecstasy. Three days later, her distraught father had no idea where she was. Romney took immediate action. He closed down the entire firm and asked all 30 partners and employees to fly to New York to help find Gay’s daughter. Romney set up a command center at the LaGuardia Marriott and hired a private detective firm to assist with the search. He established a toll-free number for tips, coordinating the effort with the NYPD, and went through his Rolodex and called everyone Bain did business with in New York, and asked them to help find his friend’s missing daughter. Romney’s accountants at Price Waterhouse Cooper put up posters on street poles, while cashiers at a pharmacy owned by Bain put fliers in the bag of every shopper. Romney and the other Bain employees scoured every part of New York and talked with everyone they could – prostitutes, drug addicts – anyone.
        That day, their hunt made the evening news, which featured photos of the girl and the Bain employees searching for her. As a result, a teenage boy phoned in, asked if there was a reward, and then hung up abruptly. The NYPD traced the call to a home in New Jersey, where they found the girl in the basement, shivering and experiencing withdrawal symptoms from a massive ecstasy dose. Doctors later said the girl might not have survived another day. Romney’s former partner credits Mitt Romney with saving his daughter’s life, saying, “It was the most amazing thing, and I’ll never forget this to the day I die.”
        So, here’s my epiphany: Mitt Romney simply can’t help himself. He sees a problem, and his mind immediately sets to work solving it, sometimes consciously, and sometimes not-so-consciously. He doesn’t do it for self-aggrandizement, or for personal gain. He does it because that’s just how he’s wired.
        Many people are unaware of the fact that when Romney was asked by his old employer, Bill Bain, to come back to Bain & Company as CEO to rescue the firm from bankruptcy, Romney left Bain Capital to work at Bain & Company for an annual salary of one dollar. When Romney went to the rescue of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, he accepted no salary for three years, and wouldn’t use an expense account. He also accepted no salary as Governor of Massachusetts.

      • Terry

        Larry–
        “substantive changes in position occurred only AFTER choosing to run for president”?

        Which changes were those? His stance on abortion, for example, changed shortly after he became Governor, and before he had decided to run for president. He hasn’t altered that stance since.

        Romney care? He has said ALL ALONG that his Massachusetts health care plan was meant only for Massachusetts, and NOT for the country as a whole. He did say that if other states wanted to copy it, they were welcomed to do so. But, along with that, he cautioned that the plan should be kept at the STATE level, for the states to govern. It was never meant to be implemented on a national basis (i.e. ObamaCare).

        Rick Perry ran a video ad about RomneyCare, showing Romney talking about his MA health care plan. The only problem with the ad is that the Perry camp cut off the last few seconds of Romney’s explanation–the part where Romney stated that his plan was not meant for the nation as a whole. If you compare RomneyCare with ObamaCare, you will find that their is a wide difference between them. Under RomneyCare, those who already had insurance were not affected, and they could even switch to another insurance company if they chose, with no penalty. Under ObamaCare, if you drop your current insurance company, you will be forced to accept Obama’s government healthcare plan.

        Abortion and healthcare are the two most frequent “flip-flop” charges that are leveled at Romney, but they are totally indefensible charges by those who are leveling them.

        As for Mitt’s flip-flopping, I recently read a completely asinine article stating that Mitt’s flip-flops occurred so often, that the writer of the article was worn out just keeping up with them. He contended that the flip-flops happened “day to day, and sometimes even hour to hour”.

        Maybe Mother Goose would believe that one, but I sure didn’t. (Just wish I could remember where I had read the article.)

  • americanfirst

    Actually fees are taxes by another name – the huge difference is that the fee is actually “limited” to the person who benefits from the service provided and not redistributed to the community at large.

    The simple logic of raising fees is that if a person is availing themselves of good/services provided by or through the state government (parking fees at state parks, parks and recreation, licenses, etc.) and the prices are insufficient to cover the cost to the gov’t of providing said good or service then the taxpayer subsidizes the difference. Accountability would require us to update the fees accordingly and fairly to remove the burden from the taxpayers of the state and place the burden back on the recipient of the goods or service provided.
    Bottom line
    Romney saved millions of tax dollars by ending the taxpayer subsidizing of fees. Romney shifted the burden from the community onto the individual who benefits from the services provided.
    That is a very conservative position and quite simply the right thing to do.

    Ronald Reagan was an outspoken proponent of fees. For instance, here is one of Reagan’s many statements:
    “The third component of the deficit reduction program involves user fees, or more appropriately, the recovery of costs borne by the taxpayers generally, but that predominantly benefit a limited group of businesses, communities or individuals … it is simply inexcusable and intolerable that yacht owners escape without paying even a small part of the Coast Guard services; or that commercial and general aviation are not paying the cost of the air traffic control system that ensures their safety; or that ship and barge operators do not pay a fair share of the costs of waterways maintained by the Federal Government. Our user fee package corrects these and similar shortcomings in current budget policy and will contribute significantly toward reducing the deficit”.

    When Romney closed the business tax loopholes – it was with the same mindset.
    One might then be tempted to argue the point that closing the tax loopholes has the same effect as raising taxes and that the customer ends up paying for the deficit.
    No, level competition ensures maximum value for the consumer. The law as originally written did not intend for the tax “breaks” in question to be legal. They were oversights. So closing the loopholes does not have the effect of raising taxes but has the effect of applying tax rates evenly, which is a fundamental principle of capitalism.
    If one business is paying less in taxes because of a loophole, the state is giving them an unfair advantage over their competitors. Because of this unfair advantage they do not need to offer as high of a quality of product or service in order to compete, which means the state is interfering in free market competition, and capitalism suffers.

    Romney repeatedly proposed tax cuts in MA, but the Massachusetts legislature wouldn’t go along with it. Lower tax rates are good, but applying tax rates evenly and fairly across the board – without loopholes – is more than good, it’s better.

  • Larry

    American First, Mitt Romney raised numerous fees but none more than Registry of Deed fees. This was not remotely similar to Reagan’s fee hike with dealt largely with fees used to maintain safe air space, waterways (for shipping) , Yachts owner who benefited from assistance from the Coast Guard, etc. More to the point, you would do well to read that passage in its context (here http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=41977#axzz1gizpK6dE). Reagan proposed these fee within a framework that included dramatic tax reduction … not increases.

    By all reliable accounts Romney reduced spending for his first two years … that did not hold (again, he submitted a budget sporting a more than 10% increase during his final year in office). What is problematic was the absence of stimulative tax strategies. Like a good businessman he sought to grow his bottom line … through fees and the closure of important tax “loop holes” which all ready burdened companies employed for tax relief.

    The net effect. Joblessness and a mired economy. Rather than stimulate growth, Romney suppressed it. Why? It appears that more than anything else Romney lacks the perspective which a deeply embedded conservative philosophy offers. Without it, static revenue models rule the day. Again, his actual record underscores this reality. Lesson? Don’t quote Reagan unless you govern like him.

    You said “When Romney closed the business tax loopholes – it was with the same mindset.
    One might then be tempted to argue the point that closing the tax loopholes has the same effect as raising taxes and that the customer ends up paying for the deficit.
    No, level competition ensures maximum value for the consumer. The law as originally written did not intend for the tax “breaks” in question to be legal. They were oversights. So closing the loopholes does not have the effect of raising taxes but has the effect of applying tax rates evenly, which is a fundamental principle of capitalism.
    If one business is paying less in taxes because of a loophole, the state is giving them an unfair advantage over their competitors. Because of this unfair advantage they do not need to offer as high of a quality of product or service in order to compete, which means the state is interfering in free market competition, and capitalism suffers”.

    Sorry, that is circular reasoning of a particularly bad sort. Taxes do not level competition. They increase costs … period. Those cost increases result in lower employment rates and inflated prices. You’ve actually dipped into the Democrats lexicon for that attempt at justify Romney’s policies. Yikes.

    Again, read your own words … “They were oversights. So closing the loopholes does not have the effect of raising taxes but has the effect of applying tax rates evenly, which is a fundamental principle of capitalism” that is such an extraordinary contradiction of ideas its simply remarkable.

    So, once again, in place of reasoned and convincing explanations I’m instead invited in the upside down world of those apologists who find Romney’s record no easy thing to explain. Unless, that is, you must. BTW, nice guy stories are wonderful … but they are not a substitutes for a conservative record. The Bushes are, by all accounts, extraordinarily good men. But they were not Conservatives. The Party and the nation have paid for that mistake.

  • Amelia

    Amen. This is exactly what conservatives need to hear and understand! Mitt is an amazing candidate/opportunity for our country.

  • John

    Hey Larry, How about telling us who you think is a better candidate than Mitt so we can all bask in the light of his perfection. It seems to me that you have a strong agenda that you are trying to keep hidden but that is being exposed by your obvious desire to disparage this candidate by groping at any negative and ignoring any positive. Come on, give us a name. We could use a little perfection about now.
    We need to get beyond the expression flip flop. I actually admire a person that is open minded enough to seriously consider and accept a different position when they recognize that it is best for the country. We have had enough of politicians that dig in because it is the party line, or because it is what will get them elected or it is what will best fill their pocketbook. Why admire people that reach across the aisle and criticize those on the other side that listen and reach back.

    • Larry

      John, That’s a terrifically silly remark. I have a rather clear agenda … my posts ought to make that obvious. I wish to see the GOP nominate a candidate with a record of conservative accomplishments. Right now, the two most obvious candidates appear to be Gov. Perry and Speaker Gingrich.

      They are hardly perfect, but that was your characterization … not mine. Your suggestion that I’m attempting to hide that is amusing. If you call identifying the exceptional absence of a conservative legislative agenda groping then its clear you’ve little idea what conservatism prizes and how it identifies itself.

      You equate flip flopping with open-mindedness … in some instances it can be … in others its clearly the efforts of a man who lacks a philosophical core (other than a belief in his abilities) yet yearns to govern. Not conservative … not appealing … not effective. Mitt’s flip flops correspond to his political ambitions and the constituencies those ambitions demanded cooperation from.

      “Reaching across the aisle” in the fashion Mitt has is reminiscent of other Republican moderates who’ve succeeded furthering modern liberalism’s agenda … albeit at a pace slower than liberals approve wholeheartedly of. Margret Thatcher refereed to this phenomenon as the “ratcheting effect”. It is on full display in Mitt’s record. His actual record … not the invented one.

      I’ve long grown weary with men who glibly assert conservative ideals while campaigning but govern “pragmatically”. It dishonest and unprincipled. Worst of all … it furthers the agenda of an ideology which continues to eat away at liberty and its attendant blessings.

      • americanfirst

        Larry. I just disagree with the convenient way you assess every situation. You pressuppose you are equipped to define exactly what the representative should be irrespective that you live in a house with another 310 million members. Beyond that character doesn’t seem to be a qualifier for you (or a lack of charcter in Newt’s case).
        For someone like me – it stands even before record and not by what they say but by what they do – habitually.
        So feel free to triviliaze thm as nice stories but they give you a keen insight into the life and motivations of the man.
        Newt, in resilient contrast cheats on his wife and serves her w/ divorce papers while in the hospital dealing with cancer, marries the women whom he has an affair with, then later cheats on her with another staffer whom he later married. That’s his current wife. The staffer that showed him a good time whom you seem to be perfectly content to make our FIRST LADY.
        We clearly look at the world from different frames of reference.
        I see fair taxes for all by removing tax loops that give some businesses advantages for another, removing the tax burden from the community and re-applying them in the way of fees to those who benefit from good and services because fees need to be updated to meet the cost to the State – this clearly removes the redistribution of the burden from those who don’t deserve it and applies it to those who benefit.
        I don’t think I’m the one bound by the Democratic Lexicon. You on the other hand seem perfectly content to burden the taxpayers with a cost supplement that doesn’t belong to them.
        I’d be glad to list for you ALL of Newt’s indiscretions and departures from conservative ideals so you can put them side-by-side with Mitt’s if you’d like – just keep in mind that Mitt’s history in public service comes down to 4 years while Newt’s career as a politician spans over 40 years.
        Let’s go there shall we…

        • Larry

          I can see why Mitt Romney is your candidate of choice.

          • Larry

            Tell me AmericanFirst, how do characterize as honorable and principled a man who, while face to face during the debate, demurs and suggests that there is little place for negativity and that he simply wishes to appeal to voters with his vision … and yet, oversees the airing of negative ads (half truths and whole lies) at a rate of 8 to 1.

            It is, indeed, characteristic of Mitt Romney. He is, in grand fashion, underscoring the truth that he says what he must say to win.

            Whether its claiming to be something he’s not, claiming to have done something he hasn’t, denying he’s done something he has, or painting his opponents with false claims … this is quintessential Mitt Romney.

            Unprincipled, and untrustworthy … A pragmatist who believes one thing preeminently … that Mitt alone deserves to win.

            If he does secure the nomination remember this, he didn’t secure it honorably or honestly. He will have broken Reagan’s 11th commandant, and will have dispensed with manly courage and integrity.

            He will have won through slander and libel … not because he persuaded others that he was the best candidate (something he’s been manifestly unable to do for 7 years). But because he was the last man standing.

            Hmmm … he even campaigns like a Democrat.

      • Fred

        Larry, I was impressed with your arguments and was glad to hear John ask you who you supported because it appeared that you could not appreciate any positives about Mitt. When you said that you were looking for a candidate with conservative accomplishments I assumed that might be Santorum or Bachmann or even Paul. When you said it was Perry or Newt you lost all credibility with me. Gardasil? Tution for illegals? Cap and trade? Dishonesty and misrepresntations, Crony capitalism galore? Each has more flip flops than Romney ever had, plus Romney’s charity show’s his heart. You are like the clock which strikes 13 putting in doubt everything before. We are back to your hidden agenda!! What is your real grudge against Romney? Probably religion!

        • Larry

          Fred, I can appreciate Mitt’s positives … it’s simply that, with regard to conservatism, they are a) so few and b) they are entirely overwhelmed by Mitt’s statist perspectives and tendencies. That I “lost all credibility” with you reveals your very real ignorance of Newt’s actual history (and the arc of his accomplishments) as well as those of Perry’s.

          Hidden agenda? Religious bigotry? Are you so incapable of an adult discussion that you find it necessary to employ these sort of adolescent tactics when you find providing either a cogent defense of Mitt or an honest and accurate appraisal his opponents to difficult?

          I have no opinion on Mitt’s choice of religions (though it does not appear to enjoy much influence over his political ethics) … nor have I suggested that it has. I have cited his record, again and again, … and met, again and again, with the same unconvincing and misleading non-answers which the campaign has staked its credibility on.

          Mitt remains unable to convince conservatives to vote for him for a simple reason … they know that Mitt is no conservative. It’s really just that simple. His record, his dishonesty and his serial flip flopping have made that abundantly clear.

          And now, he couples with that the same strategy he employed during the single race he’s won. After months of campaigning in Massachusetts (where Republicans had held the Governor’s office since Dukakis) Romney (the establishments choice) was still polling behind his opponent.

          What did he do? Went negative of course. Which is to say that Mitt, unable to persuade people to vote for him, chose instead to persuade people not to vote for his opponent. Unmanly. Uninspiring. And worse, a hint at what was to come.

          Mitt lacks a center. Once elected his leadership was profoundly inadequate. Net effect? Massachusetts suffered … that is to say, many. many citizens paid the price for his ineffectiveness. High unemployment continued to plague the state … so much so that thousands fled the state in search of employment.

          His party suffered. Not only did Democrats regain) the Governor’s office (they have also continued to hold the governor’s office) but Republicans suffered losses across the board. Mitt alone capitalized on his single term.

          How? When pollsters revealed that he was unlikely to be re-elected he chose to throw his hat into the Presidential race. Two revealing things occurred. In speeches outside of Massachusetts he began to talk down the very state he was elected to govern (further eroding his effectiveness as a leader) and began shifting his positions to appeal to the conservatives whose support he would require in a Presidential race. Neat, huh?

          That’s your champion Fred. No hidden agenda here. I just don’t want Mitt to have a chance to do to America what he did to Massachusetts … or to do to the GOP nationally what he did to it in Massachusetts.

          Pretty simple really. His actual record is a disaster. His speeches, over the years, reveal a cynical play for votes … an absence of principle and a belief only in himself.

          No thanks.

  • http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/ Wintery Knight

    I think Mitt Romney is an excellent candidate for those who have more moderate views on abortion and gay marriage.

    Here’s Romney on abortion in 1994:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9IJUkYUbvI

    Romney on abortion in 2002:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_w9pquznG4

  • http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/ Wintery Knight

    And a 2007 New York Times article explaining his views on gay rights and how he ordered clerks to issue gay marriage licenses.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/08/us/politics/08romney.html

    Quotes from the NYT article:
    —-
    Recollections by gay Republicans whom Mr. Romney courted and worked with during his campaign for governor, and in his unsuccessful run for the Senate in 1994, produce a portrait of a man they genuinely saw as their partner in their fight for broader acceptance.

    After the breakfast meeting in 2002, where the Log Cabin board unanimously decided to endorse him, he said in an interview with Bay Windows, a gay newspaper, that he would use his bully pulpit as governor to lobby legislators for domestic partnership benefits.

    “Those kinds of things I think I can generate a great deal of public support for,” he said, “and therefore create pressure for legislators that otherwise might not think in those terms.”

    And, in the aftermath of the Massachusetts court decision, Mr. Romney, though aligning himself with the supporters of a constitutional amendment, did order town clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Some members of Log Cabin Republicans say that in doing so, he ultimately fulfilled his promise to them despite his own moral objections.
    —-

    Romney is a good fit for someone who is moderate on fiscal issues moderate/left on social issues. He’s not my candidate, because I am socially conservative.

    • americanfirst

      http://evangelicalsformitt.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/01/massleaders.pdf

      It’s intriguing that these comments stand in resilient contrast to what conservative leaders in Massachusetts said re: Romneys social conservative record.

      Mitt Romney is on record – to the right of Newt Gingrich (that is quantifiable) and Rick Perry doesn’t even belong in the field. As a conservative constituent from Texas – I can say that!

      Mitt Romney is the better man! No question.

  • Ned Flaherty

    Mitt Romney ignores the principle of church separated from state.

    He so scorns the 31 million Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, that he this week proposed 3 new classes of citizenship: 1st class with full marriage rights (opposite-sex couples only); 2nd class with partial rights (legally wed same-sex couples, 2004-2012 only); and 3rd class with no rights (everyone else). His policy is that LGBT citizens are only partial citizens entitled to only partial protection from SOME discrimination, but never full protection from all discrimination.

    He thinks that his religion’s supernatural superstitions about marriage should also become the national law for everybody, including the vast majority who don’t even belong to or believe in his religion. He believes that discrimination against some people is just fine, so long as it’s his religion doing the discriminating. That’s not a democracy; it’s a theocracy.

    • Terry

      In reply to Ned’s “Mitt Romney ignores the principle of church separated from state.”

      Not so. Romney is merely acting on his own conscience on the matter, as is his right as a citizen of the United States. I would do the same.

    • Brandon from NJ

      Theocracy, nonsense. Our nation isn’t technically a democracy either, because the voting process isn’t a singular mass of all 310 million citizens for every law. We are, however, a Republic.

      “He thinks that his religion’s supernatural superstitions about marriage should also become the national law for everybody, including the vast majority who don’t even belong to or believe in his religion.”

      The fact that his religion doesn’t marry same-sex couples or regard their relationships the same as marriage is the same as what is done in the Catholic Church, or in most American Protestant Churches. I agree with Romney that religions and non-profit organizations don’t have to provide for things that belong to law, namely inheritance, taking a day off of work for your “marriage”, or designating who should be in charge of decisions in your advanced healthcare directive, or naming who is responsible for a kid’s custody, or dividing properties in the event of divorce, it’s not religion’s job, and that was Romney’s stance, which I agree with, because the government, and a religion or nonprofit organization, has these responsibilities. With all of those things considered, don’t try to convince me who Romney represents, I don’t subscribe to the fallacies involving appeal to spite, appeal to circumstance, or circumstantial ad hominem. It’s not just about his religion, which you attempt to single out, it’s about a real separation of church and state in regards to responsibilities of the two.

      Regarding your “classes” of citizens. You present a false dichotomy. Again, the state has no responsibility to make anyone’s relationship a marriage, or force people to stay married, or make everyone regard someone’s relationship as marriage. Plenty of people out there don’t think my marriage is legit, and I am fine with that. Again, with the legal responsibilities of inheritance, advanced healthcare directive, asking for a day off work for marriage, and asking for child custody, and a right to divorce as you so choose, are all the legal neccessities really needed, the majority is the married individuals’ decisions to make it work.

      Finally, were I in the same place as Romney, I would, as an American Protestant, take the same general actions in the same circumstances as Romney, simply because I feel that certain responsibilities belong to the state, and others to the individuals and tax exempt organizations.

  • Cecil Ash

    Whatever criticisms you may have of Gov. Romney for his role in Massachusettes, it’s hard to argue against his performance in the Olympics, nor his altruism in donating his salary to the as governor and during the Olympics.

    But Mr. French makes a good point. If you were interviewing an applicant to run your business, why would you take any of the other candidates over Romney? You’d have to be crazy to do so. Would you actually take Perry, who have never really run a serious business, or Gingrich, who’s been mostly an academic or a politician?

    • Concerned Citizen

      A country is NOT a business. And you certainly cant run a country the way Romney ran his investment firm. I dont think you can downsize a country and then declare it bankrupt wile making a profit on the deal.

      • Brandon from NJ

        Running a country is like running a business, because you need discipline to run it. You need someone who accounts for just about everything going on in the country, and doesn’t show that he/she clearly has no clue as to what he/she is talking about.

        As for downsizing the country, our politicians do this on a regular basis, getting away with what would be called “insider trading” only the laws don’t apply to politicians, a.k.a. they believe themselves above the law, and get away with making money off of getting elected repeatedly by voters like you and I . Do all politicians do this, no, but the likelihood drops if they actually have some accountability levelled to them. Plenty of Congressman and Congresswomen get away with making money in the midst of this recession, while plenty of us have to turn to food banks and various church charities, essentially getting away with what would be a crime in business. So far, Romney acted as he should within the parameters of his position as Governor of Massachusetts, that speaks volumes about what he can, and will likely do as president.

  • Concerned Christian

    How can a Christian endorse a mormon for office of President of the United States? Recently I heard the testimony of a man raised as a mormon who while in college became a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. He explained what the mormon church teaches. The following are a few of the teachings: (1)Jesus and Satan are brothers, (2) You can be God, and(3) “Be reconciled to God it is by grace we are saved after all we can do.”Their teachings are from their version of the Kings James Bible which was edited by Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon which is 150 years old and has been edited over 4,00o times. Mr.French, do you profess to be a follower of Christ and a believer in the inerrant word of the Holy Bible? If so, please explain why you want Governor Romney as our next president? Is this biblical?

    • Brandon from NJ

      How can a Christian endorse a mormon for office of President of the United States?

      If that Mormon exemplifies the standards of Christianity, that’s fine, regardless of whether or not you want to call him Christian. If you think that only Christians can be good leaders, read the Bible of how Cyrus liberated the Jews from the Babylonians back before Jesus established Christianity, in other words, a Zoroastrian acted mercifully to those who were believers and followers of God in that day. Even nonchristians can be good leaders, and oftentimes, it’s important to have good people who aren’t Christian as a wake-up call to not take our Christian Standards for granted.

      As far as the Bible is concerned, there can be incredibly distorted interpretations from it. I heard of someone who portrayed Jesus as married, for instance, even though it does not concretely state he was in the Bible, but the person extrapolated it.

      About Jesus and Satan being brothers, it’s too vague to understand why I should be afraid of Mormons for it. The other points are either vain, or the Mormons who are on this board show from their comments they really don’t have a clue as to what you are talking about.

      I would rather have a competent virtuous nonbeliever than a believer who was both a hypocrite and incompetent.

  • Gramajane

    I understand that the majority of those who have left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actually do so after realizing they no longer can or maybe wish to live by the churches high moral standards. Then it is like the fable of when the fox couldn’t reach the grapes, then he declared they were surly sour grapes any way. — just so it seems to me some only begin to find fault with the church after they have been excommunicated or leave so they won’t be ousted. — if any want to know what LDS believe please ask a knowledable member in good standing or go to Mormon.org or LDS.org rather than swallow the anti vomit – with it’s distortions from out of context or non cannon obscure writings which are so twisted they are about as recognizable as the distortion of believing all Christians preach cannibalism and worship unwed mothers — Not true!


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