Category Archives: Mitt Romney

McCain Endorses Romney After Trashing Him…

Does this mean that McCain wasn’t serious about his rediscovered Reagan Conservatism on the 2008 campaign? It would seem so by how Steve Schmidt and some other liberals hired by McCain to run his campaign treated Sarah Palin.  Or it could mean none of that and these ads meant nothing to John McCain at all other than a means to winning an election.

This schizophrenic messaging completely takes McCain’s endorsement credibility and tosses it right out the window. It also speaks volumes about how the GOP elites view messaging to GOP voters and is another example of why the GOP communications strategy and brand needs new blood.

Dem Strategist On Romney: “He’s The Guy We Want To Run Against”

This editor has said this for a long time. Romney is who they know best and it is who the Democrats want to run against. Like Dole and McCain, Romney will trash other Republicans, but always says that we should not be “strident” in our critiques of the Democrats.

Real Clear Politics has the video HERE.

Dick Harpootlian: “We’re looking forward to blood on the ground here in the next three weeks and I think you’re going to see Mitt Romney not able to take the punch, which I am hoping he is the nominee because I know watching him in ’08 that he can’t take a punch. The guy does not have the ability to deliver. He’s pro-abortion and anti-abortion; he’s pro-intervention, he’s against intervention; he’s pro-tarp, he’s against tarp. He’s all over the map, he’s the guy we want to run against.”

Professor William Jacobson has it spot on as he explains in a three part article:

What if everything we have been told about Mitt Romney’s electability is wrong

Mitt vs Mitt: The story of two men trapped in one body (video)

While some of these flips are older and a few are arguably mitigated, many are not. The first few are ones we have seen before but the last half of the video are flips that will be new to most people. The second half of this video is devastating.

Furthermore Blog has more of the documented flips complete with links and video: 

Mitt Romney opposed the two most successful conservative policy efforts of the last 30 years… the Reagan policies of the 1980`s and the Contract With America of the 1990`s. I have always been impressed with any so-called ‘self-proclaimed conservative’ or ‘Republican’ who parrots discredited Keynesian economic thinking, believes in man-made climate change and embraces government ‘mandates’ and social engineering.

There is nothing in Mitt Romney’s record that indicates that he is anything other than a liberal progressive Republican ‘masquerading’ as a palatable conservative. Mitt Romney represents everything that is wrong with the Republican Party and everything that has left us dying in a ditch. Pretend conservatives are what got us to where we are and are what will completely destroy us if allowed.

Conversely, ‘thinking conservatives’ support free markets, constitutionally limited government, and fiscal responsibility and oppose politicians from both parties who do not. They understand that conservatism ‘cannot be redefined’ to fit the mold of whoever the candidate is. But enough of the preamble. ‘The Mitt Romney Republican Plank’ are statements Romney has made in support of liberal progressive policies and/or he governed as such:

Each bullet point is a documented link.

    • Romney states he’d keep parts of ObamaCare: “Repeal the bad. Keep the good.”
    • Romney believes in individual government mandates “I like mandates.”
    • Romney believes RomneyCare and thus, ObamaCare should be “a model for the nation” because, he has said so.
    • Romney is the architect for ObamaCare. And, his three advisers met at the White House twelve times to craft the ObamaCare act.
    • Romney lauded: “I’m moderate. My views are Progressive… regardless of party label.”
    • Romney believes liberal judges should be appointed to the courts. Mitt passed over GOP lawyers for 75% of 36 judicial vacancies naming instead Democrats and Independents appointments.
    • Romney is an advocate for same-sex rights. Mitt Romney nominated not one, but two, known homosexual liberal gay-marriage activists as judges in Massachusetts.
    • Romney was for ‘gay marriage’ before he was against it.
    • Romney issued an official state proclamation celebrating “Gay Youth Pride Day” even though there was no legal reason requiring him to do this. Here is the Proclamation from the Governor’s office.
    • Romney opposed the Boy Scouts’ policy prohibiting homosexuals from serving as scoutmasters and prevented the organization from participating publicly in the 2002 Olympics.
    • Romney believes taxpayers should pay for, and the government should subsidize, abortion. Mitt supported abortion funding in his Romneycare plan.
    • Romney placed a Planned Parenthood member on the Mass Health Care board. He did not place a pro-life member on his board.
    • Romney’s conversion to the pro-life position is suspect and his ongoing support of homosexual rights is not.
    • Romney’s environmental advisers now work in Obama’s White House for the EPA.
    • Romney’s appointment of environmental adviser John Holdren is troubling. Now a member of the Obama White House, Holdren holds some very extreme views. He has talked of forced abortions, confiscation of babies, mass involuntary sterilization and he is an advocate of de-developing America and population control.
    • Romney was for Cap and Trade before he was against it, or sumthin.
    • Romney lauded Cap-and-Trade as “good for business” according to a 2005 Boston Globe report.
    • Romney in Manchester, NH, in June of 2011 stated: ‘man-made global warming is real.’
    • Romney believes in tax and ‘fee’ increases on corporations and residents. Mitt raised taxes and fees on Massachusetts businesses and residents by $750 million annually.
    • Romney had a net payroll jobs gain of less than 1% over 4 years; 0.09% to be exact in job creation, compared with job growth of 5.3% for the nation as a whole.
    • Romney was 47th out of 50 Governors in job creation and economic growth.
    • Romney ranked: Massachusetts was ranked third lowest in job creation and would have ranked second lowest if Hurricane Katrina had not devastated the Louisiana economy.
    • Romney lead a 14% decline in Massachusetts manufacturing during his tenure when the rest of the nation saw only 7%.
    • Romney oversaw a 3.5% out-migration in population in his state during his tenure.
    • Romney increased the local tax burden from 10% to 10.6% of per capita income.
    • Romney’s record led the Club For Growth to ultimately give Romney a “C” on fiscal issues after concluding that he “broke his verbal commitment” to not raise taxes in Massachusetts.
    • Romney had the 2nd worse score on fiscal issues out of the 25 freshmen Republican Governors according to a rating by the Cato Institute.
    • Romney’s economic performance during his tenure is summarized by the Boston Globe in this chart titled: “Massachusetts’s economic performance”. This chart is informatively brutal. [If you receive a 404 Not Found error. Keep refreshing the link. It’ll come up.]
    • Romney’s jobs record was worse than Michael Dukakis’
    • Romney believes climate change is a man-made hysteria, because Mitt believes man has directly influenced global warming.
    • Romney believes ethanol should be federally subsidized.
    • Romney believes in mandated socialized medicine, because Mitt has stated RomneyCare is “one of his best assets” and ‘is a conservative view.’
    • Romney opposes the Flat Tax. At least, until Mitt said he loves the flat tax last week, or something. But Romney’s 159-page jobs plan doesn’t have a flat tax in it.
    • Romney supported gun control measures. He supported the Assault Weapons ban and the Brady Bill, but now claims to be 2nd Amendment supporter.
    • Romney now embraces “the 99%”. Not the ‘53%’…or the ‘1%’.
    • Romney refused to support the Bush tax cuts.
    • Romney did not support the two most prolific conservative movements of the last 30 years; The Reagan Revolution and the Contract with America.
    • Romney did nothing about ‘right to work laws’. Then, in October 2011, he refused to endorse Ohio’s union referendum limiting collective bargaining. The next day he reversed himself.
    • Romney favored an increase in the minimum wage by indexing it.
    • Romney embraced Obama’s stimulus bill, because in Mitt’s hardcover book “No Apology,” he wrote Obama’s stimulus bill would “accelerate the timing of the start of the recovery.”
    • Romney supported TARP bailouts.
    • Romney supports Arne Duncan’s and Obama’s Education Secretary’s reforms; and as video shows, praised ‘Race to the Top’. Romney also supported No Child Left Behind
    • Romney’s overall spending grew 20.7% over four years as Governor of Massachusetts.
    • Romney grew government jobs on state payroll in Massachusetts by 7.2%
    • Romney believed in 2008 illegal immigrants here already should be granted citizenship, saying: “the 12 million or so ‘illegals’ already here should be granted citizenship.”
    • Romney’s business experience did not show him to govern as a conservative in Massachusetts.
    • Romney was listed as No. 8 in a 2005 list of Top 10 RINO’s in the Republican Party by Human Events.
    • Romney supported the re-nomination of Ben Bernanke after the housing collapse.
    • Romney “is not a conservative.” The conservative Republican base is “not happy” with Mitt Romney, says Rush Limbaugh.
    • Romney led Massachusetts Republicans into holding the fewest seats in the Legislature since the Civil War.
    • Romney has raised more money from lobbyists, wealthy special interest groups, especially K Street, and lobbyist-linked political action committees, than all of the other Republican candidates combined.

The real Mitt Romney is clearly an extraordinarily ambitious man with no perceivable political principle whatsoever. He will alter his past, exaggerates his record and traffic in ambiguous language. That puts Romney and Obama in the same sand box. Romney is a manufactured candidate. He moderates his stripes, but he doesn’t change them.

Romney overstates his accomplishment and understates the side effects.

Romney doesn’t get Reagan.

REAGAN

Mitt Romney’s latest comments about not having strident criticisms of President Obama is an indicator of how he is absorbed by a beltway mentality that is the antithesis of Ronald Reagan. Romney also said in multiple interviews that people in the primary are making bombastic comments that by implication they do not believe.

Bombastic. You know like when Mitt Romney told Rick Perry that one cannot be too against illegal immigration.

What statements has Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or John Huntsman or Herman Cain said about Barack Obama that was not demonstrably true?

This thinking comes from the “beltway” idea that most voters lean liberal, that if we go directly after Democrats foolishness and corruption that they will send voters into the Democrats arms; as if the Democrats never say bombastic things about Republicans such as

Republicans want to bring back Jim Crow
Republicans want dirty air and water
Republicans hate old people
Republicans hate children….

…All of which are common fare from the Democrat Party leadership.

The numbers show that in 2009 and 2010 that independents responded to the traditional/conservative TEA Party message in a big way, including women and Catholics in nine of the top ten swing states.

Here is a novel idea Mitt Romney, instead of saying things that you think beltway independents want to hear, how about you show us that you have a core and tell us what you genuinely believe, assuming of course there is anything. David Axelrod says that do not have a core. You are proving him correct.

As far as President Reagan, he savaged the left, he savaged Jimmy Carter. Reagan did it with the truth because he understood that truth is indivisible.

Reminder to the ‘Civility Police’: Reagan Savaged Carter and the Democrats With the Truth

In this piece I quote President Reagan and show you his speech at Liberty Island where he blasted the left and Jimmy Carter. Please click the link above for the video.

The Carter record is a litany of despair, of broken promises, of sacred trusts abandoned and forgotten. Eight million — eight million out of work. Inflation running at 18 percent in the first quarter of this year. Black unemployment at 14 percent, higher than any single year since the government began keeping separate statistics. Four straight major deficits run up by Carter and his friends in Congress. The highest interest rates since the Civil War, reaching at times close to 20 percent, lately they’re down to more than 11 percent but now they’ve begun to go up again. Productivity falling for six straight quarters among the most productive people in the world.

Through his inflation he has raised taxes on the American people by 30 percent, while their real income has risen only 20 percent. The Lady standing there in the harbor has never betrayed us once. But this Administration in Washington has betrayed the working men and women of this country.

Gallup: Americans Say Reagan is Greatest President

Here is more of Ronald Reagan being strident.

Reagan’s short stories: Leftist college student vs. capitalist. The story of the Little Red Hen

Reagan didn’t just go after the failed apparatchiks of the leviathan state, he went after the core of their belief system.

And the elite media didn’t like it either….

Reagan vs. Obama

Media Research Center: How the Elite Media Worked to Distort, Dismantle and Destroy Reagan’s Legacy

Newt Gingrich Engaging Uncommitted Conservatives in Tough Interviews

Byron York at  the Washington Examiner

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich faced more than two hours of sometimes contentious questioning before a group of conservatives at a northern Virginia hotel Wednesday morning.

Gingrich requested the meeting, organized by longtime conservative leader Richard Viguerie, after learning that Viguerie had put together similar meetings for rival candidates Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann.  About 60 people were in the Gingrich meeting, which was held at the Key Bridge Marriott hotel just outside Washington.

“It was a little tense in there a couple of times,” says one participant, noting that some of those gathered challenged Gingrich repeatedly on his environmental policy and support for the Medicare prescription drug entitlement.  Gingrich did not back down from past positions and ended some exchanges by saying that he and the conservatives would just have to agree to disagree.

Among those attending were Gary Bauer, Brent Bozell III, Angelo Codevilla, Ken Cucinelli, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Helen Krieble, Leonard Leo, Curt Levey, Ginni Thomas, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., and several others.

Many candidates would not have the conviction to face a serious and substantive crowd like this for over two hours. No matter what one may think of Newt, this act commands respect. Newt also subjected himself to a lengthy interview with Glenn Beck and several in the elite media voiced their “surprise” at what a substantive and meaningful interview it was. Of course those of us who are familiar with Glenn’s work know that his research team is as good if not better than any elite media news organization.

Mini UPDATE – Here is Newt’s lengthy and very stimulating interview with Larry Kudlow – LINK.

Mini UPDATE II – Newt gets a standing ovation at conservative HQ event – LINK.

More from the Washington Examiner:

One attendee, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed that the participants were undecided but suggested that few would end up with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.  All of those present knew Gingrich and had ups and downs with him over the years, but none was as familiar with Romney.  “We’ve been working with Newt for 30 years,” the participant said.  “For whatever reason, Romney hasn’t ever been there.

While Mitt Romney has been avoiding conservatives while claiming to be the conservatives standard bearer, Gingrich has decided not to make that mistake and has let conservatives have at him at length to make his case. Romney refuses to debate Newt one on one as Herman Cain did. Romney seems to be employing a strategy of running out the clock and taking no risks. This also has made him an absentee in many circles.

Newt has been displaying a moral clarity since 2009 most have not witnessed in him before. He has been plugging away against Obama’s bad policies since and has been defending conservatives in the elite media since Obama took office. Newt defended Sarah Palin as the press trashed her; when we now know that on issue after issue after issue from death Panels, to ObamaCare costs, to the cronyism, to energy policy, to Egypt & Libya, to inflation and the increasing food problem, Palin has been almost prophetic in her correctness. Where was Mitt Romney in 2009 and 2010 when you and I were out protesting in the cold, raising awareness, networking to educate people, and raising funds for local candidates?

Inside the Beltway ‘Wisdom’ Isn’t So Wise

[Note, this story is stickied to the top of the page as it is our feature of the week. Please scroll down to see new posts and updates!]

by PoliticalArena.org Editor Chuck Norton

Sometimes beltway wisdom can reflect certain truths not apparent to many nice folks in “fly over country”, but often the beltway wisdom caters to government largess and the message can be sold to large donors and bundlers.

Inside the beltway, insiders from both parties treat small government conservatives as “extreme” because all of them make their money from government largess either directly or indirectly.  There are also factors that swing the public that those inside the beltway never get exposed to. The greatest example of this was in 1976 and in 1980 when “insiders” believed that Ronald Reagan was a joke, a stupid B-movie actor whose eloquent speeches about the dangers of communism, socialism and collectivism should have went out with the 1950’s. Now those same pundits claim to be the very fathers of his success. While some of the names of the insiders and pundits have changed, the beltway mentality has not.

Please examine these comments from the insiders poll at National Journal and enjoy my comments which will appear in red.

National Journal:

The Gingrich Moment has yet to catch on with National Journal‘s Political Insiders. Despite former House Speaker Newt Gingrich‘s surge in the Republican presidential nomination contest, overwhelming majorities of both Democratic and Republican Insiders still say former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has the better shot at beating President Obama in 2012.

[This is what the left and the elite media say. They said the same thing about McCain and Dole. The elite media is essentially the Democrat media complex, so if Mitt Romney is so much of a threat why are they avoiding piling on and trashing Romney like they have the other candidates? In each case where the most “moderate” candidate was considered the most electable the Democrat campaigned to the right of the GOP nominee and won. When there is a bold difference between the two candidates the conservative Republican wins.

Some insiders know this and are simply rooting for the two candidates who are most likely to guarantee continued government largess. Other insiders start out with the best of intentions, but end up adopting the very mentality that they came to DC to change in the first place. Having been to DC events I can tell you that the temptation to meld in to that mentality is highly seductive. Make no mistake, the media and the White House want to run against Romney and several White House staffers have let that leak out. They believe that the same strategy the GOP used against John Kerry in 2004 can be used against Mitt Romney. They also believe that Obama can fool voters by campaigning to the right of Romney’s record. They will say that Romney talks like Reagan, but governed like Dukakis. Obama will also run against what he will describe as a namby-pamby do nothing Congress that talks about grandiose reforms but ends up with a schizophrenic big government record like Romney’s. ]

For some of the Insiders, Romney’s well-oiled campaign and potential for moderate appeal gave him the edge.

[The well oiled campaign with huge state machines is not as overwhelmingly effective as it used to be for two reasons.

The first reason is that with the power of the internet and multiple 24 hours news channels voters have more unfiltered access to information and the candidates. Herman Cain had almost no ground machine to speak of, and the truth is that if it weren’t for his repeated stumbling when it comes to basic foreign policy questions and messaging, he would still be the front-runner. The allegations of sexual harassment by women, all of whom have direct ties to David Axelrod and the Chicago Democrat machine were so transparent, that most people were not swayed by them. The fact that the Cain allegations didn’t stick in spite of a massive elite media campaign to try to make them otherwise is yet another indicator of just how powerful new media really is (note, remember when Cain was asked if he would take a lie detector test about the allegations and he said yes? Only local media shared the results).  A wealthy massive machine is no longer necessary to get a message out.] 

“He [Romney] almost beat a liberal icon in a blue state and went on to win the governor’s race,” said one Democratic Insider. “He is a very strong general-election candidate.”

[And Newt nationalized a mid-term election, brought in a GOP majority in the House for the first time in 40 years, cut taxes, balanced the federal budget, created a surplus, and passed welfare reform with a Democrat President, yet our Democratic insider knows that. Also, since when has Massachusetts ever been a political gauge for the rest of the country? ]

“Mitt Romney is better positioned to speak to independent voters,” said another Democrat, “including key voting blocs like swing unmarried women.” A Republican strategist agreed. “Romney is more acceptable to moderate voters, especially female voters.”

[Nonsense. And this brings us to the second reason why massive state machines on the ground are not as effective as they used to be. Those machines were needed to get the attention of ordinarily more apathetic independent voters (and conservatives could not be more motivated already). Independent voters have been anything but apathetic since 2009.  Independents are engaged and informed in a way I thought I would never see again in my lifetime. They are also far from what beltway insiders would consider moderate. 

In questionnaires about civics and current events independents score almost as high as Republican voters, before 2009 they scored below Democrat voters.

In the 2009 state and local elections voters swung towards GOP/TEA candidates by 18 points in the key swing states of Florida and Pennsylvania. The independent voters in those key swing states were not energized by a “moderate message”. They were energized by the bold TEA Party message of Rick Santelli and Sarah Palin. In New Jersey the firebrand fiscal hawk Chris Christie was elected governor. 

In 2010 GOP/TEA Party candidates swept the elections in nine of the top ten swing states. For the first time since 1984 when Ronald Reagan won 49 states, traditionally independent and slightly left leaning voters such as women and Catholics voted Republican by big numbers. There is no way that anyone could say that they were energized by Mitt Romney or anyone like him. Florida, which Obama won, tossed out their own Republican Governor Charlie Crist who was a wishy-washy Mitt Romney like moderate, and replaced him with reaganesque Marco Rubio. Governor Crist tried to take the independent vote away from Rubio by running as an independent and guarantee the Democrats a win, but independent voters such as women and Catholics voted for Rubio by significant margins.] 

Other Republican Insiders named Romney as the stronger candidate, but couldn’t muster much enthusiasm about the prospect.

“Romney’s shape-shifting might not be appealing for conservatives in the primary, but he’s far more disciplined than Gingrich and is the only candidate that can win in November,” said one Republican.

[Romney is more disciplined, but not as disciplined as one might think, already since the debates started Romney has changed his messaging and positions. What is the bold Romney vision for America other than “I’m not Barack Obama and don’t I look sweet on TV? Also Newt has come back from the early missteps in his campaign with a new discipline and has avoided his previous academics ways of getting himself off message with excessive nuance.]

“Mitt Romney will be hard to hate in the general for the same reason he is hard to love in a primary,” said another Republican. “There isn’t much ‘there’ there, so the spotlight will gravitate to Obama. Romney makes it a referendum on Obama; Gingrich makes it a choice.”

[Indeed, 1980 could have been a referendum about Carter, but Ronald Reagan went out of his way to make it a choice. Gingrich gives you something to vote for.]

Concerns about Romney’s charisma led a small number of Insiders on both sides of the spectrum made the case for Gingrich as the stronger Obama opponent. “Romney seems like he is the most formidable on paper and in debates,” said one Democrat, “but the American people will struggle to take to him, just as the Republicans are struggling to take to him.” “The president’s money will dwarf ours,” warned a Republican strategist. “So our candidate must frame his message more clearly and forcefully. That’s Newt’s strength and that’s Romney’s weakness.”

[Hey someone in DC is thinking! Obama and his team led by David Axelrod will try to mottle everything, change history, and make the facts into a soup until people don’t know what to think. Newt has the boldness and razor like clarity in his presentation that can cut through the nonsense.]

Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham are for Mitt Romney. Why?

Ann & Laura are singularly focused on Romney’s ability to speak and have been quite up front about this when discussing it.

I understand their point of view, but I do not totally agree with it. During the Bush administration while I was getting my latest degree at IU, I had to constantly defend what the administration was doing right because the administration made almost no attempt to articulate it themselves (with the exception of hiring Tony Snow).

This became very tiresome and was a reason why the GOP got pasted in 2006 and 2008. Since communication is the life of Ann and Laura (and it is my life too) I see how their point of view can be so unbalanced.

When George W. Bush was debating John Kerry can anyone honestly say that Bush dominated Kerry in any of those debates? Yet Bush still won convincingly.

The want to have Romney for the reasons stated is defensive in nature. Just as the Democrats picking Dukakis was defensive, picking Mondale was defensive, and picking Kerry was defensive. They were all picked because the Democrats “settled” on who they thought was “electable”. The GOP did this with Dole and McCain and today many “insiders” want to follow that line of thinking for 2012. Don’t be fooled.

Ann and Laura had a conversation on The Laura Ingraham Show and agreed that Mitt Romney will never be as conservative after the primary as he is now, and he will not be as conservative in the White House as he would be in the General Election. They both laughed and said how it will work out great for them because they will have yet another [liberal] Republican that they can make fun of for four years.

The state of the country is so dire that we no longer can afford the luxury of having a president talk radio can make fun of.

Romney will not debate Gingrich

Herman Cain debated Newt in a long format one on one and came out OK, so what is the problem Mitt?

Aren’t the American people deserving of a long format conversation that isn’t just cute 30 second responses? Mitt is trying to run out the clock and hope for a win without really fighting for it.

We all know Mitt’s past and we all know Gingrich’s.  Both candidates in the past have had some foolish positions. The difference is not just some of the foolish positions that have come out of their mouths, but what they have actually implemented into law.

Mitt has the RomneyCare albatross around his neck which is too similar to ObamaCare. Gingrich talked about a health insurance mandate as a part of a thought experiment with a think tank and rejected the idea after a time because he concluded that a government powerful enough to impose such a mandate would also be a heavy handed disaster. Romney actually imposed a mandate. Both candidates say they are pro-life now, but as a matter of legislation only one has signed laws that have taxpayers pay for abortions and that is Mitt Romney.

Newt Gingrich has actually balanced the US budget, reformed entitlements and welfare into better working programs and Newt helped draft the Medicare Part D which came in 40% under budget.  Newt blabs a lot, he is an academic and 50 odd sounding ideas will come out of his mouth every day, Newt’s mouth and academic way of thinking makes Newt his own worst enemy, but when you look at what laws were passed and how budgets were balanced Newt gets the job done and knows how to nationalize elections and get the American people behind an agenda he has sold on the merit. What has Mitt Romney actually DONE to advance the conservative movement or even protect traditional Americanism?

Newt has said a lot of things that are just dumb or were unfairly demagogued and lied about,  but Newt admits these mistakes and does not sugar coat them. Mitt Romney lies about his. I have not caught Newt in a fib in any of the debates. I cannot say the same about Romney.

Newt is not afraid of the media and will take them on when needed, this is critically important to both the election and the fourth estate as a check and balance.  The elite media is supposed to be helping keep government in check and instead most of what we get from them is cheer-leading for a leviathan state.

Newt Gingrich has been plugging away against Obama’s bad policies since 2009 and has been defending us in the elite media since Obama took office. Newt defended Sarah Palin as the press trashed her when we now know that on issue after issue after issue from death Panels, to ObamaCare costs, to the cronyism, to energy policy, to Egypt & Libya, to inflation and the increasing food problem that Palin has been almost prophetic in her correctness.   Where was Mitt Romney in 2009 and 2010 when you and I were out protesting in the cold, raising awareness, networking to educate people, and raising funds for local candidates?

When history looks at who advanced the conservative movement the most Newt comes in second only to Ronald Reagan. Newt is featured in almost every political science textbook for his achievements. Newt’s name will always be remembered along the names of Reagan, Taft, Coolidge and Goldwater.

If this does end up as a race between Newt and Mitt, the choice of who to endorse is obvious.

Gun Owners of America on Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney and Gun Control

In the recent Presidential debate, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann said America’s voters did not need to “settle” for the moderate candidate.  Amen to that.

And gun owners do NOT want candidates who talk out of both sides of their mouths.

As the Gun Owners of America’s Board of Directors looks at the Republican candidates running to unseat radical anti-gun President Obama, we see several who have strong pro-gun backgrounds.  Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachman all have solid pro-gun records and deserve a hard look from pro-gunners.

At least one frontrunner candidate stands in contrast with a decidedly mixed record on the gun issue.  While Mitt Romney likes to “talk the pro-gun talk,” he has not always walked the walk.

“The Second Amendment protects the individual right of lawful citizens to keep and bear arms. I strongly support this essential freedom,” Romney assures gun owners these days.

But this is the same Mitt Romney who, as governor, promised not to do anything to “chip away” at Massachusetts’ extremely restrictive gun laws.

“We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them,” he said during a gubernatorial debate.  “I won’t chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety.”1

Even worse, Romney signed a law to permanently ban many semi-automatic firearms.  “These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense,” Romney said in 2004. “They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.”2

Romney also spoke in favor of the Brady law’s five day waiting period on handguns.  The Boston Herald quotes Romney saying, “I don’t think (the waiting period) will have a massive effect on crime but I think it will have a positive effect.”3

Mitt Romney doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”

And that makes it all the more troubling that Romney refuses to answer GOA’s simple candidate questionnaire.  In our more than 36 years of experience, a candidate is usually hiding anti-gun views if he or she refuses to come clean in writing with specific commitments to the Second Amendment.

Today, Romney may be a favorite “Republican Establishment” candidate of the national press corps.  But that is exactly what gun owners DON’T need in a new President. We need someone who will stand by true constitutional principles and protect the Second Amendment.

 


[1] Mitt Romney in the 2002 Massachusetts Gubernatorial debate.  Part of the quote can be read in this article at Scot Lehigh, “Romney vs. Romney,” Boston Globe (January 19, 2007) at: http://mittromney4potus.blogspot.com/2007/01/context.html

[2] “Romney signs off on permanent assault weapons ban,” July 8, 2004, at: http://www.iberkshires.com/story.php?story_id=14812

[3] Mitt Romney, quoted by Joe Battenfeld in the Boston Herald, Aug. 1, 1994.

Fox News Presidential Debate Live Blog & Commentary – UPDATED!

UPDATES  (See Bottom of post for details) – Glenn Beck: Romney lied in the debate

New York Post: Romney not authentic, pandering

Fox News: Polling dictates Romney answers…

In the debate Romney trashed Rick Perry and takes the position that you cannot be too against illegal immigration, but he was talking amnesty with Tim Russert:

Live Blog by PoliticalArena.org editor Chuck Norton:

Perry opens up with setting an environment to help get small business hiring – points 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Perry: Texas was the number one state for relocation for five years in a row.

Mitt Romney opens up by attacking Obama on his job crushing policies – very smart. “Regulators have to be allies to business not foes”…

Romney is trying to walk the fence of the class warfare game. – We need to bring wealth home and dodging Brett’s question about that does not inspire confidence.

[Note – Romney had an opportunity to take on Obama’s recent push on class warfare he and he totally waffled. Romney’s answer fell somewhere between the non-committal committal and the non-denial denial. This is really indicative of a man who is making political calculations and is not standing on principle. This really bothered me.]

Bachmann goes after Obama on the “Out of every dollar I earn how much do I deserve to keep” question.

Federal Right to Work Law Question – Santorum goes after over reaching government unions – but the feds already took such bargaining away from the federal govt unions under Carter.

Newt: Unemployment should be tied to a business training program.

Huntsman targeted by Chris Wallace on his idea to subsidize natural gas…..and my internet freezes… so I did not hear the rest of his answer. OK – He favors it to ‘get the ball rolling’, so long as there is a quick phase out so it isn’t a long term thing…

Herman Cain on his 9 9 9 plan. Throw out the tax code totally. Romney wont toss out the tax code and start over and that dog wont hunt says Cain. Cain is absolutely right. The tax code is such a mess and so hard to comply with right now that modifying the edges of it will not help really fix the real problem which is the tax code itself.

How to get teeth in the 10th Amendment – Ron Paul says that he would veto every bill that violates the 10th amendment – It sounds great in theory, but that radical of a change so fast would be a huge shock to the economy. It would have to be phased in over time. There are just better answers to this question.

Gary Johnson gets his first answer. I promise, I promise list of goodies. Gary is a nice guy and pretty smart. I have had the pleasure of talking with him personally. He wants the Fair Tax. He needs to work on his charismatic approach IMO but a nice answer.

Megyn Kelly quoting Newt: Sure of course he is (a socialist)  LOL I love it. Romney – I have news for Obama, European socialism isnt working for Europeans so stop trying to use it here.

Huntsman – this is the worst time to be raising any taxes and everybody knows that. We have structural problems with our tax code. Now huntsman is pretty much quoting the Obama deficit commission plan, which is actually a pretty good plan, which is why Obama ignored it.

Our friend Lee Doren in the debate with a question!! What department would YOU eliminate?? Herman Cain – we need to start all over on these departments like the EPA- he is right. More Cain – we need to use the Chilean model on Social Security – “The solution is FIX IT” – Herman Cain is GREAT at ‘make sure you are addressing the RIGHT problem’.

Newt – once again he refuses to accept the premise of the media figures question. Newt announces a NEW Contract with America – Far Deeper, far bolder, far more profound. Newt: Obama’s socialist policies..,. SMACK home run.
Newt just wowed the debate again.

Education Question: Gary Johnson  – the department of education actually costs us more money than it spends. Santorum agrees saying “The federal education system doesn’t serve the customer” Great answer Rick. Newt Gingrich wants Pel Grants for K-12 – he obviously believes that the public schools have failed. Ron Paul – if you love your children get the govt out of public education, people need a right to opt out of the public school system when it is failing.

Rick Perry – comes out for school choice praises everyone on stage and slaps Romney for praising the “Race to the Top” program which is a regulatory disaster. Notice Romney does not deny what Perry said. Romney is dodging…. Romney just praised Arne Duncan /facepalm  [Arne Duncan and ‘Race to the Top’ are both a disaster, if you do not know why I will be happy to explain in comments below – Editor]

[UPDATE – More on the education issue and Romney added in the update section below.]

Huntsman – I signed the second voucher bill in the United States. I have actually done something about this. Localize, Localize, Localize.

Bachmann asked the illegal immigration question – Should each state enforce the immigration laws because the feds will not. Wallace said that laws like Arizona’s are at odds with the Constitution – that is NOT so. The courts have said that the states can enforce federal law as long as the state law mimics it and the AZ law does.

Newt: E-Verify is a mess with massive fraud. Visa and Mastercard could run E- Verify better. Newt is right that E-Verify as it is now is useless. The federal govt keeps that program a mess.

Romney goes after Perry on in state tuition in Texas. Perry – only 4 dissenting votes in legislature on his tuition law – Perry is Right about this guys.

The accusation: Perry wants to hand ‘in state’ tuition to illegals who just waltz over the border…This particular “in state tuition for illegals” accusation is an easy one to bust when ALL of the facts are considered. WHY?????

The bill did not give in state tuition for all “illegals”, it gave it to the children of illegals who graduated in good standing from Texas high schools. The difference is a huge moral gulf. I am fine with punishing illegals who had illegal intent when crossing the border in the middle of the night.

What I am NOT willing to do is punish their children who could not control who their parents are or what they did. The very idea of punishing someone for the acts of their parents, or of continuing punishment via bloodline is morally repugnant to many good people, including myself. Would you want your kids to suffer for what YOU did, as a politician would you want to take the position that the children of those who do wrong should “pay”?

The very idea of “criminal intent” goes to the very fabric of our rule of law and of our legal procedure back to the earliest days of the common law. No case can be made that the kids of those illegals had criminal intent.

This policy is way better than having them go on state and federal welfare rolls. By the way, said students who get in state tuition have to had come out from the shadows and be on a path to citizenship

Foreign policy question – time to watch Ron Paul blow himself to bits … IF he gets asked the Iran question. He doesn’t get asked.
On Israel: Romney – you do not have an inch of space between you and your allies. Romney pounding Obama on his trashing of Israel and sucking up to Hamas. Well done Mitt. “It is unacceptable for Iran to be a nuclear state”.
Herman Cain – I like peace through strength so my policy would be “Peace Through Strength & Clarity”. Very good answer.

Perry on the Pakistan nuke question “Where do you start”? Perry answers that you begin with Pakistan’s neighbors who are our allies. – Good answer. Santorum says stabilize Iraq and then goes after Ron Paul. He obviously does not want to see RP as the nominee.

Newt: If the country is not your ally why are you giving them money? Newt says that the world could become dramatically more dangerous in a short time.

Gary Johnson – the biggest threat to our national security is that we are bankrupt – he was wise to ignore the stupid Cuba question at first. Cuba doesn’t matter right now.

Santorum: Just because our economy is sick doesn’t mean that our values are sick – /smacks Huntsman hard and lectures him on Obama’s stupid rules of engagement. [It is true that the rules of engagement that our soldiers are operating under are ridiculous and made by a pack of lawyers. They cost lives – Editor]

Bachmann is right on the separation question. Separation means that the US Govt should not be run as a Church of the United States, not the idiocy that the courts are engaged in now. Her constitutional interpretation is spot on.

Santorum on the gays in the military question – His answer is spot on. Folks, anyone who leads with or defines himself with his sexuality is making a mistake. Sex should not be an issue so soldiers, liberals, activists should not make it one.

Ron Paul on the day after pill – the rape question – we have too many laws already and the “day after pill” is just too hard to enforce a ban upon.

Perry: the fed govt has no business telling the states how to educate our children.

Cain on ObamaCare – I suspect that he is about to whack it out of the park….. he does. Herman Cain – I had stage four colon and liver cancer. ObamaCare would have resulted in delays in tests and treatments. The only reason I survived is because I got treated on MY timeline and not the federal governments. Great answer.

YouTube question from Ian McDonald – “I have a heart condition” –  asks about the new provision for kids to stay on parents policies till they are 26 [Note – this was a GOP idea a long time ago and that was included in ObamaCare in an attempt to call it “bipartisan”]. Huntsman: lets have the states engage in experiments. In Utah we have a state backed catastrophic policy that can be a supplement to private insurance [This is also a long time GOP idea by the way].

Chris Wallace goes after Bachmann on the HPV causes retardation question. – Bachmann is spinning because the day after the last debate she doubled down on this issue . Bachmann is going after Perry on the Merck donations issue – the issue is a total red herring. Bachmann gets donations from Merck’s competition and those donations are more than what Perry got. Perry reminded us on the opt out and gave a touching story. Perry is trying a rise above strategy – it may be working.

Perry on Romney’s flip flopping. Sorry Mitt, but Perry is right about that. Romney has a cute line about experience to get this country going again, but he is shying away from substance and trying to go charismatic. It is already starting to get a tad old [Note – I am trained in political communications, including deception and propaganda, so I am more sensitive to the game Romney is playing. I am not sure regular folks wont fall for this tactic. I hope not].

Via Doug Scheon and Pat Caddell: Perry is winning the polling on Fox News on immigration – toldja 🙂

Question: How to jump start the turn around once elected:

Huntsman – good specifics on energy.

Herman Cain – the problem is a severe lack of confidence in leadership – great point and one that should not be underestimated. – Reagan, shining city on a hill – Cain is doing very well tonight.

Bachmann – first thing to do is repeal ObamaCare – its a good point because domestic business is scared to death of it, while the internationals love the idea so it can eliminate their domestic competition.

Romney – restore trust in the Oval Office

Perry – energy independent, repeal ObamaCare, reform the tax code,

Ron Paul – fix the Federal Reserve problem in creating market bubbles – Good point.

Newt Quoting Reagan –  “When Jimmy Carter is unemployed it is a recovery”. Awesome.

Santorum – We need to remember who are are as Americans and we have a president who does not understand what America is all about. Obama is the new King George III who believes that things need to be dictated to on high. WOW

Gary Johnson – My neighbors two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this current administration. More – Balance the budget now, not 20 years form now. Do it NOW.  Toss out the tax system and start over.

The Running-mate question:

Johnson picks Ron Paul.

Santorum – I would pick Newt.

Newt – I do not know yet but would be capable.  Newts audio flaked out so I missed part of his answer.

Ron Paul – I defer

Rick Perry – I want to merge Herman Cain and Newt and make him VP 🙂

Romney – there are a couple images I am going to have a hard time getting out of my mind. Any one up here would be a great president or VP.

Bachmann – a solid conservative she says. Then she has a good moment saying, (paraphrasing) “Every 4 years we are told that we have to settle. I do not think that is true. We need a candidate who represents constitutional conservatives especially since Obama’s numbers will be even more in the tank come election time.”

Cain Hints using a non verbals that he is open to be asked for the VP spot and says  – If Romney throws out his bad jobs plan and adopted 9 – 9 – 9 I could go for him, but am thinking Newt Gingrich.

Huntsmnan – I would pick Herman Cain.

END OF DEBATE –

Commentary

Romney had his first decent night, but once again everyone had their moments. Romney and Herman Cain stood out as far as showmanship is concerned.

Doug Scheon said that the people are still ahead of the candidates. That is a very astute observation, but I think Doug missed Mitt walking the fence on the class warfare card because Scheon is a Democrat who does not understand GOP sensitivities on that issue.

Mitt’s fence walking on this critical issue has actually managed to lower my confidence in him, but he did raise my estimates of him communications ability. I think more voters caught onto that than the Fox News team realizes.

If I was on Perry’s communications team. I would have this theme and pound it:

Voters have had enough of candidates who talk a great game and then lack follow through when elected. You guys TALK about plans and job creation, but I do it every day and I do something none of you have done, and that is have the best job growth under the totally irresponsible job killing policies of this president. Talk all you want, I walk the walk when the chips are down.

I am becoming more convinced that Romney is not going to replace the tax code, he is not going to tackle the bureaucracy and regulatory reform except superficially. His vision lacks boldness. Every time Romney was asked to state a BOLD plan or vision for reform he gave platitudes and/or his weak-sauce “59 points job plan” answer. Even Herman Cain made it clear that Romney”s 59 points plan is almost a joke.

I discussed tonights performance with two communications professionals. One who is from out West and another who is a DC insider with many years of political experience.

Out West:

I’m not liking Romney. Class warfare, the scare tactics and his flip flopping. I smell a John McCain all over. Conservative in the primaries and a moderate in the general & presidency. Perry needs to be specific and articulate more. My top three candidates so far are Perry, Gingrich & Cain. Santorum & Bachmann come off as bitter Perry haters, although I loved Rick Santorum’s smack-down on Ron Paul/Huntsman on foreign policy.

If Bachmann is so anti Obamacare, why is she not pounding Romney on Romneycare? If she’s truly principled, she’d hammer Romney instead of trying to pry back the Evangelical vote from Perry?[Answer: Bachmann wants Romney v Bachmann two man race, that is why.]

DC Insider:

Thanks, Chuck…good honest assessment of candidates’ positions. Right on…exactly about the Fox News team of Caddell, Scheon, and Parino missing the point on Romney’s fence walking. Romney’s communications person (Eric Fehrnstrom) and his strategist are crippling him [in the long run as they may have done OK in this battle but will lose the war with the charismatics and the fence walking].

UPDATE – Glenn Beck comparing Romney’s book from 2 and a half years ago to the recently released paperback version (ironically called ‘No Apologies’).

Romney then: The stimulus will help some but could be better. RomneyCare could be a national model.

Romney now: Stimulus is a war against free enterprise. National health care of any kind is unconstitutional.

Glenn Beck just read verbatim from the two versions of Romney’s book. When Perry hit Romney for making these changes he said “I have changed no such thing” – Romney lied.

I am going over clips from the debate. When Romney praised Obama’s radicalized and failed Education Secretary Arne Duncan in the debate, Romney was saying that we need to have a teacher accountability program like Duncan has proposed (and will never see the light of day).

How many “teacher accountability” programs have we had? Tinkering around the fringes of our failed education system will not fix the problem. Herman Cain lectured Romney last night for taking that same approach to his economic recovery and jobs program. Cain always says, “Make sure that you are working on the RIGHT problem”. The problems are institutional in education as well as our regulatory structure. Much like the tax code, they are structurally flawed and tinkering with them will not solve the problem.

UPDATE II – New York Post: Romney an unauthentic panderer

Today’s New York Post after going through Romney’s statements found out that he was not being honest in much the same way we did.

New York Post:

And yet maybe Perry’s debate wasn’t all awful. Far from it. The thing is, debates aren’t only about performance; they are also about the way the interchanges reveal the character of the candidates — their political character.

Do they stand up for what they believe? Do they believe in anything, or are they just willing to say whatever their audiences want to hear?

And in that regard, Romney did not perform well at all.

In the opening of the debate, Romney went after Perry for statements in his book, “Fed Up,” about Social Security and the problems with the direct election of senators. And Perry lowered the boom on him. Romney, he noted, changed his line on his own health-care plan in the text of the paperback version of his book “No Apology.”

Words poured from Romney’s mouth like smoke from a wildfire. He zoomed through sentences impossible to follow as he tried to deny that he had done what he had in fact done, which was scrub his own book as his own position changed.

The speed with which he spoke recalled the flim-flam salesman Harold Hill, clouding the minds of innocent Iowans as he raced through the song “Trouble in River City” in “The Music Man.”

Even more telling, Perry hit Romney for speaking well of President Obama’s “Race to the Top” initiative, as implemented by Education Secretary Arne Duncan–which Romney absolutely did in Miami on Wednesday. “I think Secretary Duncan has done some good things,” he said, as reported by Politico. “I hope that’s not heresy in this room.”

Romney denied it–a huge blunder, because this contradiction can be thrown back at him daily until the campaign is over. And because it speaks to precisely the reason Romney has been unable to make the sale with Republicans despite his incredible persistence in wooing them over the course of five years. He comes across as false, somehow.

Is unprepared and graceless worse than smooth and false in the eyes of voters desperate for authenticity? I don’t think so.

UPDATE III – Dan Henniger at Fox News

A reader sent us the following note:

Chuck, Dan Henninger just referenced your sentiments on Journal Editorial Report on Fox. He said that Romney’s answers scream “Polling, polling, polling”. The sentiment from the panel is that Romney is a well polished panderer.

UPDATE IV:  Rick Perry Backer Matt Gaetz: Romney Supporters Voting for Herman Cain to ‘Skew Results’ | Sunshine.

This does not surprise me, they did not want Perry to be first and Romney second. So they decided to put their votes behind someone with very little support in the general public to help diminish Perry. As was shown in the last debate, to the Romney camp everything is a political calculation and that is very revealing.