Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fred Barnes: Mitt Romney Is More Conservative Than You Think

Fred Barnes, the executive editor of the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard, has printed an article about Mitt Romney that has gotten alot of people talking. Fred Barnes argues that despite what Mitt's rivals say about Romney's conservativism, the truth is that he's more conservative than people think. 
Fred Barnes explains Mitt Romney's current campaign strategy of not diving into the details of his vision for America and just talking in broad terms about it: 
One only has to think back to New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s campaign in 2009 to understand what Romney may be up to. Christie acted like a mushy moderate but has governed like a hell-for-leather conservative. He figured if he revealed his intention to cut spending and taxes and neutralize the teachers’ union, he wouldn’t get elected. I suspect Romney is doing something similar.
We won’t know for certain unless Romney is elected president. But in recent weeks, he’s begun to sound more conservative. Unlike most of his Republican opponents, Romney has declined to offer a specific plan for reforming the tax code. At a town hall gathering last week in Salem, however, he talked up the idea of simplifying the system, broadening the tax base, and slashing tax rates—alas, tax reform at the idea stage.
Mitt Romney knows that conservatives and Republicans aren't the only ones who are watching the primary elections. Moderates, independents and Reagan democrats are either participating in the primaries or watching from the sidelines and paying close attention to who can really defeat Obama. As a result, Mitt Romney is demonstrating that he can defeat Obama by showing everyone that he's got a long range plan of winning the White House by building a strong state and national campaign, raising funds, and reaching out to all voters now rather than during the general election because by then, it may be already too late to win their hearts and minds. That's why Mitt Romney is sticking with his plan of going light on the details and strong on his attacks on Obama. 
Mitt Romney is running down the middle while other candidates are running down the right side of the field and are attacking Mitt for not being conservative enough because Romney likes to make a run down the center. Romney's rivals claim that his tendency to run down the field makes him a moderate and not a conservative. However, Fred Barnes refutes this claim by pointing out that while Romney sticks to the middle of the field, a close examination of his record reveals he's more conservative than he lets on
On four of the biggest issues in 2012, Romney is anything but moderate—or timid. He gets no special credit for advocating repeal of Obamacare. That’s Republican dogma. But he’s been the most specific among the GOP presidential candidates in backing the Ryan budget in all its parts, including its remake of Medicare. It was House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan’s plan that Gingrich zinged as “right wing social engineering” before reversing himself under duress.
When Romney announced in November his own proposal for cutting spending and reforming Medicare and Social Security, Ryan was thrilled. “Look at what he put out!” he told Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post. “This is a great development.” Ryan said Romney’s package of spending cuts “tracks perfectly with the House budget,” which Ryan had drafted.
Romney preceded Ryan in adding a twist to the overhaul of Medicare: Under a new “premium support” system in which seniors would choose among health insurance plans, one option would be the current Medicare program. In December, this was included in the bipartisan plan sponsored by Ryan and Democratic senator Ron Wyden of Oregon.
“On entitlements, I think Romney’s plan is easily the best one offered by a Republican candidate,” said Yuval Levin of the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center. “It’s a very smart, very well-thought-out, and very conservative approach.”
When he raises “premium support” and Social Security reform in town hall appearances, Romney has a way of making bold changes sound like tweaks. But in Salem, he said, almost as an afterthought, his proposal would “save Medicare and Social Security .  .  . forever.”
Like Ryan, Romney would not reduce defense spending. He wants to bolster the Army with 100,000 more troops and increase the Navy’s shipbuilding rate from 9 to 15 per year. In a speech at the Citadel in October, Romney promised to “prioritize the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic missile defense system.” And in Iowa he said he would instruct the Pentagon to prepare “credible military options” to destroy Iran’s facilities for building nuclear weapons.
On immigration, Romney has made it a point in the nationally televised debates to criticize Gingrich’s idea of letting illegal immigrants stay in America if they’ve lived here for decades and Rick Perry’s support for allowing college students here unlawfully to pay tuition at the reduced rate for state residents. That, too, puts Romney in the conservative camp.
To sum up, he’s at least as conservative as his GOP rivals on jettisoning Obamacare and more conservative than some on entitlements, national security, and immigration. He’s no match for Gingrich on taxes, but that’s about it. Overall, he’s to the right of Gingrich.
That's why people like Mitt Romney. They know he's a conservative but he presents his conservativism in a way that people across the political spectrum can like and support. America is a center right country. Not a hard right one. Once Mitt Romney enters office as President, Mitt Romney will govern similar to the way Reagan did. Like Reagan who was well liked by almost everyone except the hard core left, who continually and loudly let everyone know how much they despised him.  This is true of Governor Chris Christie. I suspect the same thing will happen to Romney. 
In my opinion, the best kind of conservative is the conservative that win the support of all people, working with democrats in office and pushing through a conservative agenda. Ronald Reagan is the perfect example of this. He was a govenor of a liberal state who ran for President. While he was running, he was working to win support from people across the political spectrum and once he got in office, he was able to work with Democrats like Tip O'Neal to push a mostly conservative agenda through Congress. Mitt Romney is following the same exact playbook as Ronald Reagan is. 


  1. Running down the middle is WAY better than Obama's running out of bounds! :)

  2. Excellent article! It's too bad more people are not aware of what Romney really stands for and his desire to lead the entire nation in a manner that serves everyone, not just the far right wing.

  3. Chris Christie has not governed like a Conservative. he has many issues. He is good for new Jersey but he is not a conservative. I would not want him as a VP and I have a much better Governor in Florida than Christie will ever be.

    Mitt Romney, based on how he Governed is every bit as conservative as Ronald Reagan was.

    What is it you want? Mitt Romney took his state from 50th in unemployment to 11th. He cut 341 social programs to balance a 3 billion dollar deficit in the budget. That is downsizing Government. He is against cap and trade, states there is no way to even measure man’s input to climate change. He is for drilling in the united states and building more refineries.

    He has always been against federal mandates and believes things should be dealt with on a state to state approach. He was the first to present the idea of waivers against Obama Care until it can be repealed. Immigration? He defunded sanctuary cities while Governor. He is against Amnesty. Take time to look at his 844 vetoes. They are all on the conservative side of every issue. He is pro life and he governed that way. Health Care? They had a 484 Million dollar Heath Care deficit that was greatly affecting the sustainability of the states hospitals. What do you do ignore it? The concept came from the Conservative Heritage Foundations think tank. Once it was presented the Democrats made many additions to it.

    Mitt Romney vetoed 8 things in it that he knew would be problematic. He was vetoed back by a veto proof legislature. There is nothing any Governor could do, if the legislature has the majority which it did.. In the state it was, when he had to sign it in. It added no new taxes. Was 1% of the state budget. It was created for the 8% of the people in the state that caused the debts. It did not try and do away with private health care. There are good things and bad. He vetoed the bad things. By due process of American Government, he was required to sign the Bill in that present form. Any Governor would have to.

    He is a fighter. 844 vetoes, was vetoed back 700 times. What more do you want?

    He has a 169 page plan for you to read on fixing the economy
    He has so far come up with cutting 500 Billion out of the existing Budget
    He wants to have a law where it is illegal for the Government to Deficit spend


    Downsized Government
    Balanced the Budget