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David Frum: Can Mitt Romney be president? The outlook is sunny. But he faces rough seas ahead
The Week ^ | November 10, 2010 | David Frum

Posted on 11/10/2010 5:18:48 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

Tea Party, Shmea Party. Post-election surveys suggest that Mitt Romney still leads as the favored Republican presidential candidate for 2012.

His lead looks especially big in New Hampshire: Almost 30 points.

Does this big lead translate into a smooth ride to the nomination?

That depends on whether Romney's campaign follows the path of George W. Bush's in 2000 — or Hillary Clinton's in 2008.

Here's the happy scenario for Romney: Like Bush in 2000, Romney is the Republican heir apparent in 2012. Like Bush, Romney has the backing of the party's biggest donors. Like Bush, Romney has national campaign experience. Like Bush, Romney faces opponents who can be dismissed as either obscure (Pawlenty, Daniels) or extreme (Palin, Gingrich.)

Finally, like Bush, Romney faces one early bump on the way to the nomination (Romney polls badly in Iowa, just as Bush did in New Hampshire) — but otherwise seems the most popular candidate in most of the early voting states.

So: Smooth sailing?

Maybe not. Everything that can be said of Romney and Bush could have been said of Hillary Clinton. Heir apparent? Check. Support of biggest donors? Check. National-campaign experience? Check. Opponents obscure (Barack Obama) or extreme (John Edwards)? Few visible roadblocks ahead?

Check, check, and check.

Even if Hillary Clinton had every advantage, her campaign was ultimately sunk by two holes beneath the water line: Her vote for the Iraq war and the perception of her husband's administration as too conservative on economic issues.

These two issues damaged Clinton with the most intense party activists — and it was these activists who dominated the caucus states that gave Barack Obama his margin of victory.

Now look again at Romney. The sort of person who writes a big check to the GOP every cycle may see in Romney a competent CEO for the United States. But to the people who will spend hours in an Iowa caucus room, Romney also has two holes below his water line: TARP and healthcare reform.

Hillary Clinton hesitated for months, then belatedly repudiated her Iraq vote in hope of mollifying party activists. Romney has worked harder and faster to placate his internal critics by drawing distinctions between his health reform in Massachusetts and the plan enacted in Washington — and vehemently opposing the latter. At most, we can say the verdict of the Republican base is pending.

How will we know if Romney is Bush or Clinton?

If Romney pulls far ahead in his fundraising — if the more conservative Republicans continue to divide between Palin, Gingrich and others — and if he locks up endorsements early, then 2000 is repeating itself and he's the next Bush.

But if those things do not happen, then Romney faces a grim outlook.

The people who support him are the same people who regard Sarah Palin as utterly unacceptable, both as a candidate and as a president. If Romney does not win early, fear of Palin will send them hunting fast for another alternative. There's a long list available of such alternatives and there's one name that does not get mentioned nearly often enough: Jeb Bush.

Yes, Bush says he's not running.

But if it's January 2012 — and if Romney has finished fourth in Iowa and is plunging in national polls, Republican governors, members of Congress and donors will be asking the question: Who can put together a national organization — and raise tens of millions of dollars — in six weeks flat? And that's a question that points back to the mightiest fund-raising dynasty in the Grand Old Party.


TOPICS: Issues; Parties; Polls; State and Local
KEYWORDS: 2012; backstabberfrum; backstabberromney; backstabbers4romney; badgovromney; benedictromney; brutusromney; canttrustromney; cowardromney; fakebadgeromney; fakepollromney; fauxpollromney; hillary; ineligibleromney; mexicans4romney; obama; pimpromneyhere; pimpromneynow; pimpromneyplease; pushpollromney; rino; romney; romney4obama; romney4obamacare; romneybigdig; romneybothere; romneycare; romneydeathcare; romneydeathpanels; romneymarriage; teaparty; teapartyrebellion; truthers4romney; verybadgovmitt
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If he couldn't beat Senator McCain when the Arizonian was running on fumes, how can he beat Mr. Obama? Believe me, Governor Palin will have NO trouble raising money!
1 posted on 11/10/2010 5:18:57 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

No and no to Gingrinch too.


2 posted on 11/10/2010 5:21:04 PM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Romney is a tough campaigner(not an endoresment!) but has always been a gentleman. He will fight hard agaisnt Palin but it wont fly. He is toast. Palin needs to watch the huckster cult...they are capable of going anything.


3 posted on 11/10/2010 5:22:02 PM PST by rrrod (at home in Medellin Colombia)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Romney : Frum’s wet dream. No chance, no way.


4 posted on 11/10/2010 5:22:49 PM PST by afnamvet (Patriots Rising)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hope not! These are different times (Tea Party Times) and Romney just will not do! Not sure who will arrive this election season, but almost everybody would be better.

Romney - you made your bed with Health Care and you are going to have to live with it...


5 posted on 11/10/2010 5:23:29 PM PST by Deagle
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
So: Smooth sailing?

It will be very hard to be elected without the support of the Republican base, which includes the Tea Party to a certain extent.

They won't vote for liberals like Myth Romney, so no. Not 'smooth sailing'.

6 posted on 11/10/2010 5:24:11 PM PST by Colonel_Flagg ("I'd rather lose fighting for the right cause than win fighting for the wrong cause." - Jim DeMint)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If the Democrats support him — rather than their own nominee — then I suppose he might have a shot. But he’s not getting in with Republican votes. He won’t have nearly enough of those.


7 posted on 11/10/2010 5:25:02 PM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: rrrod
"Romney is a tough campaigner(not an endoresment!) but has always been a gentleman."

The knifemarks in Palin's back claim otherwise.

8 posted on 11/10/2010 5:25:09 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Amber Lamps !"~~)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Frum says Romney, eh?.

Hillary could pull this off, if it was true.


9 posted on 11/10/2010 5:26:02 PM PST by Psalm 144
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I looked to see if he has made any statements on QE2 and didn’t find anything. Why if he is so brilliant on finance has he been so silent on Bernanke?


10 posted on 11/10/2010 5:26:26 PM PST by Arizona Carolyn
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Wow. Frum, a liberal democrat, endorses Romney. Good news for Mitt.


11 posted on 11/10/2010 5:26:48 PM PST by Lazlo in PA (Now living in a newly minted Red State.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’m very against RINO Romney. Give me someone with courage and conviction, like Sarah.


12 posted on 11/10/2010 5:27:22 PM PST by veracious
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Do we want another George Bush Sr. (Romney) or another Ronald Reagan (Sarah Palin)?

No more Bushes or Bush surrogates, thank you very much. Give us more Reagan, much more Reagan.


13 posted on 11/10/2010 5:28:31 PM PST by Waryone (RINOs, Elites, and Socialists - on the endangered list, soon to become extinct.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If he does an Arlan and runs with Hillary as his VP he has about a 15% chance of winning.


14 posted on 11/10/2010 5:29:24 PM PST by Rashputin (Barry is totally insane and being kept medicated and on golf courses to hide the fact)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

David Frum serves a useful purpose — because whomever he picks as the candidate to oppose Barry-O is precisely whom we want to AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE.

The lamestream media serve the same purpose as Frum serves.


15 posted on 11/10/2010 5:29:34 PM PST by Nervous Tick (Trust in God, but row away from the rocks!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Like Bush in 2000, ... Romney has national campaign experience.

Uhhh ... what national campaign experience did George W. Bush have in 2000?

16 posted on 11/10/2010 5:30:05 PM PST by Pan_Yan
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To: Waryone

Exactly. We’ve endured our Carter, now bring on the Reagan.


17 posted on 11/10/2010 5:30:18 PM PST by datura (Democrat=Communist)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Tea Party, Shmea Party.....

No reason to read the rest of the article after reading those four words......
Just another lamestream idiot who doesn't get it.......

18 posted on 11/10/2010 5:30:38 PM PST by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“...Romney is the Republican heir apparent in 2012.”

Says who?

(I am the leader of the Tea Party.)


19 posted on 11/10/2010 5:30:41 PM PST by Mortrey (Impeach President Soros)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hell no.


20 posted on 11/10/2010 5:30:51 PM PST by TheConservativeParty (First they laugh at you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you WIN. -Ghandi)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

He can run on the “RomneyCare” record!/s


21 posted on 11/10/2010 5:31:06 PM PST by dynachrome ("Our forefathers didn't bury their guns. They buried those that tried to take them.")
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To: Colonel_Flagg
"It will be very hard to be elected without the support of the Republican base"

McCain did it and I could find a member of the base that supported him in a primary...magritte
22 posted on 11/10/2010 5:31:14 PM PST by magritte ("There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself "Do trousers matter?")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Can Mitt Romney be president?

Maybe. But not with my vote.

23 posted on 11/10/2010 5:31:19 PM PST by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: Arizona Carolyn
"Why if he is so brilliant on finance has he been so silent on Bernanke?"

You don't get invited to Beltway & Manhattan parties by bashing other CFR members.

24 posted on 11/10/2010 5:31:25 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. ~Mencken)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Mitt Romney is a mayonnaise sandwich on white bread.


25 posted on 11/10/2010 5:31:31 PM PST by Mortrey (Impeach President Soros)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I didn’t vote for a democrat president who thinks government-run and mandated healthcare debacle, I sure as hell am not going to vote for a RINO republican who implemented the same damn thing.


26 posted on 11/10/2010 5:31:35 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Romney isn’t CFR.


27 posted on 11/10/2010 5:34:04 PM PST by ansel12
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

As long as he doesn’t need my vote he can be.


28 posted on 11/10/2010 5:34:33 PM PST by GBA (Not on our watch!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

As the Tea Party says - no way!


29 posted on 11/10/2010 5:35:08 PM PST by Deagle
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To: Mortrey
Mitt Romney is a mayonnaise sandwich on white bread.

With the crust removed, and quarter sliced.

30 posted on 11/10/2010 5:38:17 PM PST by ansel12
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To: ansel12

Okay. I’d read that he is.


31 posted on 11/10/2010 5:41:51 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. ~Mencken)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Not unless something has changed recently.

I delved into it back during the primary, he has spoken to them but wasn’t a member, not that it bothers me, Fred Thompson was CFR.


32 posted on 11/10/2010 5:44:40 PM PST by ansel12
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To: ansel12

So was General Al Haig, who I worked for back in 1987-88. But that was then and this is now.


33 posted on 11/10/2010 5:46:20 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. ~Mencken)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The sort of person who writes a big check to the GOP every cycle may see in Romney a competent CEO for the United States.

I don't care, We the People are the board of directors.

34 posted on 11/10/2010 5:46:45 PM PST by Inyo-Mono (Had God not driven man from the Garden of Eden the Sierra Club surely would have.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I could support Mitt. I totally haven’t made up my mind. But Mitt, Sarah, Huck, Newt, DeMint, Trump... I could go for any of them. Who wouldn’t I go for? Polenty, Brownstripe, Bloomberg, any of the other RINOs.

Hell, I’d even probably go for Rick Perry if he managed to convince enough of the peops.


35 posted on 11/10/2010 5:46:45 PM PST by ichabod1 (Hail Mary Full of Grace, The Lord Is With Thee...)
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To: Deagle

Lotsa people hate Romney because he’s LDS. Are you a religious bigot, beagle?


36 posted on 11/10/2010 5:48:03 PM PST by ichabod1 (Hail Mary Full of Grace, The Lord Is With Thee...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
What BS.

Fact: The McCain/Palin ticket was up ++4 to 10 pts. in some polls, days prior to the election in 2008!!!!!!!
So rather than help the GOP, Romney and
TeamROMNEY (Frum, Wallace, Parker, etc) decided
…… to attack Gov. Palin to throw Election 2008
just as they would also do in 2010 in several states.
And now, Romney has the audacity to demand to be REWARDED
for his twice-inflicted massacres against the GOP?

"Frum was indeed a critic of Palin, calling her nomination a "huge mistake" during an October 13 (2008, weeks before the election) Early Show appearance."


David Frum: "Two of our most plausible candidates for president in 2012 are leading Mormons: Mitt Romney and Utah governor Jon Huntsman."


David Frum: "I have a lot of regard for Mitt Romney as a man and politician… I will support him without qualm."


Late in October, The American Spectator's The Prowler revealed:
"Former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffers…
have been involved in spreading anti-Palin spin to reporters, seeking to diminish her standing after the election.
'Sarah Palin is a lightweight, she won't be the first, not even the third, person people will think of when it comes to 2012,'
says one former Romney aide…
'The only serious candidate ready to challenge to lead the Republican Party is Mitt Romney.
"Some former Romney aides were behind the recent leaks to media, including CNN, that Governor Sarah Palin was a 'diva' and was going off message intentionally."


The Palmetto Scoop reported: "One of the first stories to hit the national airwaves was
the claim of a major internal strife between close McCain aides and the folks handling his running mate Sarah Palin."
"I’m told by very good sources that this was indeed the case and that a rift had developed, but it was between Palin’s people and the staffers brought on from the failed presidential campaign of former Gov. Mitt Romney, not McCain aides."
"The sources said nearly 80 percent of Romney’s former staff was absorbed by McCain and these individuals were responsible for what amounts to a premeditated, last-minute sabotage of Palin."
… aides loyal to Romney inside the McCain campaign, said The Scoop, reportedly saw
that Palin would be a serious contender for the Republican nomination in 2012 or 2016, which made her a threat to another presidential quest by Romney.


"These staffers are now out trying to finish her off ….hoping it would ingratiate themselves with Mitt Romney."


"Who's the Palin Leaker from the McCain Campaign?
National Review Online The publication of a Vanity Fair profile of Sarah Palin
appears to have opened old wounds in the McCain campaign.
... the source of the “Diva” leak was Nicolle Wallace’s husband."


Kathleen Parker: "[I]t is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem." "Parker ... says something publicly that many of us have thought privately
but lacked the courage to say out loud - Palin should step down:"


"Kathleen Parker: After Interviews, Palin Should Bow Out"


Kathleen Parker: "Romney would bring more than squeaky clean qualifications
and youthful good looks to the ticket.
Romney would seem a logical choice."


"Parker: Romney raised bar on freedoms"
Kathleen Parker: "If Kennedy's speech was an important landmark in American political history,
Romney's was surpassing. With heartfelt humility and poetic eloquence,
he tracked the nation's struggle with and for freedom."


Staggering bigotry of Kathleen Parker - UPDATED"


Who benefits most from Sanford meltdown? Californian (that's right) Mitt Romney


"Peeking Out From the McCain Wreckage: Mitt Romney"

"Someone's got to say it: IS MITT ROMNEY RESPONSIBLE FOR OBAMA'S VICTORY?"

"Vanity: Team Romney Sabotaged Palin and Continuing to Do So?"

"Romney Supporters Trashing Palin"

"Romney advisors sniping at Palin?"



37 posted on 11/10/2010 5:50:01 PM PST by Diogenesis ('Freedom is the light of all sentient beings.' - Optimus Prime)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
A Frum endorsement would be the kiss of death for Romney.

Even without an endorsement, the thought that Mitt would give Frum a job weighs heavily against his candidacy.

Somebody should ask him during the campaign, just so we don't get saddled with David Frum if Romney does get the nomination.

38 posted on 11/10/2010 5:50:53 PM PST by x
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To: Pan_Yan

Uh.. two campaigns on which he worked with his Father, George H.W. Bush? Where he met his young carouser pal, a fellow named Karl Rove?


39 posted on 11/10/2010 5:51:52 PM PST by ichabod1 (Hail Mary Full of Grace, The Lord Is With Thee...)
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To: x

Isn’t Steve Schmidt already working for Myth? Game over!!


40 posted on 11/10/2010 5:52:12 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. ~Mencken)
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To: ichabod1

Lotsa people hate Romney because he’s a lying, multiple-faced, flip-flopping, lying, backstabbing, baby murdering, Man-date loving, lying, gay supporting, RINO.


41 posted on 11/10/2010 5:55:15 PM PST by Waryone (RINOs, Elites, and Socialists - on the endangered list, soon to become extinct.)
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To: x

If Romney gets the nomination, the last thing I’ll be worried about is David Frum. I’ll be concentrating on helping the third party candidate running against him.


42 posted on 11/10/2010 5:58:41 PM PST by Waryone (RINOs, Elites, and Socialists - on the endangered list, soon to become extinct.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Mittens couldn’t beat McDemocrat back in 2008. He’s a non-starter.


43 posted on 11/10/2010 5:59:05 PM PST by VRWC For Truth (Throw the bums out who vote yes on the bailout)
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To: ichabod1

Who cares what drugs Romney took.

His problem is his backstabbing, RomneyCARE,
and the other disasters he wrought as the worst
GOP Governor in the history of Massachusetts.


44 posted on 11/10/2010 6:00:45 PM PST by Diogenesis ('Freedom is the light of all sentient beings.' - Optimus Prime)
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To: Mortrey

So? Are you a racist morey? Don’t like white folks? Maybe there’s another site more suited to your views. Probably lots of them.


45 posted on 11/10/2010 6:04:12 PM PST by ichabod1 (Hail Mary Full of Grace, The Lord Is With Thee...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Romney would be better than Obama.

Of course it’s hard to think of anyone who wouldn’t be better than Obama except Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a few others of similar ilk.

Anyway, Sarah Palin is going to be our candidate and the next President of the United States.


46 posted on 11/10/2010 6:07:07 PM PST by devere
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To: Waryone

Yeah, I hear a lot of calumny poured out on Mitt, but I’ve never seen anything other than rants and attacks. I see a lot of links above, but not much substance. What DID he do to destroy that big lead McCain had going into the election? I kind of thought it was that swing around the south into Washigton where he cancelled his campaing, and then voted for the damn TARP that was what put the final nail in his coffin.


47 posted on 11/10/2010 6:09:03 PM PST by ichabod1 (Hail Mary Full of Grace, The Lord Is With Thee...)
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To: ichabod1
Do have any facts to support your PIMPING Romney-the-backstabber?

Romney helped, helps, and supported Obama.



Romney praises Obama again
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney praised President Obama
at a GOP fundraising dinner Wednesday ..
"I also think it's important for us to nod to the president when he's right," Romney said....
Romney, who spoke at a dinner for the National Republican Senatorial Committee,
said he's pleased with the president's plans to "finish the job" in Iraq and Afghanistan
-- lines that drew applause from the partisan audience. He also applauded the president
for standing up to the auto industry.
"I hope he continues to be tough ....The former businessman even offered faint praise for
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, saying that after a series of initial missteps,
"I think he's finally getting close to the right answer."



48 posted on 11/10/2010 6:15:04 PM PST by Diogenesis ('Freedom is the light of all sentient beings.' - Optimus Prime)
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To: ichabod1
Do have any facts to support your PIMPING Romney-the-backstabber?

Except for his attacks on the GOP, Mitt Romney is a PROVEN failure.


"As U.S. real output grew 13 percent between 2002 and 2006, Massachusetts trailed at 9 percent.
* Manufacturing employment fell 7 percent nationwide those years, but sank 14 percent under Romney, placing Massachusetts 48th among the states.
* Between fall 2003 and autumn 2006, U.S. job growth averaged 5.4 percent, nearly three times Massachusetts' anemic 1.9 percent pace.
* While 8 million Americans over age 16 found work between 2002 and 2006, the number of employed Massachusetts residents actually declined by 8,500 during those years.
"Massachusetts was the only state to have failed to post any gain in its pool of employed residents," professors Sum and McLaughlin concluded.
In an April 2003 meeting with the Massachusetts congressional delegation in Washington, Romney failed to endorse President Bush's $726 billion tax-cut proposal."

[Cato Institute annual Fiscal Policy Report Card - America's Governors, 2004.]


Alex Beam: “In truth, Ronald Reagan
and Mitt Romney have as much in common
as Cardinal O’Malley and Conan O’Brien.
Deservedly or not, Reagan earned a reputation for constancy.
Once he turned against communism, he opposed it big-time.
…. And our former governor? Inconstancy, thy name is Mitt!
A woman’s right to choose? Yes! No! Yes!
Are we in Massachusetts? Yes! Are we in Iowa? No!
Are we on TV? Whatever!”

49 posted on 11/10/2010 6:17:25 PM PST by Diogenesis ('Freedom is the light of all sentient beings.' - Optimus Prime)
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To: MileHi
“We have nothing to fear with Barack Obama in the White House.” ~John McCain~ Did Myth Romney feel the same way?
50 posted on 11/10/2010 6:18:30 PM PST by JPG (The GOP leadership is on probation. No second chances. Don't blow it.)
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