Skip to comments.What Would a President Romney Do?
Posted on 02/22/2013 8:16:14 AM PST by SeekAndFind
For those convinced that President Obama doesnt deserve any blame for the fiscal gridlock, lets do a thought experiment. Lets imagine that Mitt Romney was elected president, and was dealing with the same Congress that Obama has faced so much trouble in getting legislation to avert sequestration and myriad fiscal emergencies. Would a President Romney be confronting the same crisis?
Its impossible to know for sure, but a look at Romneys compromising tendencies with a Democratic Legislature as governor of Massachusetts suggest that things would look very different. Romney cut his business and political profile as a deal-maker, reaching bipartisan agreements on health care, environmental regulations, and taxes. He explicitly campaigned against sequestration, bringing it up at one of the presidential debates. Indeed, his work back home with Massachusetts Democrats was a late, if belated, argument in his campaign down the home stretch -- the theme of an expensive advertising buy.
More important, a close look at the composition of both the Senate and the House suggest the numbers would be there for Romney to pass some combination of spending cuts and the closing of tax loopholes, as he called for in the 2012 campaign. In the Senate, Romney probably would have courted the 12 red-state Senate Democrats, six of whom are up for reelection in 2014, to support some type of compromise. In the House, his task would be winning over recalcitrant conservatives.
If House Democrats were united in opposition, he could afford 17 GOP defections, probably more if the few remaining moderate Democrats joined with the GOP. Its a little bit easier to do when your party holds the White House, as opposed to fighting in the minority.
The point of the thought experiment isnt to relive the Romney campaign but to demonstrate there was a very plausible path for a Republican president to win support for a middle-ground budget proposal. The Senate has more red-state Democrats than blue-state Republicans, and most of them are up for reelection. These same Democrats who are giving Obama trouble on gun control would be looking to cut a fiscal deal as they prepare for reelection. Win over just five of them, hold enough House Republicans in line, and voila theres the bipartisan compromise. It wouldnt be easy, but it doesnt take a political scientist to figure out the contours of such a deal.
For Obama to forge a similar path to Romneys tax proposals would seem asinine to many of his supporters, particularly the base that helped get him elected. To give up raising taxes on the wealthy would, at first glance, be awful politics in the wake of a decisive victory over his opponent. And tax hikes on the wealthy, at least in the abstract, poll exceptionally well. But seeking an alternative plan more amenable to the GOP leadership a combination of loophole closing and targeted spending cuts could have potentially unpoisoned the Washington well and led to future compromises on the presidents other priorities, such as immigration.
To get significant legislation passed, presidents from both parties have found they need to take on their partys most ideological supporters. Bill Clinton angered liberals by passing NAFTA and welfare reform. For his first legislative push, George W. Bush took on his base with the No Child Left Behind education law (with Edward Kennedy as a key partner) and a prescription-drug entitlement. George H.W. Bush famously took on his conservative base by breaking his read my lips pledge not to raise taxes. Obama has avoided challenging his liberal base on any issue, and that is partly why theres such a large congressional divide in the first place. For the president, that might not be good politics, given how large a role the party base played in his two presidential victories. But it would make for better policymaking.
What difference does it make(aka hillary)
That doesn’t matter. He is a mormon and a millionaire so we can’t support him.
I voted for Romney and would vote for Romney a million times before I ever cast a vote for the slime we have in office now, but let’s face it: Romney would not have cut spending one dime.
He lost because he deserved to lose.
Doesn’t matter. In case nobody remembers HE LOST!!! The questions now are how do we get past permanent minority status?
The low information voters didn’t want an experienced executive as the nation’s Chief Executive.
The low information voters wanted to keep the Cmmunity Agitator.
RE: In case nobody remembers HE LOST!!!
FAIRLY? OR BY CHEATING and FRAUD?
So he says that Romney would have compromised with the LIBS and with Zero! Is that supposed to be GOOD?
No, no, you have it all wrong. I have it on good information, (FR), that Romney would have been as bad, if not worse than Obama. Not only that, in spite of the fact that Obama is likely a closet muslim, Romney is a... *gasp* mormon.
Thank your lucky stars you have Obama in charge.
Be patient my friend. Liberalism is a virus and once it has run its course it will be gone.
Am I supposed to get a WWPR bracelet now? Who the hell cares what he “would’ve” done and how do they know anyway? It’s over! The election is done! We have to look to 2014 now and try to stop the dungbeetleOTUS from causing further destruction.
“Be patient my friend. Liberalism is a virus and once it has run its course it will be gone.”
Ah, but when it runs it’s course, it leaves the host dead or severely weakened.
lol, I’ve heard that same rumor.
the same as any other president; what ever those running WALL STREET and the BANKS TELLS THEM TO DO
Romney, for all his faults, was a genuinely decent person and didn’t hate America. He probably wouldn’t have made a great president like Ronald Reagan, but he probably would have been as good as a Warren G. Harding or a Chester A. Arthur.
Obama is not looking for any bi-partisan agreement. What he is looking for is total surrender. His way or the Highway.
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