Skip to comments.Rally for Romney: Conservatives need to act now, before it is too late.
Posted on 01/31/2008 10:37:41 AM PST by Delacon
I have spent nearly four decades in the conservative movement from precinct worker to the Reagan White House. I campaigned for Reagan in 1976 and 1980. I served in several top positions during the Reagan administration, including chief of staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese. I have been an active conservative when conservatism was not in high favor.
I remember in 1976, as a 19-year-old in Pennsylvania working the polls for Reagan against the sitting Republican president, Gerald Ford, I was demeaned for supporting a candidate who was said to be an extremist B-actor who couldnt win a general election, and opposing a sitting president. And at the time Reagan wasnt even on the ballot in Pennsylvania because he decided to focus his limited resources on other states. I tried to convince voter after voter to write-in Reagans name on the ballot. In the end, Reagan received about five percent of the Republican vote as a write-in candidate.
Of course, Reagan lost the nomination to Ford by the narrowest of margins. Ford went on to lose to a little-known ex-governor from Georgia, Jimmy Carter. But the Reagan Revolution became stronger, not weaker, as a result. And the rest is history.
I dont pretend to speak for President Reagan or all conservatives. I speak for myself. But I watched the Republican debate last night, which was held at the Reagan library, and I have to say that I fear a McCain candidacy. He would be an exceedingly poor choice as the Republican nominee for president.
Lets get the largely unspoken part of this out the way first. McCain is an intemperate, stubborn individual, much like Hillary Clinton. These are not good qualities to have in a president. As I watched him last night, I could see his personal contempt for Mitt Romney roiling under the surface. And why? Because Romney ran campaign ads that challenged McCains record? Is this the first campaign in which an opponent has run ads questioning another candidates record? Thats par for the course. To the best of my knowledge, Romneys ads have not been personal. He has not even mentioned the Keating-Five to counter McCain's cheap shots. But the same cannot be said of McCains comments about Romney.
Last night McCain, who is the putative frontrunner, resorted to a barrage of personal assaults on Romney that reflect more on the man making them than the target of the attacks. McCain now has a habit of describing Romney as a manager for profit and someone who has laid-off people, implying that Romney is both unpatriotic and uncaring. Moreover, he complains that Romney is using his millions or fortune to underwrite his campaign. This is a crass appeal to class warfare. McCain is extremely wealthy through marriage. Romney has never denigrated McCain for his wealth or the manner in which he acquired it. Evidently Romneys character doesnt let him to cross certain boundaries of decorum and decency, but McCains does. And what of managing for profit? When did free enterprise become evil? This is liberal pablum which, once again, could have been uttered by Hillary Clinton.
And there is the open secret of McCain losing control of his temper and behaving in a highly inappropriate fashion with prominent Republicans, including Thad Cochran, John Cornyn, Strom Thurmond, Donald Rumsfeld, Bradley Smith, and a list of others. Does anyone honestly believe that the Clintons or the Democrat party would give McCain a pass on this kind of behavior?
As for McCain the straight-talker, how can anyone explain his abrupt about-face on two of his signature issues: immigration and tax cuts? As everyone knows, McCain led the battle not once but twice against the border-security-first approach to illegal immigration as co-author of the McCain-Kennedy bill. He disparaged the motives of the millions of people who objected to his legislation. He fought all amendments that would limit the general amnesty provisions of the bill. This controversy raged for weeks. Only now he says hes gotten the message. Yet, when asked last night if he would sign the McCain-Kennedy bill as president, he dissembles, arguing that its a hypothetical question. Last Sunday on Meet the Press, he said he would sign the bill. Theres nothing straight about this talk. Now, I understand that politicians tap dance during the course of a campaign, but this was a defining moment for McCain. And another defining moment was his very public opposition to the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. He was the medias favorite Republican in opposition to Bush. At the time his primary reason for opposing the cuts was because they favored the rich (and, by the way, they did not). Now he says he opposed them because they werent accompanied by spending cuts. Thats simply not correct.
Even worse than denying his own record, McCain is flatly lying about Romneys position on Iraq. As has been discussed for nearly a week now, Romney did not support a specific date to withdraw our forces from Iraq. The evidence is irrefutable. And its also irrefutable that McCain is abusing the English language (Romneys statements) the way Bill Clinton did in front of a grand jury. The problem is that once called on it by everyone from the New York Times to me, he obstinately refuses to admit the truth. So, last night, he lied about it again. This isnt open to interpretation. But it does give us a window into who he is.
Of course, its one thing to overlook one or two issues where a candidate seeking the Republican nomination as a conservative might depart from conservative orthodoxy. But in McCains case, adherence is the exception to the rule McCain-Feingold (restrictions on political speech), McCain-Kennedy (amnesty for illegal aliens), McCain-Kennedy-Edwards (trial lawyers bill of rights), McCain-Lieberman (global warming legislation), Gang of 14 (obstructing change to the filibuster rule for judicial nominations), the Bush tax cuts, and so forth. This is a record any liberal Democrat would proudly run on. Are we to overlook this record when selecting a Republican nominee to carry our message in the general election?
But what about his national security record? Its a mixed bag. McCain is rightly credited with being an early voice for changing tactics in Iraq. He was a vocal supporter of the surge, even when many were not. But he does not have a record of being a vocal advocate for defense spending when Bill Clinton was slashing it. And he has been on the wrong side of the debate on homeland security. He supports closing Guantanamo Bay, which would result in granting an array of constitutional protections to al-Qaeda detainees, and limiting legitimate interrogation techniques that have, in fact, saved American lives. Combined with his (past) de-emphasis on border-security, I think its fair to say that McCains positions are more in line with the ACLU than most conservatives.
Why recite this record? Well, if conservatives dont act now to stop McCain, he will become the Republican nominee and he will lose the general election. He is simply flawed on too many levels. He is a Republican Hillary Clinton in many ways. Many McCain supporters insist he is the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama. And they point to certain polls. The polls are meaningless this far from November. Six months ago, the polls had Rudy winning the Republican nomination. In October 1980, the polls had Jimmy Carter defeating Ronald Reagan. This is no more than spin.
But wouldnt the prospect of a Clinton or Obama presidency drive enough of the grassroots to the polls for McCain? It wasnt enough to motivate the base to vote in November 2006 to stop Nancy Pelosi from becoming speaker or the Democrats from taking Congress. My sense is it wont be enough to carry McCain to victory, either. And McCain has done more to build animus among the people whose votes he will need than Denny Hastert or Bill Frist. And there wont be enough Democrats voting for McCain to offset the electorate McCain has alienated (and is likely to continue to alienate, as best as I can tell).
McCain has not won overwhelming pluralities, let alone majorities, in any of the primaries. A thirty-six-percent win in Florida doesnt make a juggernaut. But the liberal media are promoting him now as the presumptive nominee. More and more establishment Republican officials are jumping on McCains bandwagon the latest being Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has all but destroyed Californias Republican party.
Lets face it, none of the candidates are perfect. They never are. But McCain is the least perfect of the viable candidates. The only one left standing who can honestly be said to share most of our conservative principles is Mitt Romney. I say this as someone who has not been an active Romney supporter. If conservatives dont unite behind Romney at this stage, and become vocal in their support for him, then they will get McCain as their Republican nominee and probably a Democrat president. And in either case, we will have a deeply flawed president.
Mark Levin, a former senior Reagan Justice Department official, is a nationally syndicated radio-talk-show host.
History does not have to repeat itself, and people change. You would throw away a gamble in exchange for a sure loss?
It’s like people are being handed a 50-dollar casino coin, and told they can put it in the slot machine if they want. And some people are saying, “Well, there’s a good chance I’ll lose if I put it in the machine, so here, have it back”.
You met them. Oh okay, that erases everything he’s done over the last five years. Whew... I can vote for him now. /s
You don’t need a theory, Mark listed his objections in the article. If you have an argument against it, why not post it, instead of changing the subject?
Charles, I’m not voting for a RINO. Period! That should make it clear what my thoughts are on each of the current candidates.
You list plenty of reasons to not vote for McCrazy, but NO reason to vote for Mutt Romney!
Huckabilly is a poor candidate that would likely lose but even He is better than Romney!
“The problem with this articleand I have great respect for the authoris that a similar litany of awfulness could easily be assembled to describe Slick Willard.”
Here are a few that were posted this AM at MSDNC. Romney is extremely smart, but I have little faith that he is anything more than a fair-weather conservative. And I don’t like the feeling that gives me.
No matter how much he spends Mitt can’t fun from his record. He is not honest and he is a conservative only in presidenbtial elections.
“I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard.”
Boston Herald Debate, 10/29/02
“Roe v. Wade continues to work its destructive logic throughout our society This can’t continue.”
Speech to the Massachusetts Citizens For Life Mother’s Day Pioneer Valley Dinner, 5/10/07
“With these 11 million people [here illegally], let’s have them registered, know who they are....those that are here paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship.”
Lowell Sun, 3/30/06
“One simple rule: no amnesty.If that [Kennedy-McCain bill] is not a form of amnesty, I don’t know what is.”
New York Times, 6/4/07
“We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them. I won’t chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety.”
Romney in 2002 gov. debate, Boston Globe, 1/14/07
“I have a gun of my own. I go hunting myself. I’m a member of the NRA and believe firmly in the right to bear arms.”
Boston Globe, 1/14/07
Amendment to ban gay marriage
“Mitt does not support it...As far as Mitt is concerned, it goes farther than current law, and therefore it’s unnecessary.”
Romney spokesman, Boston Globe, 3/22/02
“When I was Governor, we took every conceivable step within the law to stop, block or slow down this unprecedented court decision.”
Speech to National Right to Life Convention, 6/15/07
“No new taxes” pledge
“I’m not intending to, at this stage, sign a document which would prevent me from being able to look specifically at the revenue needs of the commonwealth”
Associated Press, 3/27/02
“Signing the pledge now sends a very clear message to those in Washington who have voted against tax relief and for tax hikes that such actions will never grow our regional and national economies.”
Romney spokesman, Boston Globe, 1/5/07
“I think the minimum wage ought to keep pace with inflation. I think the minimum wage is a good thing to have in our economy and I think it ought to be updated.”
Boston Globe, 10/17/94
“[T]he challenge with raising the minimum wage excessively is it is a hurt to those that are entering the work force, the very poor, those that are trying to get early jobs, get those first jobs.”
Associated Press, 7/25/06
Cutting Social Security
“I don’t think you go back and rewrite the contract the government has with people who’ve retired.”
Boston Globe, 10/17/94
“Personal accounts would be a big plus.”... [Romney]also said changing the retirement age could be considered, as well as basing the Social Security cost of living adjustment on a different inflation gauge.
Union Leader, 6/7/07
Governor Mitt Romney and a legislative leader yesterday delivered unwelcome news to the Catholic bishops of Massachusetts, who plan to seek permission from the state to exclude gay and lesbian parents from adopting children through its social service agencies. The governor said he was not authorized to give such an exemption...
Boston Globe, 2/17/06
“And then another slide along the slippery slope. The Catholic Church was forced to end its adoption service, which was crucial in helping the state find homes for some of our most difficult to place children... Now, even religious freedom was being trumped by the new-found ‘right’ of gay marriage.”
Speech to National Right to Life Convention, 6/15/07
Stem cell research
[Romney]endorsed embryonic stem cell research, saying the controversial science might one day help treat his wife’s multiple sclerosis....”I am in favor of stem cell research. I will work and fight for stem cell research. I’d be happy to talk to [President Bush] about this, though I don’t know if I could budge him an inch.”
Boston Globe, 6/14/02
“FACT: Governor Romney Opposes Using Taxpayer Money to Fund Embryo-Destructive Research.”
MittRomney.com A Record of Protecting Life
Bush tax cuts
Governor Mitt Romney refused yesterday to endorse tax cuts at the heart of President Bush’s economic program...In addition to refusing to endorse the president’s tax cut, the governor surprised several people at the meeting by saying he is open to a federal increase in gas taxes.
Boston Globe, 4/11/0
[Romney] said it was “absolutely critical” to renew tax cuts proposed by President George W. Bush. Letting them expire would result in a “massive tax increase” that would retard economic growth, Romney said.
Detroit Free Press, 2/8/07
“I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.”
Boston Herald, 10/27/94
“Ronald Reagan is ... my hero. ... I believe that our party’s ascendancy began with Ronald Reagan’s brand of visionary and courageous leadership.”
Boston Globe, 1/19/07
Desire to serve in Vietnam
“I was not planning on signing up for the military. It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam...”
Boston Herald, 5/2/94
“I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there and in some ways it was frustrating not to feel like I was there as part of the troops that were fighting in Vietnam.”
Boston Globe, 6/24/07
Peter from NH (Sent Thursday, January 31, 2008 7:13 AM)
Excellent. How many?
Charles, if Romney(D) was running, would you cross party lines to vote for him with his record?
If you believe that, no wonder you don't get it. Romney NEVER claimed to be to the left of Ted Kennedy on ANYTHING.
He WAS never to the left of Ted Kennedy on ANYTHING.
And his positions on all those issues now is mainstream conservative.
I don't get why people would allow someone who we KNOW opposes us to get elected because someone else who promises to be with us on every issue USED TO BE against us.
"yes, I know my boat is sinking because it has holes in it. But your boat used to have holes, and I'm not sure if you patched them very well, so I'll just stay in my sinking boat, rather than take a chance on your floating boat".
If Hunter was put in Romney's position, with Romney's speeches, campaign promises, debates, and appearances, we'd have overwhelming support.
It's time to put the past behind us. We have ONE candidate running on a solid conservative platform. Don't reject the platform to spite the messenger.
Romney: State funded abortions under the plan - done- Imposed by the Mass. courts
Romney: Liberal court appointments - done- Some were better than others, yet Romney is endorsed by Robert Bork, Jay Sekulow, Mark Levin, etc.
Romney: Reasoned gun control - done - - What gun laws did he actually champion? Anyway, if that's what Mass. wanted then fine, it's their guns. That's Federalism!
Romney: Support for homosexual marriage - done- Romney Supports Federal Marriage Amendment.
Romney: Change the marriage license form from 'Husband and Wife' to "Party 1 and Party 2" - done I don't know whether this is true, but if it is, is it really the reason you would rather have Hillary Clinton as president?
Is no one listening to talk radio?
I just don’t get why there is so much support for someone who has already run his campaign into a deficit, what more can he do for the country than he’s had the opportunity to do while in the senate for the last 20 years or so?
Is this the hillary clinton/barack obama fan club ping list?
Or the “let’s destroy the country to punish the republicans” fan club?
Or the “if I stomp my feet enough, will a real conservative magically appear on my ballot” fan club?
“You dont need a theory, Mark listed his objections in the article. If you have an argument against it, why not post it, instead of changing the subject?”
It’s interesting, isn’t it? They kinda sound like McCain in the debate last night. Just saying the same thing over and over and over.......not really addressing the questions.
I sent this email out to all of my family!
I don't envy the rest of you one little bit.
All I can say is I would NOT cast a vote for McCain anytime in the lifetime of this universe.
Yeah, sorta like a "scortched earth" policy. Which is why I am afraid we will wind up with the greater of two evils -- Obamarama or The Beast. Probably The Beast.