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Rally for Romney: Conservatives need to act now, before it is too late.
National Review Online ^ | January 31, 2008 | Mark R. Levin

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 couldn’t win a general election, and opposing a sitting president. And at the time Reagan wasn’t 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 Reagan’s 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 don’t 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.

Let’s 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 McCain’s record? Is this the first campaign in which an opponent has run ads questioning another candidate’s record? That’s par for the course. To the best of my knowledge, Romney’s 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 McCain’s 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 Romney’s character doesn’t let him to cross certain boundaries of decorum and decency, but McCain’s 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 he’s gotten the message. Yet, when asked last night if he would sign the McCain-Kennedy bill as president, he dissembles, arguing that it’s a hypothetical question. Last Sunday on Meet the Press, he said he would sign the bill. There’s 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 media’s 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 weren’t accompanied by spending cuts. That’s simply not correct.


Even worse than denying his own record, McCain is flatly lying about Romney’s 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 it’s also irrefutable that McCain is abusing the English language (Romney’s 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 isn’t open to interpretation. But it does give us a window into who he is.


Of course, it’s 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 McCain’s 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? It’s 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 it’s fair to say that McCain’s positions are more in line with the ACLU than most conservatives.


Why recite this record? Well, if conservatives don’t 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 wouldn’t the prospect of a Clinton or Obama presidency drive enough of the grassroots to the polls for McCain? It wasn’t 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 won’t 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 won’t 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 doesn’t make a juggernaut. But the liberal media are promoting him now as the presumptive nominee. More and more establishment Republican officials are jumping on McCain’s bandwagon — the latest being Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has all but destroyed California’s Republican party.

Let’s 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 don’t 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.

TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: 2008; elections; hillarylite; marklevin; mccain; primaries; romney
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To: All

The only way to stop what is unfolding is a journalist must present Huckabee with a document to sign on which it swears he will not accept a VP slot.

161 posted on 01/31/2008 11:46:19 AM PST by Owen
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To: Delacon; tgslTakoma; trooprally; GunsareOK; 3D-JOY; cindy-true-supporter; concretebob; ...
Hey, I hear Romney is a member of NAMBLA and wears magic underwear. At least with McCain we KNOW what we're getting.

No, actually it's this!

162 posted on 01/31/2008 11:46:25 AM PST by BufordP (Had Mexicans flown planes into the World Trade Center, Jorge Bush would have surrendered.)
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To: DoughtyOne

Sorry, but you’re the one who apparently can’t read. Let me help you with that:

March, 2004, NYTimes:

“The Massachusetts legislature on Monday approved a state constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage and create same-sex civil unions instead....But immediately after the lawmakers’ decision, Gov. Mitt Romney, a first-term Republican WHO OPPOSES BOTH GAY MARRIAGE AND SAME-SEX CIVIL UNIONS, said he would ask the state’s highest court to issue a stay of its rulings, last November and again in February, requiring the state to grant marriage licenses to gays. The stay would bar same-sex couples from marrying until after the proposed constitutional amendment could go before the voters.”

October 2002 campaign debate, Romney quote: “Call me old fashioned, but I don’t support gay marriage nor do I support civil union.”

Dec. 17, 2003: After the SJC decision legalizing same-sex marriage, he told WCVB that if he had to choose, he would favor civil unions over full-fledged gay marriage. However, he added: “But that is not my preference overall. My preference overall would be NEITHER CIVIL UNION OR MARRIAGE.”
-Boston Globe

Hope that helped your reading comprehension.

163 posted on 01/31/2008 11:46:45 AM PST by tabsternager
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To: Delacon
"...McCain Leads Obama by Six, Clinton by Eight (Rasmussen)

No one on this thread has tried to explain the above statistic nor has anyone really looked for McCain's strengths. Name calling and overt hostility usually does not win elections since the overwhelming majority find these attributes disgusting.

I am not a McCainiac but he has won and is winning in a Republican primary. It would be far better to determine what it is people are voting for rather than simply calling him names, etc.

164 posted on 01/31/2008 11:46:54 AM PST by shrinkermd
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To: Apple Blossom
Hi Apple, good to see you. I think that conservatives ARE NOT voting for McCain. It's the independents (who for the most part are liberal)the senior citizens (go figure), and the immigrants who want open borders, who are giving McCain the slight, and I mean very slight edge.

Mr. Amnesty has done plenty in the Senate, and most of it was as an obstructionist to conservatism!

165 posted on 01/31/2008 11:46:55 AM PST by jan in Colorado ("It's easier to believe a lie one hears 1,000 times than to believe a fact that one has never heard)
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To: americanophile
Romney: State run healthcare - done - False, It's private insurance, and it was crafted with the help of the Heritage Foundation.

Tell us who pays the insurance premium for the poor.  Billions will be taken out of the state coffers to do that.

Romney: State funded abortions under the plan - done- Imposed by the Mass. courts

If I remember correctly, Romeny preempted the court by signing off on this.  He didn't wait for the court to rule on it.  He didn't have his attorney general fight it.  It's also being reported on the forum that his actions forced Catholic hospitals to provide the morning after pill, diametrically opposed by Catholics.

Romney: Liberal court appointments - done- Some were better than others, yet Romney is endorsed by Robert Bork, Jay Sekulow, Mark Levin, etc.

Then you're just admitted that we could get just as bad appointments from him that we could Hillary.

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!

Broom, carpet whisk!

Romney: Support for homosexual marriage - done- Romney Supports Federal Marriage Amendment.

Now.  What did he sign?  Did he or did he not take action that made homosexual marriage possible in Ma.?  Did he or did he not order the marriage forms changed?

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?

What possible difference could it make?

166 posted on 01/31/2008 11:47:18 AM PST by DoughtyOne (PARTY WANTED: Full Time, Cons exp a must. Refs 20 yrs. No Amnesty sptrs. 1 vote per 4 yrs negotiable)
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To: CharlesWayneCT; JRochelle; colorcountry; ejonesie22; Graybeard58
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?

We're all planning to watch this interesting movie


It's the "Watch CW get his panties in a twist 'cause things aren't going his way" Thursday meeting.

167 posted on 01/31/2008 11:47:41 AM PST by greyfoxx39 (Salvation is NOT a value-added enterprise by making you pay for it. Christ gives it away free.)
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To: redgirlinabluestate

“Remember, your choices are Mitt (NRA “B”), McCain (NRA “C+”), Obama (NRA “F”) and Hillary (NRA “F”).”

Gee, You FORGOT Huck and Paul BOTH A+ !

168 posted on 01/31/2008 11:48:04 AM PST by Beagle8U (FreeRepublic -- One stop shopping ....... Its the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: BoBToMatoE
Then there is this thing in which he forced health care on citizens (call it hillary care light).

Did you even listen to his explanation last night during the debate? You can probably watch the debate on the CNN website. Romney did a very good job of describing (to my satisfaction, at least) the health care "plan" in Mass. Perhaps you won't like his explanation, but at least you will be informed on the facts that you appear to be missing at the moment.

169 posted on 01/31/2008 11:48:11 AM PST by tgslTakoma
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To: greyfoxx39

If we don’t derail the McCain Express now, we will have to wait four more years and then challenge Hillary for reelection. Feels a lot like 1976.
Go Mitt!

170 posted on 01/31/2008 11:48:37 AM PST by kgrif_Salinas
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To: CharlesWayneCT
After I saw Sen. John McCain twitch and giggle and talk to himself, I felt sick.

Who all is behind promoting this loser on us besides the media? Maybe Soros, the Amnesty lobby, Mexico, the terrorists (since he voted against barring them from US), the Democrats who want Hillary or Obama to win.

171 posted on 01/31/2008 11:48:47 AM PST by apocalypto
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To: DoughtyOne
Look, at best Romney will hold the line on current illegal alien policy. Still more millions will pour across our borders and the next democrat will legalize them anyway.

Not unless you are calling him a liar. Although I would call him "flexibly opportunistic," I haven't seen indication of that.

Do you really think Romney will do anything more than cosmetic with regard to illegal immigration?

He has said he opposes illegal immigration. Whether he means that he'll turn illegals into legals isn't clear. At least he vetoed drivers' licenses for them. Whether that transacts to results depends a great deal upon how he handles Congress, although he could start using DHS to accomplish a lot. Frankly, I haven't heard much specifically on that front.

He’s a business man. What has been the policy of big business with regard to illegal immigration?

His money was not made in businesses requiring massive injections of touch labor, so beyond H1b visas (which aren't illegal) I don't know what his personal bias might be there.

172 posted on 01/31/2008 11:48:55 AM PST by Carry_Okie (We have people in power who love evil.)
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To: greyfoxx39

If we don’t derail the McCain Express now, we will have to wait four more years and then challenge Hillary for reelection. Feels a lot like 1976.
Go Mitt!

173 posted on 01/31/2008 11:49:02 AM PST by kgrif_Salinas
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To: CharlesWayneCT

No, it’s the reality ping list.

174 posted on 01/31/2008 11:49:21 AM PST by ejonesie22 (Haley Barbour 2012, Because he has experience in Disaster Recovery.)
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To: manapua

When conservatives are willing to spit on conservative principles being sold by an articulate and forceful spokesperson, simply because of that person’s past, we are in real trouble.

Sure, given two people giving their heart and soul and money to sell conservatism to the country are available, and one of them has been there longer, go with the guy with the longer record.

But Romney IS the guy with the longer record, because nobody else is standing up for conservative values now. It’s Romney or McCain. One has a list of 26 solid consrvative positions. The other is running on a platform that is riddled with anti-conservative positions.

And you’d reject the solid conservative platform because you fear the messenger? And you’d denigrate those who simply don’t have the same mistrust that you do?

175 posted on 01/31/2008 11:49:49 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: princess leah

I believe it would help of they were replaced by the end of the year, but I doubt the Senate would approve of even one nominee from here on out.

176 posted on 01/31/2008 11:50:05 AM PST by DoughtyOne (PARTY WANTED: Full Time, Cons exp a must. Refs 20 yrs. No Amnesty sptrs. 1 vote per 4 yrs negotiable)
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To: Delacon

Conservatives have until next Tuesday—or the McCain nomination will be a done-deal.

177 posted on 01/31/2008 11:50:12 AM PST by stockstrader
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To: CharlesWayneCT; greyfoxx39; Pan_Yans Wife; MHGinTN; Colofornian; Elsie; FastCoyote; Osage Orange; ..

It’s the “I can’t vote for a pandering, flip-flopping, lie to get elected, even if the bought-and-paid radio host endorsement, never vote for a RINO,” club.

178 posted on 01/31/2008 11:50:26 AM PST by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Antoninus
Romney is every bit as bad as Christie Whittman

Only if you don't believe him. His platform is a solid conservative platform. He has done nothing in the past year to suggest wavering on that platform, and he's taken slings and arrows for standing up for our conservative principles.

179 posted on 01/31/2008 11:51:19 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: holdonnow

Thank you, Mark.

180 posted on 01/31/2008 11:51:50 AM PST by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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