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.
Romney’s record is there for anyone willing to look.
I guarantee you if he was running with a (D) after his name you would see his past clearly and fight like hell to keep him out of office.
Thanks Mark for the wake up call. I’m making a donation to Mitt Romney right now. He wasn’t my first choice, but it looks like he will be my last. I can’t bring myself to back McCain.
There is too much water under the bridge for the conservative wing of the party to support him.
Better pray for our Country, if the best we can do is McCain.
On that note FreeRepublic has officially became irrelevant. We can now stand by and watch the MSM frenzy along with the collusion of the GOP leadership, as our country slowly ceases to exist, as a free Republic.
We all MUST Send Romney $$$$$ asap!
Well, it’s going to be a long process, and when Hillary Clinton appoints 2 leftist, pro-abortion judges to the Supreme Court, you can expect to wait 25 years to undue it.
Yes!....A vote for Mitt is the only thing we have friends!
I always respect your opinion, even if I don't always agree with it.
Who do you intend to vote for in November, if you do so at all? I'm trying to determine if there is a movement here towards a candidate, as it seems most FReepers are posting in opposition towards those already in the race.
The discussion within the movement ought to be about post-2008 politics and where we ought to go. Because no matter which party wins the Presidency, conservatism has lost a major battle. And sadly, many intellectual and grassroots leaders are damaging themselves with this odd shilling for Romney.
“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.”
I just sent Mitt some money. McCain must be stopped NOW!
Do you remember which thread?
Sorry, that article is cr@p. Here’s just one example:
“1. Is your extreme negative position on McCain based predominantly on worries about your ability to continue to make a (very) comfortable living in a McCain administration?”
Apparently this author thinks gutting the First Amendment further would be no big deal, so he re-casts concern for that issue as simple - gasp - desire to make a profit. You know, CAPITALISM. How EEVVIIILLLLLL! /sarc
Typical left-wing dripe...
Yet it’s McCain that actually discussed running with John Kerry on the Democratic ticket. Is everyone here crazy? Can you not see that the next president may appoint 2 Supreme Court justices...this will change the make-up of the Court for years to come. This will singlehandly put the conservative movement back 25 years. Wouldn’t you rather trust Mitt Rommey, who espouses conservative beliefs and will owe his presidency to conservatives over Hillary Clinton - a woman with unrestrained anitpathy for conservatism and little regard for the Constitution??
This needs to be repeated.
of course not! they have to be green with envy at his success,money,great wife and kids with never any problems, no dirt except for what others jealous try to create about him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If Conservative Talk radio hosts lit a fire under regional “Rallies For Mitt” like many did for “Support the troops rallies” we could turn this around.
You watch how many folks backtrack once McCain has been slaughtered at the polls. “Well, I never liked him, I just wanted to keep Hillary out. I knew all along what a vile man he was as it relates to conservatims.”
Backbone is standing on principle before the fact.
i am in florida, sent mine in tuesday night. cannot believe it, except for the really really really nasty campaigning against romney, makes his comparison ads look really good.
The same people screaming vote for Mitt to stop McCain will be screaming vote for McCain to stop Hillary...
I stopped voting for the lesser of two evils this year. Our evil gets more evil every election. And that’s because we vote for them. I won’t do it again....
I donated last night. After that cheap trick McCain pulled in Florida and would not admit he was wrong during the debate made me like him less. I saw how McCain reacted when he lost primaries back in 2000, have not cared much for the guy since then.
“There wont be much rallying for Romney because many of see him as little, if any, better than McCain.”
Bears repeating. Romney is a crap shoot at best. A moving target of expediency.
Thanks for the kind words. Barring some kind of major cataclysmic event (that I cannot foresee), I will be a presidential undervote.
What kind of sell-out "conservative" would rally for a phony used car salesman liberal like Mitt, whose single term as govenor brought gay marriage and socialized health care?
Brilliant. Thanks for putting my unspoken sentiment to words.
I agree with your post completely.
Compelling piece and a harsh slap of reality. McCain is using liberal blue collar mantra to attack Romney’s wealth and ties to business. Romney, at least, shows some sense of class and restraint against this little tyrant of a man. Romney is all that’s left to vote for and walk away with at least some sense of dignity intact. McCain might as well be Hillary, but he can’t beat her in the general election. At least Romney has a shot at winning the Presidency. McCain has nothing, except the Mexican patron elite and his can of strawberries.
McCain 08’ = Ford 76’ = Dole 96’ = Loser
Romney's gun bill didn't ban any new weapons. The guns that were banned would have remained banned if Romney had signed the bill or not. Romney's bill was actually SUPPORTED by the NRA because it actually relaxed some of the existing restrictions.
It really was a damned if you do and damned if you don't bill. If Romney had vetoed it the same people that are complaining about him signing it would be complaining that he vetoed it.
Any many of you are wrong.
Remember, your choices are Mitt (NRA "B"), McCain (NRA "C+"), Obama (NRA "F") and Hillary (NRA "F").
But can you clearly blame Romney for the increase in democratic regsitration in MA? Lots of people around the country were pissed off because of the way the Iraq war was going, and I think that has contributed to republicans losing some support.
There isn't much time. It would have been nice if the four of them could hold rallies together of separately for Romney, but it's not going to happen. BUT ...
The four of them could sponsor a debate where they ask the questions. The debate could be on Sunday afternoon in the hours before the Super Bowl when most of us are just waiting for all the pre-game shows to mercifully end. They could invite Romney and McCaine. I guess McCaine would decline so maybe Rush could pretend to be McCaine and give his answers as best as he could. As for TV, if FoxNews would cover it Rush could always stream the thing.
The hour is late.
I sure as heck don’t know who to vote for. I flip’d a quarter, Heads-mac tails-Rom...tails won, so recon that’s who I’ll vote for...some choice,eh.
I’ve found it outrageous that these guys and their mouth pieces keep bringing up his money. You’d expect this from the dems but Republican’s playing the “class warfare game” is telling. I believe Charles Krauthammer said they hate him because he’s smart, rich and good looking - petty little men.
You mean a history like when he vetoed in-state tuition for illegals, pushed for a marriage amendment in Massachusetts, opposed drivers licenses and benefits to illegals? Cut taxes and balanced the budget? That history?
Or just that he used to be pro-choice, just as Reagan and both Bushes were?
That is exactly the major issue here. And remember, a vote for McCain (including all votes for Huckabee) is a vote for Obama/Clinton, and thus, as you note, 30+ years of a leftward leaning Supreme Court.
Yes, we must.
Hillary plus even two years of a Democrat Congress means that millions of illegals will definitely vote and you'll NEVER get a chance to get rid of them.
Some kinds of damage are irreversible.
“Is everyone here crazy? Can you not see that the next president may appoint 2 Supreme Court justices...this will change the make-up of the Court for years to come.”
Some are so blinded by their hatred of Mormons that they can’t see anything. It’s no accident that many of the people who immediately hopped on this thread to call Romney names are the same people who show up on anti-Mormon threads making vicious comments.
Mark Levin is right.
Romney is a decent man who has lived an exemplary life. He is no sleaze. I didn’t support him at first because of some of his past positions, but I do now. He has come around. Yet, some here persist in trying to demonize him.
I am already not planning to renew my NR subscription, and I have had it for many years. In terms of true conservatism, it is becoming a pointless magazine. The Romney cheerleading and endorsement are two cases in point. I can read Mark Steyn online, and if I feel the need to check out NR, I will do it at the library for free.
You forgot to mention Romney’s good looks, all the way around. Slim, full head of hair and looks a lot younger than his reported 60. I told my husband I hope he looks that good at 60 :-),
This article speaks volumes about Romney's conservatism:
He reversed his stand and in the process obligated Catholic hospitals to provide abortificants.
What a guy. What a conservative.
You don’t read too well do you. Go back and look at what I posted. If you don’t see any mention of his actions regarding homosexual marriage, get back to me.