Skip to comments.McCain's Vice President? Mitt Romney As Running Mate
Posted on 05/10/2008 6:53:39 PM PDT by Red Steel
For Mitt Romney, the suspension of his campaign at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference two days after Super Tuesday marked the beginning of a new and promising campaign. As he ended his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, he staked for himself a position as leader for the conservative future. It's a good position to be in for a potential 2012 run for the presidency. And it's a position that makes him an attractive option for John McCain's No. 2 in 2008.
In his withdrawal speech, Romney announced that "conservative principles are needed now more than ever" -- hitting the economy, the culture, and the war. One Romney adviser referred to the speech and the pullout as "a down-payment on a conservative future."
Romney's biggest value to McCain, though, comes from his experience in business. John McCain has no such experience and famously said during the New Hampshire primary that "the issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should." (He added that he owns former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan's book.) That quote will come back to haunt McCain once general-election time finally arrives.
Mitt Romney's greatest asset for McCain -- who has been in Congress for almost a quarter of a century -- is, therefore, his executive experience, most of it in the business world, most notably as vice president of Bain & Company, Inc. from 1978 to 1984, and as founder of Bain Capital, venture-capital savior of the likes of Staples, Domino's Pizza, and Sports Authority. Romney famously turned around the corrupt and broke ($379 million in debt) Salt Lake City Olympics and cleaned up a Massachusetts budget running $3 billion in the red without raising taxes. At a time when the country may be in a wartime recession, Romney emanates a confident competence (and he would do it, as veep nominee, alongside a GOP presidential nominee with a mixed tax-cutting record). Choosing Romney, then, could be as practical as politics gets. When in the voting booth, partisan preferences may pale in comparison to the attraction of a guarantee of competence in the executive.
McCain, if he chooses Romney, may be wise to give Vice President Romney more than economics in his assignment portfolio. As two-time Cabinet secretary William J. Bennett recently put it on his radio show, "McCain would do the war. Romney would do domestic." Social conservatives might hold up McCain's speech this week on the judiciary and say, great blueprint, Senator. But we don't trust you, Senator. (In fact, former Department of Justice official Mark R. Levin, another talk-show host, said just that in the wake of the judges speech: "I don't trust this guy.") Take that basically sound blueprint and give us someone we trust. Romney, who fought judicial activism on marriage in Massachusetts -- and made the issue a key part of his campaign for president -- has some credentials there.
The governor makes electoral-map sense, too. First of all, now we can agree the Mormon factor is a plus. Utah's a lock, he won the caucus there with 90 percent of the vote. But Utah's not the battleground: Michigan is. And Romney's favorite-son status there makes it a likely delivery for McCain with Romney on the ticket. (Romney's economics talk went over well there, too, you might recall.) Romney's already been to Michigan on McCain's behalf and no doubt will return. Would the Michigan effect spread to Ohio? McCain seems already to have an appreciation for Romney's electoral assets: Romney recently spoke to the Nevada state Republican convention; Romney won the Nevada caucus with 51 percent of the vote to McCain's 13 percent.
Since endorsing McCain, Romney has hit the media trail for McCain, too -- including talking to radio and TV giant Sean Hannity -- at the McCain communications shop's request.
And speaking of numbers, Romney proved to be the Republican dream of a fundraiser and money source: He ran with some $47 million of his own during primary season. On the calendar this week, Romney has a meeting set up in Houston with McCain and Romney 2008's finance chairs and co-chairs to encourage those who are holding back to give to the senator's cash-starved campaign.
Proving how deep his team-player loyalty is, Romney even skipped the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington, D.C., to speak to the Nevada state Republican convention in April. (Full disclosure: Romney was to sit at National Review's table; NR endorsed him for president last December.) Romney will also prove himself a team player when he campaigns and raises funds for some 30 congressmen running this year, as part of his soon-to-be-announced political-action committee; the candidates Romney supports will reflect his full-spectrum conservatism (further giving conservatives confidence that he has a commitment to their movement, even if he hasn't always been a member).
One last numbers point: John McCain is a 71-year-old who looks it. At a young 61, Romney provides a vigorous safety net for those worried "what if" when they look at McCain.
Mitt Romney and John McCain, of course, would be an odd couple -- they have a past. If the Arizona senator believes what he said during their big showdown in Florida this winter, their differences may be irreconcilable. On McCain's signature issue -- "No Surrender" in Iraq -- McCain accused the former Massachusetts governor of being on the wrong side of the debate, i.e., on the side of surrender. The rap against Romney was bogus: McCain's criticism was that during a TV interview last year, Romney endorsed the idea of private timetables between the United States and Iraq. This is not inconsistent with proposals McCain himself has considered. But McCain remembers that the word "timetable" was a Beltway buzzword last year for withdrawing from Iraq. Getting out of Iraq, however, is not what Romney was talking about. One can reasonably criticize his word choice in a heated environment, but he wasn't a cut-and-runner.
Move on, in other words. Or rather, Senator McCain, remember Moveon.org -- which has endorsed Senator Obama. The general-election opponent has a way of focusing the mind. In his CPAC speech, Romney said: "I will continue to stand for conservative principles. I will fight alongside you for all the things we believe in. And one of those things is that we cannot allow the next President of the United States to retreat in the face of evil extremism." That's a message that can run with McCain.
Bottom line: Vetted outsider Mitt Romney adds to Washington-insider McCain. He's a running mate with pluses, which, most importantly, includes being a plausible president -- 294 delegates' worth of primary voters thought so, anyway. His resume speaks for itself. McCain could do worse than pick Mitt Romney -- and he's got to know that, if he wants to win in November.
Kathryn Jean Lopez is the editor of National Review Online and a nationally syndicated columnist.
Views expressed in this column are those of the author, not those of Rasmussen Reports.
To be fair, Jindal has a pretty impressive resume. But Palin, seriously?
I’m sure it would really help us make the argument that Obama is too inexperienced.
I like her a lot. Who've you got?
Palin is too green, save her for 2012 she'll have six years under her belt.
I don't think there's much he can do to win over conservatives, not real conservatives. He'll probably do what he can to pull Hillary supporters from Obama, like name another liberal as his running mate.
I think most real conservatives are already supporting him. He needs a conservative running mate to get us excited enough to actively compaign for or give money to him though.
Hey rdb3! Long time.....good to see you again.
“McCain has to do something. A lot of folks are very unhappy and will not vote for him. Romney might bring some of those folks back.
Conservatives need to mix up with people like Mitt Romney who didn't have the moral courage to even condemn abortion, who said that he believed that gays should be in the Boy Scouts and who repudiated Ronald Reagan.
Yep, that's what Conservatives ought to be doing, by golly!
Actually, they don't. And most polls show that.
But you're certainly entitled to your opinion.
Link to a poll showing that most conservatives don’t support McCain against either Obama or Clinton?
There is no comparing Romney to Reagan. Expediency and not principle has marked Romney’s political career.
At one time or another Romney has betrayed the Constitution, the Contract With America, the Republican Party and Reaganism. Hardly conservative qualities.
Romney is a phony.
If Willard is the answer, what in the world could be the question. LOL
You liberals sure stick together.
McCain needs a conservative ...
Not a RINO..
Indeed, seeing as RR was 30 years ago in a different America, by all means, let’s toss in the Communists being Evil, that should garner mass support..
Did I say they supported Hillary or Obama over McCain? No. I said they don't support McCain and they don't.
There are few Republicans in the senate who are more liberal than McCain. Most conservative realize that.
As for the polls, do your own research.
Senator McCain is a “moderate” and needs someone much more conservative than Romney.
I like Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. John Thune and Rob Portman, and a few others, for VP.
I didn’t claim they supported Hillary or Obama over McCain, I just claimed they support McCain (presumably as opposed to voting third-party or staying home).
Polls showing conservatives preferred other candidates in the primary are obviously irrelevant.
Gary Johnson would never do that.
“And Ronald Reagan was a lifelong Democrat at one point in his life.”
It makes a difference what decade something takes place.
Reagan starting to stir national recognition as a conservative in the late 1940s after long service in the U.S. Army and Reserves is different than Romney becoming conservative within the last 36 months after staying liberal throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000, and even 2004.
He might not be anyone’s favorite, but most fiscal conservatives will be happy to vote for him come election day.
Fact is, Reagan was a Republican longer than he was a Democrat and he voted for Ike in `52 and `56 and Nixon in 1960. Back then the GOP`s conservative wing stood for the principles of limited government. Unlike today.
If Sarah Palin is as intelligent and thoughtful as she seems to be, I doubt she would consider it. She has a new baby, other small children, and a state to care for.
But in a few years, if she is still interested, I think that she would be an awesome choice if she is interested.
According to my calendar and how I remember things, Jimmy Carter was President 30 years ago in 1978 and Ronald Reagan left office less than 20 years ago on January 20, 1989.
Funny, isn't it, how Jimmy Carter, 30 years later, is still screwing things up and we are still cleaning up the thirty year old mess he left in the Persian Gulf.
But, be that as it may, you have made your point:
In your World, core values and the lessons of History have a time limit of less than 30 years.
If stating that "the Communists were Evil" is too controversial for you to pass on to a younger generation, then don't be surprised if Communist rhetoric seduces the minds of that younger generation like that same Communist rhetoric seduced the minds of several other generations in the 20th Century.
"I have recorded these events in the hope that the reader may profit from them, for there are two ways by which all men may reform themselves, either by learning from their own errors or from those of others; the former makes a more striking demonstration, the latter a less painful one." .... Polybius (200-118 B.C.), Universal History, Book I, Chapter 35
Massachusetts suffering fallout from universal healthcare program
Jim Brown - OneNewsNow - 4/16/2008 1
A leading healthcare reform expert says she’s not surprised that the new universal healthcare program in Massachusetts brokered by former Governor Mitt Romney and Senator Ted Kennedy is running several hundred million dollars over budget.
Associated Press reports costs are soaring for the new healthcare law in Massachusetts. Bay State lawmakers are considering a dollar-a-pack hike in the state’s cigarette tax to help pay for the larger-than-expected enrollment in the law’s subsidized insurance plans. Under the law, anyone making less than the federal poverty level is eligible for free care. Those making up to three times the poverty level can get subsidized plans.
Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Virginia-based Galen Institute, says although the number of insured residents has risen by nearly 350,000 since Mitt Romney signed the law two years ago, virtually all of it is subsidized by the taxpayer.
“When you make health insurance virtually free, people will sign up — but then somebody has to pay the bill,” Turner explains. “And not only are they looking at new taxes [to pay that bill], but they’re also trying to put more and more clamps on prices to try to keep the prices down ....” But as most people know, she adds, “price controls don’t work.”
The president of the Galen Institute contends the state practiced bad budgeting. “If they expected to get to universal coverage, they should have assumed that all the people who are going to get free or nearly free care would sign up,” she argues. “So something’s not connecting here.
“I think it shows the difficulty of starting out with a goal for universal coverage without first addressing the important issue of cost,” she continues, posing questions that should have been addressed up front. “Why does healthcare [and] why does health insurance cost so much? What can we do about that? And then expand coverage to more affordable coverage rather than trying to clamp a lid on the current system, as Massachusetts did.”
Turner points out while more Massachusetts residents now may have an insurance card, they also have a bigger tax burden as a result of the state’s new universal healthcare law — and on top of that, they do not have better access to a doctor. “[E]ven people who have private insurance [and] are paying their premiums are finding it increasingly difficult to find doctors who will see them,” she notes.
Some Bay State residents, Turner explains, are being put on waiting lists of 6-8 weeks to just get a physical because there are not enough primary-care doctors see all the people who now have insurance.
Turner says it is unfortunate that when there is a bigger role for government in the health sector — as there is now in Massachusetts — it opens the doors for bureaucracy to increase price, create mandates, and ultimately take away individuals’ freedom to find the kind of health insurance that would better suit them.
As a famous actor and President of the Actor's union, Reagan was already being recognized as conservative in the nation's eyes in the 1940s.
Conservatives had never heard from Romney or had his support until he spent 100 million dollars on this failed primary of 2007 where he did a total self makeover doing a reversal of the first 57 years of his life.
Now if the Dems had an actual moderate candidate instead of the two terrorist-loving communists, there would be no chance at all for McCain. Fortunately for him, they didn't.
Mitt would be a wise choice. The economy is what the rats are going to run against McQueeg on....Romney can be a big help on that. Also, I think Mitt will be a lot more conservative now than he was in Massachusetts.
“While Nancy Reagan’s Father is credited with educating Reagan in Republican politics. GEs vice president of public relations, Lemuel Boulware was instrumental in nurturing Reagans conservatism during his eight years as as company spokesman for GE.”
While Romney can credit his new found conservatism to the need for an electoral strategy in a new race.
“Maybe those people are simply pro-conservative; not necessarily anti-Romney?”
No, there are a lot of people around here who suffer the equivalent of Bush Derangement Syndrome—only with Romney.
The guy is the only candidate out there who I saw again and again put out fabulous conservative ideas for our economy, and these wankers would portray him as worse than John Kerry or Barbara Boxer. *rolls eyes*
These dingbats can attack Romney all they want, but he ran on just as conservative of a platform as their beloved Fred Thompson—only with a lot more energy. If the Baptists in Iowa didn’t flock to Huckabee, Romney would be our nominee ,and we’d be hearing a message we could be proud of and be seeing attacks on both Obama and Clinton.
Instead, we’re just hoping John McCain fill the largely ceremonial VP slot with someone remotely palatable.
There are reasons to doubt some of Romney’s conversions, but not with the venom some around here do. It’s really pretty suspect to me.
“You liberals sure stick together.”
Do you honestly expect anyone to take you seriously when you start throwing this mess around?
Come on, dinkus. Look at the guy’s posting history. Does it look liberal to you? To any sane individual?
If he picks either of the two big-government lovers, Romney or the Huckster, I go third party, to hell with it. I’d just came around to thinking about voting for McCain.
Frankly, I don’t care what you think.
If you run around supporting Romney, you’ve either been hoodwinked, which means you don’t have sense enough to use the brains God gave you to think for yourself, or you’re a liberal. Either way, you’re a fool.
"I am more convinced than ever before that as we seek to establish full equality for Americas gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent.
I am not unaware of my opponents considerable record in the area of civil rights, or the commitment of Massachusetts voters to the principle of equality for all Americans. For some voters it might be enough for me to simply match my opponents record in this area. But I believe we can and must do better. If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern. My opponent cannot do this. I can and will.
We have discussed a number of important issues such as the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which I have agreed to co-sponsor, and if possible broaden to include housing and credit, and the bill to create a federal panel to find ways to reduce gay and lesbian youth suicide, which I also support. One issue I want to clarify concerns President Clintons dont ask, dont tell, dont pursue military policy. I believe that the Clinton compromise was a step in the right direction. I am also convinced that it is the first of a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nations military. That goal will only be reached when preventing discrimination against gays and lesbians is a mainstream concern, which is a goal we share. "
Palin seems to be a capable politician but didn’t she just have a baby? And doesn’t she have four other kids? I’m going to sound ridiculously retro here, but the VP spot is a 90 hour a week position, and if she takes it, the kids will be completely farmed out to nannies. I have trouble seeing a *responsible* new mom in a position like that.
Why? Isn’t one RINO enough?
Sounds better than the top of the ticket, that's for sure.
Looks like the Founder of Free Republic disagrees with you. Btw, so do I.
Yada yada yada. Hes a liar. A sick abortionist liar.
Hes one sick puppy.
3,419 posted on 01/30/2008 1:02:28 AM MST by Jim Robinson LINK
Romney will usher in universal health care. His vaunted RomneyCare big government boondoggle is a giant step in that direction. He has a history of supporting Roe v Wade, abortion, gay rights, gun control and illegal aliens. He still supports gays in the military. No thanks, hes a nanny-state RINO.
56 posted on 01/20/2008 3:27:33 PM MST by Jim Robinson LINK
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.