Romney’s Speech at CPAC 2009

Governor Mitt Romney’s remarks at CPAC

Thank you all very much. It’s good to see all of you, and to be among so many friends. Being at CPAC feels a bit like coming home. Your enthusiastic send off three years ago propelled my campaign to the top of the pack. That status turned out to be temporary, of course. And when the journey was over, both Ann and I were filled with gratitude for your friendship and loyalty. It warmed our hearts, and we thank you. A lot of you have been asking how Ann is doing. And I’m happy to say she’s doing great.

There are so many conservative leaders here this weekend. I was looking forward to seeing Governor Palin again. There’s a rumor that she has been offered an 11-million-dollar book contract. My publisher has been talking to me about an 11-millon-dollar deal as well. I’m just not sure I can come up with that kind of money.

It’s an honor to be introduced by David Keene. His commitment to conservative principles has been tested and proven, in many venues and over many years. Some of you were here with Dave for the very first meeting of CPAC in the 1970s. You’ve been involved long enough to know that like every great cause in America, the conservative movement has periods of success and moments of setback. And in 2008, we had more than our share of disappointments. But we haven’t come to CPAC to dwell on battles we’ve lost. We are here to get ready for the battles we’re going to win.

As conservatives, we face this new year with resolve, but without resentment. Our country has a new president, and he has our prayers and best wishes. In the last eight years, we saw how a president’s political adversaries could be consumed by anger, and even hatred. That is not the spirit that brings us together. We want our country to succeed, no matter who’s in power. We want America to be prosperous and secure, regardless of who gets the credit. At our best, that has always been the mark of the conservative movement – in good times and bad, the interests of this great nation come first.

Right now the interests of America will depend in many ways on the decisions of President Obama. Those choices are his to make, whether or not we see eye to eye. We won’t be afraid to disagree with him when we must. And we won’t be afraid to agree with him when we can. One thing the President can know is that when he takes strong action in defense of the United States, we will stand by him. And we will always support the brave men and women of our nation’s military that he now commands.

We make these commitments out of principle, and our principles don’t depend on elections won or lost. Contrary to what you hear from some commentators on the left, the 2008 elections did very little to settle the most serious differences of opinion in American politics. Some of those issues were hardly debated at all in the fall campaign. As conservatives in opposition, we have a duty to press on …a duty to state our case with confidence.

Some critics speak as if we need to redefine conservatism. I think that misses the mark. America’s challenges are different from year to year, but our defining principles remain the same. Conservatives don’t enter each new political era trying to figure out what we believe. Facing new and complex problems, we find the answers in principles that endure. Ronald Reagan used to say that “the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that what they know is wrong. ” Conservatives don’t claim to know everything, but what we know is right.

Conservatives believe in settling great questions the way the Founders intended – especially where the stakes are the highest. Courts that have undermined the fundamental right to life have shown an equal disregard for the rights of property and the rights of religious freedom. We’ve even seen them extend rights to terrorist combatants who have killed Americans and who would like to kill many more.

In the way of judicial nominees, these next four years aren’t likely to be encouraging. But we conservatives stand for causes that are too important to allow unelected judges to force their own biases on an unwilling nation. We may not always win at the polls, but we believe in democracy …we respect the will of the people …and across this country, we will not stand idly by as liberal judges try to re-write the constitution and override democracy.

I’m often asked these days what Republicans and conservatives have to do to recover. And I’ll bet my answer is the same as yours. Our first concern isn’t a political recovery – it’s the recovery of our country.

We‘re at one of those rare moments in history, when the biggest tests come all at once. We don’t have the luxury of taking them on one by one. We have to get a lot of things right, and all at the same time. We’re in the second year of a major recession, and if we don’t make the right choices, things could get worse. Americans have already lost some 12 trillion dollars in net worth. And the pool of our nation’s investment capital has also shrunk by trillions of dollars.

The President has already moved to stop our economy’s downward spiral. Parts of the stimulus will, in fact, do some good. But too much of the bill was short-sighted and wasteful. Every single Republican in Congress voted in favor of a better stimulus plan, one that focused on creating jobs immediately. But Congressional Democrats couldn’t restrain themselves from larding up their bill with tens of billions of dollars for their political friends. Republicans wanted to stimulate the economy, Democrats wanted to stimulate the government. Conservatives in the House and Senate stood their ground and voted no—and they were absolutely right.

So far, the Administration has been unclear on what it will do to address the huge decline in the pool of risk and investment capital. These losses will be felt in businesses that don’t start-up and grow, and in jobs that don’t get created. To grow the pool of investment capital, the last thing you’d do is to raise taxes on investment, as the President has proposed. The surest, most obvious course is to rule out higher taxes on investment. I would propose going one step further. For all middle-class Americans, we ought to abolish the tax on interest, dividends and capital gains.

This economic crisis has proven that government has an urgent obligation to address some awful abuses we’ve seen in the financial sector, particularly in housing finance. Free markets, properly regulated and allowed to work as they should, have propelled America to be the largest economy in the world. For years, Washington politicians did nothing to prevent the abuses at Fannie and Freddie, and in some cases they encouraged those abuses for political gain. Let’s be clear on this point: conservatives favor clear, streamlined and up-to-date regulations and laws that let the economy work, but we will vigorously oppose those politicians who are poised to use their own failures as an excuse to undermine the free enterprise system.

I know we didn’t all agree on TARP. I believe that it was necessary to prevent a cascade of bank collapses. For free markets to work, there has to be a currency and a functioning financial system. But we can agree on this: TARP should not have been used to bail out GM, Chrysler and the UAW. And this is personal for me, I want the U. S. auto industry to succeed. But as some of us pointed out last November, that can only happen if its excessive costs and burdens are restructured. And concessions are going to be few and far between if bondholders and unions already have your money when the negotiating begins. The right answer for Detroit is this: Fix it first.

All of these measures are meant to confront the current economic peril. Properly guided, Washington could in fact speed the recovery. So far, some of the actions it has taken will
help, and some will hurt. But we can be certain that the American economy will recover. The invisible hand of the market is more powerful than the lumbering machinery of government. In the final analysis, we know that the private sector – entrepreneurs and businesses large and small – will create the millions of jobs our country needs.

Earlier this week, the President addressed not only the current economy, but also his broader goals. I was pleased that he put healthcare, education, and energy on the agenda. The direction we take on these issues will profoundly shape the future of the nation. I’m afraid I know where the liberal Democrats want to take us. And as they try to pull us in the direction of government-dominated Europe, we’re going to have to fight as never before to make sure that America stays America.

President Obama was awfully vague about some of his plans, but I think I heard him say that government is responsible for educating a child from birth—from birth—to its first job. Universal pre-school and universal college. And there were hints as well of universal healthcare and a universal service corps. It all sounds very appealing, until you realize that these plans mean universal government. That model has never worked anywhere in the world. America is great because our society is free and the power of government is limited by the Constitution.

For the last several years, we’ve heard liberals moaning about the 700 billion dollars that have been spent over six years to win freedom in Iraq. They have now spent more than that in 30 days. And with a government almost 12 trillion dollars in debt, any unnecessary spending puts at risk the creditworthiness of the United States. If the world loses confidence in our currency, that could cause a run on the dollar, or hyperinflation that would wipe out savings and devastate the Middle Class. President Obama says he hopes to cut the deficit in half after four years—does that mean a deficit in 2012 of 600 billion dollars? No president should accept such a staggering deficit, much less hold it up as a national goal. This is the time to pare back government spending. It is not the time to fulfill every liberal dream and spend America into catastrophe.

Congressional Democrats are gearing up to take over the health care system. We need to advance a conservative plan – one based on free choice, personal responsibility, and private medicine; one that doesn’t add massive new federal spending. I like what I proposed in Massachusetts when I was governor. And even though the final bill and its implementation aren’t exactly the way I wanted, the plan is a good model. Today, almost every Massachusetts citizen who had been uninsured now has private, free-market coverage, and we didn’t have to raise taxes or borrow money to make it happen. We may find even better ideas in other states. But let’s make certain that conservative principles are front and center. A big-government takeover of health care is the next thing liberals are going to try, and it’s the last thing America needs.

What America does need is a commitment to reforming entitlements. I believe that Medicaid should be capped and put in the hands of the states; Social Security benefits for high income citizens who are now age 55 or younger, should grow with the consumer price index, not the wage index; and Medicare should be reformed with a dose of free-market reality. These and other reforms are essential, because if we stay on the same road, the next generation could see tax rates 50 percent higher even than ours – and that’s to pay the bills we’ve racked up for ourselves. Passing on that kind of debt to our children is not only fiscally irresponsible, it is morally wrong.

I was glad that the President said he favors charter schools. Did you hear what sound came from the Democratic side of the chamber? Crickets. I hope the President will join all of us to expand school choice, reward better teachers with better pay, raise teacher standards in academic subject-matters like math and science, and enable school districts to remove teachers that don’t make the grade. It is high time to put America’s kids first and leave the union bosses behind.

We and the President agree that America must act to become energy independent. But his cap-and-trade proposal is exactly the wrong way to go about it. It would tax American citizens and employers and send businesses and jobs to high polluting and high emitting nations like China. Any carbon plan has to be worldwide in scope: they don’t call it America-warming, they call it global-warming.

Let’s also be the voice that defends the rights of workers – against coercion and intimidation. The working people of this country should be able to unionize the way their fathers and mothers did – by free choice and secret ballot. The Democrats’ plan to take away those rights is an insult to the dignity and common sense of working people. It would be calamitous for the economy. I know that the Democrats want to pay back the union bosses for all the money they gave them, but they must not do it by selling out the American worker – and democracy.

America voted for change. America did not vote for a boat-load of new government spending programs that would guarantee higher taxes and high deficits as far as the eye can see and that would threaten our currency, our economy, and our future. We must be the alternative course. We can’t be that if all we say is no. Our plans must be clear, compelling, and first to the table. Our plans must have at least one common thread—they must make America stronger. Better education strengthens our kids; better healthcare strengthens our citizens; and bringing our budget into balance strengthens our economy and preserves our future. Today, as much as ever, conservative principles are absolutely essential to keeping America strong and prosperous and free.

With all that is happening here at home, there are some who have forgotten that we are at war, that Iran and its jihadist surrogates are killing our sons and daughters abroad, and hope to do it here. I am pleased that our troops will be coming home from Iraq. But let there be no confusion: it is in spite of Barack Obama’s stance on Iraq, not because of it, that the troops are coming home in victory!

President Obama is barely a month into his term, and, of course, his biggest decisions on national security are still ahead of him. His administration has won the favor of liberal commentators by pledging what it calls reform in the treatment of terrorist detainees. He’s also promised to close down Guantanamo, without giving the slightest indication of the next stop for the killers being held there now. That decision, too, has received the predictable applause from certain law professors and editorial boards.

But here’s the problem. That is the very kind of thinking that left America vulnerable to the attacks of September 11th.

This is not a law enforcement problem. It is the gravest matter of national security, with thousands if not millions of lives in the balance. The jihadists are still at war with America. Our government has no greater duty than a vigilant defense, and no greater cause than victory for America and for freedom.

I had no objection when Barack Obama decided to give his first TV interview to an Arabic broadcaster. But when he said that America in the past has dictated to the world, he was misguided and naïve. And the next time our president speaks to a foreign audience I hope he will remember this basic fact of history: America is not a country that dictates to other nations. We are the country that has freed millions of people from the tyranny of dictators. Never in the history of a world has a single country possessed such great power, and used it for such good purpose across the world, as the United States of America.

I believe President Obama was also mistaken in backing away from our commitment t
o missile defense. And if he calculated that Russia would respond in kind by showing a little restraint and good will, he quickly learned otherwise. All Russia did to return the favor was bribe Kyrgyzstan to shut down our use of its airports, closing access we needed for our troops serving in Afghanistan. Gestures that communicate a lack of resolve only embolden America’s adversaries. With Iran seeking nuclear weapons, with North Korea already nuclear and selling its technology to the Syrians, it is essential that we construct a missile defense, now.

A lot of you have the memory of coming to CPAC in its early days, when America had challenges so big that many in the world – and even a few in our own government – thought we were in decline. They doubted our ability to compete economically, to face down the dangers of the era, or even to defend our ideals. Today we’re hearing echoes of that era once again, from those who speak of America as if our day has passed.

Some of these critics never cared much for our belief that America occupies a special place …that there is work in the world that only we can do …and that Americans have the heart and the courage to get it done. But we know these things to be true. And to those who question the character of our country, including the new attorney general, let us remind them that America has never been, is not now, and will never be a nation of cowards.

I don’t deny that America’s challenges are great, or that overcoming them will require the best that we have to give. But I know as well that times of difficulty always bring out the essential character of our fellow citizens. When I was a boy, my dad used to say that the pursuit of the difficult makes you strong. Well, the pursuit of the difficult will make America strong. We welcome the challenge. It will call on us, once again, to draw on the incredible resilience, ingenuity, and faith of the free men and women of America.

We don’t get to choose the tests and trials ahead. But we’re entirely free, you and I, to choose how we will meet those tests. We will meet them as conservatives have done before. We will find strength in each other, and answer our opponents with good will and honest words. And we will go forward – confident in our beliefs, and certain of victories to come. Thank you.

Romney’s year to shine

That’s the conclusion of Brett Joshpe over at Politico:

Although the 2012 presidential campaign will not begin in earnest for another two years, Romney has several other factors working in his favor. He currently holds no elected office, so in a time when Republicans are rediscovering their voice, Romney does not have to worry about the compromises and horse trading that accompany public office. Instead, he can speak with the voice of a true conservative and hold accountable members of the Republican Party who defect.

He is especially well-poised to speak with authority given that the economy is, and will continue to be for some time, the foremost issue for Americans. Unlike McCain, who never sounded comfortable discussing the intricacies of the economic collapse, Romney is regarded as an expert on financial matters, given his private-sector experience. If the economy is still lagging in a few years, Obama — and Obama alone — will own the recession, and Romney will be well-positioned to convince Americans that he is the man for the job.

A Year Ago Today..

Feb 7, 2008, during his speech at the CPAC convention, Mitt Romney graciously drops out of the race for the Republican Presidential nomination.

This speech and the “Faith in America” speech are, for me, the two most memorable speeches of his campaign. Time to watch the video of his remarks at CPAC 2008 again:

Transcript:

I want to begin by saying thank you. It’s great to be with you again. And I look forward to joining with you many more times in the future.

Last year, CPAC gave me the sendoff I needed. I was in single digits in the polls, and I was facing household Republican names. As of today, more than 4 million people have given me their vote for President, less than Senator McCain’s 4.7 million, but quite a statement nonetheless. Eleven states have given me their nod, compared to his 13. Of course, because size does matter, he’s doing quite a bit better with his number of delegates.

To all of you, thank you for caring enough about the future of America to show up, stand up and speak up for conservative principles.

As I said to you last year, conservative principles are needed now more than ever. We face a new generation of challenges, challenges which threaten our prosperity, our security and our future. I am convinced that unless America changes course, we will become the France of the 21st century – still a great nation, but no longer the leader of the world, no longer the superpower. And to me, that is unthinkable. Simon Peres, in a visit to Boston, was asked what he thought about the war in Iraq. ‘First,’ he said, ‘I must put something in context. America is unique in the history of the world. In the history of the world, whenever there has been conflict, the nation that wins takes land from the nation that loses. One nation in history, and this during the last century, laid down hundreds of thousands of lives and took no land. No land from Germany, no land from Japan, no land from Korea. America is unique in the sacrifice it has made for liberty, for itself and for freedom loving people around the world.’ The best ally peace has ever known, and will ever know, is a strong America.

And that is why we must rise to the occasion, as we have always done before, to confront the challenges ahead. Perhaps the most fundamental of these is the attack on the American culture.

Over the years, my business has taken me to many countries. I have been struck by the enormous differences in the wealth and well-being of people of different nations. I have read a number of scholarly explanations for the disparities. I found the most convincing was that written by David Landes, a professor emeritus from Harvard University. I presume he’s a liberal – I guess that’s redundant. His work traces the coming and going of great civilizations throughout history. After hundreds of pages of analysis, he concludes with this:

If we learn anything from the history of economic development, it is that culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference.

What is it about American culture that has led us to become the most powerful nation in the history of the world? We believe in hard work and education. We love opportunity: almost all of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants who came here for opportunity – opportunity is in our DNA. Americans love God, and those who don’t have faith, typically believe in something greater than themselves – a ‘Purpose Driven Life.’ And we sacrifice everything we have, even our lives, for our families, our freedoms and our country. The values and beliefs of the free American people are the source of our nation’s strength and they always will be.

The threat to our culture comes from within. The 1960′s welfare programs created a culture of poverty. Some think we won that battle when we reformed welfare, but the liberals haven’t given up. At every turn, they try to substitute government largesse for individual responsibility. They fight to strip work requirements from welfare, to put more people on Medicaid, and to remove more and more people from having to pay any income tax whatsoever. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is a culture-killing drug. We have got to fight it like the poison it is.

The attack on faith and religion is no less relentless. And tolerance for pornography – even celebration of it – and sexual promiscuity, combined with the twisted incentives of government welfare programs have led to today’s grim realities: 68% of African American children are born out-of-wedlock, 45% of Hispanic children, and 25% of White children. How much harder it is for these children to succeed in school and in life. A nation built on the principles of the Founding Fathers cannot long stand when its children are raised without fathers in the home.

The development of a child is enhanced by having a mother and father. Such a family is the ideal for the future of the child and for the strength of a nation. I wonder how it is that unelected judges, like some in my state of Massachusetts, are so unaware of this reality, so oblivious to the millennia of recorded history. It is time for the people of America to fortify marriage through Constitutional amendment, so that liberal judges cannot continue to attack it.

Europe is facing a demographic disaster. That is the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life and eroded morality. Some reason that culture is merely an accessory to America’s vitality; we know that it is the source of our strength. And we are not dissuaded by the snickers and knowing glances when we stand up for family values, and morality, and culture. We will always be honored to stand on principle and to stand for principle.

The attack on our culture is not our sole challenge. We face economic competition unlike anything we have ever known before. China and Asia are emerging from centuries of poverty. Their people are plentiful, innovative and ambitious. If we do not change course, Asia or China will pass us by as the economic superpower, just as we passed England and France during the last century. The prosperity and security of our children and grandchildren depend on us.

Our prosperity and security also depend on finally acting to become energy secure. Oil producing states like Russia and Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran are siphoning over $400 billion per year from our economy – that’s almost what we spend annually for defense. It is past time for us to invest in energy technology, nuclear power, clean coal, liquid coal, renewable sources and energy efficiency. America must never be held hostage by the likes of Putin, Chavez, and Ahmadinejad.

And our economy is also burdened by the inexorable ramping of government spending. Don’t focus on the pork alone – even though it is indeed irritating and shameful. Look at the entitlements. They make up 60% of federal spending today. By the end of the next President’s second term, they will total 70%. Any conservative plan for the future has to include entitlement reform that solves the problem, not just acknowledges it.

Most politicians don’t seem to understand the connection between our ability to compete and our national wealth, and the wealth of our families. They act as if money just happens – that it’s just there. But every dollar represents a good or service produced in the private sector. Depress the private sector and you depress the well-being of Americans.

That’s exactly what happens with high taxes, over-regulation, tort windfalls, mandates, and overfed, over-spending government. Did you see that today, government workers make more money than people who work in the private sector? Can you imagine what happens to an economy where the best opportunities are for bureaucrats?

It’s high time to lower taxes, including corporate taxes, to take a weed-whacker to government regulations, to reform entitlements, and to stand up to the increasingly voracious appetite of the unions in our government.

And finally, let’s consider the greatest challenge facing America – and facing the entire civilized world: the threat of violent, radical Jihad. In one wing of the world of Islam, there is a conviction that all governments should be destroyed and replaced by a religious caliphate. These Jihadists will battle any form of democracy. To them, democracy is blasphemous for it says that citizens, not God shape the law. They find the idea of human equality to be offensive. They hate everything we believe about freedom just as we hate everything they believe about radical Jihad.

To battle this threat, we have sent the most courageous and brave soldiers in the world. But their numbers have been depleted by the Clinton years when troops were reduced by 500,000, when 80 ships were retired from the Navy, and when our human intelligence was slashed by 25%. We were told that we were getting a peace dividend. We got the dividend, but we didn’t get the peace. In the face of evil in radical Jihad and given the inevitable military ambitions of China, we must act to rebuild our military might – raise military spending to 4% of our GDP, purchase the most modern armament, re-shape our fighting forces for the asymmetric demands we now face, and give the veterans the care they deserve.

Soon, the face of liberalism in America will have a new name. Whether it is Barack or Hillary, the result would be the same if they were to win the Presidency. The opponents of American culture would push the throttle, devising new justifications for judges to depart from the Constitution. Economic neophytes would layer heavier and heavier burdens on employers and families, slowing our economy and opening the way for foreign competition to further erode our lead.

Even though we face an uphill fight, I know that many in this room are fully behind my campaign. You are with me all the way to the convention. Fight on, just like Ronald Reagan did in 1976. But there is an important difference from 1976: today, we are a nation at war.

And Barack and Hillary have made their intentions clear regarding Iraq and the war on terror. They would retreat and declare defeat. And the consequence of that would be devastating. It would mean attacks on America, launched from safe havens that make Afghanistan under the Taliban look like child’s play. About this, I have no doubt.

I disagree with Senator McCain on a number of issues, as you know. But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, on finding and executing Osama bin Laden, and on eliminating Al Qaeda and terror. If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.

This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters – many of you right here in this room – have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming President. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.

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 evil extremism.

It is the common task of each generation – and the burden of liberty – to preserve this country, expand its freedoms and renew its spirit so that its noble past is prologue to its glorious future.

To this task, accepting this burden, we are all dedicated, and I firmly believe, by the providence of the Almighty, that we will succeed beyond our fondest hope. America must remain, as it has always been, the hope of the Earth.

Thank you, and God bless America.

Romney’s Q and A with TIME

Below is the Q and A portion of Time’s recent interview with Governor Romney. The article on their site has what I think is an awful picture of Romney. He looks like he’s about to cry and is thinking about how sad it is that he lost in the primaries. The picture is very dark, unlike the shining glowing photos they post of Obama.

The most interesting nugget I gathered from the article is that Romney spends most of his time writing a book. Well, I’m already excited. What’s it going to be called? When is it going to be released? Is he going to trash on the GOP like Huckabee did in his recent book? Inquiring minds want to know. Romney has only penned one book before, but I believe he is a great author. I was fascinated by his book “Turnaround” about the 2002 Winter Olympics.

~Nate G.


President Obama has announced an executive pay cap at some companies taking federal bailout money. A wise move?

I am very uncomfortable with government dictating the course for managing an enterprise. This should be done by the shareholders and by the board of directors, not by the federal government.

November was a rough month for the Republican party, and a Gallup analysis recently found only five states left in the “red” column. What explains the GOP’s rut?

I think politics is largely associated with individuals and less with party labels. I think without question that the economic downturn, occurring as it did during the tenure of President Bush, has cast a shadow over anyone in his party.

The prospects of our party I think are bright. I fundamentally believe that the Republican Party will do what is right for the country, and the Democratic Party will do what is right for their special interests.

Some observers have warned of a potential schism in the party between moderate voices and those farther on the right, like Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh. Does that possibility concern you?

I’m not terribly disturbed by the fact that our party is a relatively large tent. After all, we aspire to receive the support of slightly over half of the American people, and that’s not going to be a homogenous group.

Gov. Palin excited a lot of voters last year. Can you imagine rallying around her in 2012?

Gov. Palin is an effective and popular political voice, and I believe she will continue to draw interest among party faithful and that she’ll have an impact on the party’s direction in the future.

What are your thoughts on the anniversary of leaving the presidential race?

This has been a good year. I wish I would have won the nomination, and won the presidency. And yet, you don’t look back.

What’s keeping you busy now?

I help an entity called the Free and Strong America PAC. Our efforts are to help elect conservative candidates across the country. Perhaps the activity that is taking the most of my time these days is writing a book.

Could that book lay the groundwork for a future presidential run?

It’s not a political book so much as it is a discussion of the economic and foreign policy challenges that we face.

Okay, but can we expect to see you running for office again?

I really don’t know what the future holds. Like most Americans, I want to see Barack Obama adopt effective, correct principles and successfully lead our country. And so any discussion of future politics for me is, I think, premature.

Were you at all surprised by how much attention your hair got during the campaign?

(Laughs) It’s long been a source of self-deprecating humor. I love to make fun of my helmet hair. And so, I guess I bring that on myself.

“Stimulate the Economy, Not the Government”

stimulateeconomybutton

“Stimulate the Economy, Not the Government”. That’s the quote of the day. It’s quite fitting with all the talk about the infamous spending package that the current administration is recklessly trying to ramrod though congress.

Click on the image above and contribute at least $30 and you’ll receive a signed button shown in the image. I got it in email from the Free and Strong America PAC which I’ll post below.

~Nate G.

ADDENDUM: For those wanting to get the button and interested in participating in “Show Mitt the Money” this month, I would suggest doing a donation on Feb. 12th in the amount of $30.12 of $40.12 etc.

Nathan,

A few months have passed since the election, and that’s enough time to consider the outcome and take stock of our party’s future. I want to make clear that I’m optimistic: our ideas are good, and our agenda will make America freer and stronger.

And our voice needs to be heard, now more than ever.

This is a time of hardship and uncertainty for millions of Americans. Unfortunately, the new President and the Democratic Congressional majority seem more concerned with stimulating the government than stimulating the economy. They have a lot of campaign rhetoric to make good on and plenty of special interests to pay back.

As the opposition party, we are entirely free to do what is right for the country. There are certain advantages to that kind of freedom, and I suggest we make the most of them.

I know I have been.

Recently, I addressed the House Republican Conference Retreat with my thoughts on how to turn around the economy and get America back on the right track. I also testified before Congress about the importance of making tax cuts the centerpiece of the 2009 economic stimulus package. And with your support, I will continue to fight for the principles in which we both believe.

Nathan, will you join me in making the most of this opportunity and making your voice heard? One way to do so is by contributing $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500 – or even the maximum $5,000 – to my Free and Strong America PAC. And if you contribute at least $30, we will send you a signed, limited edition “Stimulate the economy, not the government” button. This is the perfect way to show your friends and neighbors where you stand at this critical time for our party and our nation.

This great party of ours has seen setbacks before. They have never defined us. For our party, I believe this will be remembered as the time when we demonstrated the strength of our convictions, when we defended the foundations of America’s prosperity, security and liberty. The comeback for our nation and for our party starts with you. I hope I can count on you as an ally in the work ahead.

Best,

Mitt Romney
Honorary Chairman

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Best Plug Yet for Romney to be HHS Sec…

…and it’s from the Christian Science Monitor.

Still, it’ll never happen, nor do I want it to. But, of the articles suggesting Romney for HHS Sec, Frank Micciche makes the best arguments yet:

Putting Romney forward as the face of reform would be extraordinary, controversial, and risky. But, then again, so would anything resembling meaningful healthcare reform. It would require sacrifice on both sides of the political aisle – far beyond any of the halting, symbolic bows at bipartisanship exchanged thus far in the Obama era. And it may be the last, best opportunity to salvage the effort in the wake of Daschle’s fall.

In his favor, Romney brings unimpeachable credentials as a healthcare reformer, including the ability to bring together unconventional allies and utilize every bit of leverage available to get a deal done. While reluctant to claim full credit for all aspects of the Massachusetts initiative during his 2008 presidential campaign, Romney almost singlehandedly drove the process, with Kennedy’s approval and assistance where necessary.

He leveraged the potential loss of $385 million in federal Medicaid funding to force the extremely powerful Massachusetts hospital lobby to the table and secure their support for a market-based reform that relied on (mandatory) private health insurance as the primary source of coverage for those receiving subsidies under the plan. As a result, nearly half of the newly insured acquired private, unsubsidized coverage, mostly through their employers. In the process, he convinced a wary Bush administration to maintain their full financial commitment to the state’s Medicaid program by selling the Massachusetts plan as a potential model for universal access without a single-payer mechanism.

This is the first one to credit Romney as the powerful negotiator that he is. You can see a lot more of that in his book “Turnaround”, if you haven’t read it yet.

Marc Ambinder, of course, has a more snarky approach to the Romney-HHS discussion. IE simply state that its not going to happen and then bag on pricey fundraisers as if it’s any different from Dems’ fundraisers.

~Nate G.

Dwayne Horner at TownHall: How does Nancy Pelosi define Pork?

Dwayne has done his homework on this blog posting much of the pork in the “Stimulus” bill. Plus two great videos to accompany it.

Click here to read “How does Nancy Pelosi define Pork?”

Here is one of the videos he posts. Click on over to see the other one.

SHE IS “FLAT OUT” LYING!!

~Nate G.

Romney to Headline at the National Republican Senatorial Committee Dinner

National Republican Senatorial Committee

Senator John Cornyn, Chairman of the NRSC, has formally invited Governor Mitt Romney to headline a fundraising dinner scheduled for April 1st.

From the NRSC.org

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will headline the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s annual fundraising dinner, keeping the potential 2012 presidential candidate’s name in the news while providing minority Republicans with some much-needed cash.

The dinner, slated for April 1, will bolster Senate Republicans’ coffers as they head into what is expected to be difficult fundraising terrain.

Romney accepted an invitation from NRSC chairman John Cornyn (Texas) to headline the dinner during a phone call two weeks ago, an aide said.

Gov. Romney expects to be active helping Republicans running in the 2010 cycle, so when Sen. Cornyn invited him to headline an event this spring, we were happy to accept,” spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said.

Romney “is one of the most respected and trusted voices in the Republican Party today,” one NRSC official told The Hill on condition of anonymity because the committee has not formally announced the dinner.

“As the Republican Party rebuilds and particularly as our country faces the most serious economic crisis in recent history, our party leaders and Republican faithful across the country will undoubtedly look to Mitt Romney for his leadership and advice,” the official said.

Romney is the second potential White House contender to agree to headline a big GOP fundraiser this year. The National Republican Congressional Committee announced in January that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would keynote its March 24 fundraising dinner.

Romney has a series of other fundraisers planned, many for his Free and Strong America PAC. The PAC will host a Washington fundraiser on Feb. 17, according to an e-mail sent to supporters.

The former governor raised money at more than 30 events for GOP candidates after dropping out of the presidential race, including fundraisers for 28 House candidates and five candidates for the Senate. He raised money for the NRSC in Boston, the NRCC in Simi Valley and the California Republican Party.

During his presidential bid, Romney was no slouch either; he raised more than $113 million for his campaign, including a heavy investment of his own funds.

Emphasis mine.

That’s a lot of praise for Governor Romney in one little article! I had to bold his name so you could see how many times he was mentioned. I’m very excited to see him remain active in the political realm, and even more so that he is looked to as a leader.

It brings to mind a Tweet I read a few moments ago: In the battle between Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin to stay relevant as 2012 candidates, Mitt is winning, hands down, so far. Prob. b/c of $.
Money, true. But also because of more free time because of not having to govern a state so far separated from the mainland. Me thinks Romney is in Pole Position for 2012. Plus he’ll be able to do a lot of good for the GOP in 2010, which we desperately need.

~Nate G.

A Little Fun at Dems Expense

More specifically at the expense of House Speaker Pelosi and Former Senate Majority Leader Daschle.

In this first video Pelosi informs us on how many jobs will be if the Porkulus Package isn’t passed. The answer will surprise you!

Next, in lieu of Daschle’s withdrawal as HHS Secretary because of his failure to pay taxes on a car and driver that were gifted to him I bring you this video early campaign video for Daschle.

My brother aptly points out that that old Pontiac must have a massive carbon footprint.

~Nate G.

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