Mitt Romney, the Tea Party, Hillary Clinton, GOP Dissension, and the RINO Label

I’m a self-proclaimed Tea Party member. It is my understanding the Tea Party movement consists of an ever-growing group of concerned citizens who protest rampant spending in Washington, and the misuse of federal power over individual liberties. I’m happy to be a part of that group.

No doubt, the Tea Party is a force to be reckoned with — evidence of this is witnessed everyday as more and more Tea Party-backed candidates rise to victory in their primary battles. Long-time GOP veterans are ousted (a la Bob Bennett) from their cozy seats while young blood Republicans fervently step in to fill their shoes. For the most part, its a beautiful thing to behold.

My Brother Luke at a SLC Tea Party Rally

I’ve gone to local Tea Party protests; I listen to an occasional Glenn Beck episode; I’ve gone door-to-door as an advocate for conservative principles, I’ve wished I had the money to hit up a National rally; heck, I’ve even listened to and liked some Mama Grizzly speeches. I know, I know, I could certainly do more …but I figure that’s a pretty decent level of activism for a twenty-something, newly married, full-time employee.

I can attest that many of those who write for this site (Team MRC), are gun toting, Bible carrying, freedom loving patriots. We’ve constructed the protest banners; we’ve worn the goofy colonial hats; we’ve marched the marches of the conservative crusade. We’ve been there, done that.

I bring up my/our involvement with the Tea Party movement not to boast, but to illustrate a strange phenomena that is happing to many fellow Mitt Romney backers within the Tea Party: Estrangement.

Somewhere along the line, the notion was adopted, mostly among liberal media but more recently among fellow conservatives, that Mitt Romney represents solely the moderate, ‘establishment’ core of the Republican party: the Bush loyalists; the staunch GOPers. I won’t deny that Gov. Romney’s appeal is wide, and it certainly may spread to the more moderate branch of our party, but I refudiate the absurd conception that his base of support exists only in that branch. I see obnoxious headlines all the time now that predict Romney’s demise, tracing it all back to how he’s the GOP’s supposed ‘next in line’, but the Tea Party backlash will impede him from gaining wide Republican support. Just today, an article from NPR calls Mitt Romney ‘the Hillary Clinton of 2012‘ – destined to fail due an uprising in the party’s fringe…

Baloney. Mitt will never be the ‘man’ that Hillary Clinton is.

As conservatives, we’ve gotten so caught up in the day-to-day mud slinging that we’ve lost site of our principal goal: to take our country back! My concern is that the primary benefactor of all this may be the very thing we all wish to deter: the advancement of Obama’s liberal agenda.

Somewhere amidst the dust up of GOP in-fighting, the Democrats are grinning. They watch- entertained - as we are preoccupied with assigning destructive labels to our own party leaders, and dividing ourselves into far too many factions of Republicanism. “My candidate endorsed the eventual primary winner WAY before yours did!” — “Why is your guy/gal silent on this hot-button issue?” — “Why wasn’t your candidate a speaker at THIS convention?!” — “RINO this, RINO, that!”

I recognize the need for purification [giving the boot to those whose ideas are stale, whose interests are no longer with their constituents], but everyone’s vision of perfection is different – and in the end, rather than coming out of the refiner’s fire without blemish, our party instead suffers a serious case of dirty dissension.

Now, it isn’t my intention to have everyone unite around my choice for the Republican nomination (assuming that he decides to run). I do, however, offer up a suggestion that we come together under the umbrella of conservatism, and reject none that seek shelter from the tempest of progressivism. For what it’s worth, the contributors of this site have tried to maintain respectful discourse with other camps, applauding our guy when he represents us well, and keeping our target on the opposition.

Mitt Romney Not a Rino

So in exchange for the respect we’ve given you, before you go labeling ‘Mittens’ as a ‘RINO’ and speculating his downfall, remember this: Mitt Romney is a true conservative. He has a record of success in family, education, career, and government. He is an honorable husband, father, and grandpa. He is not a lifetime politician. He owes no favors. He has profound concern for the future of our Republic. He is devout in his service to God and fellow man. He is money savvy and charitable with his self-earned wealth. He is visionary and innovative. He is an economical wizard; a turnaround expert in a country that needs a turnaround.

Flip through a copy of Romney’s ‘No Apology: the Case for American Greatness’. You’ll quickly see that the man has a deep love for our country and his plan for a greater America mirrors the ideals that most Americans hold dear.

-Aaron Gundy- Follow @AaronGundy on Twitter

About Aaron Gundy:

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39 Responses to Mitt Romney, the Tea Party, Hillary Clinton, GOP Dissension, and the RINO Label

  1. cj says:

    very well said! good read!

  2. Jared A. says:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself!! Great post Aaronius!!!

  3. Eric says:

    @cj
    except his health care debacle…

  4. Frozone says:

    If Tea Partiers are about fiscal responsibility, Romney is your man, no matter what labels are used. Excellent post!

  5. Josh says:

    You are one opinion. As a fellow Tea Party member, I would never support Romney after his support of TARP and subsequent flip-flopping.

  6. Lori says:

    Josh, sorry you have been deceived. You will not be able to specifically identify a case of flipping one’s position with the exception of the government’s role in protecting life. If you can, be very specific. But careful now, refining one’s position is not flipping. So please present to us where you see any flipping other than protecting life as governor. And even in that he kept his promise to keep the status quo.

    So lets hear it. But do not just throw out topics but lay out the specific position pre-flip and post-flip.

    This’ll be good.

  7. @Josh
    Support for TARP? What do you know about his support for TARP? Did he support the entire thing? What were his reasons? Was TARP successful to any degree? Have you heard Romney discuss some of the failures of TARP?

    My guess is you have no clue. Find out the facts and then come back.

  8. Sapwolf says:

    Romneycare has FINISHED Mitt as a possible Presidential candidate.

    However, he might be able to land a job in a Republican administration.

    He lacks charisma, convictions he stands by, and courage.

    He is the Establishment to Republican voters and that is how he will run as.

    If he were President, he’d be Obama-lite.

    The risk of Romney is not electing him, but if he WINS. Then we are stuck with him.

  9. @Sapwolf
    Six sentences, six falsehoods.
    Do you ever get tired of being wrong all the time? Must be hard to go through life that way. Repeating mantras will only get you so far. Bring facts, then I’ll discuss them with you.

  10. BladRnr says:

    Romney was not for less government when he pushed for RomneyCare in MA. Sorry. This fight is against government intrusion into our lives, our businesses and our freedom. No government sponsored healthcare initiative will ever win the argument that it reduces costs, provides better care, etc. than a true, free open market solution. Ask yourself this question: Do you think he would repeal ObamaCare if elected??? I don’t think so. We only get one shot at this. It’s time to end the ruling class that thinks they know better than we do, and he’s one of THEM. Pushing more government intervention in MA, that is failing just as we expected, does not sit well with the Tea Party folks. Palin will get my vote.

  11. refuse2lose says:

    I can’t understand why anyone who calls themselves a conservative would want to elect Romney. He is the one responsible for the health care fiasco in Massachusetts. So what makes you people believe if he got into the WH that he would want to change anything that our current POTUS has done??

    The next two elections, in November and then in 2012 are the two most important elections ever held in our country. If we get them wrong you can kiss your country and everything you have worked for goodbye. So please use a little common sense and INVESTIGATE the people running in your state. How you vote could mean prosperity or collapse for the USA.

  12. SurferDoc says:

    Romney is finished. He is a boring, uninspiring Moderate who supports sure things with his finger in the winds of change.

  13. @SurferDoc
    Was Romney’s finger in the wind when he supported Nikki Haley when she was fourth in SC at 9%? What about long-shot Scott Brown?

    Your argument falls flat.

  14. SurferDoc says:

    Yeah, late tackle again there, too. Where the Heck is he? Where is the leadership? Romney is MIA as usual until the smoke clears.

  15. Herr Morgenholz says:

    I will never vote for a man that looks that much like George Hamilton.

  16. I know very well where he is. Do you? Are you aware that he is/will be visiting 25 states in the upcoming weeks to campaign and support conservative candidates? Are you aware that he is rolling out endorsement on a daily basis and funding many (over 150) candidates from his PAC?

    Just because Romney doesn’t have a job as a FOX News commentator doesn’t mean his isn’t showing leadership qualities. Regardless of what you know, Romney is and has been keeping very busy doing the best thing he can: promoting candidates for 2010.

  17. Chris says:

    Just getting burned out on the ‘RINO’ label. Don’t like someone because they had different hair? They are a RINO. You can sneeze wrong up in DC, and now be labled a RINO. I think Mitt is the right guy at the right time. He’s not far right and he’s not far left. He’s where the country is.

  18. Aaronius, excellent post. This is an issue that we all need to take head on and keep on repeating until it breaks through the misinformation going on out there.

  19. SurferDoc says:

    Good for him. If he ever figures out a way to be interesting enough to get some media coverage I’ll be ready to be impressed. BTW, there is a critical difference between having leadership qualities and showing them so voters might observe them and be favorably impressed. I’m quite sure he is a leader and does good things. He is also all but invisible. Maybe that is his strategy. Good luck.

  20. Doug NYC GOP says:

    Aaronius,

    I thought this article was so well written and articulate, I posted it RightOsphere, in the hopes of getting it (and you more exposure). I hope you don’t mind, I was carefull to provide the links to this site/article and give full acknowlegement the work to be yours alone. I just felt it was that good it needed to be distributed. Lots of good Romney supporters over there.

    If you have any objections, please let me know and will remove the post. I’d also like to invite to check out RightOsphere.com and post your work there directly. We need good writers like you.

  21. Aaronius says:

    @Doug NYC GOP Thanks, Doug. I appreciate the plug. I peruse ROS from time to time. I’ll definitely consider double-posting there in the future.

    To the rest of you who are so quick to throw Romney under the bus for a perceived weakness or two, you’re missing out on the chance to get behind a true leader. Make an attempt, for your sake, at getting over your own arrogance and try to look deep into the man’s life as a moral leader, a father, executive, Olympic organizer, and Governor. You’ll soon see that the his strengths far outweigh his flaws – that his resume is exactly what this country is looking for in their Commander in Chief.

  22. Here’s a link to Doug’s post at ROS:

    http://rightosphere.com/blog.php?user=Doug%20NYC&blogentry_id=9742

    No comments yet, my guess is they’ll grow very rapidly.

  23. Josh says:

    @Nate Gunderson I know my stuff. If you want documentation, here is an article from Reuters, which documents his support, his defense of his support and his criticisms of TARP’s enactment in No Apology (it quotes him, if that makes you feel better). It also affirms the fact that for the Tea Party (the main point of this post, btw) that is a deal breaker. As an also self-proclaimed member of the Tea Party, I am saying to Aaron: Not so fast. You can’t forget his support of what sparked the whole Tea Party movement in the first place, which was the ridiculous TARP plan.

    http://blogs.reuters.com/james-pethokoukis/2010/03/04/mitt-romneys-tarp-problem/

  24. Bryce says:

    @BladRnr
    I guess I would probably qualify as an ultra conservative. I was right of the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party. I often call Fox News center left and Rush a moderate. At the same time, I must say that expecting everythingto be solved by free open market solutions in naive. In the area where I was raised, there wasn’t enough of a population to warrant participation by either a phone company or an electrical utility. That hasn’t changed to this day. Both of these functions are filled by co-op organizations created by the locals with substantial assistance from the Roosevelt Administration, not free open markets. Most of the hydro electric energy in the south comes from the Department of Energy, not free open markets. The infra structure that makes this country work comes from the government, not free open markets. Lest we get carried away, certain functions are best accomplished by the people through government, because free open markets won’t do it unless the return on investment meets their requirements.

    Now if you think that Palin is the answer, I would have to contend that your ignorance is as great as hers. Outside of inflamatory speaches, and looking good in an expensive campaign purchased wardrobe, what has she ever managed? And don’t tell me she was a governor, I thought we didn’t like politician, and wanted people with real world experience. Palin doesn’t have any. PTA and small town mayor still fall under politics. Mitt Romney on the otherhand, has significant applicable hands-on experience. Mitt, who I have met personally, is genuin and sincere, with core values that match those of the majority of this country. He certainly is not an elitist. You ask if I think he would end Obamacare. My answer is absolutely.

    I have one more thing to say to you and any other Mitt detractors. I don’t believe you at all when you say you disagree with his politics. I think the only thing you disagree with is his religious belief. And if you hadn’t been such fools in the last election, voting for McCain, who is a true moderatre, we might have had a candidate that could have not only upheld our values, but also appealed to the voters in the middle. McCain appealed to neither the right because he was a moderate, or the middle, because of his poor representation of ideas and his abominal choice of runnung mate. so maybe those from the “Christian Right”
    should look at the fact that Mitt shares your core values and stop worrying about if he is a “Mormon”.

  25. @Josh
    Well I’m glad that you know more details than just “Romney supported TARP”. He has been critical of much of it.

    Where we part ways is were whether a plan like TARP was necessary. I happen to agree with Romney that the collapse of the financial market would have had devastating cascading world-wide effects, and we would now be in economic collapse. I also agree with Romney that TARP was way too big and not nearly focused enough. There was way too much added to it in usual Washington earmark style. That should never have happened.

    The point of Aaron’s post is directed at people much like yourself Josh: Not so fast, you don’t speak for all of us. Mitt’s semi-support of TARP is not a deal-breaker for me and a million others. Individual members of the tea party cannot claim to speak for the whole group. Let’s do less infighting, and more lib fighting.

  26. Noelle Gosnell says:

    This article expressed my feelings perfectly. Thanks.

  27. Finfreak says:

    “Any carbon plan has to be worldwide in scope. Let’s have a worldwide solution, not an American one.” — Mitt Romney, CPAC speech in I think 2008 (the same one where Rush Limbaugh spoke)

    “I like what I proposed in Mass. and even though the final bill and its implemtation aren’t as I wanted, the plan is a good model.” Mitt Romney, Same speech.

    That was regarding the government-mandated health “care” (a misnomer; this isn’t about health care, but about requiring health insurance) and necessitating that the government be involved in EVERY level: an employer’s relationship with employees; employees relationships with employers; and health insurance companies’ relationships with either one.

    People, Romney is part of the problem. His EVERY solution involves more and bigger government, from cap and trade to health insurance. He talks about “streamlining” regulation and government, making it more efficieint. All that would do would be to make it more efficient at supressing our liberties and taking our money. He thinks we need better government. What we need is LESS government.

    He throws around phrases that make conservatives’ hearts sing: “Conservative principle” …. “Free enterprise system” …. “The invisible hand of the market is more powerful than the lumbering machinery of government …” but they are only words, pretty phrases, fluffy frosting on a cupcake. When you investigate his actual IDEAS, the “solutions” he has in mind … they ALWAYS involve more government. They always involve government “helping” and “regulating” things. He is a business manager, not an entrepreneur. His success in business has been managing resources, including employees. Applying that in politics, American taxpayers would be his employees, and government the resource to manipulate them.

    He is BAD NEWS for the future of America. I’ve seen one person here already charge that anyone who opposes him really only opposes him because he’s a Mormon. I, and I believe millions of other limited government conservatives, woudln’t give a rat’s patoot about his religion even if he was a Wiccan! I think that those people who make that charge are projecting: The only reason they support him is because he IS a Mormon. It sure as heck isn’t because he’s a limited government conservative — he is a big government statist who is registered as a Republican.

  28. Frozone says:

    There is a big difference between big government and effective government. No one man can fix both, but Romney tried (against all, liberal state house-packed odds; if they want to spend, they will override and spend). But again, let’s step back for a moment and consider that our current spender-in-chief with his enabling congress is going the wrong way in both categories. Any in the current republican field would be FAR superior to the incompentence coming from this administration. Stop squinting at gnats and get with the program, people. The country could use some competent leadership right now.

  29. Bryce says:

    @Frozone
    I agree. But lets be sure it is competent leadership. That is where Mitt comes in. He is a competent leader. I don’t see anyone else who fits the bill.

  30. Bryce says:

    @Finfreak
    I don’t think we are talking about the same person, Mitt is an entrepreneur. He started and grew his own business. He also turned arround the bankrupt Winter Olympics, as well as other enterprises. I have worked in the small business environment for 30+ years and I can tell you that if an entreprenuer isn’t a good manager, he will either not grow his business, or lose it altogether. So, do you think a President can run the country if he can’t manage people and resources? That is the job. Who do you think can do this job better? You have lots of criticism for Mitt, so what is your alternative?

  31. Finfreak says:

    @Bryce
    There are many who charge that the so-called “turn-around” of the Winter Olympics was done on the taxpayer’s dime and lots of government-subsidized cronyism. I was born and raised and still live in the small business environment. You confuse entrepreneurs with managers. Not all entrepreneurs stay with businesses after they grow — they sell them to managers who then grow them. Entrepreneurs CREATE things, for the most part. Managers manage things. I have not seen evidence of Mitt creating much in the way of business, and certainly there is no reason to believe that had he been born into averaqge circumstances, such as the likes of most entrepreneurs and business people (two different items), that he would have made it on his own. He was born into it and I doubt very much that he ever had an entry-level job as anything more than a token. Most of us had entry level jobs ad ways to pay the bills. I worked my way through college waitressing. How did Mitt pay for his education?

    MOST emphatically, I note that you completely ignore the salient points:

    1) Mitt is not only for the “global warming” cap-and-trade (“carbon plan”) scam, but thinks it should transcend mere American authority and entail a “worldwide solution.” In other words, Mitt would have OTHER nations dictating to America how she produces and uses energy.

    2) He STILL maintains that his Massachusettes forced health insurance compliance among individuals and businesses was just fine.

    Those are just two examples of the many ways in which Romney represents BAD NEWS for dreams of Americans who want the government off their necks, out of their private lives and pocketbooks, and back in the servants quarters where it belongs.

    I’m certain that you can find many, many quotes — I know I have — from Romney where he talks about limiting government. Can you show me where he has actually created LESS government, or a solution he proposes that involves ELIMINATING government? The man talks one talk … and walks a wholly different walk. He is BAD NEWS for America, but Republicans who fail to examine the Devil in Romney’s details also fail to see how fraudulent the man actually is when it comes to truly comprehending and embracing limited government conservative principle.

    As for my alternative? I like Palin. She’s not perfect — no candidate is, and only a fool would think to find one — but having read her book and identifying with her background, which is very much like my own, I see that she truly grasps the principles of limited government conservatism. By the same token, I see that Romney truly MISSES those same principles.

  32. @Finfreak
    1 – Olympics received very little of the taxpayer dime. US is the only nation in the world that does not completely sponsor the games when it comes to their country. Read his book turnaround of course and you would know more about it. It was not taxpayer bail-out. It was nothing short of spectacular.

    2 – Again you know very little of Romney’s stance on global warming. Again read his book “No Apology” and you would. Romney doesn’t call for any global solution that would transcend national authority a) it would never work b) US would lose their sovereignty. Romney’s stance is one of “no regrets”. The science is uncertain. Don’t buy into anything unless it simultaneously lowers our dependence on foreign oil. That way in case the science is bad we won’t regret it because it will still have been an improvement.

    3 – Romney was never for individual mandates or employer mandates as a first option. Romney had suggested a couple ways in which people would not be mandated to get insurance, and he also vetoed the employee mandate. His veto was easily over-ridden. Romney has never said MassCare was perfect, but that it is an improvement. It would have mistakes and flaws and that other states could learn from those and not repeat them.

    4- Example of limited government: Romney slashed redundant and wasteful government programs during his tenure. When all was said and done there were 600 less employees on the government payroll than when he started his term.

  33. @Eric FYI~the Massachusetts Legislature messed around with the MA Medical Care Bill and they also took away Mitt’s line item veto-power. If anything it was an “experiment” that still needs tweeking. Obamacare is the MA Bill on steroids and we are being forced to buy it under penalty with the IRS (growing govt).
    I still have my Mitt 2008 sticker on my car and I hope to add another one very soon!
    I was born in Boston, but have lived in VA most of my adult life! Our AG Ken Cuccinelli is protecting us from Obamacare and our legislature passed a law protecting us from a mandate.
    A NoVA Tea Party Patriot!

  34. Dong says:

    No one had better resume than Mitt,no one had more experienced than Mitt,no one had better record than Mitt,no one had leadership style more than Mitt, Mitt is the strongest, smartest,and most qualify for the presidency,only the experienced man can get the job done in this great country,so the wealthy man can make a wealthy country too, that person is Mitt the people that critic Mitt,anti Mitt, against Mitt, hate Mitt was the opposite that saw Mitt leadership and afraid him,just for personal reason,is not for the nation and the country,go ahead Mitt,stand strong,do the right thing , and try to be uniter,so America will be with you in 2012,good luck Mitt and god bless America.

  35. Bryce says:

    @Finfreak
    I think that based on the other responses, your information might be incorrect. The Winter Olympics wasn’t on the government dime, and while Romney gets blamed for the MA Health Care issues, it was really the MA legislature that misdirected what happened. I think from the way you talk, you think that because he was from a well off family, he must be evil. Everything I have heard about George Romney and how he ran his family would seem to contradict your assumptions. The fact that Mitt gave up two years to be a missionary for his church reflects a certain level of humility. That he almost died in an accident in that process, but overcame his injuries reflects tenacity and determination. The amount of time he has given as an unpaid minister in his church shows humility, charity and many other core principals that he lives by. I really think that your Mitt hating is barking up the wrong tree.

    As for entrepreneur, here is a definition: “An entrepreneur is a person who has possession of a new enterprise, venture or idea and assumes significant accountability for the inherent risks and the outcome.[1][note 1] The term is originally a loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to the type of personality who is willing to take upon himself a new venture or enterprise and accepts full responsibility for the outcome. Jean-Baptiste Say, a French economist is believed to have coined the word “entrepreneur” first in about 1800. He said an entrepreneur is “one who undertakes an enterprise, especially a contractor, acting as intermediatory between capital and labour.” See Wikipedia.org

    Based on this definition, not only was Mitt an entrepreneur with his own business, but also when he worked to turn around other businesses. Based on your definition, a person who creates something, can’t manage it, and sells it to someone else is what I would define as a failure.

    As far as Sarah Palin is concerned, I admit, I like listening to her speak. Unfortunately, she is a career politician, like the rest. If you go from PTA mom, to Mayor, to Governor, to Vice President Candidate, it’s all politics. She would be like a republican Obama, a great campaigner, but nothing else. She did look good in her campaign bought clothes though.

  36. azcIII says:

    As much as I respect Mr. Romney, and believe he has a role to play in our future politics, I would caution against settling on him for POTUS 2012 right now. The best candidate likely hasn’t even entered the potential POTUS radar yet. When and if that person rises into view, it would certainly be a shame to have the various factions of the party so entrenched in preconceived ideas of who the nominee should be that we end up with 2008 redux. That is, 8-10 candidates with roughly equal support from devoted factions while none gain enough to overcome the inevitable least-desirable option. McCain, anyone?

    Just please keep an open mind. Our leader will emerge, and is either known to us now or perhaps hasn’t hit the national scene yet. When he or she does, we need to rally behind him/her and make sure we don’t end up with another McCain. We may not agree on everything but we can’t risk being fractured like that again.

    However, if Mr. Romney is the nominee in 2012, I will support him, although with some reservations–mainly regarding his support for Romneycare and more moderate stances. I am concerned about his tendency to compromise with the opposition as we really need someone who will fight them to the death on principles. How does one compromise with someone who believes anyone espousing conservative views should be silenced by force of law? That labels us terrorists and uses their position in government to monitor, investigate and intimidate us? There is no compromising with neo-liberal fascists and radical communists.