Opinionators on the left and right yipped about Romney. Low-in-the-polls presidential opponents created a bone to pick: Jon Huntsman accused Romney of “zero leadership” and Ron Paul, via his son Rand, also jumped in. Sarah Palin (who isn’t a presidential candidate) wagged her finger at Romney last night on FOX News’ Hannity (see video):
“Bless his heart, I have respect for Mitt Romney, but I do not have respect for what he has done through this debt increase debate,” she said. “He waited until it was a done deal that we would increase the debt ceiling and more money would be spent, more money would be borrowed and spent on bigger government, and then he came out and made a statement that he didn’t like the deal after all. You can’t defer an issue and assume that the problem is then going to be avoided.”
June 29, 2011 – The Hill:
Mitt Romney will sign DeMint’s ‘Cut, Cap and Balance’ pledge
Romney indicated on Capitol Hill that he’s a supporter of the new “Cut, Cap and Balance” pledge, and his campaign confirmed Wednesday that he intends to sign it.
Romney’s name means that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is the only announced presidential candidate not to have signed it aside from former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R), who has sworn off all pledges.
DeMint has said he wouldn’t endorse any figure who doesn’t sign the pledge, and he’s already ruled out backing Huntsman.
June 30, 2011 NPR.org – Romney signs Cut, Cap, and Balance Bill
Mitt Romney, frontrunner for the Republican 2011 presidential nomination, just signed the newest of the Republican fiscal pledges, the “Cut, Cap and Balance” vow supported by a coalition of conservative groups.
The pledge calls for its signers to oppose raising the debt ceiling unless legislation passes that requires deep spending cuts, enforceable spending caps and a balanced-budget amendment.
With Romney signing the pledge, at least six of the presidential candidates have now agreed to sign the pact. As of this writing, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Jon Huntsman Jr., the former Utah governor, have yet to sign. The former said she was reviewing it, the latter deciding against it.
July 14, 2011 The Washington Post – Romney elaborates:
Calling the debt-ceiling deadline in Washington an “emergency,” Republican Mitt Romney said Thursday he would raise the nation’s debt limit if spending is cut and capped and if a balanced budget amendment is passed.
“The answer for the country is for the president to agree to cut fed spending, to cap fed spending and to put in place a balanced budget amendment,” Romney said in a question and answer session at a meeting Thursday of the Portsmouth Rotary. “For me, that’s the line in the sand. Come on, Mr. President.”
He said Thursday he would make cuts to discretionary spending. “I’d divide that between those things we have to do and those things we don’t have to do. And those things we don’t have to do, I’d cut pretty dramatically,” he said.
As Romney began his remarks, he took at jab at President Obama.
“Did you see I got a big plate of peas? I ate all my peas,” he said, referring to Obama’s comment that it was time to “eat our peas” on the debt. “Now it’s the president’s turn to cut federal spending.”
After all the President’s posturing, the congressional chaos, the Democrat dithering, the Republican revisions, the House hammering, the Senate stipulations, the back and forth stick-chasing – all compressed into an eleventh hour crunch – a final bill was presented.
August 1, 2011 MittRomney.com:
MITT ROMNEY ISSUES STATEMENT ON DEBT CEILING DEAL
Mitt Romney today issued the following statement on the deal to raise the debt ceiling:
“As president, my plan would have produced a budget that was cut, capped and balanced – not one that opens the door to higher taxes and puts defense cuts on the table. President Obama’s leadership failure has pushed the economy to the brink at the eleventh hour and 59th minute. While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama’s lack of leadership has placed Republican Members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal.”
Republican strategist Ron Bonjean said Romney “played the issue just right.”
“Washington, D.C., right now is like political quicksand for 2012 political candidates.”
Romney’s position on the debt ceiling issue is consistent with previous positions. His 2008 presidential campaign theme was ‘Washington is Broken’ which was so spot-on it startled politicos. He repeatedly called for fiscal responsibility. Do you remember Romney’s oft-repeated warning of ‘the rising Chinese tiger’?
Gov Romney has written extensively about U.S. economics and debt in his book ‘No Apology’ (authored by himself). Entire chapters cover: The Pursuit of the Difficult, Why Nations Decline, Pathways of American Power, A Free and Productive Economy, The Worst Generation – which includes The Political Shell Game, and The Entitlement Nightmare wherein he discusses Medicare, Medicaid, social security, and our mountain of debt. His book also includes a chapter on resolving America’s energy issues.
Romney clearly stated his position on the debt-ceiling debate. What he didn’t do is grandstand the issue. He didn’t foolishly comment on rapidly changing negotiations in which he had no part.
He let elected officials do what they were elected to do – work out a solution. Once they stopped chasing their tails, Romney couldn’t support the compromise because it did not meet the standards he had clearly stated. He is committed to bringing economic sanity and JOBS back to America. In light of the disastrous stock market news today, Romney’s message couldn’t be more timely.
Nevertheless, dog-eat-dog season has begun.
► Jayde Wyatt