My Closing Argument, and This Ain’t Just Rhetoric

Overview: My Main Philosophical Reason I’m Voting For Mitt.

I feel so strongly that Mitt Romney is the right choice for president that I wanted to make one last post, my closing argument as it were, in hopes of convincing that one last undecided voter out there somewhere to vote for Mitt. I wanted to explain why I, and the other authors here at Mitt Romney Central, have devoted such time, effort, emotion, and yes, money, to the cause of electing Mitt. My list of specific reasons why I like Mitt, and my counterarguments to President Obama’s case, are below. But I can sum up why I feel so strongly with this: Barack Obama’s vision for America is inconsistent with that of our founding fathers and our Constitution.

A Limited Government Preserves Freedom

Our government was founded on the principles of self-determination and freedom. Americans were not content to be told by the British government how much they should pay in taxes or what freedoms they were entitled to. So they fought a war to gain their independence. When the founding fathers then set up their own government, at the forefront of their minds was the concern for how to preserve their hard-won freedoms. So they came up with three fundamental ideas about the new federal government: (i) it should be small, split into different branches with checks and balances over each other’s power, (ii) it should share power with, and in fact have less power over citizens’ day-to-day lives than, the states, where the citizens were better represented, and (iii) our most basic freedoms should be enshrined in a Bill of Rights to make absolutely sure the federal government did not violate them. This combination of ideas, they thought, would assure, over time, that the God-given rights they had won back from their government at great cost would be preserved against tyranny.

Obama’s Vision of a Larger Government is Antithetical to Freedom.

In 2008 when Senator Obama talked of “transforming” America and saying “we can do better,” it was clear to me he was talking about fundamentally changing these key principles. He stood for a larger federal government; one that would try and take responsibility for the poor and do more for its citizens. While that may sound nice, having a government undertake that responsibility also means it must become larger, tax more (a government that undertakes to define what’s fair for all its citizens will also try and make everyone pay their “fair share”) and become more involved in our lives, much more involved than the founding fathers intended. A larger government necessarily becomes more difficult to manage, begins to take on a life of its own, and becomes very difficult to control. A larger federal government also means a shift in power from the states, where citizens can more easily control their own destiny. And once people begin to rely on government largesse, cutting the size of that government and its programs, even if the government cannot afford them (witness our overwhelming deficits and the troubles in Europe as it tries to cut back), becomes very, very difficult. People become less willing to give up that security, even if it means a loss of liberty. And they can become accustomed to the idea that the government represents someone else, not them, and that they are owed something by that government (witness appeals from the left that sound like class warfare). As a result, I believe the policies of President Obama reflect a threat to our liberty. Perhaps not immediate. Perhaps only a little. But what he wants to do, at its core, is inconsistent with the intended size and role of our government, which means we will inevitably lose a little, or a lot, of liberty. How much really depends on how much further down Obama’s road we go. And in my view, we’ve already lost too much.

Example: Obamacare.

As an illustration of what I mean, I’ll use Obamacare. It sounds nice to make sure everyone has health insurance. And there are lots of stories of people who can’t afford insurance, and how having it would benefit them greatly. I get that, and I feel for their situation. This is what Obama meant by “we can do better.” He’d like to use government resources to fix these problems. But, just like when you get your first credit card, you need to look beyond the nice things you can buy and decide whether you can really afford it, because that bill will come due at some time. As for the cost in dollars and cents, it’s clear we can’t afford Obamacare. We just can’t. It adds trillions of unfunded government outlays over the next two decades. And once these benefits are offered to citizens it’s very difficult to take them away. In addition, Obamacare has already begun to infringe on our freedoms. At its core it’s the federal government (not the state, which is the principal difference between Obamacare and Romneycare), forcing us to buy a product. Then, because it forces us to buy this product, it must go further and legislate the minimum requirements of this product (or everyone would buy the cheapest version available). That legislation now includes elements some religions find offensive. How’d we get here? By involving the federal government in something it really was never intended by the founding fathers to be involved in: providing health insurance. Further, because the IRS will be in charge of enforcing compliance with the mandate, it will need to know our personal health information. The founders’ vision of limited federal power, with express limits on what the federal government can and can’t do, has been violated by Obamacare. And having the federal government in this position simply poses a threat to our freedom. The founders knew power corrupts, and while we think we can trust the government now, we don’t always know we will be able to. When will it be your religious belief that’s infringed? Or your freedom of speech? This is why the Republicans resist President Obama so much. This is why Obamacare did not get one single Republican vote. This is why Obama’s own budget was rejected by not only Republicans but his own party. And finally this is why Mitch McConnell said it was his goal to make sure Obama only had one term: to try and make sure the damage President Obama does is not long-lasting. Obamacare is a threat to our freedom, and it’s just one example.

This Ain’t Just Rhetoric.

Let me say that this is not just rhetoric. I’m not just making an argument because I want you to vote for Mitt for some other hidden reason. This is why I’m voting for Mitt, and why I honestly believe everyone should. This is what worries me about the prospect of Obama serving another term. He has already made some strides toward “transforming” America into something I believe it was never intended to be. Obamacare was one very large step in that direction. As Vice President Biden said, it was a “[blanking] big deal.” I know the further we go down this road the more difficult it is to go back. I also know the GOP will fight Obama to preserve that liberty, which is likely to result in more gridlock at a time when our government needs to work together. Unfortunately, though, cooperating with the president can mean, and has meant, the loss of some of these liberties, which makes compromise difficult.
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Mitt and Women’s Issues: Told in Part By Ann

The latest straw man to be set aflame by Democrats in the presidential election is Mitt Romney’s supposed lack of energy for womens’ issues. If anyone shows a lack of energy, showing up for only one of two debates, and frankly only about half the time generally, it’s President Obama. For Barack Obama to ask women rely on him to defend their interests in this election is laughable. So let’s clear the air right now: Mitt Romney stands strongly for equal pay for equal work and workplace opportunity.

Let’s hear first from the woman who knows him best, Ann Romney:

President Obama’s Grand Accomplishment Not That Impressive

In the debate the president’s great claim to advancing women’s’ issues was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which extends the time women can sue for discrimination well after they’ve left their job. While it has a marginal benefit to those women who find out much later they were discriminated against, it has some unintended side effects, such as increasing risk and insurance costs to businesses since they will be subject to suit, well-founded or frivolous, for a much longer period. It also reduces good businesses’ ability to fight frivolous lawsuits, since the relevant witnesses may also be long gone by the time an aggressive trial attorney decides to file suit. It can also result in punishing shareholders of companies who had nothing to do with past discrimination. It was, prior to the Lilly Ledbetter Act, and will remain, whether Mitt Romney or President Obama is elected, against the law to discriminate in pay and workplace advancement. The law President Obama claims as his grand achievement just made it easier to sue, in some ways benefiting the cause of trial lawyers as much as women. Let’s also note this act was signed by President Obama in 2009 and he’s done nothing else of note in the four years since.

Mitt’s Record vs. Democratic Rhetoric

Meanwhile Mitt Romney has a demonstrable record of fighting for women’s rights. When asked in the second debate about his stance on equal pay for equal work, Mitt pointed out he worked to make sure women were equally represented on his cabinet in Massachusetts. He was ranked number one in terms of having women represented in positions of authority. Still the Democrats seized, not upon the substance of his comment or performance, but on his chosen wording, and are trying their best to manufacture an issue out of it. He said he’d had his staff look for qualified women when the applicants came in predominantly male, and they came back, he said, with “binders full of women” qualified for the job. It’s easy enough to understand Mitt was referring to binders full of qualified women’s names and resumes, but that’s just not good enough for Democrats, who clearly aren’t looking out for women’s rights as much as to promote a stereotype of Mitt Romney unencumbered by facts. Kind of like the undeserved stereotypes women have been fighting for years. So I ask, who here is part of the problem versus part of the solution?

I admit my female radar is sometimes deficient, as my cells carry around just one X chromosome. So I realize there are some women’s issues I will not understand as well. I agreed when Ann Romney said in her convention speech that some things are harder on women in ways men do not understand, in particular Obama’s flailing economy that has disproportionately affected women. But I think that trying to turn Mitt’s words into an issue when his actions speak much, much more loudly, insults everyone’s intelligence, and this insult is aimed principally at women. Again my radar may be deficient, but even mine is on alert when hearing this Dem attack. I use as my backup my wife’s comment to me this morning that she couldn’t even stand to watch the news reports of people trying to attack Mitt in this way. Her radar was going off, but not for the reasons the Democrats thought. It’s because they’re trying to make something out of nothing.

But if you still find me hopelessly handicapped by my maleness, let’s also let Mitt’s former lieutenant governor, Kerry Healey, respond:


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E.W. Jackson Calls for “Mass Exodus” from Democrat Party


MittRomneyCentral has published a number of extraordinarily powerful videos over the last three years. I believe this one belongs in that category. Yes, I know it is longer than one minute…sorry, but some messages need more time than a sound bite. This one does. You will be glad you heard this message I believe.

By the way, what prior presidential election do you remember in which so many African American leaders came out against the leader of the Democrat Party?

E. W. Jackson gave a speech at the National Press Club on September 10th that was never heard in the media because of the horrible news out of Libya and the Middle East that day and the following day. At time 0:40 he calls all those of Judeo-Christian values to lead a “mass exodus from the Democrat Party;” at 3:50 he states that the Democrat Party expects all its members to bow to it; At 4:40, he said the Democrat Party has declared war on Christianity; at 6:45 he speaks of lies, lies, lies to blacks of the ties between Planned Parenthood and the Democrat Party; at 10:35 he says this is “the beginning of a movement to call our country back to the faith of our founding fathers. Back to the values upon which they built this nation. Back to the truths upon which it was established. And back to the idea we can be one nation under God…”

Do you remember this piece from August 2nd written by Ben Collins?

At the press conference, Rev. William Owens, who is president and founder of the Coalition of African-Americans Pastors and the leader of the campaign, was joined by five other black regional pastors and said there were 3,742 African-American pastors on board for the anti-Obama campaign.

Rev. Owens states, “I am ashamed that the first black president chose this road, a disgraceful road.”

Is anybody listening? Or will 95% of all African Americans line up as lemmings behind Mr. Obama again as Jackson states? It is time to wake up America!

Hat Tip to Kevin Anderson for fleshing this speech out for MRC


American Values: “In God We Trust” — “Liberty” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist – Dedicated to all members of The United States military and their families

Mitt Romney’s Plan – Protect the Middle Class with Competence, Measure and Integrity

Mitt Romney will not raise taxes on the middle class, nor will he lower the tax contributions of the most wealthy!

Today, David Gregory interviewed Mitt and Ann Romney on Meet the Press (see the full interview below). This is the first time in the history of Meet the Press that the wife of a a Presidential Candidate was also interviewed. And in spite of Gregory’s continued public pursuit of an agenda seemingly shaped by the disbelieving and jaundiced left, both Mitt and Ann Romney revealed their true character, charm, capacity and competence!

It is apparent that the media seems to struggle with the Romney’s constancy amid the situational standards of our society – the anomalous Romney’s live and serve by constants and principles of integrity and truth with a sincere and tangible sense of duty. They do not succumb to the typical political pandering and posturing we see in many of today’s politicians. It is human nature to project on others what we see in ourselves, hence the media’s challenge with Mitt and Ann Romney. What the media tries to project on Mitt and Ann is wholly inconsistent with who Mitt and Ann are. We get a sense that the media is so blinded by the beams in their own eyes that they struggle to see the sincere strength and resolute nature of Mitt and Ann Romney, and their foundations for dutiful service; they are truly committed to a cause greater than self. Mitt stated such in his interview – it is about serving the nation, fixing our economy and restoring foundational principles of freedom and liberty! No more, no less.

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Ann expressed how life’s experiences are tutorial in shaping our capacity to empathize with those in need, and to the surprise of the interviewer it had nothing to do with our station in life. As a cancer survivor I get it! Ann Romney, and Mitt by virtue of shared experiences with Ann, clearly understand the suffering of others and how to succor and serve those in need. Further, after the Republican Convention in Tampa and the tender expressions of so many touched by Mitt and Ann Romney, the story of unpurchased service by the Romney’s should no longer be challenged, but elevated as an example for all to follow. Bill Bennett said it best today after the Meet the Press interview; paraphrased, conservatives are more charitable and more giving, they are more willing to offer selfless compassionate service than their liberal counterparts. If anyone wants to consider the point, look to the charitable service and contributions of the Romney’s compared to that of the Obama’s and Biden’s combined. The liberals seem to want to be far more generous with the taxpayer’s money (our money) than their own.

Mr. Gregory then began to press Governor Romney on his economic recovery/jobs plan, seeking for greater granularity. I find it fascinating that when Mitt Romney put a 59 point plan together the media was cynical; when he distilled it down to a more simple five point plan, they demanded more specifics. It is clear that the media is lacking in its capacity to understand, or they just have a specific agenda as the PR machine for the sitting President.

The message came through loud and clear from Mitt Romney today, as it was repeated no less than three times – Mitt Romney will not raise taxes on the middle class, nor will he lower the tax contributions of the most wealthy! Among other things, Mitt went on to juxtapose his foreign policy agenda against Obama’s biggest foreign policy failure, a nuclear Iran.

What I find of interest is a want from the media for Mitt Romney to be granular in his plans without a similar press to Obama, who has yet to present a credible budget in 4 years, or a plan to fix our economy, and he is the President of the United States! What I do know is that I can look to Mitt Romney’s track record and history and know that he will govern and execute a plan based upon principles and pragmatism. He has done it innumerable times and will apply the same disciplines as President. His past is prologue which is equally said for Obama. Only in Mitt Romney’s case his past successes are prologue for future successes, and Obama’s past failures are prologue for future failures.

David and Nancy French: A Call to Greater Action

Nancy & David French, founders of Evangelicals for Mitt (co-founder: Charles Mitchell) — Standing with the Tennessee delegation at the 2012 Republican National Convention

Of all content I have posted since writing about Mitt Romney from 2007, I consider this piece written by David and Nancy French to be the most important, by far.

David and Nancy are great American patriots by any definition of that word and they are true friends of Mitt and Ann Romney. This opinion of theirs is directed to members of Governor Romney’s church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but could easily apply to any person of faith.

As you read Nancy’s and David’s call to greater action, please take the time to explore the hyperlinks they included. These are powerful resources in and of themselves.

Whatever you do, you have to watch the video of Chuck Norris and his wife — incredible! Please help MRC publicize this message far and wide. (David’s and Nancy’s bios are included at the end)

Update 1: John Schroeder, an MRC friend and writer for Article VI Blog wrote an awesome piece today that dovetails Nancy’s and David’s call to action. Click here: “Now Is No Time To Be Shy”

Update 2: Hugh Hewitt linked to this post and titled it, “What Will Mormons Do?” — Will Mormons go all in for Romney/Ryan?


By David and Nancy French

Dear Mormon Friends, It’s Time to Go “All-In” for Mitt

Nancy and I started Evangelicals for Mitt in 2006 with one simple idea: To enlist the mighty machinery of evangelical activism behind the single best candidate for President of the United States, Mitt Romney. Even then we could see the need for a man of Mitt’s unique talents and now – with labor participation the lowest in 30 years and with the most sluggish recovery since the Great Depression – the need is even greater.

We were more idealistic back in those days. Convinced of Mitt’s merits, we saw our task as relatively easy. Introduce Mitt to evangelicals, deal with the relatively easy questions about theology and politics, and then watch him win social conservatives on his way to the White House. Of course politics is never easy, and there are always competitors for the same set of voters. First Mike Huckabee won enough evangelicals to hand John McCain the nomination in 2008, then Rick Santorum swept southern conservatives and challenged Mitt for the evangelical vote in 2012.

But now, all that is past. Evangelicals are finally united behind Mitt (even 2008 Huckabee supporter – and coolest action star in the universe – Chuck Norris is pleading with evangelicals to vote Barack Obama out of office), and Mitt’s rivaling George Bush’s astounding share of the evangelical vote in 2008. Pro-Obama evangelicals are coming back home to the Republican Party after Obama’s almost four-year assault on religious liberty and his zealous support for abortion. In short, evangelicals – as theologically and culturally divided as we are – will be there for Mitt on election day.

Curiously, however, we’ve heard disturbing reports that LDS Mitt supporters are hanging back just a bit. Some are afraid of stereotyping (“just because I’m Mormon doesn’t mean I’m going to automatically support Mitt. After all, I can’t stand Harry Reid!”), but many more seem just a bit confused about the role of the church in politics. If the LDS church is politically neutral, how can you use your church relationships to mobilize voters and donors?

But let’s back up a moment. Is the LDS church really “neutral?” Is my Presbyterian Church really “neutral?” Yes, I’ve read the portions of the LDS Handbook that emphasize that the church is politically neutral and doesn’t endorse candidates. But the fact that the church is nonpartisan doesn’t mean that it’s neutral on the key moral issues of the day or that the church’s members must maintain their neutrality. In fact, the LDS Handbook specifically urges member involvement:

“Members are encouraged to support measures that strengthen the moral fabric of society, particularly those designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

Let’s be perfectly clear, after the God-booing abortion celebration masquerading as the Democratic National Convention, the moral choices in this election are beyond stark. Let’s just examine the issue of abortion. In Deuteronomy 30:19, God lays out His will for His people:

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live . . .”

And now here’s the Democratic party platform:

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.

By contrast, here’s the Republican party platform:

Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.

Is there anything that threatens the “moral fabric of society” or the “family as the fundamental unit of society” as much as granting mothers the “right” to order doctors to kill their innocent children in the womb?

In addition, the Obama administration’s assault on religious liberty through the HHS contraception and abortifacient mandates represents a clear and present danger to the autonomy of the church. The administration is telling Americans of every faith that if they leave the walls of their church and attempt to reach out to their communities – either as business owners or through ministries – that they can only do so on the state’s terms while advancing the state’s values. This is antithetical to the First Amendment and antithetical to fundamental American traditions.

In other words, while your church and my church will not endorse any candidate for president, that does not mean that individual congregants cannot or should not use our web of church friendships and relationships to invest fully in the outcome of this election.

In the six years that Nancy and I have run Evangelicals for Mitt, we’ve made a huge number of Mormon friends and learned a great deal from the LDS church. In fact, we’ve taken flack for urging evangelicals to emulate Mormons in your approach to missions, service, and church growth. We have long stood on the barricades against anti-Mormon bigots. But now we’re asking you to take a page from the evangelical book: Engage fully, proudly, and without hesitation.

Call your friends from your ward. Make sure they’re registered to vote. Ask them if they’ve given to Mitt’s campaign. If they need more education on the issues, equip them with materials. Don’t use church resources; use your own. Between worship and Sunday School, I can’t tell you how many conversations Nancy and I have had about Mitt, about abortion, about religious liberty, and – yes – about the economy. Politics isn’t a “dirty business;” it’s part of our life and obligations as citizens of a nation and government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Now is not the time for concerns about stereotyping, for false worries about “neutrality.” The church will remain nonpartisan, but you don’t have to. There are more than six million Mormons in America, and the causes of life and religious liberty need every one.

It’s time to go “all-in” for Mitt.

David French is a Senior Counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice. A graduate of Harvard Law School and David Lipscomb University, he has taught at Cornell Law School and legal practice is concentrated in constitutional law and the international law of armed conflict. He is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States. David is a regular contributor to National Review Online and a columnist for Patheos. David is the 2012 recipient of the American Conservative Union’s highest honor, the Ronald Reagan Award.

David is also a Captain in the United States Army Reserve, joining the USAR in April, 2006. He currently serves as Brigade Judge Advocate, 1st Brigade, 104th Division, in Aurora, Colorado. A veteran of the Iraq War, David served as part of the Surge from October 2007 to September 2008 with the 2d Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment (Sabre Squadron) in Diyala Province, Iraq.

Nancy French is a two time New York Times best-selling author. She co-authored Why Evangelicals Should Support Romney (and Feel Good About It!) and Home and Away: A Story of Family in a Time of War with her husband David. She also co-authored Bristol Palin’s Not Afraid of Life: My Story So Far, Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson’s A Winning Balance: What I’ve Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams, and other books like Red State of Mind: How a Catfish Queen Reject Became a Liberty Belle.

She is the editor of the Faith and Family Channel on Patheos.

Together, David and Nancy co-founded (with friends) EvangelicalsforMitt.org in 2005. They live with their three children in Columbia Tennessee — home of a weeklong festival celebrating mules –and attend Zion Presbyterian Church (PCA).


American Values: “In God We Trust” — “Liberty” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist – Dedicated to all members of The United States military and their families

Susan B. Anthony List President Urges Pro-Lifers to Unite Behind Romney

The board of directors of the Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life organization, has voted unanimously to endorse Governor Romney for President. The announcement came as part of an op-ed published yesterday by the group’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, at National Review Online.

marjorie-dannenfelser

Marjorie Dannenfelser – President and Chairman of the Board of the Susan B. Anthony List

In June of 2011, some social conservatives showed concern that Romney had actually refused to sign the SBA pledge, but in doing so the Governor immediately released his own pro-life pledge with concrete commitments to govern as a pro-life leader. Dannenfelser identifies Romney’s pledge by saying, “Rather than just check the pro-lifebox, Governor Romney went on to make concrete commitments.”

The SBA President then names and expounds on what those commitments are. Namely:

  • Defund Planned Parenthood and Big Abortion
  • End U.S. support of abortion overseas
  • Protect unborn children capable of feeling pain from abortion
  • Appoint constitutionalist justices to the Supreme Court
  • Select a pro-life vice-presidential running mate

Governor Romney has made it clear that he is the pro-life candidate in this race — which is why the SBA List Board of Directors voted unanimously to stand behind him in April. It is the responsibility of all pro-life voters to now unite behind Governor Romney. Together we can put a pro-life leader in the White House.

Read Dannenfelser’s whole op-ed here.

Read more about Romney and the issue of Abortion/Stem Cell Research on our issues page.

~Nate G.

HT: GOP12

Illinois, Let’s Do It!

Illinois, you know the future of the country is in your hands.

The GOP All Agree: It’s Time to Replace Barack Obama

The GOP nearly unanimously agrees that our four year experiment with an inexperienced Senator at the helm has been a disaster. I read yesterday an article at Politico whose headline was “CBO: Exploding debt under Obama policies.” That article says public debt is expected (under CBO rules of prognostication) to increase from $10.1 trillion in 2011 to $18.8 trillion in 2022. For the current fiscal year:

…CBO is now projecting a shortfall of $1.3 trillion. In fiscal 2013, the deficit will still hover near the $1 trillion mark — about $977 billion. And while it will fall to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2017, it then begins to grow again to 3 percent of GDP by 2022.

With 5 more years of Barack Obama, without threat of losing a re-election bid, one can imagine how bad it could get. How long has it been since the Senate proposed a budget? How much time do we have to repeal Obamacare before the contraception controversy becomes par for the course, and the Federal government begins telling religious institutions what it must buy for its employees?

And this doesn’t even consider foreign policy.

Picking the Replacement

So our choices to replace Barack Obama are now clear. Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney.

Ron Paul.

While there’s much of Ron Paul’s philosophy on the appropriate constitutional size of government I find appealing, he won’t win an election against Barack Obama. The last two elections in which the GOP nominee was elected were decided by the slimmest of margins. I don’t believe that American citizens are ready to make the radical changes Ron Paul would advocate. And I’m not ready for his approach to foreign policy.

Newt Gingrich.

I’ve written before that while Newt Gingrich seems to be an idea machine, he doesn’t know the difference between a good one and a bad one, which is not a good trait for a president. As an attorney for executives, I have observed that some people actually get things done, and others like to pontificate and tell others what to do. I see Newt in the latter role: wanting to be the professor and tell everyone else what they should do rather than actually getting it done. That is not what I’m looking for in an commander-in-chief.

Rick Santorum.

As for Rick Santorum, there’s a lot about his conservative social stands that I like. But I disagree that Rick draws a sharper conservative contrast with Obama than Mitt Romney, that Rick is the “true conservative” in the race, or that Mitt’s having endorsed health care reform in Massachusetts is a handicap. David Axelrod, Obama’s Communications Director, doesn’t hesitate to point out the many differences between Mitt and Obama. Saying Mitt is in any way like Obama is clearly misleading. Santorum calling himself the “true conservative” is also misleading. There are serious arguments to be made that Santorum is not a fiscal conservative at all. And while he attacks Mitt on social issues (principally abortion and Romneycare), Santorum is just as much a convert to the pro-life movement as Mitt is, and Mitt has made it very, very clear that he is both pro-life and intends to repeal Obamacare. When Santorum claims he “never supported the individual mandate,” that’s not true. He supported Mitt Romney as the “true conservative” candidate in 2008, after Romneycare was adopted. Rick’s conversion on health care reform came very recently, and very opportunistically. And we should not forget that Santorum’s endorsement of liberal Arlen Specter is what allowed Obamacare to pass in the first place, since Specter cast the deciding vote. Rick’s habit of compromising his principles has already harmed our country enough.

Mitt Romney.

Meanwhile, in my mind, Mitt has a number of strengths that make him the compelling choice.

Turnaround experience.

Mitt has decades of true executive experience, something unmatched in any other candidate. Mitt has been a governor. He has been a CEO. He led the Olympic games. Mitt’s executive experience has also often been leading organizations needing a turnaround. He’s credited with saving the 2002 Olympics. He’s credited with saving Bain Consulting. He’s credited with balancing the budget in Massachusetts without raising tax rates.

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New Polls Show Mitt Up Nationally and in MI; A Few Other Thoughts

Mitt Romney Thumbs Up

Direction of Latest Polls.

A new poll came out today showing Mitt with a 2% lead over Rick Santorum in Michigan.

Gallup’s Tracking Poll yesterday showed Mitt with a new nationwide lead, but that’s just window-dressing (note the link is to the poll as updated daily, so the results may have changed by the time you click on it; for the story at CNN click here).

More importantly, since the nomination is won state by state, the real story is that PPP‘s polling today showed Mitt up 39% to 37% in Michigan:

Mitt Romney’s taken a small lead over Rick Santorum in PPP’s newest Michigan poll. He’s at 39% to 37% for Santorum, 13% for Ron Paul, and 9% for Newt Gingrich. Compared to a week ago Romney’s gained 6 points, while Santorum’s just stayed in place.

Even better news, however, is that Mitt may have a lead in early voting that Santorum could find hard to overcome:

Romney will go into election day with a large lead in the bank. Only 16% of Michigan voters say they’ve already cast their ballots, but Romney has a whooping 62-29 advantage over Santorum with that group. Santorum actually leads Romney 39-34 with those who are planning to cast their votes on Tuesday, but he’d need to win election day voters by even more than that to neutralize the advantage Romney’s built up.

As I’ve been opining here on MittRomneyCentral, Santorum’s very socially conservative comments appear to be doing him damage, even among those that are inclined to agree with him (and I thought the damage would be mostly with the independents; also note who’s running the negative ads):

The last week of the campaign in Michigan has seen significant damage to Santorum’s image with GOP voters in the state. His net favorability has declined 29 points from +44 (67/23) to now only +15 (54/39). Negative attacks on Romney meanwhile have had no negative effect with his favorability steady at +20 (57/37). Two weeks ago Santorum’s net favorability in Michigan was 34 points better than Romney’s. Now Romney’s is 5 points better than Santorum’s. Those kinds of wild swings are the story of the GOP race.

One place Santorum may have hurt himself in the last week is an overemphasis on social issues. 69% of voters say they’re generally more concerned with economic issues this year to only 17% who pick social issues. And with the overwhelming majority of voters more concerned about the economy, Romney leads Santorum 45-30. Santorum’s winning those more concerned about social issues 79-12 but it’s just not that big a piece of the pie.

Mitt is also cutting into Santorum’s lead in key support groups:

Romney has made significant in roads with all of Santorum’s key groups of support. 2 weeks ago Santorum had leads around 30 points with Evangelicals, Tea Party voters, and those describing themselves as ‘very conservative.’ Santorum’s still winning all those groups, but by significantly diminished margins- it’s only 7 points with Evangelicals and Tea Partiers and 10 with ‘very conservative’ Republicans.

So much for not being able to convince the conservative base. Did anyone really believe that? Bueller?

A Few Other Thoughts

Mitt’s Availability to the Press. Interestingly there were two contrasting stories in Politico today, one criticizing Mitt for not appearing on Meet the Press, with the other reporting how available he has been to local talk shows in Michigan. Hmm…if I were running for a national office but the voting was state-by-state, where would I go? National shows or the ones where the voters are? (LOTS MORE AFTER THE BREAK!)

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#UnravelTheSweater: Rick Santorum’s Serious Electability Issues

Rick Santorum - Unravel the Sweater

UPDATE: More on Santorum’s electability problem at this link. They suggest, as I do below, part of the problem isn’t just the statements, it’s a self-inflicted inability to pick the issues you really want to focus on.

UPDATE 2: The hits just keep coming: Santorum is unelectable, says this article at CNN about why very few in the Congress are endorsing him.

One veteran GOP leadership aide called him a culture warrior likely to turn off moderate voters.

“The fear of Santorum is that it would just be a slow decay. There is no faith that he would bring independent or moderate voters. If he does well on Super Tuesday you’ll have serious people talking about convention strategies,” said the Senate GOP leadership aide.

Rick Santorum is unelectable. Here are just a few reasons why:

1. Rick Santorum’s Position on Social Issues are Significantly to the Right of Most Americans. Rick Santorum is tacking hard to the right to win votes in the primary. There’s good evidence he’s taken some of his positions out of political expediency. For example, it’s now been made public he was pro-choice until he ran for Senate. But regardless of his shift, the statements he is making now at best show he’s very, very bad at picking battles (a skill a president must have) and at worst paint him as too conservative and even outrageous to mainstream America. And he’s generated this sentiment after being in the spotlight only about a week. If we want to defeat Barack Obama, the GOP nominee will have to focus on the issues that appeal to middle voters, not scare them off. So in my mind this is not really about whether Rick’s right or wrong, but his skill at building consensus as president, and how he’s perceived. In the words of Jennifer Rubin, a conservative writer at the Washington Post:

Santorum likes to say that he is principled, but in fact he’s vividly demonstrating day after day that his strongly held social views, when uttered aloud in dogmatic tones, sound outrageous to voters who aren’t hard-core social conservatives.

Bill Press of the Chicago Tribune writes of his disgust when he recently read Santorum was outpacing Mitt in Michigan (emphasis added):
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The 39th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade (We Must Defeat President Obama to Overturn Roe v. Wade!)

Mitt Romney made the following statement on the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade:

Today marks the 39th anniversary of one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history, when the court in Roe v. Wade claimed authority over the fundamental question regarding the rights of the unborn. The result is millions of lives since that day have been tragically silenced. Since that day, the pro-life movement has been working tirelessly in an effort to change hearts and minds and protect the weakest and most vulnerable among us. Today, we recommit ourselves to reversing that decision, for in the quiet of conscience, people of both political parties know that more than a million abortions a year cannot be squared with the good heart of America.

The 39th March for Life begins tomorrow.

UPDATE: Mitt Romney today released the following statement on the March for Life:

In great number, men and women from across our country are gathered today on the Mall in Washington in the cause of defending the rights of the unborn. In their ranks are many who remember the day when Roe v. Wade was announced. Also among them are thousands of young Americans born after 1973 whose idealism and good hearts will continue to represent the passion and resolve of the pro-life movement. All of them are marching today in the spirit of compassion and mercy, and I share their commitment to laws that protect the innocent and uphold a culture of life. We take heart that we are winning this issue step by step, and I look forward to working arm and arm with the pro-life movement until the wrong of Roe v. Wade has been set right.”

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