Moving the Needle; Why Some Conservatives Disingenuously Reject Romney

Recently, columnist David Frum stated:

2012 is shaping up as an all-out battle between big donors and local activists, with the big donors coalesced around Romney and the local activists increasingly desperately shopping for somebody – anybody – else.

Others have phrased it differently . . . that Romney’s become “The Establishment” candidate, while many strong conservatives are looking for an “Anti-Establishment” candidate to rally around.  Having seen this narrative develop over the last couple years has been both interesting and confusing to me, especially in light of what transpired in the 2008 GOP primary.

John McCain was the Establishment candidate last cycle, with Mitt running as a Washington outsider.  Mitt even was viewed by most as “the Conservative Alternative” to McCain.  Mitt garnered the endorsements of most conservative pundits, power-brokers, and politicians.  Just a preliminary list included Sen Jim DeMint (SC), Sen. Judd Gregg (NH), Ann Coulter, James Bopp Jr., Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT), Judge Robert Bork, Sean Hannity, David Keene (Chariman of the American Conservatives Union), Paul Weyrich (founder of The Heritage Foundation), Bay  Buchanan, Bob Jones III, Sen. Thad Cochran (MS), Laura Ingraham, Sen. Wayne Allard (CO), Rush Limbaugh, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN), Rick Santorum, Mark Levin, Rep Connie Mack IV (FL), Hugh Hewitt, Jay Sekulow, William Bennett, Lars Larson, Sherriff Joe Arpaio (R-AZ), Dennis Prager, Ross Perot, and Glenn Beck  . . . an impressive list that serves as a “Who’s Who” of the conservative community.

By most accounts, McCain was not a good nominee for the GOP and did not run a particularly effective campaign.  Others argue that no GOP nominee could have beat Obama under the circumstances of “Bush Fatigue” and a crashing economy.  Whatever the reason, “The Establishment” woke up after the terrible losses of 2008 and realized that running a moderate DC insider with “get along” politics is no way to win the presidency (a la Bob Dole, John Kerry, and Al Gore to name just a few).  There was quite a bit of “wish we would have nominated Romney” feeling going around at the time.

What happened is that “The Establishment” wisened up and moved it’s support for this cycle to the right of McCain by gravitating towards DC-Outsider Mitt Romney.   But in a knee-jerk and rather childish reaction to mounting establishment support for Romney, many anti-establishment types (I’m looking at you Talk Radio and conservative blogsites like HotAir and RedState!!) have thereby rejected Romney due to said establishment support.  It’s as if they’re saying:

“We cannot support any candidate that has the support of ‘The Establishment.’  We don’t care that he’s never worked in DC, that he’s too rich to be bought by lobbyists, that he’s the strongest candidate to match up with Obama (as poll after poll shows), nor that we supported him in 2008 and that he hasn’t done anything since that time to become ‘less conservative.”  By darn, if ‘The Establishment’ likes him, we cannot accept him and we KNOW that SOMETHING must be wrong with him!  (we’ll get back to you when we finally figure out what that ‘something’ is.)”

Now, some will be quick to say that the big difference this time is “RomneyCare” . . . that Mitt proved that he’s no true conservative because that legislation included an “individual mandate” on purchasing health insurance.  Oh, you mean that law that was crafted in 2004-5 and passed in 2006 with the support of The Heritage Foundation and loads of conservatives and was the topic of discussion in the debates leading up to the 2008 election?  The RomneyCare that didn’t seem to hamper your support and endorsement of him last time?   Excuse me while I scratch my head  for a while . . .

Observers have seen this anti-establishment community jump around in their preferred candidate between Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, and have even seen some flirtations with Donald Trump, Michelle Bachmann, and Mitch Daniels (the latter is ironically much more of a DC insider and “establishment” guy than Mitt ever was).  Tim Pawlenty hasn’t seemed to catch on with hardly anyone, but many have him at the back of their minds just in case none of these other “anti-establishment” candidates pan out.  It’s almost as if they know that broad-based support will eventually coalesce around Romney, but that they just can’t bring themselves to get on board yet because of pride.  That they’re instead pimping and pumping up ANYBODY else they can think of in order to put off the inevitable time when they’ll have to swallow their pride and get back on the Romney train.

Yes, there’s no doubt that the needle has been moved to the right over the past four years.  But there is no logical reason that Romney should not have the strong support from the conservative community that he enjoyed last time.  Those orchestrating these machinations are being both prideful and disingenuous.

Mitt Romney ‘On The Record’ with Greta Van Susteren: Talks Gas Prices (VIDEO)

This tweet from Governor Romney earlier today was welcome news:

Looking forward to discussing my op-ed on S&P credit warning w/ @gretawire tonight on @foxnews at 10 pm EDT than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Among the topics discussed, Romney spoke ‘On The Record’ with Greta Van Susteren about Obama’s failures – his Stimulus Bill that stiffed taxpayers and only created a few government jobs, Obama’s refusal to allow America to be energy self-sufficient, i.e. the President’s decisions that are making Americans gasp and groan at the gas pump, our indebtedness to China, illegal immigration, and the presidential race for 2012 (Donald Trump).


Romney: Obama White House Downplaying ‘Giant Wake-up Call’, talks gas prices

You have to have an energy policy that says America is going to develop our own energy resources, as well as developing those renewable sources that – frankly – are important to us, but simply CAN’T POWER OUR CARS.” -Mitt Romney

OPEN THREAD on GretaWire; to share your opinion of her guests tonight, click here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Can Mitt Romney “Waive” ObamaCare Via an Executive Order? Yes He Can!

In an article called, “Mitt’s Mistake: ObamaCare Is Not ‘Waivable‘,”  Grace-Marie Turner erroneously claims that Mitt Romney made a grave error in making a promise he knows he cannot keep:

“As a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Business School and as the Republican governor who convinced the Democratic Massachusetts legislature to pass RomneyCare, he surely knows a president can’t use an executive order to wipe out two massive new entitlement programs, $550 billion in new and higher taxes, vast Medicaid expansion, and mandates on individuals, businesses and the states to comply with President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

Ms. Turner asserts that Mitt Romney cannot keep his promise of using executive orders because waivers cannot be used to defeat laws that Congress have passed:

“Simply put, executive orders cannot contradict statutory law. Waivers are not a solution and might well detract from the ultimate goal of repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with a truly free market alternative that puts patients — not bureaucrats — in charge of their health care.”

Grace-Marie Turner intentionally misconstrues what Mitt Romney by claiming that Romney would use an executive order to completely overturn ObamaCare. However, that’s not what Gov Romney claimed in his op-ed in the National Review.

What Romney said is that he would use an executive order directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to grant a waiver to all 50 states as a temporary measure while Obamacare was in the process of being repealed in Congress.

Not only is Grace-Marie Turner not only intentionally misconstruing what Mitt Romney plans to do if he was President but she is flat out wrong in claiming that what he plans to do is illegal and unconstitutional. If you look at statutory language in ObamaCare, you’ll find that under Section 2711 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it grants the Secretary of Health and Human Services and those in that department, the authority to determine who gets the waivers and who doesn’t:

“The entire act is filled with the phrase, “The secretary shall determine” or equivalents, meaning that HHS can essentially make up and change rules as they go along. No one knows what to expect from this vast expansion of regulatory power precisely because it’s based on executive whimsy rather than sound and objective law.”

So far, under the Obama Administration, the number of waivers that the Obama Administration has granted is over 1,000 and climbing. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been granting waivers to big businesses, big unions and big health insurance companies. She has also granted waivers to Maine, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee.

Under the three branches of government, the executive branch has the power to enforce or not enforce the laws that Congress passes. The President is the head of the executive branch of the government and the President oversees many departments and agencies that make up the executive department. One of those department under the executive branch is the Department of Health and Human Services.

Moreover, Executive Orders “are legally binding orders given by the President, acting as the head of the Executive Branch, to Federal Administrative Agencies. Executive Orders are generally used to direct federal agencies and officials in their execution of congressionally established laws or policies.”

As a result, Mitt Romney as President, would have the legal and constitutional power, as head of the executive branch of the government, to tell an executive department, via an executive order, to use his statutorily authorized powers to issue waivers as given to the Secretary of Health and Humans Services as provided under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.

What Romney is proposing is not to overturn ObamaCare with the a stroke of a pen via an executive order, or repeal a portion of it, but would simply use an executive order as a temporary measure. It would halt the implementation of ObamaCare while Congress works to overhaul the law by ordering the Secretary of Health and Human Services to grant those waivers to every state.

In conclusion, Grace-Marie Turner’s article is inaccurate. Not only can Presidents use executive orders to override statutory laws as many Presidents have done but they have the legal and constitutional power, as head of the executive department, to tell an executive department, via an executive order, to enforce a particular provision of the law.


If you haven’t yet, pledge whatever amount you would like to the “Show Mitt the Money” pledge drive to be part of Mitt’s money-bomb which will likely be held in the middle of May.

Mitt Romney Interview with Sean Hannity: Obama is Playing ‘Chicken’ with U.S. Economy

'Playing Chicken' by artist Sam Hollingsworth

Radio air waves resounded yesterday with Romney telling it like it is on Obama’s policies. After his interview on the launch of Jordan Sekulow’s radio show yesterday, The Gov paired up with Sean Hannity on his radio program. He spoke about yesterday’s lowering of our nation’s credit outlook by Standard & Poor (S & P) from stable to negative:

“The Obama presidency was downgraded today…
and people recognize that he’s playing chicken with the U.S. economy.”
-Mitt Romney

The Hill:

Romney, a top Republican candidate for president in 2012, seized on S&P’s decision Monday to issue a “negative” outlook on U.S. debt, reflecting pessimism that lawmakers on Capitol Hill would reach an agreement with Obama on how to rein in long-term debt.
“The Obama presidency was downgraded today,” Romney said on conservative pundit Sean Hannity’s radio show. “And people recognize that he’s playing chicken with the U.S. economy.”

Romney, who’s made his business experience a key element in his campaign for the Republican nomination, said that even the downgraded rating in the short term was costly to the U.S. economy.
“The amount of debt we have is backbreaking even now. But if the interest costs are going up, even now, it could be devastating to the U.S. economy,” he said. “This is a big deal, and the president continues to pooh-pooh the need to look seriously at our long-term budget.

(my emphasis) Read entire article here.

Hannity/Romney interview (4/18/11):

Romney tweet earlier today:

S&P’s rating warning on US debt is first time in history they have downgraded America’s outlook to negative.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Hugh Hewitt chimed in very favorably for Mitt.

Mitt Romney Gets Some Tea Party Love in New Hampshire

Jack Kimball

Jack Kimball

New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman and Tea Party activist, Jack Kimball, had some nice things to say about Governor Romney. Chairman Kimball gives The Gov due credit for finding a state-based solution to a state problem:

From the PoliticalTicker:

It really was an innovative experiment, he’s a very smart man and what he did was he came up with this program geared for the state of Massachusetts, it was never meant to be some model for a national health care program,” Jack Kimball said on CNN’s “John King, USA” Monday.

“And Mitt Romney’s made it very clear and as recently as a few weeks ago to me that he’s in favor of complete repeal of ‘Obamacare’ and that each state should come up with their own plan.”

“It shouldn’t be as big an issue as folks are making it.”

Keep in mind, this is the same tea party-backed Chairman that was voted in by Republican officials at convention back in January. At that same gathering, (very conservative) attendees were invited to participate in a presidential straw poll; the results were very astoundingly in Mitt’s favor: Romney 35.1%, Ron Paul 10.5%, Tim Pawlenty 7.6%, and Sarah Palin at 6.9%.

HT: Revolution 2010

-Luke Gunderson

Romney vs. Health Care, Part 4: “Mandates . . . Did Mitt Get Left Holding the Bag?”

Part 4 in a developing series of in-depth analysis by Dr. Jeff Fuller (See part 1 and part 2 and part 3)

Firstly, as an addendum to my last post (Part 3 about Romney opposing ObamaCare from Day one), Romney has upped the ante on his rejection of ObamaCare and his willingness to fight for it’s repeal.  In a brief National Review Online Op-ed on March 22nd entitled “If I Were President: ObamaCare, One Year in” he brought up a new angle that I hadn’t considered:

If I were president, on Day One I would issue an executive order paving the way for Obamacare waivers to all 50 states. The executive order would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health-care solutions that work best for them.

As I have stated time and again, a one-size-fits-all national plan that raises taxes is simply not the answer. Under our federalist system, the states are “laboratories of democracy.” They should be free to experiment. By the way, what works in one state may not be the answer for another. Of course, the ultimate goal is to repeal Obamacare and replace it with free-market reforms that promote competition and lower health-care costs. But since an outright repeal would take time, an executive order is the first step in returning power to the states.

Powerful, pragmatic leadership, with both experience and foresight.  That’s what our country needs in the White House, and that’s what Mitt Romney has in spades!

OK, now onto the questions of RomneyCare and Mandates.  Admittedly, this will be the stickiest subject for Romney and may be a stumbling block of gaining the support of some conservatives.  The individual mandate is at the crux of both ObamaCare and RomneyCare, really, the sine qua non of the respective plans.

Mitt recently defended the individual mandate.  This has been his consistent position since 2004-5 when the law was being crafted.  In fact, Romney was often questioned about the plan during the last GOP primary in 2007-8 and he provided solid answers about how an individual mandate could help solve the problem of “free riders” . . . those that could afford health insurance, but choose not to because current federal law MANDATES that emergency rooms assess/triage/treat all patients who present, irrespective of their insurance status or citizenship (EMTALA & COBRA laws: “It requires hospitals and ambulance services to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. There are no reimbursement provisions. As a result of the act, patients needing emergency treatment can be discharged only under their own informed consent or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment.”)  Take 90 seconds and hear Mitt discuss the conservative side of the mandate issue:

I like how Romney summed this up in writing in the following WSJ article in 2006:

Click here to continue reading

(Video Update) Mitt Romney Heads to Florida, Lauds Tea Party, FL Congressman Connie Mack Endorses Romney

U.S. Rep Connie Mack, R-Fort Meyers, Florida

As Mitt Romney heads to Florida today, a hearty endorsement from influential Florida Congressman Connie Mack is welcome news:

Mack for Mitt: Romney Picks Up Florida Endorsement

MIAMI– Mitt Romney has picked up another important Florida endorsement as he continues to build his network in the crucial primary state ahead of his probable run for president. U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV has said that he will support the former Massachusetts governor because of his economic credentials.

“We need true leadership in the White House with someone who is uniquely qualified to grow the economy and create the quality jobs that Americans deserve and need,” Mack told the St. Petersburg Times.

“If Governor Romney decides to run for president in 2012, I will absolutely be supporting him and helping him in Florida,” Thrasher told FOX in March.” He would be a great GOP nominee.”

Romney sights are firmly focused on Florida, a state at the center of his political strategy to win the GOP nomination, according to Florida insiders who are backing him and his expected entry into the 2012 race.

A precursor to Romney’s Florida stops and Tax Day was an op-ed penned by Romney in the Orlando Sentinel yesterday. For Americans, who are busy crunching numbers this weekend to pay voracious Uncle Sam, Romney echoes many feelings regarding America’s complex, convoluted tax system. He writes that “our system of taxation is killing our nation’s once-strong economic engine.” (A special exception gives taxpayers until Monday the 18th to make the IRS happy.)

“The mind-boggling complexity of our tax system is only part of the problem,” he wrote. “As of last year, the U.S. tax code had mushroomed into 71,684 pages that no one human being can fully understand. Along with complexity comes a dizzying array of perverse incentives.”

Romney also writes about our national debt, states that one of the biggest tax reforms is reining in Obama, and lauds the Tea Party movement:

Almost 21/2 centuries after the original Boston Tea Party of 1773, the idea of limited government that inspired our forebears is very much alive. The growth of government is not some inexorable force. In a democracy, we the people decide. Thanks to the Tea Party, there’s real hope that we can rein in our profligate federal government.

Nate covers the full op-ed here.


The Romneys attended a fundraiser in Orlando today. Among all that was said, a nugget was revealed: The Gov WILL campaign in Iowa. Read more here.


Video hat/ tip: (Bosman)

Click here to continue reading

Mitt Romney’s Message Inspires Donors at New York City’s Harvard Club

Governor Romney is on a blitz to gather the phenomenal amount of money needed to see his potential presidential campaign through the primaries and take the battle eye-to-eye to Obama.

The day after announcing his presidential exploratory committee, Romney breakfasted with deep-pocket donors at the Harvard Club in New York City on Tuesday (4/12/11):

Mitt Romney, wasting no time reeling in the cash for his presidential campaign, held a meeting with high-dollar donors in New York City on Tuesday, a day after announcing his exploratory committee for president.

All attendees pledged at least $25,000, but donors say many of the bundlers will raise between $100,000 and $250,000. The $50 million fund-raising goal that came up at the last meeting was not mentioned Tuesday.

[Tom] Foley, who also served as the ambassador to Ireland during the second Bush administration, said the crowd was enthusiastic that the exploratory committee is official.

“People can jump in and begin supporting him in the best way they are able to do that,” Foley told The Daily Beast. “There is a gathering sense of momentum when everybody gets together. The gun has been fired and it was exciting for everyone.”

With Romney’s exploratory committee activated, donors like the ones who attended the Harvard Club gathering—who have already pledged between $25,000 and $100,000—can start to write checks to the committee, which is expected to become a full-fledged campaign in the coming months. In attendance Tuesday were New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, former Bush Treasury official Emil Henry, hedge fund manager Anthony Scaramucci, financier Patrick Durkin, and former Goldman Sachs chairman John Whitehead, all of whom attended a similar breakfast fund-raiser for Romney last month. New faces included Tom Foley, who unsuccessfully ran for governor of Connecticut last November, and hedge fund manager John Paulson, who along with Johnson spoke at the meeting.
…Investment banker Lewis Eisenberg, who served as John McCain’s 2008 finance chairman and helped plan the breakfast meeting, said most people in the room Tuesday morning believe Romney is the GOP’s best shot in 2012.

“I continue to think he’s the best chance we have to understand the world we are dealing with in the White House,” said Eisenberg. “He believes in the greatness of America, the importance of a strong economy, creating jobs, and reducing the perilous deficit. He will not take his eye off the ball.”

(my emphasis)

Gov Romney fired up the crowd with remarks on jobs, the economy, job creation, foreign policy and Obama’s failures, and health care. According to the article, one attendee said “Romney appeared ready to “eviscerate Obamacare.”

Don’t miss reading more here.

Next stop on the fundraising march? Onward to Florida – The Villages.

*Remember to PLEDGE to donate to MRC’s Pledge Drive: Show Mitt the Money! If you find yourself short of funds because it’s pay-Uncle-Sam month or whatever reason, try to figure out ways to cut corners or save up to donate whatever you can next month to help Gov. Romney make history. Every dollar counts. The Obama machine doesn’t rest and our man, Mitt, will need all the help we can give.

► Jayde Wyatt

Mitt Romney’s Response to Obama’s Budget Speech: ‘Too Little, Too Late’

In rapid response time, Governor Romney issued a well-worded summary of Obama’s budget proposal speech today.

From Kathryn Jean Lopez:

To every political reporter in America, I suspect:

“President Obama’s proposals are too little, too late. Instead of supporting spending cuts that lead to real deficit reduction and true reform of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, the President dug deep into his liberal playbook for ‘solutions’ highlighted by higher taxes. With over 20 million people who are unemployed or who have stopped looking for work, the last thing we should be doing is raising taxes on job-creators, entrepreneurs, and small business owners across America.”

Tweet from Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom:

Romney says Obama speech on debt offers “too little, too late” and serves up the wrong solution – “higher taxes.”

While Obama is proposing $4 trillion worth of debt reduction to be implemented in 12 years, he is also promising raising taxes. About a quarter of his speech was spent deriding Rep Paul Ryan’s budget plan. (Ryan is Chairman of the House Budget Committee.) Obama was AWOL in the budget process before Ryan presented his benchmark proposal.

*Note: I listened to Obama’s budget speech; it was a trojan horse to announce his reelection campaign. He is not serious about trying to reduce spending and deal with America’s debt disaster.

To read the transcript of Obama’s speech click here.

UPDATE: Even though Obama extended kudos to Joe Biden at the beginning of his speech, here’s what the Vice President really thought about it…

To see full video of Obama’s speech click here.

► Jayde Wyatt

‘Students for Mitt’ Release Video Supporting Romney

Students for Mitt caught the attention of a major publication today with the release of a student produced video drawing attention to the plight of graduating students and their scant job prospects:

USA Today

Just days after the former Massachusetts governor launched his presidential exploratory committee, Students for Mitt Romney released a video in support of their man. It features three students talking about the economy, their concerns about finding a job upon graduation and paying off their student loans.

“Can we afford to graduate in this economy?” one student asks.

The students then tout Romney’s range of experience. (Before he was the Bay State’s governor, Romney also headed up the management firm Bain & Co. and helped organize the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.)

Romney “stands as the most qualified Republican candidate due in large measure to his career as a leader in both the public and private sectors,” says Garrett Sweitzer, a Vanderbilt University junior who is a founder and chairman of the student group.

(my emphasis)

Students for Mitt Romney: Restoring the American Dream was created by Boston College graduating senior, Thomas Tatum:

SFM founder, Garrett Sweitzer, says Students for Mitt is a growing movement with activists on about 40 campuses in 25 states. Help spread the word to establish support for Gov Romney on campuses across America!

Students for Mitt Facebook Page

UPDATE: A Georgia Tech business administration student in Atlanta, GA (self-described liberal supporter) penned this on his ‘An American Blog’ today:
Location, Location, Location: Romney and Jobs

Mitt Romney didn’t deliver his ‘exploratory committee’ speech from his office. The speech wasn’t delivered in ‘small town America.’ The speech wasn’t recorded in front of 100,000 screaming fans in a major U.S. city. It was recorded…at a college. And that, meant a lot to me. It meant a lot to me that in the first ten seconds of his video he says, “[college students] wonder if they will find good jobs when they graduate.” To know that there is a candidate that sees that jobs for college students are an issue—and is working hard to find a solution to that issue…

Read more here.

► Jayde Wyatt