Full Transcript: MittRomneyCentral.com Interview

Mitt Romney for President in 2012Two weeks ago we linked to an interview I did with conservative blogger Tim Knight of Jumping in Pools. After giving time for it to be read there I am posting it here in it’s entirety since some may not have clicked through to it and because I’d like to preserve it here on our site as well.

Below are the questions from the interview. Click any of them to jump to that question.
1. What would be the difference between a President Romney and a President Obama?
2. What is the purpose of Mitt Romney Central, and what do you hope to achieve?
3. What can you tell us about Mr.Romney’s just-released book?
4. According to some recent polling data, Romney would win in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Florida if the 2012 Republican Primaries were held today, what is your reaction?
5. Would a “Mitt Romney” campaign fracture the Republican base as much as some Cultural Conservatives predict it will?
6. Give me three reasons to support Romney for the Republican nomination in 2012.

From Jumping in Pools:

Tim Knight – Mr.Gunderson, what would be the difference between a President Romney and a President Obama?

Nate Gunderson – Well the differences would be vast and numerous. Perhaps the two most noticeable differences are their approaches to foreign policy and to the economy. Obama’s policy with foreign nations is to kiss-up to our enemies while snubbing our allies. Just this last weekend he snubbed Israel’s Prime Minister, fortunately he received a bipartisan rebuke from congress for doing so. He’s full of concessions and appeasements for our enemies, actions that have not been reciprocated, and all the while he offers our friends a stiff arm. Romney on the other hand believes in peace through strength. He often quotes Reagan when he says that of all the wars that came about in his lifetime, none of them were because the U.S. was too strong. Romney believes that our nation’s interests and the safety of our children depend on having a strong military and he suggests raising our annual output for military spending to 4% of our GDP, as he has outlined in his new book No Apology. That’s a great read by the way, if you haven’t read it. I’m two-thirds through it.

Anyway, the other item of difference is the economy. You can be certain that if Romney were President now our domestic agenda would be entirely different. This health care debacle certainly would not have passed. We wouldn’t be entertaining ill-conceived ideas like Cap and Trade, Cash for Clunkers, and government control of the auto industry. We would not have utter misuse and lack of accountability with the TARP funds and stimulus money. A stimulus package under a Romney administration would be designed to bring short-term, instant stimulus to the economy through creating incentives for employers to hire. The current stimulus is nothing more than a big payback to those who supported Obama in his run to the White House and is drawn over many years. It has virtually nothing to with jobs, just vast amounts of pork-barrel spending. Romney criticizes Obama for trying to do too much, when he should be focusing on the economy. With millions of people out of jobs and millions of families suffering because of it, I’m certain a President Romney would have done much better to focus on the economy and his policies would have been wiser and better implemented.

Sorry such a long answer on that one but your question hit a hot spot for me.

Tim Knight – Mr.Gunderson, what is the purpose of Mitt Romney Central, and what do you hope to achieve?

Nate Gunderson – MittRomneyCentral.com is a grassroots website designed to promote Mitt Romney for President in 2012, and we’ll certainly promote a lot of conservative candidates and causes along the way. Our goal is to inform the masses, via the internet, regarding Governor Romney and his potential run for the White House. We are currently a team of about 10 people, each with roles to help develop the site in one way or another, whether it be through promoting the site through social-networking websites, or writing page content, or blogging. We launched just six months ago so we are rather new. We currently have about 1000 daily visitors to our site and are growing very rapidly. Very soon we hope to gather some who are quite dedicated to Romney in 2012 and we’ll do training to make a coordinated on-line effort to promote Romney, and to work on correcting much of the misinformation there is out there about him.

Let me add too, just for clarification, that we have absolutely no ties to Romney or his PAC. I’ve shaken Romney’s hand five times, but I’ve never talked to him. We are strictly grassroots and are not supported nor approved by his PAC in anyway.

Tim Knight – Mr.Gunderson, what can you tell us about Mr.Romney’s just-released book?

Nate Gunderson – It’s great. I read his first book “Turnaround”, which I loved, but this one is still much better. As I mentioned already I’m two-thirds through “No Apology”. I just read the chapter today about education and I found it very insightful and well-written. In the book Romney takes on a number of issues and with each one he discusses how its affects America. He has a process how he analyzes each policy and decides whether it will strengthen America or hurt America. The beginning is heavy on foreign policy, but makes one extremely proud to be an American at the same time. He talks about how to create environments for innovation and productivity to flourish in free markets. He discusses the backwards policies we have in regards to immigration. He dedicated a chapter to education and our failing schools. And not least important is his chapter on health care. There is so much to be understood on this subject, especially with the passage of ObamaCare and everyone trying to link it to Romney and Massachusetts. If everyone could read this chapter on health care they would see the great difference between Obama and Romney in solving the problem.

In all, the book is well written, every bit written by the Governor himself. He may not say it, but I certainly will: this is a campaign platform for 2012. If you want to know what Romney is all about, it is in the book. It’s much more informative than 30 second TV spots and 140 character Twitter encapsulations.

Tim Knight – Mr.Gunderson, according to some recent polling data, Romney would win in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Florida if the 2012 Republican Primaries were held today, what is your reaction?

Nate Gunderson – Polls are fun, especially when they bring good news. I’ll be the first to admit that they mean very little this far out. But I must say that I’m very pleased with the results of the Florida poll. That’s a very good sign.

Tim Knight – Mr.Gunderson, would a “Mitt Romney” campaign fracture the Republican base as much as some Cultural Conservatives predict it will?

Nate Gunderson – My opinion is that no it won’t. People may be divided, even passionately in a primary, but no matter who wins I have a feeling we will quickly band together for the good of the party, and ultimately for the good of the nation as we make ousting President Obama a top priority. Romney was an excellent example of this kind of unifying quality as he full-heartedly and quickly endorsed, campaigned for, and otherwise promoted McCain,even after a brutal primary. Even so, I think the candidates will have learned a lesson from 2008, even Romney. I expect the debate to be a lot more calm and civil as we all have a common target.

Tim Knight – Mr.Gunderson, give me three reasons to support Romney for the Republican nomination in 2012.

Nate Gunderson – One, economy. No matter what point the economy is at in 2012, it can and could have been better under a President Romney. Romney has advised, operated, consulted, managed, and launched hundreds of businesses. These include businesses from all sectors of the economy from manufacturers, food chains, retailers, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, hotels… you name it – not to mention the 2002 Winter Olympics. He understands why jobs and businesses come and go. He knows the great impact, both positive and negative, that policies have on businesses. And he knows all too well that businesses make jobs and stimulate the economy, not government.

Two, size of government and government waste. There is so much waste in our government. We have far too many agencies that perform the exact same tasks. So much of government intrudes into our liberties and wastes our hard-earned tax dollars. We have extremely burdensome and unfunded liabilities in our entitlement programs. We have a congress that spends like a runaway train. Romney points out very clearly in his book that if these habits don’t change, if our entitlements are not reformed, if fiscal sanity is not returned to Washington, we are on a steady course for disaster. It will take more than a “good person with their heart in the right place” in the presidency to change these enormous and complex problems. Romney is the turnaround champion. He has on numerous occasions jumped into imminent disasters, rallied the troops, wrought great change, and brought hope and competency to the respective institution. Did I just use the words “change” and “hope” in the same sentence?

Three, he is in it for the right reasons. No one who reads Romney’s book can doubt his patriotism. He loves his country and he loves his children and grandchildren. Romney’s foray into politics has nothing to do with money due to his successful career in business. In fact he hasn’t taken a paycheck since he left Bain Capitol in 1999 to become CEO of the Olympics. He donated his salary from the Olympics to charity, he did not take a salary as Governor, he is donated all his proceeds from his book to charity, as well as his speaking fees, and in 2008 had promised he would do the same as president. Romney has no ties to special interest groups or lobbyists – no one to pay back favors from the White House. His only motivation is to help make America a better place because it is the land he loves and he wants to leave it well intact for his grandchildren. He feels he has the skills and the know-how to effectuate meaningful change in Washington, and so do I.

It’s St Patrick’s Day!

Romney St. Patricks day shamrockHistory remembers her… a wee Irish lass. With her two younger brothers, Anthony and Philip in tow, young Annie Moore from County Cork, Ireland, courageously stepped onto the Isle of Hope on New Year’s Day 1892 – her 15th birthday, and became the first immigrant to be processed through the newly opened Ellis Island Processing Centre.

On this St. Patrick’s Day, we take a brief breather from the contentious, ever-changing health care debate to remember the courage and fortitude of Annie Moore and the more than 17 million immigrants from many nations who, seeking freedom and opportunities to work, passed through the portals of Ellis Island to become… Americans:

It is estimated that over half of all Americans have an ancestor that passed through Ellis Island. Legal immigration is the rainbow that leads to America’s pot o’ golden opportunities. Inspired by his first visit to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, Dustin James presents America:


“America, sweet land of liberty, I hear you calling me. I’m on my way.”

Now, on to the party! Sure and begorrah, on this day of shamrocks, shillelaghs, and shenanigans, in our nation of immigrants, everybody is Irish! Celtic Thunder – a rousing group consisting of four Irish lads and one Scot, kick things off. Launching their family-style entertainment three years ago performing at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City, these five male vocalists are currently promoting their new show ‘That’s Entertainment’ on PBS. Celtic Thunder was named Billboard’s Top World Album/Artist in 2009. The group consists of George Donaldson, Paul Byrom, Ryan Kelly, Keith Harkin, and young Damian McGinty. At the time of their debut, McGinty was just 14 years old. In this video, while singing a solo line, on the last note, he playfully motions downward – signaling that his voice has changed. Turn up the volume and try substituting ‘Romney’ or ‘America’ for ‘Ireland’ and you’ll feel like marching all the way Capitol Hill! Here is Ireland’s Call:


Hearts of steel and heads unbowing, vowing never to be broken… We will fight until we can fight no more, ’til our final requiem is spoken.”

While Obama, Pelosi, and Reid spread their blarney this week, today is the time for the wearin’ o’ the green! How thankful we are for ALL who sacrificed so greatly to immigrate to America and for their work ethic, talents, and traditions. Here’s hoping for some of that Irish leprechaun magic… Now, back to work to defeat Obamacare!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

Mitt Romney Offers Excellent Interview on NPR

Romney Interview on NPR

Governor Romney is at the top of his game in this interview that is well worth the time to listen. Romney interviews with the hosts of the show and takes several questions from callers. The interview is part of his No Apology Tour, more info at NoApology.com, and http://bit.ly/RomneyBook. A full transcript of his portion of the interview is available below the fold.

PART1:



PART2:

Full Transcript: From NPR.org
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VIDEO: Mitt Romney’s CPAC Speech + Scott Brown’s Introduction

Mitt Romney’s speech brought viewers to their feet many times this afternoon at CPAC. It was truly inspirational. Divided into four segments, the video footage of Mitt’s speech is posted below. Included is a short introduction by Senator Scott Brown (he had very kind words to say about Mitt).

Be sure you bookmark this, as it will be neat to come back often and refresh your memory of why this man needs to be the next President of the United States:

Scott Brown Introduces Mitt Romney at CPAC

Mitt Romney’s Speech at CPAC 2/18/2010 (PART 1)

Mitt Romney’s Speech at CPAC 2/18/2010 (PART 2)

Mitt Romney’s Speech at CPAC 2/18/2010 (PART 3)

Governor Romney’s Remarks to CPAC 2010

Feb 18, 2010

Thank you to Jay and to Scott for those generous introductions. Both these men have made real contributions to our nation. It’s good to be back at CPAC. I can’t think of an audience I’d rather be addressing today.

I spent the weekend in Vancouver. As always, the Olympic Games were inspiring. But in case you didn’t hear the late-breaking news, the gold medal in the downhill was taken away from American Lindsey Vonn. It was determined that President Obama is going downhill faster than she is.

I’m not telling you something you don’t know when I say that our conservative movement took a real hit in the 2008 elections. The victors were not exactly gracious in their big win: Media legs were tingling. Time Magazine’s cover pictured the Republican elephant and declared it an endangered species. The new president himself promised change of biblical proportion. And given his filibuster-proof Senate and lopsided House, he had everything he needed to deliver it.

They won, we lost. But you know, you learn a lot about people when you see how they react to losing. We didn’t serve up excuses or blame our fellow citizens. Instead, we listened to the American people, we sharpened our thinking and our arguments, we spoke with greater persuasiveness, we took our message to more journals and airwaves, and in the American tradition, some even brought attention to our cause with rallies and Tea parties.

I know that most of you have watched intently as the conservative comeback began in Virginia and exploded onto the scene in New Jersey. But as a Massachusetts man, who, like my fellow Bay-staters, has over the years, been understandably regarded somewhat suspiciously in gatherings like this, let me take just a moment to exalt in a Scott Brown victory!

For that victory that stopped Obama–care and turned back the Reid-Pelosi liberal tide, we have something to that you’d never think you’d hear at CPAC, “Thank you Massachusetts!”

2009 was the President’s turn to suffer losses, and not just at the ballot box, but also in bill after bill in Congress, and most importantly, in his failure to reignite the economy. In how he has responded to these defeats, too, we have learned a great about him and about his team.

He began by claiming that he had not failed at all. Remember the B+ grade he gave himself for his first year? Tell that to the 4 million Americans who lost their jobs last year, and to the millions more who stopped looking. Explain that to the world’s financial markets who gaped at trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. Square that with the absence of any meaningful sanctions against Iran even as it funds terror and races to become a nuclear nation. President Obama’s self-proclaimed B+ will go down in history as the biggest exaggeration since Al Gore’s invention of the internet!

Unable to convince us that his failure was a success, he turned to the second dodge of losing teams: try to pin the blame on someone else. Did you see his State of the Union address? First, he took on the one group in the room that was restrained from responding—the Supreme Court. The President found it inexplicable that the first amendment right of free speech should be guaranteed not just to labor union corporations and media corporations, but equally to all corporations, big and small. When it was all over, I think most Americans felt as I did: his noisy critique and bombast did not register as clear and convincingly as Justice Alito’s silent lips forming these words: “Not true!”

Next he blamed the Republicans in the room, condescending to lecture them on the workings of the budget process, a process many of them had in fact mastered while he was still at Harvard Law School. He blamed Republicans for the gridlock that has blocked his favorite legislation; but he knows as well as we do that he did not need one single solitary Republican vote in either house to pass his legislation. It was Democrats who blocked him, Democrats who said “no” to his liberal agenda after they had been home to their districts and heard from the American people. As Everett Dirksen used to say, “When they felt the heat, they saw the light.” God bless every American who said no!

Of course, the President accuses us of being the party of “no.” It’s as if he thinks that saying “no” is by definition a bad thing. In fact, it is right and praiseworthy to say no to bad things. It is right to say no to cap and trade, no to card check, no to government healthcare, and no to higher taxes. My party should never be a rubber stamp for rubber check spending.

But before we move away from this “no” epithet the Democrats are fond of applying to us, let’s ask the Obama folks why they say “no” –no to a balanced budget, no to reforming entitlements, no to malpractice reform, no to missile defense In Eastern Europe, no to prosecuting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a military tribunal, and no to tax cuts that create new jobs. You see, we conservatives don’t have a corner on saying no; we’re just the ones who say it when that’s the right thing to do!

And that leads us to who he has most recently charged with culpability for his failures: the American people. It seems that we have failed to understand his wise plans for us. If he just slows down, he reasons, and makes a concerted effort to explain Obama-care in a way even we can understand, if we just listen better, then we will get it.

Actually, Americans have been listening quite attentively. And they have been watching. When he barred CSPAN from covering the healthcare deliberations, they saw President Obama break his promise of transparency. When the Democrat leadership was empowered to bribe Nebraska’s Senator Nelson, they saw President Obama break his promise of a new kind of politics in Washington. And when he cut a special and certainly unconstitutional healthcare deal with the unions, they saw him not just break his promise, they saw the most blatant and reprehensible manifestation of political payoff in modern memory. No, Mr. President, the American people didn’t hear and see too little, they saw too much!

Here again, with all due respect, President Obama fails to understand America. He said: “With all the lobbying and horse-trading, the process left most Americans wondering, ‘What’s in it for me?’” That’s not at all what they were asking. They were asking: “What’s in it for America?”

America will not endure government run healthcare, a new and expansive entitlement, an inexplicable and surely vanishing cut in Medicare and an even greater burden of taxes. Americans said no because Obama-care is bad care for America!

When it comes to shifting responsibility for failure, however, no one is a more frequent object of President Obama’s reproach than President Bush. It’s wearing so thin that even the late night shows make fun of it. I am convinced that history will judge President Bush far more kindly—he pulled us from a deepening recession following the attack of 9-11, he overcame teachers unions to test school children and evaluate schools, he took down the Taliban, waged a war against the jihadists and was not afraid to call it what it is—a war, and he kept us safe. I respect his silence even in the face of the assaults on his record that come from this administration. But at the same time, I also respect the loyalty and indefatigable defense of truth that comes from our “I don’t give a damn” Vice President Dick Cheney!

I’m afraid that after all the finger pointing is finished, it has become clear who is responsible for President Obama’s lost year, the 10% unemployment year—President Obama and his fellow Democrats. So when it comes to pinning blame, pin the tail on the donkeys.

There’s a good deal of conjecture about the cause of President Obama’s failures. As he frequently reminds us, he assumed the presidency at a difficult time. That’s the reason we argued during the campaign that these were not the times for on the job training. Had he or his advisors spent even a few years in the real economy, they would have learned that the number one cause of failure in the private sector is lack of focus, and that the first rule of turning around any troubled enterprise is focus, focus, focus. And so, when he assumed the presidency, his energy should have been focused on fixing the economy and creating jobs, and to succeeding in our fight against radical violent jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, he applied his time and political capital to his ill-conceived healthcare takeover and to building his personal popularity in foreign countries. He failed to focus, and so he failed.

But there was an even bigger problem than lack of focus. Ronald Reagan used to say this about liberals: “It’s not that they’re ignorant, it’s that what they know is wrong.” Too often, when it came to what President Obama knew, he was wrong.

He correctly acknowledged that the government doesn’t create jobs, that only the private sector can do that. He said that the government can create the conditions, the environment, which leads the private sector to add employment. But consider not what he said, but what he did last year, and ask whether it helped or hurt the environment for investment, growth, and new jobs.

Announcing 2011 tax increases for individuals and businesses and for capital gains, hurt.

Passing cap and trade, hurt.

Giving trial lawyers a free pass, hurt.

Proposing card check to eliminate secret ballots in union elections, hurt.

Holding on to GM stock and insisting on calling the shots there, hurt.

Making a grab for healthcare, almost 1/5th of our economy, hurt.

Budgeting government deficits in the trillions, hurt.

And scapegoating and demonizing businesspeople, hurt.

President Obama instituted the most anti-growth, anti-investment, anti-jobs measures we’ve seen in our lifetimes. He called his agenda ambitious. I call it reckless. He scared employers, so jobs were scarce. His nearly trillion dollar stimulus created not one net new job in the private sector, but it saved and grew jobs in the government sector– the one place we should have shed jobs. And even today, because he has been unwilling or unable to define the road ahead, uncertainty and lack of predictability permeate the private economy, and prolongs its stall. America is not better off than it was 1.8 trillion dollars ago.

Will the economy and unemployment recover? Of course. Thanks to a vibrant and innovative citizenry, they always do. But this president will not deserve the credit he will undoubtedly claim. He has prolonged the recession, expanded the pain of unemployment, and added to the burden of debt we will leave future generations. President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their team have failed the American people, and that is why their majority will be out the door. Isn’t it fitting that so many of those who have contempt for the private sector will soon find themselves back in it?

The people of America are looking to conservatives for leadership, and we must not fail them.

Conservatism has had from its inception a vigorously positive, intellectually rigorous agenda. That agenda should have three pillars: strengthen the economy, strengthen our security, and strengthen our families.

We will strengthen the economy by simplifying and lowering taxes, by replacing outmoded regulation with modern, dynamic regulation, by opening markets to American goods, by strengthening our currency and our capital markets, and by investing in research and basic science. Instead of leading the world in how much we borrow, we will make sure that we lead the world in how much we build and create and invest.

We will strengthen our security by building missile defense, restoring our military might, and standing-by and strengthening our intelligence officers. And conservatives believe in providing constitutional rights to our citizens, not to enemy combatants like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed!

On our watch, the conversation with a would-be suicide bomber will not begin with the words, “You have the right to remain silent!”

Our conservative agenda strengthens our families in part by putting our schools on track to be the best in the world. Because great schools start with great teachers, we will insist on hiring teachers from the top third of college graduates, and we will give better teachers better pay. School accountability, school choice and cyber schools will be priorities. We will put parents and teachers back in charge of education, not the fat cat CEO’s of the teachers unions!

Strong families will have excellent healthcare. Getting healthcare coverage for the uninsured should be accomplished at the state level, not a one-size-fits all Pelosi plan. The right way to rein-in healthcare cost is not by making it more like the Post Office, it’s by making it more like a consumer-driven market. The answer for healthcare is market incentives not healthcare by a Godzilla-size government bureaucracy!

When it comes to our role in the world, our conservative agenda hews to the principles that have defined our nation’s foreign policy for over six decades: we will promote and defend the American ideals of political freedom, free enterprise, and human rights. We will stand with our allies, and confront those who threaten peace and destroy liberty.

There’s much more on our positive, intellectually rigorous conservative agenda. Not all of it is popular. But the American people have shown that they are ready for truth to trump hope. The truth is that government is not the solution to all our problems.

This year, I have taken the time to write a book that tells the truth about the challenges our nation faces, and about the conservative solutions needed to overcome them. I have titled it: No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. I’ve set up a booth outside so that you can buy a few hundred copies each. Well, maybe one or two.
Sometimes I wonder whether Washington’s liberal politicians understand the greatness of America. Let me explain why I say that.

At Christmas-time, I was in Wal-Mart to buy some toys for my grandkids. As I waited in the check-out line, I took a good look around the store. I thought to myself of the impact Sam Walton had on his company. Sam Walton was all about good value on everything the customer might want. And so is Wal-Mart: rock bottom prices and tens of thousands of items.

The impact that founders like Sam Walton have on their enterprises is actually quite remarkable. In many ways, Microsoft is a reflection of Bill Gates, just as Apple is of Steve Jobs. Disneyland is a permanent tribute to Walt Disney himself—imaginative and whimsical. Virgin Airlines is as irreverent and edgy as its founder. As you look around you, you see that people shape enterprises, sometimes for many years even after they are gone.

People shape businesses.

People shape countries.

America reflects the values of the people who first landed here, those who founded the nation, those who won our freedom, and those who made America the leader of the world.

America was discovered and settled by pioneers. Later, the founders launched an entirely new concept of nation, one where the people would be sovereign, not the king, not the state. And this would apply not just to government, but also to the American economy: the individual would pursue his or her happiness in freedom, independent from government dictate. Every American was free to be an inventor, an innovator, a founder. America became the land of opportunity and a nation of pioneers.

We attracted people of pioneering spirit from around the world. They came here for freedom and opportunity, knowing that the cost was incredibly high: leaving behind family and the familiar, learning a new language, often living at first in poverty, sometimes facing prejudice, working long and hard hours.

All of these pioneers built a nation of incomparable prosperity and unrivaled security.

After its founding, our national economy grew thanks to more pioneers—people like Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, William Procter and Robert Wood Johnson, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard and Thomas Watson. These are names we know—but the less well known are just as vital American innovators, and they number in the millions.

That American pioneering spirit is what propelled us to master the industrial age just as today we marshal the information age.

This course for America, chosen by the founders, has been settled for over 200 years. Ours is the creed of the pioneers, the innovators, the strivers who expect no guarantee of success, but ask only to live and work in freedom. This creed is under assault in Washington today. Liberals are convinced that government knows better than the people how to run our businesses, how to choose winning technologies, how to manage healthcare, how to grow an economy, and how to order our very lives. They want to gain through government takeover what they could never achieve in the competitive economy—power and control over the people of America. If these liberal neo-monarchists succeed, they will kill the very spirit that has built the nation—the innovating, inventing, creating, independent current that runs from coast to coast.

This is the liberal agenda for government. It does not encourage pioneers, inventors and investors—it suffocates them.
In a world where others have lost their liberty by trading it away for the false promises of the state, we choose to hold to our founding principles. We will stop these power-seekers where they stand. We will keep America, America, by retaining its character as the land of opportunity. We welcome the entrepreneur, the inventor, the innovator. We will insist on greatness from every one of our citizens, and rather than apologizing for who we are or for what we have accomplished, we will celebrate our nation’s strength and goodness. American patriots have defeated tyrants, liberated the oppressed, and rescued the afflicted. America’s model of innovation, capitalism and free enterprise has lifted literally billons of the world’s people out of poverty. America has been a force for good like no other in this world, and for that we make no apology.

Romney Leads Gallup’s Open Ended Survey

(H/T: Race42012)

Gallup PollGallup: Just off the top of your head, which Republican would you most like to see as the party’s candidate for president in the 2012 election?

Republicans and Republican-leaning independents: Romney!

OK, so everyone didn’t shout ‘Romney!’ in unison, but he did win the largest percentage. It is interesting to me that this was an open-ended question and no answers were suggested to respondents. One commenter at Race42012 makes an excellent observation:

This is best a measurement of the awareness of registered voters, where almost 2/3rds either don’t know or don’t have a clue. Of the 1/3rd who “may” be listening, Romney receives 44% and Palin 34%. No one else garners as much as 10%.

Also of note from the Gallup report is a little tidbit that speaks volumes of Romney’s electability in both the primary and general elections:

Whereas conservative (15%) and moderate or liberal (14%) Republicans are about equally likely to mention Romney as their preferred nominee, Palin is much more likely to be mentioned by conservatives (14%) than by moderates and liberals (3%). Conservatives generally outnumber moderates and liberals by about 2 to 1 within the Republican Party.

And lastly:

At this point, Romney and Palin can be considered the early front-runners for the GOP nomination, a position that has proven advantageous in most past Republican nomination campaigns.

My last thought: Did anyone notice Scott Brown’s name up there in 4th place above some who may actually run for office. This brings two thoughts to mind. One, very little people are actually paying attention this early in the game as Scott Brown will certainly not be running in 2012, nor will McCain (#3) for that matter. Two, as much as I like Scott Brown, isn’t it extremely premature to judge his qualification for the top office? Don’t many of us Republicans complain that Obama was an unknown entity when he began to run just two years into his first term as Senator? Let’s give him some time to prove his meddle, and not give into the mania of the day.

~Nate Gunderson

Audio and Transcript of Romney Reading the Intro to No Apology: The Case for American Greatness

Click here to see where you can buy the book and for updated info on the book tour.

Audio: Mitt Romney Reads the Introduction to No Apology


Transcript of Mitt Romney’s audio introduction of the book:


Running for President of the United States is an extraordinary experience. New profound friendships are unquestionably the greatest reward. They will last a lifetime. And there were moments of laughter, such as when Ann got up from a collapsed stage in Dubuque Iowa, dusted herself off and later ad-libbed, “Well, I fell on dubutt in Dubuque.” There were times of exhilaration. Winning the Michigan primary, the state where I was raised and where my dad had served three terms as Governor was one of them. Then there were the inevitable ‘lessons learned’. My dad, George Romney, use to say of his 1968 presidential campaign that it was like a mini-skirt: short and revealing. Mine was a little longer, but just as revealing.

I’ve run for office three times, losing twice and winning once. Each time when the campaign was over I felt I hadn’t done an adequate job communicating all that I intended to say. Some of that is because debate answers are limited to 60 seconds, ads are 30 seconds, and lengthy position papers are rarely read at all. This book gives me a chance to say more than I did during my campaign.

That being said, my interest in writing the book goes back well before my political life. My career in the private sector exposed me to developments abroad, and conditions at home, that were deeply troubling. At the same time, I saw that most of us were not aware of the consequences of blithely continuing along our current course. We’ve become so accustom to the benefits of America’s greatness that we cannot imagine any significant disruption of what we have known.

I was reminded of a book I had read when I was in France during the late 1960’s. Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber was a journalist and a business person, and from his perspective he became convinced that France and Europe were in danger of falling far and irretrievably behind the United States. His book, The American Challenge, stirred his countrymen to action and helped to galvanize Pan-European economic and political collaboration. While I am sufficiently realistic to recognize that this volume is highly unlikely to have as great an impact as did his, it is my hope is that it will affect the thinking and perspectives of those who read it.
Thus, this is not a collection of my positions on all the important issues of the day. In fact, a number of issues that I care about are not included. This is not a policy book that explores issues in greater depth than do scholars and think-tanks. I treat topics in a single chapter that others have made the subject of entire volumes. Nor is this an attack piece on all the policies of the Obama administration. Criticism is unavoidable, however, with policies which I believe are the most harmful to the future generations of America.

This is a book about what I believe should be our primary national objective: to keep America strong, and to preserve its place as the world’s leading nation. It describes the course I believe we must take to strengthen the nation in order to remain prosperous, secure and free. There are some who may question the national objective I propose. I make no apology for my conviction that America’s economic and military leadership is not only good for America, but also critical for freedom and peace across the world. Accordingly, as I consider the various issues before the nation, I evaluate our options largely by whether they would make America stronger or weaker.

In my first chapters I consider geo-political threats and lessons from the history of great nations of the past. In subsequent chapters I describe domestic challenges to our national strength and propose actions to overcome them. My final chapter is intended to provide a means for future Americans to gauge whether we have been successful in setting a course that will preserve America’s greatness throughout the 21st century. It describes, as well, the source of my optimism for America’s future.

These are difficult times. Homes have lost value, nest eggs have been eroded, retirees have become anxious about their future, and millions upon millions of Americans are out of work. Inexcusable mistakes and failures precipitated the descent that has hurt so many people, but even as we endure the current shocks we know that this will not go on forever. We know that because America is a strong and prosperous nation the economic cycle will eventually right itself, and the future will be brighter than the present. While I will touch upon today’s difficulties my focus is on the growing challenges to the foundations of our national strength. How we confront these challenges will determine what kind of America, and world, we will bequeath to our children and grand-children. This is a book about securing that future of freedom, peace, and prosperity in the only way possible: by strengthening America. A strong America is our only assurance that prosperity will follow hardship, and that our lives and liberty will always be secure.

The strength of the nation has been challenged before: at its birth, during the civil war, in the peril of world wars. It is challenged again today. In our past Americans have risen to the occasion by confronting the challenge honestly, and by laying their sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. We must do so again.

Gas Up The Truck! Brown Going To Capitol Hill

It’s rousing! It’s reminiscent Paul Revere! It’s real!

Backlash is coming… backlash is coming.

In the deepest blue of states, overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats, contesting a sacred 50 year senatorial tradition, on the eve of Obama’s one-year anniversary as president, and against all odds…Senator-Elect Scott Brown triumphed yesterday. Trailing by 30 points just a month ago, a focused and vigilant Brown ascended to win by 5 points over favored-to-win opponent Democrat Martha Coakley.

Senator-Elect Brown’s victory speech 1/19/01 Part 1:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEeLxPW1Mik&feature=player_embedded

I’ll bet they can hear all this cheering down in Washington, D.C.

And I hope they’re paying close attention, because tonight the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken.

From the Berkshires to Boston, from Springfield to Cape Cod, the voters of this Commonwealth defied the odds and the experts. And tonight, the independent majority has delivered a great victory.

I thank the people of Massachusetts for electing me as your next United States senator.

Every day I hold this office, I will give all that is in me to serve you well and make you proud.

Most of all, I will remember that while the honor is mine, this Senate seat belongs to no one person and no political party – and as I have said before, and you said loud and clear today, it is the people’s seat.

Brown’s victory speech Part 2:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kB7_xPU161U&feature=player_embedded

Raising taxes, taking over our health care and giving new rights to terrorists is the wrong agenda for our country. What I’ve heard again and again on the campaign trail, is that our political leaders have grown aloof from the people, impatient with dissent, and comfortable in the back room making deals. And we can do better.

Across this country, we are united by basic convictions that need only to be clearly stated to win a majority. If anyone still doubts that, in the election season just beginning, let them look to Massachusetts.

Fellow citizens, what happened in this election can happen all over America. We are witnesses, you and I, to the truth that ideals, hard work, and strength of heart can overcome any political machine. We ran a campaign never to be forgotten, and led a cause that deserved and received all that we could give it.

I go to Washington as the representative of no faction or interest, answering only to my conscience and to the people. I’ve got a lot to learn in the Senate, but I know who I am and I know who I serve.

I’m Scott Brown; I’m from Wrentham; I drive a truck, and I am nobody’s senator but yours.

The epic upset of Brown’s election can’t be overstated. The referendum on Obamacare, taxes, terrorism, transparency, Washington bullying, bribery, and back room deals is a message that will be perilous to ignore. Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) broke rank yesterday to end the pursuit to vote on health care in the senate before Brown is seated:

In many ways the campaign in Massachusetts became a referendum not only on health care reform but also on the openness and integrity of our government process. It is vital that we restore the respect of the American people in our system of government and in our leaders. To that end, I believe it would only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated.

President Obama will address our nation a week from today in his State of the Union address. That gives him seven days to determine if a political pivot on his dangerous policies is prudent or if he’ll continue his course for 2010. Either way, we, the people, witnessed a Massachusetts miracle yesterday and will move forward to take back America.

Gas up the truck, Scott! You’re going to Capitol Hill!

Editor note: No doubt Mitt Romney’s encouraging Brown to run for the MA senate seat, along with his endorsement and untiring efforts to help Brown win are a huge credit to Romney and a great ‘save’ for America.  This topic deserves elaboration in a post of its own.

Update: Mitt Romney on “Meet the Press” this Sunday

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Along with Mitt Romney and other guests, Mad Money’s  Jim Cramer will appear on Meet the Press this Sunday, Dec 13th. Will MTP host David Gregory remind Cramer of his fervent declaration back in early summer 2007, while being interviewed by Chris Mathews (MSNBC’s Hardball), that Mitt Romney is the best businessman in North America?

UPDATE: Full video of the Dec. 13th interview is posted here.

 

“He’s the best businessman in North America and that’s how you should think of him!”

“Romney is a guy who would say…we’re going to be a growth nation again! Romney is the guy who favors growth!”

“Romney understands business; he understands taxes; he understands capital creation!”

Cramer also interviewed Romney at CRAMERICA on October 29, 2007. (Jim had never invited a presidential candidate to be on his show.) Full transcript here.

For this Sunday’s program, let’s email David Gregory to ask him to remind Jim Cramer of his high praise for Mitt’s business expertise!

“Hat tip” to Rebel Ross for memory-jogging.

Romney’s Remarks to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee Summit

AIPAC-banner

Governor Romney addressed the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2009 summit in San Diego this morning. Here is a link to their website to learn more of what they are about.

Short take on Romney’s speech from Chris Cillizza’s The Fix:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) condemned the Obama Administration’s approach toward Iran, a republic he described as “unalloyed evil” and controlled by “ruthless and fanatical” leaders in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee today in San Diego.

“Stop thinking that a charm offensive will talk the Iranians out of their pursuit of nuclear weapons,” said Romney. “It will not.” Later in the address, he punctuated that sentiment by noting: “Once an outstretched hand is met with a clenched fist, it becomes a symbol of weakness and impotence.”

Nice.

*Addendum by Jayde in reference to the following paragraph from Mitt’s AIPAC 2009 speech:

Earlier this month, senior staff members of the U.N. nuclear agency concluded in a confidential analysis that Iran has acquired “sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable” atom bomb. We also learned of a previously secret, illegal uranium enrichment facility that the Iranians had been hiding near Qom. A nuclear Iran would be a tipping point in the proliferation of nuclear regimes. It is beyond the scope of this address to provide a detailed tactical and strategic approach to Iran, as I endeavored to do at the Herzylia conference two years ago. In that address, I detailed the six critical steps that would have to immediately be taken to dissuade Iran from nuclear folly. Not a single one of them has been taken by America.

Governor Romney’s 2007 Herzliyah Conference speech outlining six critical steps that could have been taken to prevent Iran from pursuing nuclear capabilities can be found here.

Mitt Romney remarks as prepared for the AIPAC 2009 national summit in San Diego:

(more…)

Tuesday News Tidbits

1. HumanEvents.com released today the transcript to an extensive interview they did with Governor Romney last Friday. It’s so fresh (and extensive) that I have not even read it yet. Give me some feedback.

Pawlenty
2. Tim Pawlenty, the GOP Governor of Minnesota, who was also considered a strong contender for the VP nod in 2008, has announced that he is starting his own PAC, dubbed the Freedom First PAC. It has long since been rumored that T-Paw would jump into the fray of 2012 contenders. His announcement in June that he was not seeking re-election, coupled with his new PAC, and his recent high profile speeches, are a clear indication that he is doing just that. Another indication being that he has taken several shots at MA health care (ie. shots at Romney) recently.

Chris Cillizza from Washington Post’s The Fix reports:

Pawlenty’s expected rivals for the 2012 nomination already have PACs up and operational.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.) is at the head of the PAC class, having collected $2.3 million for his “Free and Strong America” committee so far in 2009 and ending August with $811,000 in the bank. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin closed June with $732,000 raised via her “Sarahpac” while former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee collected $305,000 through his “Huck PAC” in the first six months of the year.

In recent presidential elections, leadership PACs have become de rigeur for top tier candidates — allowing them to begin the construction of a national financial apparatus while also building up chits with candidates running for office.

This process is especially important to Pawlenty as he has never run for national office before and starts at something of a disadvantage in terms of national organization and name identification when compared to Romney, Palin and Huckabee.

Tim Pawlenty does start a little behind, but he’s not in any different boat than Romney was in early 2007 when he was polling less than 4% nation-wide. Will his campaign gain traction? My guess is yes, and the Big 3 will soon become the Big 4. In fact, my early prediction is a T-Paw vs. Romney match up down the stretch. Good luck with that Tim. (Note to self: time to make a Tim Pawlenty category for blog posts ….. done.)

3. Two different GOP rankings. The first from The Hill’s Pundit Blog. Their scoop: Huckabee’s in first. Romney a close second. Big wild cards: Palin, Pawlenty.

The second is again from The Fix: Romney in first (5 times in a row now), Pawlenty at number 2, Huckabee at 7 and Palin at 9. Keep in mind this ranking is for “most influential Republicans” and is not necesarilly a handicapping of the GOP nomination race.

Said of Romney in the rankings:

1. Mitt Romney: No one in the Republican party at the moment can match Romney’s motor. The guy is simply everywhere. During Romney’s visit to Washington this weekend, he will address the Value Voters Summit in Washington on Saturday, raise money for his Free and Strong America PAC and collect cash for — among others — former state Attorney General Bob McDonnell, who is running for governor, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, and Republican consultant Barbara Comstock who is seeking to unseat a Democratic state legislator in McLean. Couple that packed calendar with the favorable reviews Massachusetts residents are giving to the health care plan Romney signed into law as governor and you see why Romney continues to hold the top slot on the Line. (Previous ranking: 1)

~Nate G.

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