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

Mitt Romney’s Liberty University Commencement Address

Governor Mitt Romney's Commencement Address (FOX)


Governor Romney delivered a powerful commencement address to the graduating students of evangelical Christian Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia earlier today. This speech was historic for many reasons.

Before Governor Romney spoke, Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. addressed the commencement day crowd of approximately 34,000. He reminded the audience that his father, the late Reverend Jerry Falwell, founded the university in 1971 to be for evangelical Christians “what Notre Dame is to young Catholics and Brigham Young is to young Mormons.”

The introduction for Governor Romney begins at 25:27 with remarks from Chancellor Falwell and Mark DeMoss, Chairman of Liberty University. (You don’t want to skip the intros!):

If that video gives you problems, click here to watch the address on Youtube.

By Mitt Romney

For the graduates, this moment marks a clear ending and a clear beginning. The task set before you four years ago is now completed in full. To the class of 2012: Well done, and congratulations.

Some of you may have taken a little longer than four years to complete your studies. One graduate has said that he completed his degree in only two terms: Clinton’s and Bush’s.

In some ways, it is fitting that I share this distinction with Truett Cathy. The Romney campaign comes to a sudden stop when we spot a Chick-fil-A. Your chicken sandwiches were our comfort food through the primary season, and there were days that we needed a lot of comforting. So, Truett, thank you and congratulations on your well-deserved honor today.

There are some people here who are even more pleased than the graduates. Those would be the parents. Their years of prayers, devotion, and investment have added up to this joyful achievement. And with credit to Congressman Dick Armey: The American Dream is not owning your own home, it is getting your kids out of the home you own.

Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about life in four-year stretches. And let’s just say that not everybody has achieved as much in these last four years as you have.

That’s a theme for another day. But two observations. First, even though job opportunities are scarce in this economy, it is not for nothing that you have spent this time preparing. Jerry Falwell, Senior, long ago observed that “You do not determine a man’s greatness by his talent or wealth, as the world does, but rather by what it takes to discourage him.” America needs your skill and talent. If we take the right course, we will see a resurgence in the American economy that will surprise the world, and that will open new doors of opportunity for those who are prepared as you are.

Of course, what the next four years might hold for me is yet to be determined. But I will say that things are looking up, and I take your kind hospitality today as a sign of good things to come.

I consider it a great life honor to address you today. Your generosity of spirit humbles me. The welcoming spirit of Liberty is a tribute to the gracious Christian example of your founder.

In his 73 years of life, Dr. Falwell left a big mark. For nearly five decades he shared that walk with his good wife Macel. It’s wonderful to see her today. The calling Jerry answered was not an easy one. Today we remember him as a courageous and big-hearted minister of the Gospel who never feared an argument, and never hated an adversary. Jerry deserves the tribute he would have treasured most, as a cheerful, confident champion for Christ.

I will always remember his cheerful good humor and selflessness. Several years ago, in my home, my wife and I were posing for a picture together with him. We wanted him to be in the center of the photo, but he insisted that Ann be in the middle, with he and I on the sides. He explained, by pointing to me and himself, “You see, Christ died between two thieves.”

Maybe the most confident step Jerry ever took was to open the doors of this school 41 years ago.

He believed that Liberty might become one of the most respected Christian universities anywhere on earth. And so it is today.

He believed, even when the first graduating class consisted of 13 students, that year after year young Christians would be drawn to such a university in ever-greater numbers. And here you are.

Today, thanks to what you have gained here, you leave Liberty with conviction and confidence as your armor. You know what you believe. You know who you are. And you know Whom you will serve. Not all colleges instill that kind of confidence, but it will be among the most prized qualities from your education here. Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that searches for meaning.

That said, your values will not always be the object of public admiration. In fact, the more you live by your beliefs, the more you will endure the censure of the world. Christianity is not the faith of the complacent, the comfortable or of the timid. It demands and creates heroic souls like Wesley, Wilberforce, Bonhoeffer, John Paul the Second, and Billy Graham. Each showed, in their own way, the relentless and powerful influence of the message of Jesus Christ. May that be your guide.

You enter a world with civilizations and economies that are far from equal. Harvard historian David Landes devoted his lifelong study to understanding why some civilizations rise, and why others falter. His conclusion: Culture makes all the difference. Not natural resources, not geography, but what people believe and value. Central to America’s rise to global leadership is our Judeo-Christian tradition, with its vision of the goodness and possibilities of every life.

The American culture promotes personal responsibility, the dignity of work, the value of education, the merit of service, devotion to a purpose greater than self, and, at the foundation, the pre-eminence of the family.

The power of these values is evidenced by a Brookings Institution study that Senator Rick Santorum brought to my attention. For those who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and marry before they have their first child, the probability that they will be poor is 2%. But, if those things are absent, 76% will be poor. Culture matters.

As fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate. So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage. Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.

The protection of religious freedom has also become a matter of debate. It strikes me as odd that the free exercise of religious faith is sometimes treated as a problem, something America is stuck with instead of blessed with. Perhaps religious conscience upsets the designs of those who feel that the highest wisdom and authority comes from government.

But from the beginning, this nation trusted in God, not man. Religious liberty is the first freedom in our Constitution. And whether the cause is justice for the persecuted, compassion for the needy and the sick, or mercy for the child waiting to be born, there is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action.

Religious freedom opens a door for Americans that is closed to too many others around the world. But whether we walk through that door, and what we do with our lives after we do, is up to us.

Someone once observed that the great drama of Christianity is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations. The drama is always personal, individual, unfolding in one’s own life. We’re not alone in sensing this. Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.

And, in the way of lessons learned, by hitting the mark or by falling short, I can tell you this much for sure.

All that you have heard here at Liberty University – about trusting in God and in His purpose for each of us–makes for more than a good sermon. It makes for a good life. So many things compete for our attention and devotion. That doesn’t stop as you get older. We are all prone, at various turns, to treat the trivial things as all-important, the all-important things as trivial, and little by little lose sight of the one thing that endures forever.

No person I have ever met, not even the most righteous or pure of heart, has gone without those times when faith recedes in the busy-ness of life. It’s normal, and sometimes even the smallest glimpses of the Lord’s work in our lives can reawaken our hearts. They bring us back to ourselves – and, better still, to something far greater than ourselves.

What we have, what we wish we had – ambitions fulfilled, ambitions disappointed … investments won, investments lost … elections won, elections lost – these things may occupy our attention, but they do not define us. And each of them is subject to the vagaries and serendipities of life. Our relationship with our Maker, however, depends on none of this. It is entirely in our control, for He is always at the door, and knocks for us. Our worldly successes cannot be guaranteed, but our ability to achieve spiritual success is entirely up to us, thanks to the grace of God. The best advice I know is to give those worldly things your best but never your all, reserving the ultimate hope for the only one who can grant it.

Many a preacher has advised the same, but few as memorably as Martin Luther King, Jr. “As a young man,” he said, “with most of my life ahead of me, I decided early to give my life to something eternal and absolute. Not to these little gods that are here today and gone tomorrow. But to God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

In this life, the commitments that come closest to forever are those of family.

My Dad, George Romney, was a CEO, a governor, and a member of the President’s Cabinet. My wife Ann asked him once, “What was your greatest accomplishment?” Without a moment’s pause, he said, “Raising our four kids.”

Ann and I feel the same way about our family. I have never once regretted missing a business opportunity so that I could be with my children and grandchildren. Among the things in life that can be put off, being there when it matters most isn’t one of them.

As C.S. Lewis is said to have remarked, “The home is the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose, and that is to support the ultimate career.”

Promotions often mark the high points in a career, and I hope I haven’t seen my last. But sometimes the high points come in unexpected ways. I was asked to help rescue the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

I’m embarrassed now to recall that when this opportunity was first presented to me, I dismissed it out of hand. I was busy, I was doing well, and, by the way, my lack of athletic prowess did not make the Olympics a logical step. In fact, after I had accepted the position, my oldest son called me and said, “Dad, I’ve spoken to the brothers. We saw the paper this morning. We want you to know there’s not a circumstance we could have conceived of that would put you on the front page of the sports section.”

The Olympics were not a logical choice, but it was one of the best and most fulfilling choices of my life. Opportunities for you to serve in meaningful ways may come at inconvenient times, but that will make them all the more precious.

People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology. Surely the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview. The best case for this is always the example of Christian men and women working and witnessing to carry God’s love into every life – people like the late Chuck Colson.

Not long ago, Chuck recounted a story from his days just after leaving prison. He was assured by people of influence that, even with a prison record, a man with his connections and experience could still live very comfortably. They would make some calls, get Chuck situated, and set him up once again as an important man. His choice at that crossroads would make him, instead, a great man.

The call to service is one of the fundamental elements of our national character. It has motivated every great movement of conscience that this hopeful, fair-minded country of ours has ever seen. Sometimes, as Dr. Viktor Frankl observed in a book for the ages, it is not a matter of what we are asking of life, but rather what life is asking of us. How often the answer to our own troubles is to help others with theirs.

In all of these things – faith, family, work, and service –the choices we make as Americans are, in other places, not choices at all. For so many on this earth, life is filled with orders, not options, right down to where they live, the work they do, and how many children the state will permit them to have. All the more reason to be grateful, this and every day, that we live in America, where the talents God gave us may be used in freedom.

At this great Christian institution, you have all learned a thing or two about these gifts and the good purposes they can serve. They are yours to have and yours to share. Sometimes, your Liberty education will set you apart, and always it will help direct your path. And as you now leave, and make for new places near and far, I hope for each one of you that your path will be long and life will be kind.

The ideals that brought you here … the wisdom you gained here … and the friends you found here – may these blessings be with you always, wherever you go.

Thank you all, and God bless you.

Photo - Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Governor Romney’s speech built an inter-faith bridge:

Some students, such as J.D. Wilkinson, a worship and music studies major from Springfield, Massachusetts, told CNN that they liked that Romney spoke out on the same-sex marriage issue.

“This school has always been about being not politically correct, just saying it, just telling the truth how it is and I thought he did that,” Wilkinson said. “I think that’s fresh in today’s world and I think that’s needed.”

Another, Michael Kildare, said he doesn’t identify strongly with a particular political party but is open to hearing more about Romney after today’s speech. Kildare, who is from Orlando, Florida, will return to his home city to take a job as a computer technician.

I was kind of skeptical at first but he definitely said some things that I have to take into consideration,” he said. “He’s definitely a good candidate for the presidency and I definitely look forward to his other speeches and other campaign ideas.

(emphasis added)

Congratulations and best wishes to the graduates!


Prediction: Senator Santorum to Quit Presidential Race in April

This week, a number of news outlets have reported a conspicuous drop in Santorum’s typical strident rhetoric against Gov. Romney. I believe this is a less than subtle way to position himself to exit the race. Yesterday’s New York Times reported,

Rick Santorum has eased up on using phrases like “worst Republican in the country” when tearing into Mitt Romney. And he is no longer saying that a vote for Mr. Romney would be basically the same thing as a vote for President Obama.

Meet subdued Santorum.

After several highly publicized remarks that left many in his party questioning whether he had crossed the line in attacking a fellow Republican, Mr. Santorum has struggled to find the balance between being a tenacious underdog and leaving himself open to criticism that he is just an embittered also-ran.
[...]
The sudden restraint has surprised some of his supporters.

[emphasis added]

Senator Santorum is not stupid; think about it. Just a few days ago, he rips Gov. Romney publicly and that very same day publicly states he would consider a veep position under a President Romney. Yes, I did a double-take as well! But why let up now? The NYT article even quotes his supporters saying that his “passionate” language is one of the things most appealing.

Here is the reason I believe. There are eight primaries between now and April 24th. Romney is expected to win six of them and probably by a wide margin. The other two are Wisconsin (4/3) and Pennsylvania (4/24). As of 7:30 p.m. PST tonight, Intrade shows the probability of a Santorum win in Wisconsin at 11.8% and a win in his home state of Pennsylvania at 31.1%. The other six states are below 5% except Connecticut (6.8%). Above, I said Santorum is not stupid. He is looking at these same probabilities and he is thinking now.

Here is where the dew of reality is descending upon Santorum’s thoughts.

Rick Santorum’s private thoughts (my conjecture):

“Wow! I could lose this thing fast in the next few weeks. I have to win. I put too much into this thing with my wife, my children, and Bella — And dang it, I worked harder than the other guys and I deserve to win! I have to win Wisconsin to build the momentum into my home state but Mitt is so much more prepared and his machine is killing me in Wisconsin. I have to win Pennsylvania! If I lose Wisconsin, that will not be good going into Pennsylvania! Mitt is picking up steam in Pennsylvania this week. I have to win Pennsylvania! Having to answer to that dang 18 point loss in my senate race in 2006 has been shear [pain] in this race — embarrassing! There is no way I will lose Pennsylvania — No way!”

Do you see where Rick’s mind is right now? Can he win Wisconsin next Tuesday? Absolutely he can if we let up at all. I strongly believe Governor Romney has Santorum in a strangle hold with Wisconsin, especially if he trounces him Tuesday. Romney will likely smash Santorum in DC and Maryland and if he has a really strong win in Wisconsin, Santorum will be all but dead going into Pennsylvania.

Bloomberg Businessweek reported in February:

Yet six years ago, as he sought a third Senate term in Pennsylvania, Santorum proved he can also lose in such a politically competitive state — and lose big.

Santorum’s last race — an 18-percentage-point defeat in 2006 bid — raises questions about his appeal to independent voters who could help decide the national election in November, as well as to Republicans who will determine who gets the party’s nomination.

Santorum’s loss was “the largest defeat by a Republican United States senator seeking election or re-election in modern Pennsylvania history,” said G. Terry Madonna, a polling expert and public affairs professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.

So think about it. If I am Santorum and I know I now have two choices (after losing Wisconsin): 1) I could do what I have said I would do and stay in the race all the way to the convention (remember: “principle”) and lose Pennsylvania and be thoroughly embarrassed again, or 2) I could exit stage right and declare my loyal support to Romney and hear everybody cheer me to glory.

How does Santorum avoid losing Pennsylvania again?

If Santorum were to lose Wisconsin to Romney, which do you think he will choose? 1? or 2? I predict Wisconsin will be another close race but that Romney will win it. If this happens, Santorum will “evaluate” the race at that point and decide to exit entirely. What seems hard to predict is when he would make that announcement. I think it would likely be the weekend following the Wisconsin primary and not a lot later so that it does not appear to be correlated with a fear of embarrassment — which a loss in his home state certainly would be.

The most compelling argument for Santorum to attempt a graceful exit from the race, upon losing Wisconsin, is this (he is not stupid — Santorum is the epitome of the political animal): He wants a future in politics — and presidential politics at that. If he were to lose Pennsylvania bad (very good possibility), he would be almost for sure pushed out of the race with people laughing, and his political reputation would be all but destroyed.

If he were then to attempt to run for POTUS in future years, it will always be remembered of him that he could not win reelection (2006) to the Senate in his home state (historically huge loss) and that he bad-mouthed Romney for months before being trounced again in his home state of Pennsylvania (2012). And why? Because of a) a huge ego, b) stubbornness, and c) strident social positions. He would be washed up and would forever be overlooked as a serious national candidate. He will not allow that to happen — not when he can control the outcome now.

As we say in business, the risk-reward consideration is making this untenable for Mr. Santorum. I think the probability that Santorum will compete in Pennsylvania is less than five percent.

He will not allow himself to be embarrassed. Not by Governor Romney!

GO MITT! Let’s all work as hard as we can to bring a HUGE win to Mitt in Wisconsin — We do not want the Wisconsin results to even be close! We can finish off Santorum next Tuesday.

“As the world’s finest democracy, we do not do guillotines. But there are other less bloody rituals of humiliation, designed to reassure the populace that order is restored, the Republic cleansed.” ~ William Greider

Exit Question: What is a One Term Obama Presidency Worth to You?

U.S. Marine Meets Governor & Mrs. Romney at California Fundraiser Luncheon

Governor Romney held a fundraising event yesterday in the Orange County community of Shady Canyon at the home of a supporter. It was a beautiful, sunny day — perfect for an outdoor event [see several photographs below the fold].

Photo by Amanda Earnest

I asked three people attending the luncheon to provide highlights of the event, including the comments of Governor and Mrs. Romney. This was the first time that each of them had met Governor Romney. Following are their observations and several photos of the luncheon. They include Marine veteran Marlon Bateman, Shady Canyon resident Bill Joiner, and Amanda Earnest who helped raise funds for the event. I appreciate each of their contributions for this post.

REQUEST: There were hundreds of people in attendance at this luncheon. If you were one of them yesterday, please leave a brief comment to this post and add your observations to those of Marlon, Bill, and Amanda. Why are you supporting Governor Romney’s candidacy for President?

I am proud to include Marlon Bateman in this post. It was he that inspired me to write this after discovering it would be his first time to meet Gov. Romney. I believe I speak for my family, friends, and all Americans in publicly thanking him for his years of honorable service in protecting our nation; and to his wife Emily for her service in support. Thank you so much — we will always be grateful.

CPL Bateman in Afghanistan w/ Afghan National in Back

Marlon Bateman grew up in California, and joined the Marine Corp. after graduating high school. He served from October 2007 to September 2011 (at rank of CPL) with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines Infantry. Shortly after joining the Marines, Marlon married Emily and was later deployed to Iraq and then again to Afghanistan in 2010. He is active in his church, has a passion for politics, is a full-time college student, and will be assisting Governor Romney’s campaign any way he can in 2012 (David Parker of MRC called Gov. Romney to inform him that Marlon would be there to meet him).

On Tuesday my wife and I had a chance to meet Governor and Mrs. Romney. A friend who knew that I had served four years in the Marines and was now in college and working (as well as helping to campaign for Governor Romney) invited me to an event that supporters of the governor were holding in Irvine, California. So my wife and I came and were treated to a few minutes conversation with the governor and his wife. (more…)

Obama’s Unemployment Albatross / Romney Best as Health-care Expert / TRENDS

NOTE: See “Feelings about Mitt Romney” below the fold, at the end of this post.

Chris Wallace is one of my favorite political interviewers. He is tough and will generally stay with a line of questioning until he gets answers. Yesterday he interviewed David Plouffe, one of Obama’s senior advisers. The interview spanned a number of topics, the most important being unemployment and gasoline prices.

This video clip is over 14 minutes, but at 13 minutes, five seconds, Wallace put up a chart that shows the unemployment rate at the time three incumbent presidents lost an election “seeking another term” over the last 36 years. The implication of course being that a key reason each of these one-term-only presidents lost reelection was due to the unusually high unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate today is 8.3 percent, not including those who want to work, but who stopped looking — that the government stopped counting. Following were the unemployment rates at the time of the presidential elections:

  • Gerald Ford — 7.8%
  • Jimmy Carter — 7.5%
  • George H. W. Bush — 7.4%

The future does not look good for Mr. Obama if history is any indication!

Of course, many things factor into the ability of any incumbent president to win reelection, but the unemployment rate is a very important number and Obama knows it. You can tell by Plouffe’s demeanor and answer that the Obama Administration knows it. Top that off with high and rising gasoline prices and we have a current political climate that is worse than that of President Carter when Governor Reagan beat him with a mandate. We have seen both Gingrich and Santorum become desperate in their rhetoric; I will venture a guess that their desperation will pale in comparison to Obama’s in October and November.

Kimberly A. Strassel WSJ Op-Ed

Many editorials have emerged these past two weeks basically advising Gov. Romney to get out ahead of the opposition and provide more details to illustrate how his Massachusetts health-care plan is different from ObamaCare. In my opinion, the differences are many and very important — but I believe Gov. Romney’s lack of focus on healthcare in his speeches right now is a good strategy. He is succeeding without it and the risks associated with bringing it up are not worth it right now.

That said, Ms. Strassel makes some valid points in her Op-Ed. The first half of the piece discusses how she feels Gov. Romney’s lack of clarity in describing/defending his health-care plan against charges from Santorum and others has hurt him, but then she ends the piece by arguing Romney can turn it to his benefit (see Paul Johnson’s excellent article below to compliment this point). Strassel: (more…)

Governor Romney’s Huge Success Amid Other Republicans’ Seeking Blame

Mr. Neil King Jr. of The Wall Street Journal yesterday wrote “Romney Widens Lead, but Prize is Elusive” providing an excellent snapshot of the race in the graphics below and in his analysis below:

King’s analysis indicates that if Santorum and Gingrich are going to make a difference to impress, they better get on it now. It is my opinion that it is time for a few Republican sages to tap each man on the shoulder and quietly help them see what they are blind to: that their quest entered the selfish phase awhile back and that it is now obvious to all but a few Americans they seem intent on damaging the Republican chances against Obama. While Obama is amassing war chest funds at a pace much faster than the four GOP candidates combined, we are squandering our funds in needless inter-party scrimmages:

Indeed, a look at the delegate math in the Republican contest shows Mr. Romney still could face a drawn-out race against his main challenger, Rick Santorum, as well Newt Gingrich, and he faces a primary calendar that seems structured to maintain the suspense.
[...]
Mr. Santorum, who lags behind the front-runner by well over 200 delegates, would have to win about three-quarters of all remaining delegates to cross that bar, while Mr. Gingrich would have to win nearly 90% of remaining delegates up for grabs.
[...]
Mr. Santorum’s aides acknowledge that April holds little promise for their quest. They hope to do well in Wisconsin on April 3, and then in the former senator’s home state of Pennsylvania on April 24. But the campaign isn’t predicting wins in either state, raising the possibility that Mr. Santorum could go 0-for-8 in April, a month that will put 329 delegates up for grabs.
[...]
That means a central question in the campaign becomes whether Mr. Santorum’s candidacy can survive a nearly 10-week period of sparse delegate pickups in April and few hospitable states in early May.

[emphasis added]

In a separate WSJ article, Jason L. Riley gave us “Santorum’s Blame Game” (whatever happened to a leader accepting responsibility for failure in a hard fought battle?):

Significantly, Mr. Romney, a Mormon, has continued to beat Mr. Santorum, a devout Catholic, among Catholics — an important swing voting bloc that broke for George W. Bush in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008.

By the way, if you want to see Santorum become snarky, watch the way he answers questions about the Catholic vote! In the Michigan primary loss, he was asked about his big losses to Catholic voters and his reply was that he does well with those that “attend church.” Well, in the Illinois primary exit polls, Governor Romney won the vote of Catholics that “attend church at least once a week.” NICE! It will be interesting to see how he answers the question the next time he is asked about the Catholic vote. Can he blame another Christian for the Illinois loss of Catholics? Why find blame? Why not just accept defeat like a man?

Despite the thumping, Mr. Santorum made it clear last night that he isn’t quitting the race, refusing even to acknowledge that he had performed poorly. [...] The Santorum camp also continued to point the finger at Newt Gingrich. “It’s time for Gingrich supporters to get behind us if they truly want a conservative candidate,” a Santorum aide told reporters, according to Politico.

Mr. Santorum believes that Mr. Gingrich’s presence in the race is splitting the anti-Romney vote and hurting his campaign. That’s certainly plausible but is becoming less so as the nomination process continues. Mr. Romney’s Illinois vote total yesterday was easily greater than Mr. Santorum’s and Mr. Gingrich’s combined.

[emphasis added]

What is it about today’s leadership at the national level? I fear that many Republicans have fallen into the liberal trap of finding blame outside of oneself for failure. We see it everywhere among the Democrats — we expect as much from them. I strongly believe that a President Mitt Romney will accept every responsibility as a man in a way that all strong leaders do — and he will do so by sharing his successes with others while shouldering set-backs with “the bucks stops here” attitude.

Sadly, if either Gingrich or Santorum exit the race involuntarily, it will likely the be the ignoble way: When they run out of runway (cash is gone).

What would Mitt Romney do?

Irony in Metaphor — “We’ll Call it a Draw” (2 videos)

CONGRATULATIONS to Governor Romney and team! And THANK YOU to the voters of Illinois and all the volunteers that made such a difference yesterday! Team MRC salutes you!

THANK YOU to my friend Jim for the humor of this night. (“The secret to humor is surprise.” ~ Aristotle)

What is it about the Brits and Monty Python? There is something about this short video that seemed oddly familiar to me and I just could not resist sharing it with you.

“All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.” ~ Sun Tzu

“Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.” ~ Douglas MacArthur

“A good athlete always mentally replays a competition over and over, even in victory, to see what might be done to improve the performance the next time.” ~ Frank Shorter

And what about Lloyd? I feel sorry for him:

[THANK YOU to "Dave in Colorado" (a frequent visitor to MRC) for the Dumb and Dumber clip!]

An Open Invitation to Supporters of Senator Santorum, Speaker Gingrich, and Congressman Paul — Please Unite With Us; We Need You!

Many of our current visitors are new to MittRomneyCentral (MRC); some come here to learn a little about Governor Romney; others are searching for truth related to comments they read or heard in the press or media – many currently support former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, or Congressman Paul.

Senator Rick Santorum w/ Bella

We are a small, grassroots group of writers — the website has a large following with no affiliation at all to the Romney campaign. We are completely independent, allowing us to “speak our minds” so to speak.

We feel a kinship to the ardent supporters of Senator Santorum, Speaker Gingrich, and Congressman Paul and wish to invite you to join us in our efforts to defeat President Barack Obama in November. We are well aware of the differences we have and we are sensitive to the fact that those differences are important to you. We understand too that the policy positions of any one presidential candidate will not align perfectly with another. That said, we know that Governor Romney has far more in common with your candidate than you may yet understand.

As grassroots volunteers at MRC, we take nothing for granted. We have never stated that we think Gov. Romney’s competing for the nomination makes him the inevitable winner or that he is the presumptive nominee; not at all. To adopt any other attitude is unbecoming any campaign – we hope to reflect the modest attitude of our candidate and unitedly work to the main goal – that of defeating Obama in November.

Congressman Ron Paul

Until he is the actual Republican nominee, we will work tirelessly to contribute any way we can, using truth as our only tool; even when he has 1,130 committed delegates. We would like your help to build a larger volunteer base to defeat Obama. We are not asking you to leave your candidate as much as we are asking you to join our team – a winning team we believe.

Gov. Romney has assembled a formidable, powerful grassroots team that is augmented by professionals, led by Gov. Romney himself. We believe it is a winning combination – a winning team. We would be most appreciative and grateful for your support at this important time in America’s history. We fully understand the passion you have for your candidate; we do. As stated above, we feel a certain kinship to your candidate. All three men have accomplished a great deal for this great nation and we are most grateful for their service.

You may decide now is not the time to join us and we understand that too. We just want you to know that we would like you to join us sooner rather than later. We need your intensity and support to press our case against a terribly failed President. We do not consider this a partisan battle as much as a battle for the very heart of the United States of America. We need your help. We are committed to maintain this Internet destination as the finest of any that is dedicated to electing the next President of the United States.

If you would like to consider joining a winning team, we would invite you to subscribe to MRC. It literally takes 10 seconds, is free, and will only result in a periodic email to inform you of new articles. If so, simply go to the home page, find the photo of the T-shirts in the top right hand corner and below it you will see a small box with the words, “Want MRC Delivered to Your Inbox?” Simply drop in your email address and you are done. No spam will arrive; ever.

Speaker Newt Gingrich

If not, we invite you to check in periodically for updates to the race. We will continue the battle and battle hard. But always in truth – seeking continuously to maintain the highest levels of journalistic excellence as community, amateur writers.

Obviously, with this invitation to you, we think the time to unite in our efforts to defeat Obama is right now — today. Please join us as we set a winning course to the White House. You are always welcome in our camp!

Gingrich Drops? Shirtless Mitt; Santorum Complains; MSM Hates Mitt; Illinois & Louisiana! (Applebee’s CEO Touts GMR’s Many Strengths — Video)

THANK YOU to all Puerto Rico voters for your overwhelming support of Governor Romney today! — CONGRATULATIONS to you and to Governor Romney!

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There has been one article after another talking about how Gingrich needs to get out of the race to benefit Santorum and to make this a two-man, face-to-face run for the nomination. Often, the implication is that the vast majority of Gingrich voters will swing to Santorum. Even the TV pundits seem to be touting some inherent weakness in Romney that only allows him to garner “one third of all the votes in any given primary” etc.

If you were to believe the MSM (and most passive voters do), you would conclude that Romney is failing miserably and that the perpetual Gingrich ego trip only helps Romney to keep the “anti-Romney” vote splintered — nevermind that Romney is winning in every category! It is simply wishful thinking and has no basis in fact (see Michael Medved’s reasoning as to why the “Major Mainstream Media” hate Mitt Romney at the end of this post).

Let’s look at what happens if Mr. Newt were to walk away from the limelight — behavior that would belie his self-interest. Dante Chinni wrote an outstanding article Friday in The Wall Street Journal, titled, “Politics Counts: Who Benefits If Gingrich Drops Out?”

The most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found the dynamics of the national race would not change dramatically if it were a simple Romney-Santorum showdown. With the four current candidates in the field Mr. Romney leads Mr. Santorum 38% to 32%. If it is just the two of them in the running Mr. Romney still leads 45% to 40%.
[…]
The vast majority of Illinois voters live in the big city Industrial Metropolis of Cook County, home of Chicago, and the wealthy Monied Burb counties that surround it. So the net Newt impact would probably be pretty small. The same would probably true in upcoming primaries in Wisconsin, New York and Connecticut.

Louisiana, which votes Saturday March 24, is a very different story. In Louisiana, 70% of the population lives in Minority Central counties and 18% live in the Boom Towns. In other words, if form follows, the Gingrich vote there could play a very big role in who ultimately wins the state. The same might also be true in states like North Carolina and Kentucky that are still ahead.

[emphasis added]

Also Friday, Gallup published an article that included the latest results of one of its surveys to show categorically who “Gingrich voters” would likely support if he were to exit the race. Do you think we will hear much about this in the MSM? It is highly unlikely! Why? See Michael Medved’s article at the end of this post.

FROM THE GALLUP STUDY:

Republican voters who prefer Newt Gingrich for the party’s 2012 presidential nomination are as likely to name Mitt Romney as their second choice as they are to name Rick Santorum, suggesting the race would not tilt in Santorum’s favor if Gingrich dropped out.
[…]
Some conservative Republicans have called for Gingrich to drop out of the race on the assumption that conservative primary voters would then unite behind Santorum as the conservative alternative to the more moderate Romney. But Gallup data indicate that Gingrich voters would not be likely to coalesce behind Santorum, suggesting that factors other than candidate ideology may be attracting voters to Gingrich, Santorum, and Romney.

Gallup can simulate Republican preferences without Gingrich in the race by removing Gingrich votes and reassigning them to his voters’ second-choice candidate. The results of this procedure suggest that national GOP preferences would change little if Gingrich dropped out. The reconfigured preferences show Romney getting 40% of the vote and Santorum getting 33%. That seven-percentage-point Romney lead is essentially the same as the six-point (34% to 28%) Romney lead in March 8-15 interviewing with Gingrich support included.
[…]
Thus, Santorum may not benefit much from Gingrich dropping out because the most conservative voters already support Santorum to a large degree, and Gingrich’s appeal to this group is not substantially greater than Romney’s.

[Gallup continues below the fold + Medved + Chart + Photos]… (more…)

What Motivates Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul Now?

In the next few weeks, you should see the smart minds among professional journalists (there are many, even in the mainstream media [MSM]) begin to do the math and ask these questions of Gingrich and Santorum: “Why are you staying in the race? Why would you continue on and damage your own party? What is your motivation?” They will, if they are doing their job. They may not because they are the MSM and it is in the best interest of Obama for the Republicans to slug it out and cannibalize the available GOP cash.

TEASER: Check MRC later for an outstanding Op-Ed that will begin the debate (nationally we hope) as to the possible ulterior motives of Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul to remain in the race when it is clearly not in the interest of the party or the nation (by David Parker).

Today’s Journal had a great article on “War of Attrition” that made some important points:

Mr. Romney has more support than ever from party leaders. And by winning the big states of Massachusetts, Virginia and Ohio, and reaping delegates even in losing Tennessee, he widened his delegate lead more than vote totals suggest.

And what about all the noise by Santorum and Gingrich about each expecting the other to drop out and how that will solidify all their supporters in opposition to Romney? They must be kidding, right? Or more likely, they are drinking their own kool-aid and think that Americans are just dumb (there are reasons that people vote for Gingrich and not Santorum, etc.). Let’s take a Romney/Santorum showdown starting today. The very last paragraph of the WSJ article says it all:

Yet maybe it doesn’t matter all that much for Mr. Romney whether it is a multi-candidate race or not. In a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released early this week, Republican voters were asked their preferences among thefour-man field, and Mr. Romney came out on top by six percentage points. When Mr. Paul and Mr. Gingrich were removed and the same voters were asked about achoice between Mr. Romney and Mr. Santorum, Mr. Romney prevailed by five points—almost the same margin.

End of game.

Since there is no mathematical way the three remaining candidates can win (see David Parker’s piece as quoted by Jayde below) the nomination, pundits must now ask the question of the others, “Mr. Santorum [Gingrich,Paul], what is your motivation for staying in the race? What self-interest do you have?”

Check this graphic from the Journal article: