Illinois, you know the future of the country is in your hands.
The GOP All Agree: It’s Time to Replace Barack Obama
The GOP nearly unanimously agrees that our four year experiment with an inexperienced Senator at the helm has been a disaster. I read yesterday an article at Politico whose headline was “CBO: Exploding debt under Obama policies.” That article says public debt is expected (under CBO rules of prognostication) to increase from $10.1 trillion in 2011 to $18.8 trillion in 2022. For the current fiscal year:
…CBO is now projecting a shortfall of $1.3 trillion. In fiscal 2013, the deficit will still hover near the $1 trillion mark — about $977 billion. And while it will fall to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2017, it then begins to grow again to 3 percent of GDP by 2022.
With 5 more years of Barack Obama, without threat of losing a re-election bid, one can imagine how bad it could get. How long has it been since the Senate proposed a budget? How much time do we have to repeal Obamacare before the contraception controversy becomes par for the course, and the Federal government begins telling religious institutions what it must buy for its employees?
And this doesn’t even consider foreign policy.
Picking the Replacement
So our choices to replace Barack Obama are now clear. Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney.
While there’s much of Ron Paul’s philosophy on the appropriate constitutional size of government I find appealing, he won’t win an election against Barack Obama. The last two elections in which the GOP nominee was elected were decided by the slimmest of margins. I don’t believe that American citizens are ready to make the radical changes Ron Paul would advocate. And I’m not ready for his approach to foreign policy.
I’ve written before that while Newt Gingrich seems to be an idea machine, he doesn’t know the difference between a good one and a bad one, which is not a good trait for a president. As an attorney for executives, I have observed that some people actually get things done, and others like to pontificate and tell others what to do. I see Newt in the latter role: wanting to be the professor and tell everyone else what they should do rather than actually getting it done. That is not what I’m looking for in an commander-in-chief.
As for Rick Santorum, there’s a lot about his conservative social stands that I like. But I disagree that Rick draws a sharper conservative contrast with Obama than Mitt Romney, that Rick is the “true conservative” in the race, or that Mitt’s having endorsed health care reform in Massachusetts is a handicap. David Axelrod, Obama’s Communications Director, doesn’t hesitate to point out the many differences between Mitt and Obama. Saying Mitt is in any way like Obama is clearly misleading. Santorum calling himself the “true conservative” is also misleading. There are serious arguments to be made that Santorum is not a fiscal conservative at all. And while he attacks Mitt on social issues (principally abortion and Romneycare), Santorum is just as much a convert to the pro-life movement as Mitt is, and Mitt has made it very, very clear that he is both pro-life and intends to repeal Obamacare. When Santorum claims he “never supported the individual mandate,” that’s not true. He supported Mitt Romney as the “true conservative” candidate in 2008, after Romneycare was adopted. Rick’s conversion on health care reform came very recently, and very opportunistically. And we should not forget that Santorum’s endorsement of liberal Arlen Specter is what allowed Obamacare to pass in the first place, since Specter cast the deciding vote. Rick’s habit of compromising his principles has already harmed our country enough.
Meanwhile, in my mind, Mitt has a number of strengths that make him the compelling choice.
Mitt has decades of true executive experience, something unmatched in any other candidate. Mitt has been a governor. He has been a CEO. He led the Olympic games. Mitt’s executive experience has also often been leading organizations needing a turnaround. He’s credited with saving the 2002 Olympics. He’s credited with saving Bain Consulting. He’s credited with balancing the budget in Massachusetts without raising tax rates.