for a comprehensive explanation of why Romney is the best positioned to represent evangelicals’ values in the White House.
Dear Mitt Romney skeptics, and especially my fellow evangelicals,
Do you remember how it felt when the economy began to implode in those anxious, waning months of 2008? We were coming down to the wire in the election contest, and the candidates we had to choose between were Barack Obama and John McCain. Given the choices, of course, I supported McCain. I still think he would have made a far better President than Obama has proven to be.
But as the very foundations of the American economy were shaking and falling away beneath our feet, and we faced the very real possibility of a Second Great Depression, how desperately I wished that Mitt Romney had emerged from the primary as the champion of the GOP. The presiding President and his party took the heat for the financial crisis, and McCain worsened the situation when his actions and statements inspired no confidence in his stability and expertise on economic matters. The election turned in Obama’s favor when he gave the impression of solidity and strength in the economic crisis.
Romney, however, had something Obama couldn’t even begin to claim: a brilliantly successful career in the private sector, and a world of experience specifically in the financial sector, where our most intractable problems lay. Between McCain and Romney, Romney was touted by the conservative commentariat as the conservative option, and I remember feeling as though the liberal media, independents and even some Democrats who were able to vote in primaries had shoehorned John McCain onto the GOP ticket. If Romney had been at the top of the ticket instead, I still believe we would have avoided the lamentable Obama Presidency; compared to a business titan, Obama would have looked like the inexperienced pretender that he was, and he could not have stood up to Romney’s economic expertise in the debates.
Well, we’re still in the midst of an incredible mess as a country. Our financial house is in shambles. Tax reform, regulatory reform, streamlining government, changes to our energy and immigration policies, will all help. But the character of the American people, the moral substructure that provides the necessary, nurturing environment for our democratic free market, has also disintegrated. Our problem is not merely political; it is also cultural. I am convinced of this with every bone in my body: We need to rediscover the virtues of the free market, and we also need to rediscover the economic virtues. On the one hand, we need a President who understands how companies grow and flourish, who understands how the economy works and what provides the predictability and clarity and the space for innovation that the market demands; Romney’s experience in venture capital, properly understood, is one of his truest strengths, because the venture capitalist learns a great deal about what kinds of ventures succeed and what kinds of capital they need. On the other hand, we need someone whose personal integrity and whose socio-political principles will strengthen the family, enrich the workforce, and restore our collective commitment to responsibility and initiative, stewardship and thrift, diligence and creativity.
I’ve written responses to some common misconceptions about Romney and his candidacy – and a long, specifically evangelical case for Mitt can be found in this ebook. The purpose of this letter is simply to set forth, in broad outlines, why I think Romney’s the right guy at the right time for this country. The Presidency is a position of enormously important economic, global and moral leadership. In all three of those areas, I firmly believe that Mitt Romney is the leader we need. He also, not coincidentally, stands the best chance of defeating Barack Obama — and if there’s one thing conservatives agree upon right now, it’s the profound importance of installing new leadership. As the country staggers toward decline, we need someone who can pick us up, rally the American people behind a positive and hopeful vision, and deploy all of his intelligence and experience and skill to move us toward a better future. That’s Mitt.
Economic and Global Leadership
Those who know him personally attest, without exception, that Romney is an extraordinarily intelligent, boundlessly competent, and thoroughly hard-working man. He built a towering reputation in the business world, accomplished a near-miraculous turnaround of the Salt Lake City Olympics (which was mired in scandal and red ink and on the verge of collapsing), and took an extremely liberal state (Massachusetts) that was deeply in debt and restored it to fiscal health and a budget surplus in the course of four years.
In the business world, Romney specialized in turning around failing companies, and he did so with great success. Sometimes, yes, that means eliminating jobs — but in most cases you’re eliminating jobs in order to avoid eliminating a company in its entirety. You make companies more profitable, more competitive, and thus more sustainable. You eliminate jobs now so that you can keep paying the salaries of those who remain, and ideally add more jobs again later. In other words, sometimes the most pro-jobs thing you can do is cut one job and save the company that employs ninety-nine more.