My issues with today’s Red State article by Erick Erickson are many and not limited to the following:
1. “Mitt Romney will not go on Special Report with Brett Baier to answer the tough questions as the other candidates have done” - I assure you Mitt Romney isn’t afraid of “tough questions”. Mitt has chosen not to reward a program that has been one of the worst offenders of anti-Romney bias just like Mitt has chosen not to reward Jon Stewart with an appearance. This is not to say Mitt will never go on either program, but he has chosen not to go on either program for the time being and he has every right not to. Mitt would get free publicity from either program, so his refusal to go on either program says more about those programs than it does about Mitt.
2. “Romney will head in a direction conservatives do not like” - Based on what? McCain’s opposition research you’ve been reading? Maybe you don’t understand what opposition research is intended to do…
3. “Romney refuses to do anything. Until he does something.” - This waste of space statement speaks for itself.
4. “Mitt Romney is not the George W. Bush of 2012 — he is the Harriet Miers of 2012, only conservative because a few conservative grand pooh-bahs tell us Mitt Romney is conservative and for no other reason.” - The grand pooh-bahs are not sold on Mitt Romney. They are as scared of Mitt as the left is. If Mitt Romney is elected President, he will not owe anyone but the voters. That is what scares people. As for the Harriet Miers assertion, just ask the people of Massachusetts how conservative Mitt is. Mitt Romney was WAY more conservative than the voters of Massachusetts expected. Just ask anyone who pays attention and has been living in Massachusetts since 2003.
5. “Romney, like John McCain before him, will run up the middle to the nomination. But, just like McCain, Romney will not beat Barack Obama.” - How can you not remember who McCain “ran up the middle” against? Mitt Romney was the conservative choice in 2008, and the biggest mistake made in 2008 was not coalescing behind Mitt before Super Tuesday. Despite your best efforts to paint Mitt as a moderate, a lot of people know Mitt Romney is a true conservative. Unfortunately for you and your ilk, people can watch the speeches Gov. Romney has given, read his op-eds and books, and make up their own minds.
6. “The vote is coming down to a handful of states and Barack Obama still maintains the advantage of incumbency and not terribly terrible polling in those swing states.” = Who has the greatest appeal in those states like Michigan, Nevada, Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Virginia, and New Hampshire? Oh right, Mitt Romney!
7. “There is no issue I can find on which Mitt Romney has not taken both sides.” - Besides Mitt’s well documented conversion to the pro-life cause, what do you have? This is a huge exaggeration that I even the Obama administration would want to tone down for fear of sounding ridiculous.
8. “press on him real hard and he’ll take on whatever image you press into him until the next group starts pressing.” - Not true! Ask the groups who oppose Mitt most vehemently and you’ll find the common thread that Mitt isn’t pandering to them.
9. “To beat Barack Obama, a candidate must paint a bold contrast with the Democrats on their policies.” - I’m guessing you haven’t read this article.
10. “Voters may not like Barack Obama, but by the time Obama is done with Romney they will not trust Mitt Romney.” - Voters like President Obama much more than they trust him. Also, Mitt Romney is an honorable man who deserves our trust and you shouldn’t be doing President Obama’s dirty work for him.
11. “Mitt Romney is winning the nomination without conservative help” - The only problem with that assertion is that it isn’t based in reality. Find me even one poll to back that claim up. I can find you more than ten that disprove it. Mitt Romney has stronger self-identified tea party and conservative support than most of the other candidates in poll after poll and that fact isn’t going to change no matter how many times you lie about it.
12. “I’m starting to think I need to walk it back on my rejection of Jon Huntsman. Because I’m starting to think even he would be more faithful in his conservative convictions than Mitt Romney.” - If this concluding statement doesn’t show everyone who reads it that you have an ulterior motive to see Mitt Romney defeated, I don’t know what will.
Erick Erickson has done a great disservice to the United States of America. His post from this morning, “Mitt Romney as the Nominee: Conservatism Dies and Barack Obama Wins“, is a dream come true for President Obama. What is he thinking? This post is so easy to pick apart that I encourage all of you to join me in commenting on this article. Red State and Erick Erickson have made more money during President Obama’s presidency than ever before, and that is the only motivation I can think of to why he would so brutally attack our greatest chance to replace President Obama with a conservative in 2012. When I wrote my first piece on what I was worried about at Red State and Free Republic, Free Republic’s Jim Robinson was at least man enough to admit what he was doing. Red State’s Erick Erickson instead did his best Bill Laimbeer impersonation and asked “What War on Romney?”
I think the rest of the political universe now sees what we’ve been talking about. Erick Erickson and his staff has been waging a guerrilla war against Mitt Romney for quite some time now and misinformation has been their weapon of choice. That is why they have been banning members who support Mitt with facts and logic.
To those of us who don’t have an agenda to make money and actually spend our time and energy working for free to help our country, it’s obvious that Mitt Romney is not only the candidate that President Obama fears most, he’s the best candidate to tackle the most important issues facing our country.
*Note: After Erick Erickson denied that there was any truth to my allegations, I reached out to him through e-mail and Twitter to see if perhaps he had some rogue moderators/editors, but now I see he was just frustrated that their guerrilla war on Romney was exposed before they were ready to show their ugly faces to the world. If Mitt Romney is elected, it won’t be conservatism that dies, but Red State and Free Republic and when they do die, I will say good riddance. I am sick and tired of Erick Erickson and Jim Robinson getting rich from spewing garbage on their sites while either pretending they aren’t making loads of money in the case of Jim Robinson or pretending like the money has no effect on their rhetoric in the case of Erick Erickson.
UPDATE: Jennifer Rubin hits the nail on its head with this post.
A Romney presidency and a GOP Congress would be tonally different that the anti-Romney forces, but they might actually accomplish quite a lot. That means — oh, my — the loudest squawkers would be irrelevant? How can it be — they have hundreds of readers and friends who think just like they do?!
Those who would follow the talk radio show hosts to the barricades for Christine O’Donnell or accuse Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R- Ohio) of treachery to the conservative movement have shot their wad on pulling the party so far out of the Beltway that electoral success becomes irrelevant. The point, you see, is not to advance (incrementally or otherwise) the conservative ball but to remain forever aggrieved. Whatever deal is attainable and whichever candidate is acceptable to a broad cross-section of Americans are almost by definition unacceptable to those voices.
I encourage you all to read the rest of the article and leave Jennifer a note of thanks for her wonderful piece.
FINAL UPDATE: Our friends at Why Romney have picked up the gauntlet of Erick Erickson and refuted virtually every point he has made in his attempts to disparage Gov. Romney.