Exclusive (MR12): One Evangelical’s Journey to Promote Mitt Romney

Five years ago, I discovered the amazing resource Article VI Blog, founded by John Schroeder and Lowell Brown. Their reporting and Op-Ed writing, in my opinion, have proved an important contribution to this nation and to the American ideal of freedom. Their tireless research will continue to enlighten Americans who treasure the blessings of diversity.

John Schroeder


John and Lowell traveled to the Bush Library in Texas for Governor Romney’s historic Faith in America speech December 6, 2007. It was there we met and discussed their work and our hope of a Romney presidency.

Following is a candid view into John’s childhood, youth, and adulthood that I found most revealing – especially as relates to his arriving to understand Mitt Romney’s tremendous leadership skills and experience. I am grateful to him for this guest contribution to Mitt Romney Central.

From Protecting The Church To Electing A President — This Evangelical’s Story

By: John Schroeder

The story is now old about how Article VI Blog got started. We have grown from the original team of me, an evangelical Presbyterian, and my Mormon partner Lowell Brown to include John Mark Reynolds, notable Greek Orthodox academic and scholar. All three of us have our individual reasons to be there; let’s talk about mine.

When I started, I really did not care much for Mitt Romney, but I also hated bigotry. Frankly, one of Romney’s key talking points for the ’08 election was what has now come to be called “RomneyCare” and I was aghast. When Article VI Blog started I was in the process of losing about 200 pounds. That gave me a unique view of the health care system – the last thing I wanted was to give the government the power to tell me about my weight, and let’s face it, you put someone in charge of your healthcare, and that is where they are going. But again, I hate bigotry.

See, I am a son of the Deep South. I was born in 1957 in Oxford, Mississippi. My father soon finished law school and we left Mississippi, but my mother’s entire extended family was there so rarely a year has gone by in my life that I have not spent some time in the state. I grew up with “Whites Only” signs, and segregated water fountains. Most importantly, I saw the racial prejudices of the Deep South routinely turn some members of my loving and wonderful family suddenly ugly. We could be having the most wonderful evening in a household full of love and good cheer and the topic would come up and well, let’s just say I saw the good cheer leave the room.

So, on that fateful day when Hugh Hewitt introduced me to the idea that Evangelicals would oppose Romney, not because of something like RomneyCare, but because of his faith, I did not want to see the good cheer leave the “evangelical room” and decided to get involved. Right up until the day before Super Tuesday in the 2008 primary campaign, I worked hard to fight the religious bigotry that was so obviously aimed at Romney, but that did not mean he had my vote. He ended up with it, but he had to earn it.

So-called RomneyCare really was the only serious obstacle to his having my vote. John McCain was, well, not a team player with Republicans, and governance is a team game. Rudy Giuliani was waaaay too far left. Fred Thompson was a joke, and Mike Huckabee really did take the good cheer from the evangelical room. But….

In ’08 Romney ended up with my vote largely because as I studied the RomneyCare issue I came to discover that what was passed in Massachusetts was a far cry from what Romney proposed. What Romney proposed was a hybrid system between private enterprise and public health care. Most importantly it offered subsidies for people to get private healthcare; the government never became the provider. Not ideal from my perspective, but enough to make him far more palatable than the alternatives, particularly when you consider that the public, showing a lack of wisdom in my estimation, was demanding something. A reasonable politician has to act when the citizenry demand, even if the result is less than ideal. Those in elected office are, after all, servants of the people, not rulers.

Since ObamaCare has come to pass, RomneyCare is no longer an issue for me. There are many similarities in the Massachusetts healthcare system and that which ObamaCare shall bring to pass, but in the end there is no comparison. Many legal scholars think ObamaCare is unconstitutional – I am inclined to agree with them. States have a lot of power that the federal government does not. But more importantly to my mind Massachusetts healthcare now has little resemblance to what Mitt Romney originally proposed. He had some vetoes overridden and has been out of office for quite some time now, giving that heavily liberal legislature, and governor, plenty of time to fiddle about. What Mitt Romney wanted, and what Barack Obama shoved down our gullets is radically different. Romney has promised to minimize the impact of ObamaCare as much as the power of the presidency will allow and to make repeal of it a priority in his agenda. That’s all I can ask.

Let’s get back to my youthful sojourns to Mississippi and to bigotry. You cannot be about in Mississippi and not know African-Americans, lots of them. One of the reasons things seemed to turn so ugly in the family gatherings when it came up was because the blacks that I knew in Mississippi were certainly poor and generally undereducated but most of them were decent good people. As an infant, I was cared for by a woman (my mother worked while my father was in law school) who remained in service to the family her entire life, as did several of her children. Now my parents were dirt poor at the time. Mom made a pittance as a production assistant at a Memphis television station and Dad had the GI bill. That they could afford a caretaker for me explains a lot of the poverty in the African-American community of the time. Regardless, I saw that woman (Fannie was her name) on every visit I made to Mississippi until she passed away, which was about the time I graduated high school. She could not read or write, but she was a good woman – having cared not only for me, but for many of my generation. She was a decent person. But the things some of my family members would say when she was out of earshot…. Their words simply did not match the reality I witnessed, and it made some loving, beautiful people look very ugly.

Schroeder & Brown at Faith In America Speech


You cannot live in southern California, one end of the so-called “Jello Belt,” and not know Mormons – lots of them. When I contemplated my evangelical brethren discarding a candidate for POTUS because he was a Mormon, it just looked ugly to me. They were good, decent people. Politically most that I know stand right where I do. They are contributing members of the community, often leading on things that my brethren seemed too pre-occupied to tackle. As the African-Americans of the Mississippi of my youth were poor and under-educated, the Mormons of my adulthood were theologically misguided, but they were good people, even preferable as neighbors. To discard Romney on the basis of theological wrongness reflected very poorly on my evangelical brethren.

I am tempted at this point to go on about the proper relationship of theology and religious affiliation to our citizenship, but that is a scholarly topic, and this is a personal reflection. Besides, it’s getting too long anyway.

I grieve for all those that would discard Romney, or Jon Huntsman for that matter, on the basis of their Mormon faith. To do so, from my perspective, shows little faith in the God who saved me and whom I claim to serve. The New Testament is full of the message that Christ came to free us from the drudgery and ugliness of legalism. Such is not license for debauchery, but rather a reflection of the fact that Christ’s ministry transforms us. We are changed from people who obey the law out of obligation, fear and tenacity to people from whom behavior in compliance with the law flows as a natural consequence of who we are.

If we still operate out of a mindset that demands strict compliance in an obligatory and tenacious manner, then we have yet to experience the deep reality of what Jesus can do for us. Christ, it must be remembered, chose the company of sinners over the religious elite of his day. In plain speak, it is not about theology or membership, but character.

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke some of the most profound words of the last century:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

The years since Article VI Blog started have been very interesting years in my life. Among the more interesting occurrences has been the opportunity to get to know Mitt Romney just a little and some of his extended family quite well. These are people, who when judged by the content of their character, deserve the same shot at the White House, or any other part of the American dream, that the rest of us enjoy.

I do not pretend to know what God thinks of Mormons or Mormon theology – I do not know what will happen to any individual Mormon in eternity, or anyone else for that matter – I am no where near that smart. I know what I believe and what my prayer and study has taught me, and yes, it is quite different than what they believe. But I also know that to deny them their place in our nation, based on that difference, reflects far more poorly on me than it does on them.

All said and done, that is why I started with Article VI Blog. I did not want the prejudices of some in the Evangelical community to reflect poorly on all of us. I wanted anybody that bothered to listen to know that we’re not all that way.

Some six years later the only thing that is different is that Mitt Romney is now unquestionably the best candidate qualified to steer our nation back in the proper direction. Economically, his skill is unrivalled. As an executive, his experience is unmatched. As a politician, his current victories speak for themselves – as does his character. This cycle Mitt Romney has more than earned my vote. I am proud to be behind him – 100%.

[Emphasis added by Lundquist]

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. — C. S. Lewis

…………………. Related Resources …………………….

Why Evangelicals Can Support Mitt Romney

Evangelicals for Mitt

JFK’s Amazing, Inspiring 1960 Speech to Houston Ministers, “I Believe in America”

OUTSTANDING RESEARCH ON ROMNEYCARE (including MD experts):

The Truth About Massachusetts Health Care

Problem or Not?

Why RomneyCare Makes Mitt the Best Nominee to Face Obama

Bottomline: Romney Stands Strongly Against ObamaCare

Why Romney Care is Constitutional While ObamaCare is Not
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CA Reps Give Early Christmas Present to Romney: Endorsements from Lewis, Calvert, Bilbray

Santas line up for the annual charitable holiday 'Surfing Santas' contest at Salt Creek Beach in Laguna Niguel, CA

From The Golden State - three more nuggets in Mitt Romney’s Christmas stocking…

Congressmen Jerry Lewis, Ken Calvert, and Brian Bilbray say Romney is the best candidate to take on Obama:

I am proud to earn the support of three great leaders in California,” said Mitt Romney. “I am looking forward to working with them to move this country forward and ensure Californians and all Americans get working again.”

Announcing his support, Congressman Lewis said “Mitt Romney has the conservative credentials to lead our economy out of this recession. His experience in the business world gives him a keen understanding of our economy and of job creation. He is the best prepared to take on President Obama and turn around our economy.”

Announcing his support, Congressman Calvert said, “Governor Romney will be a steady and reliable commander of the ship of state and is the right man to manage critical but tight defense budgets and lead an American and global recovery. Governor Romney’s private and public sector experience make him the best equipped candidate to defeat President Obama in 2012.”

“Governor Romney’s leadership and experience are what this country needs right now. President Obama’s failures are wreaking havoc on the economy and we need a leader who can fix the fiscal mess we are in and create jobs,” said Congressman Bilbray. “I also believe that Mitt Romney will be the best candidate to secure the border and put a halt to illegal immigration.”

(emphasis added)

Background on Congressmen Lewis, Calvert and Bilbray:

Congressman Lewis Represents California’s 41st District And Serves On The House Appropriations Committee. He formerly served as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee during the 109th Congress and now currently serves on the Subcommittee on Defense.

Congressman Calvert Represents California’s 44th District And Serves On The House Appropriations Committee. He also currently serves on the Subcommittee on Defense, the Interior and the Environment Subcommittee and the Legislative Branch Subcommittee.

Congressman Bilbray Represents California’s 50th District And Is Chairman Of The Immigration Reform Caucus. He also currently serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee with subcommittee appointments to Oversight and Investigations, Communication and Technology, and Energy and Power.

► Jayde Wyatt

VIDEO - Donald Trump: “my net worth is many, many, many times Mitt Romney.”

Trump & Romney

Trump & Romney

Is Trump’s narcissistic chest beating so very, very off-putting to anyone else?

I don’t normally pay attention to the guy (his presidential chances should be taken about as seriously as Oprah Winfrey’s), but after hearing about his recent remarks on how Mitt Romney “didn’t create companies”, I couldn’t help but take a gander at the interview video:

The above video doesn’t catch all of the Romney talk, though; fast-forward to the 4:45 mark in this video to catch the entire diologue. I don’t mind re-posting the entire interview here. If you watch it all, you’ll see that the more he speaks, the more the guy does harm to his cause:

Fact Check:

In 1984, Romney founded and led Bain Capital, now one of the nation’s most successful venture capital and investment firms.

Some lesser known facts about Mitt’s net worth: Romney left his company to go back and restructure Bain & Company, taking only a symbolic $1 salary for the entire year; he didn’t take a salary as Governor and he donated his Olympic’s salary to charity. Not to mention all the proceeds from Romney’s ‘New York Times Best Seller’ went to charity, as well. Success means nothing unless you learn to give back. Romney has essentially gone without pay for the past decade (longer than the average duration of the Donald’s marriages). Trump’s 2009 salary? …$50 million.

True leadership is humility.

More analysis from Ross after the fold
(more…)

Mitt Romney to Keynote 2010 Restaurant Leadership Conference

Gov. Mitt Romney

We’ve heard news of Romney keynoting a range of events, from Skiing Industry conventions & Specialty Pharmacy summits to Boy Scout Anniversary dinners; now comes the news that he will also keynote a convention that is ‘catered’ specifically to Owners and Managers of restaurants.

Regarding the conference, I saw one tweeter say, “Seriously? …Mitt Romney?”, perhaps questioning Mitt Romney’s relevance to the restaurant industry. Its evident, however, that Mitt is a respected voice in any industry, with a solid track record of turning around many failed businesses (including Domino’s, the popular pizza giant). Look for keynote spots from Mitt at many more of these types of conferences in the upcoming months.

We’ve read Romney’s resume a million times, but it doesn’t hurt to re-post what they’ve written about Mitt at RestaurantLeadership.com:

Widely recognized for his leadership and accomplishments as a public servant and in private enterprise, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney delivers powerful insight on the current and future challenges facing America and the world, and offers compelling solutions on how America can regain its course.

His is a career marked by success. From 1978 to 1984, Governor Romney enjoyed a successful tenure as Vice President at Bain & Company, a leading management consulting firm, helping businesses grow and improve their operations. In 1984, Romney founded and led Bain Capital, now one of the nation’s most successful venture capital and investment firms. He later took a temporary leave of absence to return to Bain & Company as CEO at a time of financial turmoil to lead the turnaround of the organization.

During the run-up to the 2002 Olympic Games, Romney left the private sector to become President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Given the task of turning around an Olympics mired in controversy and saddled with debt , Romney galvanized community spirit, erased a $379 million operating deficit, organized 23,000 volunteers, and oversaw an unprecedented security mobilization just months after the September 11th attacks, leading to one of the most successful Olympics in the country’s history.

Romney’s career in public service has been equally distinguished. Elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, he presided over a dramatic reversal of state fortunes and sustained economic growth, balancing the state budget without raising taxes, creating tens of thousands of new jobs, and enacting education reform to both reward students and aid failing schools. In 2006, Governor Romney proposed and signed into law private, market-based healthcare reform, ensuring that every Massachusetts citizen receives health insurance—without a government takeover and without raising taxes.

Elected Chairman of the Republican Governors Association during the 2006 election cycle, Romney raised a then-record $27 million for candidates running in state house contests across the country.

Governor Romney has been deeply involved in community and civic affairs, serving in his church and numerous charities including City Year, the Boy Scouts, and the Points of Light Foundation. He was also the Massachusetts Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in 1994 against Ted Kennedy. He received his B.A., with Highest Honors, from Brigham Young University in 1971. In 1975, he was awarded an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar, and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

Governor Romney and his wife Ann have been married for 40 years and have five sons, five daughters-in-law, and fourteen grandchildren.

Registration info for the event can be found here.

Romney To Hit Key Primary States On Book Tour

For frequent updates about Mitt Romney’s upcoming book release, including tour dates, book signings, and media appearances, Go Here.

For those scanning the horizon for bold solutions to America’s problems, our ship is about to come in. With a cargo load of forward-thinking ideas contained in his new book No apology: The Case for American Greatness, Former Governor Mitt Romney’s book tour will begin in March and stop in 18 key primary states. Just when conservatives will need someone to take the helm, Romney demonstrates the wisdom, steadiness, and vision needed to solidly captain the United States back to greatness.

Boston Globe
By Sasha Issenberg - January 3, 2022

WASHINGTON - Later this winter, Mitt Romney will strike out on a national book tour, but unlike his party’s most successful recent author he does not expect to make headlines with bits of fresh gossip from the 2008 campaign, see his fans camp overnight outside bookstores, or chat with Oprah Winfrey about his family.

“Inevitably there are going to be comparisons with the Sarah Palin book,’’ said Eric Fehrnstrom, a Romney spokesman. “We’re not going to match her crowd size or sales. These are two different people with different ways of expressing themselves.’’

The March 2 release of “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness,’’ will kick off a month long tour taking the former Massachusetts governor to at least 18 states, including Iowa.

But Romney, considered by many in the party to be the default Republican front-runner for the 2012 nomination, is approaching the book tour with the patient, workmanlike mien that has distinguished him from other probable contenders who seem far more eager for attention.

“Romney is playing things very methodically and deliberatively,’’ said Mark McKinnon, a former media adviser to President George W. Bush and 2008 Republican nominee John McCain. “I think he understands the physics of this game very well now and is carefully calibrating his approach to 2012.’’

“No Apology’’ will be Romney’s second book. The first, “Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games,’’ a narrative account of Romney’s stewardship of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, was published in 2004, while he was governor. At the time, Romney held a book party at the Boston Public Library, signings in Massachusetts and Utah, and conducted a series of radio interviews.

This time Romney has assembled a far more ambitious itinerary, organized by his publisher, St. Martin’s Press, and the Macmillan Speakers Bureau, which represents Romney in speeches before nonpolitical groups. In Iowa, Romney will visit Des Moines and Ames, where he will speak at Iowa State University. (Romney has yet to confirm appearances in New Hampshire and South Carolina, two other early primary states.)

St. Martin’s will print 200,000 copies of Romney’s book, far less than HarperCollins’s 1.5 million-copy first printing of Palin’s “Going Rogue,’’ which reportedly sold 1 million copies within its first two weeks. Romney has not disclosed the amount of his advance, but a spokesman says he will contribute his earnings to a charity he has yet to name.

St. Martin’s has no plans to purchase print ads promoting Romney’s book, but will rely on promotional e-mail messages to a supporter list maintained by Romney’s political action committee and online advertising targeted at his backers, including more than 118,000 registered fans on Facebook.

“A lot of the outreach we’re going to be doing is based on his channels,’’ said Jeanne-Marie Hudson, associate director of marketing for St. Martin’s. “He has a very strong and organized base of supporters that are going to get his word out just as they did in the campaign.’’

Romney has been working on the book for much of the last year, convening groups of friends and advisers to discuss the material in it. Fehrnstrom describes it as “an ideas book,’’ with a focus on US standing in the world and away from the social issues that dominated Romney’s 2008 campaign. The title refers to what Romney describes as President Obama’s pattern of apologizing for American behavior in speeches abroad.

“The book is more than a critique of the Obama presidency,’’ said Fehrnstrom. “The book itself is primarily forward-looking.’’

Romney’s efforts to cut a statesman-like profile have included a new focus on foreign policy. He is working to schedule a January trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan with his former lieutenant governor, Kerry Healey, and Mitchell Reiss, a retired diplomat who was a foreign policy adviser to Romney’s campaign. The trip, organized by the International Republican Institute, will be Romney’s second visit to Afghanistan and first to Pakistan.

With America awash in deep waters, we need someone experienced and proven in steering things right. Let’s do all within our power to make sure, come 2012, that Mitt Romney is at the helm. Full steam ahead!

*Don’t forget to pre-order No Apology: The Case for American Greatness.

(Hat tip to Luke.)

Romney’s Remarks to the House Republican Retreat

Just received this in my in-box. It can also be found at the Free and Strong America PAC blog

It is like sweet music to my ears. I’m wishing more than ever that Romney was at the helm instead of Obama. I’m so glad to see him called on continually to speak to the Republican leadership.

Governor Romney today delivered the following remarks to the House Republican Conference Retreat hosted by the Congressional Institute at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia.

As prepared for delivery
January 30, 2022

Thank you for the warm welcome. And thank you for the vote you took this week. You stood strong. You stood for principle. You put the best interests of the American people ahead of politics. I got some calls yesterday, after the news. They said what I feel. We want you to know that we’re proud of you.

It sure feels good to be in a room full of Republicans who came out ahead on Election Day. You can be proud of your success. And don’t be afraid to remind the President of this: you, too, won your election.

After my own campaign was over, Ann and I just wanted to get away from it all. We ended up in Beijing, about as far away as you can get. We went to the Olympic Games, and one of the events we attended was women’s beach volleyball. I noticed a lot of people looking in our direction, pointing toward us and taking pictures. It’s always nice to be recognized, and I told Ann, let’s be sure to smile and look our best. Ann said, they might like us even more if we got out of the way—Kobe Bryant is standing right behind you.

A few months have passed since the election. It’s enough time to consider the outcome and take stock of our party’s future. I want to make clear that I’m optimistic: our ideas are good, our agenda will make America stronger, and your action this week showed that we have the kind of leaders who will stand up for what they believe in.

I have often been asked what I think the Republican Party must do to recover. What I’ve said is this: My first concern isn’t about our party—it’s about our country.

In fact, the two are closely related. The best way for us to advance the prospects of our party is to do what we know is right for the country. This is what the American people expect of us. And that’s what we should expect of ourselves.

This is a time of hardship and uncertainty for millions of Americans. The question is: whose leadership and ideas will turn things around. And in such a moment, it’s our job to offer the clear answers, the proven solutions, and resolute leadership that will make this country strong again.

The new President and the Congressional majority are having a difficult time doing that. After all, they have a lot of campaign rhetoric to make good on. And they’ve got plenty of special interests to pay back. As the opposition party, we’re entirely free to do what is right for the country. There are certain advantages to that kind of freedom, and I suggest we make the most of them.

That begins with a clear analysis of what’s needed to get the economy moving again. Predictions that we are almost out of the woods, based on the length of prior recessions, are wishful thinking. Americans have lost some 11 trillion dollars in net worth. That translates into about 400 billion dollars less annual consumer spending in the economy.

There’s something else people don’t talk much about: The pool of investment capital—all the money available for new investments, business start-ups, business expansions, capital expenditures, and new hiring. The size of that pool has shrunk by trillions of dollars. This was a huge loss in value, and the effect could be felt for years—in businesses that don’t start up or grow, in jobs that don’t get created.

Given these extraordinary conditions, I am convinced that a stimulus is needed.

So why not just spend and borrow with reckless abandon? Because we’re in a very delicate situation that could easily get worse if Washington does the wrong thing. The package which passed the House is a huge increase in the amount of government borrowing. And we’ve borrowed so much already, that if we add too much more debt, or spend foolishly, we could invite an even bigger crisis. We could precipitate a worldwide crisis of confidence in America, leading to a run on the dollar … or hyper-inflation that wipes out family savings and devastates the middle class.

We’re on an economic tightrope. That’s why it is so important to exercise extreme care and good judgment.

So far, the Democratic leadership hasn’t shown a great deal of that. They’ve passed 355 billion in infrastructure spending, 60% of which won’t be spent by the end of 2010. Billions for electronic medical health records—it’s a fine idea, but it won’t produce jobs for years and years.

Even worse are the liberal payoffs—50 million dollars for the National Endowment for the Arts, hundreds of millions of dollars to the states for STD prevention and education. Until your loud protests got it dropped from the bill, there even was 200 million dollars for the DC Mall. That might have grown some grass, but it wouldn’t have grown the economy. And they’re doing this when the economy is on a tightrope.

It’s still early in the administration of President Obama. Like everyone who loves this country, I want him to adopt correct principles and then to succeed. He still has a chance to step in and insist on spending discipline among the members of his own party. It’s his job to set priorities. I hope for America’s sake that he knows that a Chief Executive can’t vote “present.” He can’t let others run the show. He has to say yes to some things and no to a lot of others.

We need to stimulate the economy, not the government. A true stimulus package, one that respects the productivity and genius of the American people, could lift this country out of recession. And experience shows us what it should look like.

First, there are two ways you can put money into the economy, by spending more or by taxing less. But if it’s stimulus you want, taxing less works best. That’s why permanent tax cuts should be the centerpiece of the economic stimulus. Even Christine Romer, the President’s own choice to lead the Council of Economic Advisors, found in her research that tax cuts are twice as effective as new spending.

Second, any new spending must be strictly limited to projects that are essential. How do we define essential? Well, a good rule is that the projects we fund in a stimulus should be legitimate government priorities that would have been carried out in the future anyway, and are simply being moved up to create those jobs now.

As we take out non-essential projects, we should focus on funding the real needs of government that will have immediate impact. And what better place to begin than repairing and replacing military equipment that was damaged or destroyed in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan?

Third, sending out rebate checks to citizens and businesses is not a tax cut. The media bought this line so far, but they’ve got it wrong. Checks in the mail are refunds, not tax cuts. We tried rebate checks last year and they did virtually nothing to jump-start the economy. Disposable income went up, but consumption hardly moved. Businesses aren’t stupid. They’re not going to invest in equipment and new hires for a one time, short term blip.

You know, by proposing tax rebates, the Democrats are admitting that relief to families and employers works. Why can’t they shed their ideological bias and give the American people the kind of permanent, broad based tax relief that even they must know will relieve the suffering our country is going through?

Fourth, if we’re going to tax less and spend more to get the economy moving, then we have to make another commitment as well. As soon as this economy recovers, we have to regain control over the federal budget, and above all, over entitlement spending. This is more important than most people are willing to admit. I mentioned the economic tightrope before. There is a real danger that with trillions of additional borrowing—from the budget deficit and from the stimulus—that world investors will begin to fear that the dollars won’t be worth much in the future. They may fear hyper-inflation. It is essential that we demonstrate our commitment to maintaining the value of the dollar. That means showing the world that we will put a stop to runaway spending and borrowing. Senator Judd Gregg is rightly proposing a new bipartisan approach. It should be part of this bill.

Fifth, we must begin to recover from the enormous losses in the capital investment pool. And the surest, most obvious way to get that done is to send a clear signal that there will be no tax increases on investment and capital gains. The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts should be extended permanently, or at least temporarily.

And finally, let’s exercise restraint in the size of the stimulus package. Without restraint, it may grow as the days go by. Last year, with the economy already faltering, I proposed a stimulus of 233 billion dollars. The Washington Post said, and I quote: “Romney’s plan is way too big.” So what critique do they have for the size of the Democrat’s package? I’m afraid they’ve caught a bad case of liberal laryngitis. It’s everywhere these days.

In the final analysis, we know that only the private sector—entrepreneurs and businesses large and small—can create the millions of jobs our country needs. The invisible hand of the market always moves faster and better than the heavy hand of government.

The difference between us and the Democrats is this: they want to stimulate the government, and we want to stimulate the economy.

Government does have an obligation to address some of the abuses we’ve seen in the markets, particularly in the mortgage finance market and the mortgage guarantee sector. But when markets work as they should, when they are effectively and efficiently regulated, free markets create jobs and boost incomes.

As Republicans, we remain the confident voice of limited government and free enterprise. These principles are going to face another test when it comes to healthcare.

We should be first to propose a Republican plan to bring health insurance to all Americans, one based on market dynamics, free choice, and personal responsibility. I think what we did in Massachusetts is a good model to start from, but whatever direction we take, let’s not simply react to what the Democrats do. Their own plan would undoubtedly create a vast new system of costly entitlements and bureaucratic dictates, burdening the people and threatening the economy. Americans will be looking for a better alternative. Let’s give it to them.

Let’s also defend the rights of workers—against coercion and intimidation. The working people of this country should be able to unionize the way their fathers and mothers did – by free choice and secret ballot. The Democrats’ plan to take away those rights would result in economic calamity. More than that, it’s an insult to the dignity and common sense of working people. We’re going to defend the freedom of workers and the rights of labor. Interesting, isn’t it, which party stands up for workers and which one jumps for union bosses.

Ours is the party of freedom and enterprise, and we are the party of life. I know that I’m not alone in wondering why our new president, in the earliest hours of his administration, directed that international groups that promote and provide abortions be funded with American taxpayer dollars. Is that really what the world needs, more abortions?

In our party, we don’t have perfect agreement on the life issue. But with an administration that is firmly on the side of abortion, that answers to the most extreme wing of the abortion lobby, our duty is clear. We should be a voice for moderation and compassion. And even if the administration will say nothing on behalf of the child waiting to be born, we must take the side of life.

The new administration has also gained the favor of liberal commentators by pledging what it calls reform in the treatment of detainees who have taken up arms against America. And of course, President Obama says he will close Guantanamo.

But I wonder if he noticed that some of the men already released from Guantanamo have turned up in new al Qaeda tapes? I also wonder where the President now intends to send the terrorists we capture. Will he send them to nations that will release them to kill Americans? Or will he send them to US prisons, to infect our own criminal population?

There may be more steps like closing Guantanamo—and they will receive the predictable applause from law professors, editorial boards, and others who have no responsibility for protecting American lives. The Washington Post last week announced President Obama’s actions with this headline: “Bush’s War on Terror Comes to a Sudden End.” I hope this President knows that the terrorists are still fighting and killing Americans, and that they plan to keep killing Americans.

Here, too, our party will speak confidently. We have no greater duty than a vigilant defense.

This great party of ours has seen setbacks before. They have never defined us. For our party, I believe this will be remembered as the time when we demonstrated the strength of our convictions, when we defended the foundations of America’s prosperity, security and liberty.

America will be tested. It’s not for us to choose every new test that may arise. But we’re entirely free to choose how we will face those tests. We’ll face them as you did this week. And we’ll face them as Republicans have done before in our finest moments—with the clarity and the confidence of those who put their country first.

That is the work you have undertaken as Republican members of the 111th Congress. You gather in smaller numbers than last year, but you have ideas, energy, and convictions—and the resolve to lead America to a better future. The comeback for our nation and for our party starts with you. You can count me as an ally in the work ahead. Thank you.

True leadership by McCain?

“And my fear is that McCain-Kennedy would do to immigration what McCain-Feingold has done to campaign finance and money in politics, and that’s bad.”
- Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential Debate in South Carolina, May 15, 2022

Of course we know what happened to money in politics after McCain-Feingold: it increased instead of decreasing. We can only speculate the extent of damage that would be caused by the immigration reform that McCain and others proposed yesterday. However, my intent is not to debate the merits of the bill, but to discuss McCain’s approach to solving problems.

When asked at the debate about McCain-Feingold and McCain-Kennedy, McCain had this answer:

SEN. MCCAIN: Well, the first issues you mentioned have to do with bipartisanship, have to do with reaching across the aisle and work for the good of the American people. That’s what I intend to do. That’s what leadership is all about. And the reason why congressional approval ratings — I saw at 28 percent as — and you get down to blood relatives and paid staffers when you get down that low — (laughter) — is because they want us to work together, they want us to reach across the aisle on issues that are important to America.

Apparently McCain gives us this formula: Bipartisanship = Leadership. However, this formulation seems dubious at best. To McCain, any answer that passes, with both sides agreeing, is the right answer. But consensus is not leadership. In fact leadership may be just the opposite. It would seem that McCain would understand this in his defense of the Iraq war. What is his defense of the Iraq war, then, if it fails his bipartisanship = leadership formula? His position does not garner bipartisan support. Does that make his support for the Iraq war wrong, or against American interests? Certainly not.

McCain’s propensity to sell Republican values and principles for the pottage of bipartisanship is why we should avoid him. His latest immigration proposal only reaffirms the need for someone who, even in the toughest of times and places has stood against the tide of liberal ideals. After listing the fights he’s led for life, traditional marriage, English immersion in schools, the death penalty, and abstinence education, Romney summed up true leadership:

“In the toughest of states, I made the toughest decisions and did what was right for America.” - Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential Debate in South Carolina, May 15, 2022