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Judging by the email I receive from my readers, there are a lot of Republicans who feel that Mitt Romney doesn’t pass the conservative litmus test. Some of them even threaten to sit out the presidential election if Governor Romney secures the nomination. Although I do my utmost to be polite in my response, the truth is, I regard such people as idiots and loons.
First of all, in any competition, you can only choose the best of the contenders, not the ideal. So, would I be more enthusiastic about Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio and Mitch Daniels? Yes, I would be. I would also favor George Washington, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, three other guys who are not in the race.
But when it comes to choosing between Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, I find the choice an easy one. Newt Gingrich lugs around more baggage than a team of redcaps. When a politician has been involved in this many scandals involving sex and money, I just naturally assume he’s a Democrat. Besides, this is a guy who has sat on a couch with Nancy Pelosi and promoted the global warming hoax; he has attacked free market capitalism; and dismissed Paul Ryan’s economic plan as “right-wing social engineering.”
Ron Paul seems an amiable sort of guy. He reminds you of an elderly uncle who shows up at family reunions, has a few drinks and winds up asleep at the dinner table, with his head resting in the mashed potatoes. Although I would never wish to be accused of fomenting ageism, the fact remains that if he were elected, he would be in his 80s before the end of his first term. A guy that age should be taking naps regularly, not running the most powerful nation on earth.
In terms of policy, anyone who is cavalier about a nuclear Iran; believes that 9/11 was our own fault; and supports gutting and neutering the U.S. military, is someone who should not be trusted anywhere near sharp tools, heavy machinery or the Oval Office.
Rick Santorum strikes me as a decent man. He also strikes me as a perennial lightweight. He comes across like a male ingénue. Between his tinny voice and his sweater vests, I keep expecting him to run on stage and say, “Tennis, anyone?” Also, as Newt Gingrich has pointed out, as a senator, he was in the hip pocket of the Pennsylvania unions, supported Arlen Specter’s re-election and was the crown prince of earmarks.
As a personal aside, I should mention that when I interviewed Senator Santorum for my latest collection of interviews, I asked him if he was in favor of term limits. When he said he was, I asked him why, in that case, after serving two terms in the House and two terms in the Senate, had he run for a third term? He said, “Because I favor more than two terms for the Senate.” I told him that was what separated politicians from normal people.
Having explained why I would not like to see the other three contenders get the nomination, the main reason that I would like to see Mitt Romney carry the GOP standard is because I regard him as the best bet to defeat Barack Obama, the worst and the most dangerous president in American history.
Although many Republicans do not consider Romney a true conservative, the fact is America is not a truly conservative nation. It’s not Party bosses who shove people like Bob Dole, John McCain and the Bushes, down our throats, as some folks insist is the case. They happen to be the folks who win our primaries. The country is pretty evenly divided between conservatives and liberals. It is the 20% in the middle who call themselves moderates and independents who determine winners and losers, and they are put off by candidates, Democrat or Republican, they regard as extremists. They are far more likely to support Romney, a man whom even his opponents call a moderate, than they are either of the other three.
The thing to keep in mind is that if conservatives can’t win GOP primaries, what makes anyone think they can win general elections, when, for reasons I’ll never understand, liberals and middle-of-the-roaders are allowed to vote?
Most conservatives insist on litmus tests to determine the purity of Republican candidates. But the fact is they’re fooling themselves. They’ll dismiss Romney simply because he was the governor of a liberal state and had to compromise with a legislature that was jam-packed with Democrats. What they fail to acknowledge is that our hero, Ronald Reagan, would not have passed a similar test in 1980. As the governor of a liberal state, he twice raised taxes; he shut down California’s mental institutions, releasing thousands of psychotics who crowd our streets to this day; and he signed the most liberal abortion bill in America.
And while it’s convenient to overlook the fact, Reagan got played for a sucker by a left-wing Congress that promised to shut down the Mexican border, and foolishly signed the amnesty bill that saw our illegal alien population soar from three million to 15 million. Too bad that in this all-important matter, Reagan trusted, but didn’t verify!
Mitt Romney may or may not be a RINO, but the last one we had in the White House wasn’t all that terrible. As I recall, he got rid of Saddam Hussein; he prevented a repeat of 9/11; he placed Sam Alito and John Roberts on the Supreme Court; and, for good measure, he kept Al Gore and John Kerry out of the Oval Office.
If all that Mitt Romney does is evict Barack Obama, he will have earned his place on Mount Rushmore.
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