January 11, 2012

Sorry Ron, Mitt’s the Guy

  6:20 pm

As regular visitors to Race know, I went out on a limb and publicly endorsed Ron Paul less than a month ago.

As I stated at the time, my residence in Iowa lent my support greater-than-average weight. However, I ended up missing the caucuses, on account of needing to get my appendix removed the same day. So, in the end, my backing didn’t really count for much.

At the time I wrote my endorsement, I explained that I liked Gov. Romney, I just feared that the party base would never completely warm up to him, forever suppressing his political capital upon entering office. I still harbor that concern, but recent events have led me to overlook them, due to the stakes involved.

The recent adoption of anti-capitalistic, anti-free enterprise attacks (and for those naysayers who still scorn private equity, I direct you to this magnificent article) from the Democrats and, most alarmingly, other Republican candidates (I’m looking at you, Newt, Ricky P., and Jon!) has revealed just how important this race has become. This election will not simply come down to a choice between a Democrat and a Republican (although, with the way Gingrich, Perry, and Huntsman have talked lately, you’d be forgiven if you couldn’t tell the difference), it figures to evolve into a choice between European-style social democracy and the vibrant, entrepreneurial capitalistic system America so successfully pioneered.

Indeed, as a brilliant commentator I have often linked to here, Jim Pethokoukis, observed today:

Some conservatives were hoping Rep. Paul Ryan would run for president and challenge Barack Obama — not just on his economic record but also his economic vision for America. Probably no conservative in politics today does a better job than Ryan in contrasting the differences between pro-growth, entrepreneurial capitalism and stagnant, state-managed capitalism. But Mitt Romney did a pretty fair homage to Ryan during his New Hampshire victory speech last night[.]

…Some conservatives have worried that Romney would try to make the election all about Obama’s failures — which gets slightly tougher as the economy slowly improves — rather than making an affirmative argument about where he wants to take America. Romney’s speech sure suggests such worry is unnecessary if he is the eventual nominee.

Well said, sir.

Making my decision even easier, the messaging Romney has featured in the last month, or so, has come as music to my ears. His laser-like focus on his optimistic vision of America’s future – a future complete with growth, opportunity, and rising incomes across the board – sounds precisely the right notes for a Republican presidential candidate. I try to avoid the Reagan comparisons that far too many in the party employ, but Mitt’s “Believe in America” themes bear a striking resemblance to the Gipper’s fabled “Morning in America” campaign ads.

To top it off, Romney’s experience with a Democratic legislature in Massachusetts and his non-ideological posture during the campaign assures me that he will not allow himself to get distracted by partisan flame-throwing and gamesmanship. Sure, he may at times irritate the party base by accepting a less-than-perfect outcome to move the ball forward, but we need that kind of leadership if we truly hope to make a dent in the sad state of our political and financial affairs. As the saying goes, something is better than nothing. An agreement that produces 70% of a desired outcome beats 100% of the status quo.

In the end, while I do not regret my initial endorsement of Dr. Paul, recent events have opened my eyes to the sheer magnitude of the choice we face. A Romney nomination and presidency would afford the opportunity to re-draw the political map (assuming he picks the right running mate and maintains his campaign strategy) and re-orient the Republican Party away from identity politics and toward ideas and solutions. When I picture how a Romney administration might look, I envision Mitt working hand-in-hand with visionaries like Paul Ryan, Pat Toomey, and Vice President Christie, Rubio, or Jindal (my preferences, in that order) to craft and implement landmark reforms to address our economy, deficit, and debt, and I like what I see.

Now is the time. The wishful thinking for white knights and brokered conventions is over. The choice is clear. It’s Mitt.



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Awesome endorsement, and I hope you recover well from the surgery!


Welcome aboard Anthony. It's an honor.



Thank you, I feel great! I had the surgery a week ago from yesterday, but they had to keep me in the hospital till Saturday, because I had infections they needed to treat. I'm all good now! Thank you for the kind words.


Thank you, too. I truly have wanted to endorse Mitt for some time, but I could never fully bring myself around to it. The Bain attacks served as the last straw for me.



This pleases me greatly. You've come around to Ann Coulter's view that Romney is the true Conservative....only Mitt will dramatically cut the size of the state.....then cap it to ensure that it never gets larger. If he can THEN pass the BBA to end deficit spending forever, I'll be a happy man.

Ron was never going to get elected, and a $Trillion in one year would have been more than just controversial. Mitt will end enough programs, agencies, and bureaus to take a massive amount of public heat....but I think he can get away with it.

Romney's the prohibitive favorite, and welcome aboard, my friend.



Thank you for the kind words, too.

One concern I have about Mitt's economic plan: doesn't it rely on optimistic growth assumptions (4% GDP growth?) to balance the budget? That kind of stuff worries me. Obama illustrated the dangers of it.


Good to hear you're doing well after your operation!

Sure it wasn't a lobotomy? [just kidding] Ron Paul can be trusted, as his many years in congress proves, the others? Don't think so. They say what you want to hear.

Maybe after some additional convalescence from your surgery you'll again be well enough join us in the fight for liberty. We miss you and look forward to your return to normal. Enjoy reading your work.



The Bain attacks served as the last straw for me.

I hope (and think) you're not alone.

This is so ironic.



Well reasoned and well written!

Willard Mittens Rombot

6. I like Ron Paul. He is a genuine guy. He could have easily followed along with pathetic Noot and Pom Pom Perry, but he stood up for his principles and refused to bash capitalism. If Mitt were not running I could support Ron Paul.


"However, I ended up missing the caucuses, on account of needing to get my appendix removed the same day."


Did I ever tell you the story about how I lost my arm on the way to voting in my first primary?

Didn't keep me away.......


This is a big disappointment. It doesn't seem as if you fell out of favor with Ron, you fell into favor with Mitt. I don't understand how this could be the case. We always knew he would be attacked for Bain. Newt, Jon, and Rick P are not conservative, least of all Newt. While I, and official statements from the Paul campaign, support Romney in this line of vicious anti-capitalistic attacks, this should not be enough to sway support. I would completely understand if Ron were attacking Mitt, but all that has been shown over the past few weeks has been the fallacies of the other candidates.



"This election ........figures to evolve into a choice between European-style social democracy and the vibrant, entrepreneurial capitalistic system America so successfully pioneered."

It's a well written and reasoned piece, but I think you exaggerate a bit here. I'm convinced that if Obama had his druthers, he'd turn us into Sweden. But he's more pragmatic than Republicans give him credit for. Likewise, Mitt has already (rightly) defended the principle of Social Security and Medicare. I don't think there is quite as much real estate between the two as you suggest.

If we imagined the spectrum of economic ideology as a line stretch out across a football field (I know, overly simplistic), with Ayn Rand's Law of the Jungle at one end zone, and Marx's socialist utopia at the other end zone, I'd say Mitt and Obama are both sitting around their respective 35 yard lines; meaning there is less distance that separates them from each other, than separates them from their respective extremes.


I have been underwhelmed all along with the candidates except RP, and depressed because Ron Paul probably cannot win. This last two weeks convinced me that Newt and the Ricks are pathetic creeps, so if I can't have RP, I guess I'll support Mittens. Ron Paul is, unfortunately, the only chance we have for positive change, but I'm convinced Mitt is at least very competent as a manager, which would be nice for a change.



Obama isn't pragmatic. If he were, he'd have passed some sort of legislation of consequence in the last 1.5 years.

Matthew E. Miller


I guess it depends on definition. Obama's pragmatic only in the sense that he's not willing to go to bat for something unpopular which can't pass. He's plenty willing, however, to support something unpopular which can pass. In that sense, sure, he's more pragmatic than the Michele Bachmann's of the world. But it's hardly a ringing endorsement. Especially when, on the left, there's plenty of historical support for undermining a system from within and all that sort of thing, which can look pragmatic from the right angle. In terms of preferred outcomes, I'd say Obama is closer to the 10-yard line. Romney's probably closer to his 20-yard line by that metric but, like Obama, isn't really willing to go to bat for something unpopular which can't pass (not yet anyway).



Pragmatic and effective are two different things. He was pragmatic with ObamaCare in the sense that he gave up much of what he wanted (such as public option, and probably single payer) for the sake of getting something passed.


Good endorsement. I have always been a Mitt guy, yet I donated to Paul's campaign in '08....I never saw him as a viable president, but as a libertarian-leaning conservative I definitely want his message to get as much play as possible. So, in the end, I want the smartest guy in the room who likes to fire people be put in the oval office, and that's Mitt. Also, my top three choices for VP are Christie, Jindal, and Rubio, so I might start paying more attention to your posts...:)



I suppose I see what you mean, but, even though you may technically have it right, I'd argue that Obama's and Romney's respective words and visions matter more than you give them credit for. It has become no secret that the business community views Obama as hostile to their interests. Add to that the fact that Obama has essentially begun to concede, "Sure, things suck, but imagine how much worse they'd get if the OTHER GUYS had control!" Furthermore, he has abjectly failed to articulate a wide-reaching optimistic vision for the future. It has gotten to the point that the average person views the economy as a fixed or shrinking pie, with everyone scrambling to gobble as much as they can.

In contrast, Romney's recent speeches, ads, and debate performances have articulated a vision of a growing, prosperous, dynamic America - exactly the kind of vision that inspires people and gives them confidence in the future.

Again, I try to avoid making Reagan comparisons, but from what I know about the '80 and '84 campaigns, Romney has begun to sound a lot like the Gipper.



I'm not saying he's unable to pass things, I'm saying he doesn't recognize the need to compromise on some things to pass reform-minded legislation.

For Obama, it's his way or the highway.



I pretty well agree, though I think Obama got about as liberal a bill as he could with ObamaCare. He had to bribe his way to get there. Now, if he had been an effective President and leader, he should have had at least a public option, if not single payer, with 60% majorities in both Houses.

And if either could completely have their way, I'd agree Obama would be on the 10 yard line, along with the most "robust" of the Social Democracies. Mitt, I'd put on the 30, which is about where I'd put myself, actually.


I think the Obama admin is secretly provoking Jesse Ventura to run as a third party candidate...

A President of Greek heritage...oh boy...my Dad has been telling me about a President who is of Greek heritage becoming president and happening. I won't say it, until it happens because you will think I am crazy!!!



Romney is The Gipper without the down-home geniality.




He's tanned, rested, and ready!



Greeks are always tanned, rested, and ready. Pick your poison.




I'd agree with that. It's part of the reason I've been begging Romney to roll out a positive, optimistic, "Believe Again" theme, and not just "______ sucks." I'm glad to see him move that direction recently.

But personally, I'm skeptical about how much can be done, especially given the unrealistic expectations and demands of the American Voter, and the complete cowardice of 95% of elected officials. In my heart of hearts, I think our best case scenario is stagnation as far as the eye can see. More likely is prolonged decline, even if we elected a savant President.





Having been to Greece and met them, I'd agree with all three [Greeks]


Well, I will obliquely mention that it is a Mormon prophesy in the last 60 years. And no it is not the White Horse prophesy which in my opinion is folk-lore sketchy references with no direct attribution. This one occured in the early 1950's which is basically that a President of Greek heritage would be elected and shortly thereafter a nuclear device(s) would be detonated on the United States.



Looks like the world isn't ending in December 2012 then.



Team Romney strikes back.

>>COLUMBIA, S.C. – Mitt Romney’s done defending his Bain Capital record. He’s going on offense.

The former Massachusetts governor arrived here Wednesday fresh off his New Hampshire primary win armed with a new plan for a multi-pronged response to the Republican rivals who’ve been bashing his private equity past. Campaign advisers are polishing new messaging, tailored to rebut Republican and Democratic attacks separately. They’re cueing up new commercials.


Welcome aboard, Anthony.


Just elected, ... it doesn't necessarily in office yet. It would fit the "Mayan" December 21st. LOL. ;P


So I started watching the Bain Capital movie and I think I fell asleep. That was so boring. Newt you can come up will better garbage than that.

Freedom for William Wallace

I heard that Noot has been seen with Tiger Woods recently. No doubt he is getting some pointers. Afterall, this campaign for America surely has Noot looking for a younger skank to cheat with. He has to do it for his campaign...he just loves America too much.


The one person I happen to know who is an European Social Democrat (one of my history professors in college), doesn't even consider Obama to be a liberal. One of my classes had made a trip to hear Obama do a campaign stop in Omaha, and some of us also had a class with the Social Democratic professor; some of them were talking about the merits of Obama, and this teacher ripped into Obama as just another corporate hack with the usual BS about change. I suggested that I thought he was liberal and the professor emphatically told me I didn't know what a liberal was. While I would not be surprised if Obama is a Social democrat in his heart, his policies are a far cry from it. The supposed government takeover of health-care was likely literally written by bourgeois insurance executive, I don't think it hurt them much anyway. The debate on taxes has largely been over symbolic nibbling on the edges. I seriously doubt European Democrats see Obama as one of their own.


Wow. Sitting here listening to Sarah Palin trying to defend Newt and Perry, pathetic.

Hard to believe anyone ever took this woman serious.


It's never too late to do the right thing. Until it's too late.


Obama's very pragmatic, just ask any liberal. He caves on most things they want him to do, and they aren't any happier with him than conservatives are with Romney. There are a surprising number of liberals (again, always younger types) that are leaning in Ron Paul's favor because they see him as someone who won't sell them out on wars and civil liberties.

As always Anthony I respect your views. I think we all hope Romney governs in the best interests of the country. I wished Obama well and assuming Romney does make it, I wish him well also. I don't hate anyone enough to want them to drop dead on the first day, and am not so cynical as to think they don't at least go to Washington with good intentions.

That being said America is going nowhere good at the present pace and people need to pay more attention to what Matt said about both parties. I'd say it's even closer, both are at the 45 yard lines. We have been passing on future tax IOU's for the future generations to pay at an alarming rate under both parties and these do eventually come due. When they do it's civilization paying up all at once and with interest. And it's not pretty. Ron Paul's the only one we really know what we're getting, and who's been square with us all these years. I'd argue that we know already what we're getting with Romney too, and it looks a lot like Obama, who looks a lot like Bush. Romney people are of course holding out this hope that Romney is going to look a lot more like some stealth ninja version of Ron Paul, which would be very neat, but unfortunately not rational to expect. His newfound conversion to fiscal responsibility as the centerpiece of his political being is something we have yet to see him willing to sacrifice for. This guy just doesn't have a core argument beyond "I can run the place really well".

I'd love to believe Romney means what he says, but I just can't. I think he does mean to try. You can tell he's a good hearted guy. But when it comes down to it, we're going to find that ultimately Romney's principles align most closely with whatever keeps him in office.



Mitt has a 59-point plan to improved the economy. His 2 main economic advisers, Glenn Hubbard of Columbia, and Greg Mankiw of Harvard, have estimated that by the 4th year of his 1st Administration the national GDP growth rate will be at least 4%.

When you consider that just 1 of those points is getting rid of all of the Obama regulations, the estimate of 4% annual growth by the 4th year of his governance is very conservative. That 4% will mean that all that's necessary to cut in that year is $500 Billion to balance the budget.

Mitt is the best hands on manager to ever run for the Presidency. He can do it.


John Mark,

"health-care was likely literally written by bourgeois insurance executive"

Which would be almost the very definition of 19th century Continental liberalism, which was almost synonymous with bourgeois management.

Just thought I'd inject a little historical perspective.......



Romney's begun to sound a lot like Reagan, sure.

Go look up the growth in both public and private debt under Reagan for a second.

Reagan's cheery optimism and small-government rhetoric aside, in practice things ended up a lot different.



Economic forecasts- particularly when they presume to predict GDP growth- aren't worth a bucket of warm spit. Someone will be randomly right, if you ask enough economists, but they won't be able to repeat the feat the next year.



#41 I don't want to disrespect Paul supporters, but when you look at Mitt, look how much he's actually accomplished in the real world. Paul talks about his views, but in the real world, has anything he's talked about ever come to pass?

Paul's played his hand to end up being the one to end up debating Mitt one on one. Some posit he wants to influence Romney or set his son Rand up for a VP nod.

Could be, but when it comes to getting something done, I have to go with Mitt.



I worry about any projection that says we really don't need to focus on cost cutting much - we'll just grow our way out of the problems!

That's kind of the premise behind Obama's stimulus.



>>I’d love to believe Romney means what he says, but I just can’t. I think he does mean to try. You can tell he’s a good hearted guy. But when it comes down to it, we’re going to find that ultimately Romney’s principles align most closely with whatever keeps him in office.

When Romney was governor, he did everything possible to make sure he would never be re-elected by fighting the liberals who run this state on everything from spending to life issues. He issued over 800 vetoes in 4 years, more than Perry has done in 12 years.

Has Paul supporters are always saying, look at the actual record and not the media or in this case the True Conservative spin.


43, Yes and I guess pure capitalism was the great liberal Utopian idea of the 19th. century, now it's supposed to be conservative since it's been around for a century, even though a century is like a year in the grand scheme of human civilization.



"When Romney was governor, he did everything possible to make sure he would never be re-elected"

So how did he get elected in the first place? By running as someone very different from the one who governed? Why couldn't Mitt run for reelection as the first Mitt who ran for the office to begin with?



Because he became more Conservative while governor.



Matt- As with most things in life, it's a lot more complicated than any one thing. First and foremost, MA was teetering on an economic crisis. The budget was $3 billion out of whack, unemployment was jumping, we lost our AAA rating on our bonds and on and on.

Romney was coming off an incredibly successful turnaround of the Olympics which had him touted as a turnaround genius in the national press and he was seen as the perfect solution to the states ills by many. Not to say it was a walk and yes, he did run on a more moderate platform.

I know that inflames many people, I just can't get all that worked up about the fact that a politician acts like a politician to win an election from time to time. I'm told its happened before.

But the fact is he did govern in as conservative a way as he could in MA and yes, after 4 years the overwhelming liberal electorate up here had had enough. Look what we ended up with, Obama clone Deval Patrick. That's closer to what this state is all about. Super.


#38 Obama's policies resemble a moderate non-violent form of economic fascism.

He wants to manage all industries and control large companies with diktats. He doesn't actually try to have the government own every industry.

I think its preferable to have industries be officially private (while government-run) so they can give money to Democrats and enrich them beyond what government work allows.

Liberalism has done about as much with socialism as Americans will tolerate. The Great Society is about as far as socialism will be tolerated. Liberalism is now growing the state for utopian goals with fascist policies.

This is an easier task as large corporations, and powerful interest groups prefer a big government that snuffs out their small competitors who can't afford protection money.

The Obamacare waivers, the Auto bailouts, Solyndra and the composition of the "Stimulus" are good exhibits of the mild economic fascism that animates Democratic politics.

Matthew E. Miller


"Economic forecasts- particularly when they presume to predict GDP growth- aren’t worth a bucket of warm spit. Someone will be randomly right, if you ask enough economists, but they won’t be able to repeat the feat the next year."

True enough, but Romney doesn't exactly have crank economic advisors. Mankiw and Hubbard are widely respected by conservatives and liberals alike- they're considered gently right of center within the economic community. If they say something's going to result in 4% GDP growth either A.) It's going to come close to resulting in 4% GDP growth or B.) Any pretense to the efficacy of conservative economics ought to be abandoned. We're not talking about the Heritage Foundation predicting 3.2% unemployment here.


John Bolton endorsing Mitt Romney. to join his National Security Advisory Team


John Bolton to endorse Romney and join his team of foreign policy advisors.




Business is different from government. Investors, especially private investors as Romney worked with, want long-term growth. The electorate vaguely somewhere in their minds thinks that would be good, but boy, I *need* that check now. We *need* to invade Iran. We *need* these tax rebates to get the economy working again. So who needs to pay for this? Not me! That's what Romney has to face, this sort of attitude on a national scale. And that is worlds apart from the business world. Romney is not and will not ever be a tough medicine guy. His proposals are the very definitions of tepid and lukewarm. He is very wary of angry voters. Do you think Romney, with those couched, defensive terms of his, is the guy to lead in the Age of Austerity?

If a leader must convince people to do something they do not want to, but know in their hearts they must, he must be radically honest with them. He must love his principles more than his political life. That's the sort of person we need to lead.

Romney already promises to push up even further the defense budget. He's proposed no serious reforms. All he's done is trotted out a rosy growth scenario. It's not a forward-thinking move at all. It's just one more series of the political game of kick the can down the road, trash the other guy because no one seriously believes I'd be any better.


53, The big government collusion with big business has similarities to fascism. However, the American left lacks the hyper-nationalism and us vs. the rest of the world that seems to be a vital part of fascism. Those elements are much more a part of our right wing.



There are incalculable variables, but economic forecasting is not a fool's errand. Consider:

1. Taking the Corporate Income Tax from 35% to 25% is a pro-growth measure.

2. Getting rid of the repatriation tax will bring home a couple of Trillion Dollars.

3. Abolishing the Death Tax will cause economic activity.

4. Providing ZERO taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest will generate investment.

5. Eliminating 4 years of regulations will spur economic action.

6. Ending programs, agencies, and bureaus, while combining functions will make the government more effective.

7. Bringing the Federal Workforce down by 10% in the first term through attrition will leave more money in private hands.

8. Add to that more than 50 other points.

Hubbard and Mankiw weren't both Chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers for nothing.


The more neocons Romney adds to his foreign policy team the more reason I'd rather have cautious liberal internationalists (Obama) in office than aggressive liberal internationalists (Romney).

Obama at least is less likely to get us into major costly military engagements.


John Mark,

" a century is like a year in the grand scheme of human civilization."




And there will be unknown consequences to cutting revenue when we're already on the brink of bankruptcy.

The old models may not apply when we're on the precipice.


Hubbard and Mankiw were Chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers in a Bubble Economy fueled by Debt-Based Prosperity.

That means nothing, same as their silly growth proposals. Where will this growth come from? From Fed printing is their answer, I'd guess.



Romney isn't a pro-war person. He's a pro-strength person.

His foreign policy isn't Bush's. It's Reagan's minus Panama and Lebanon.



Mitt's #1 rule is whether a piece of government is so necessary to finance that we're willing to borrow the money from the Chinese. It's a viewpoint that will allow him to cut a LOT.

btw, Mitt doesn't plan to spend much more money on Defense. He expects to save so much money in the department that he'll fund military expansion out of cost savings.


Matt, MPC,

Unseen events is the reason for as much overkill as possible. Mitt worked with hundreds of companies during his years at Bain Management and Bain Capital.....you think he's not used to dealing with unforeseen contingencies??

My guess is he grows the economy by a lot more than 4% in his 4th year.....but however much he DOES grow it, it will be substantially more than anyone else.


Romney at this point seems unelectable if he doesn't find a way to answer to Bain Capital attacks.


I mean what kind of incompetent campaign wouldn't be prepared for these attacks before starting a campaign. These attacks have been plaguing the candidate for more than a decade and they can't even figure out a good way to defend themselves against them? good god.

"Although the advisers had always expected that Democrats would malign Mr. Romney’s work of buying and selling companies, they were largely unprepared for an assault that came so early in the campaign and from within the ranks of their own party, those involved in the campaign discussions said" - NYT


I don't want you Romney guys to take it the wrong way. I don't hate Romney and hope he does as well as you guys hope.

I don't have a claim to omniscience. But I am being serious in my critiques. There are major issues with on one hand, fiscal responsibility, and the other, a neocon foreign policy that has paid historically poor dividends and historically is a major area of fiscal blunders that reinforced the declines of past major powers. I'd hope Romney listens carefully to Bolton's advice as he should any advice, but feels no concern at all with dumping the neocons if he needs to.

The architects of a huge $1 trillion mistake in the Middle East that ultimately got Bin Laden what he wanted all along and further imperils the future of the country I really don't want to see near power ever again.


What kind of campaign is prepared for a attack on capitalism in a GOP primary?


In defense of Mitt and his economic advisers (and Dave, as well), some estimates show that repatriating offshore capital alone could create tons of jobs. From Jim Pethokoukis (can you tell I love that guy?): http://blog.american.com/2012/01/bringing-jobs-back-to-america/

The midpoint of that estimate foresees 2.9 million jobs coming to America.



>>What kind of campaign is prepared for a attack on capitalism in a GOP primary?

If you see the link I posted up above, Team Romney is prepared. They are launching a multi-pronged push back starting tomorrow including a big advertising buy to show exactly what Bain and private equity are all about and feature people who will attest that they wouldn't have a job without Romney's work.


Other than Huntsman, I like Romney's foreign policy more than any of the candidates. He seems to favor what we can perhaps classify as hawkish realism. On the bright side, he clearly doesn't seem like an uber hawk, a la Santorum. We simply can't afford that approach.


btw, Mitt doesn’t plan to spend much more money on Defense. He expects to save so much money in the department that he’ll fund military expansion out of cost savings.

Forgive the skepticism Dave but this sounds like McCain talking about earmarks as if that's the way we're going to balance the budget. I always admired him for doing something that wasn't terribly popular but it's not a realistic long term solution.

I have a feeling Romney will make the government more efficient. Maybe save something, on the optimistic side, on the order of $5 billion dollars. After that, he's got to start with tradeoffs.

And he has a worrying number of neocons around who were more than happy to spend away the future prosperity of America via Chinese-financed debt in order to go blow up Muslim countries and make them want even more to get us out of their lands.


I don't think it's the case that Team Romney "wasn't prepared" for these attacks. Guaranteed, he's constructed much of his rhetoric and policies (middle income tax cuts on those making less than 200k) on the premise that he'd be attacked as a heartless, fat cat, CAPITALIST, only out to help his rich buddies. He was just A.) Caught by surprise by the Bain attack at this juncture in the campaign, B.) Generally unwilling to test a wholly new defense 3 days before his firewall state. This stuff really only started up last week and Team Romney probably calculated, rightly, that impulsive conservative outrage and a rush to defend free enterprise and castigate his attackers would carry them through NH. Now, he's going to roll out a fuller strategy to address the issue. I see nothing particularly remarkable about his strategic decisions thus far (the "firing" remark was utterly unobjectionable and his opponents have said the same thing dozens of times) on the issue. His opponents needed a game changer in NH; he was better off avoiding anything that shifted the storyline. Holding back on a comprehensive defense was in his short-term interest.



Romney is not the kind of person who will take orders from his advisers. He is a leader with integrity.

I'm sorry, but I just cannot see Romney giving a primetime oval office speech explaining to Americans we're going to go to war pre-emptively.

Could I see him bombing Iranian nuke sites? No. He would have Israel do it if necessary. But I see him being much more cautious than the profile of his advisers would suggest.


Anthony, I always saw your posts as somewhat pragmatic, and I could not see why you did not endorse Mitt. But I am glad to see that you are now on board.

BTW, studies have shown that people who originally support Mitt have fewer appendectomies.



>>BuzzFeedBen RT @NKingofDC: A large group of DeMint backers and veteran South Carolina GOPers, like Barry Wynn, are set to endorse Romney tomorrow.”


And on that note, nite all.


5 Billion Dollars?? If I thought Mitt would only save 5 Billion Dollars, I wouldn't bother supporting him either.

Read his economic plan. Read his track record at Bain. It will be HUNDREDS of Billions. Each and every year. In real terms.


Romney's foreign policy team is incredibly diverse. It has both realists and neo-cons. It doesn't, as near as I can tell, have any isolationists (or non-interventionists if you prefer) but there are precious few of those anywhere in the established foreign policy community. I think, realistically, we can only say 3 things about Romney's foreign policy:

1.) He'll be no less likely to side with Israel than past GOP Presidents.

2.) He'll attempt to make military options regarding Iranian nukes seem more plausible (i.e, he'll attempt to convey to Iranians that he's willing to use them).

3.) He'll increase the size of the Navy.

That puts him pretty comfortably on the right of the Republican Party on most of the current big issues which is probably enough of a reason for a committed non-interventionist to oppose him. But Presidents tend to respond to new, emerging issues in quirky ways. Inertia builds for long-standing issues (like Iran and Israel) such that it's unrealistic to expect a President to buck the prevailing consensus, but new issues- on which there is, as yet, no consensus- tend to be handled differently. I don't get the sense that Romney is particularly likely to be hawkish in the abstract, in the same sense that Santorum is. I think he probably believes his rhetoric about strength being a deterrent but that doesn't tell us much about what he'll do if strength turns out NOT to be a deterrent.



Bush seemed to be for a more humble foreign policy approach as well - he was always conciliatory to Muslims. But look who he was surrounded by in his office, and look where things went. That's my main problem with Romney. I sense that he's personally pretty disinclined to use the trigger finger. But he's got a lot of washed-up ex-communists known as neocons sitting around him just waiting to shove him when the time is right.

He also kisses up to Israel pretty bad, which is unbecoming a President and further makes me doubt his "realist" foreign policy.

Realist foreign policy is "let's move ourselves into a better position internationally via cost-effective maneuvering, and resort to war only if attacked". I think Romney will not draw back internationally because the liberal internationalists in the party will cry bloody murder, and he will resort to war far too easily even when America has nothing to gain and so much to lose.



I get the sense that Romney's campaign rhetoric is to the right of where he would actually govern.

Bush, you just knew, was going to be a NeoCon.

Romney isn't a NeoCon-type. You can just tell.



That is, on foreign policy. Not domestic issues.



You support Romney because you have huge expectations of him. I don't support him because I don't expect him to do much at all favorable for the country, mostly for reasons beyond his control but partly because he's tepid and incapable of inspiring this country to turn its own fate around.

I frankly don't have huge expectations of Ron Paul. I know he won't go looking to blow up the Middle East and will focus on our own house, will strip the bureaucracy, I know he will stick to the same ideas as always, will probably use the veto more in one week then most Presidents do in a year, and not once will come into question for abandoning his principles. I get an honest man, and that's all I really want for America. People always complain about their leaders selling out for political gain. I want them to have one who doesn't. I want them to have a leader who just maybe inspires Americans to change themselves. Examples come from the top - Romney is a good executive and knows that. I want Americans to see a President that isn't 100% me-me-me, isn't flashy, isn't photogenic, isn't about "what's in it for me", isn't always looking at how he can come out on top. One who totally ignores political games, and just does what he knows is right. Ron Paul is everything that is missing in modern America. Maybe if Americans have a President they know is that way, they'll start acting that way themselves, and turn things around. But it starts with honesty. And Ron Paul is the only one people take at face value out there. He's the one we need.


32.nowandlater Says:

January 11th, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Well, I will obliquely mention that it is a Mormon prophesy in the last 60 years. And no it is not the White Horse prophesy which in my opinion is folk-lore sketchy references with no direct attribution. This one occured in the early 1950?s which is basically that a President of Greek heritage would be elected and shortly thereafter a nuclear device(s) would be detonated on the United States.


Is that somekind of inside joke?

I'm Mormon, and even I don't get it.

This kind of post is not helpful. There will be people who believe it/run with it and cause unnecessary trouble...



Ron Paul has a lot to like, but I'm afraid a Paul presidency would be horribly turbulent for the country and probably result in extreme gridlock in Washington, the likes of which we've never seen.

I also think his administration would be turbulent and problematic.

He has all those qualities you describe, but I just wish he were more willing to be pragmatic, and he just doesn't have a history of doing that.

Anyway, I like most things he has to say.


Yeah MassCon, I agree once the vetoes start rolling it would start to get chaotic. What people always forget is that gridlock and checks on party power is the very best thing to have in Washington. Republicans behave better (and are noisier) when the Democrats balance them and vice versa.

Ron Paul's lack of pragmatism is what makes him who he is. The idea is that with a leader up top no one has any question about where he stands, people will slowly change. They won't have these schemers up top that only make them ask "he does it, why can't I?" Instead will be someone who sets an example. I hope Romney is as good as you guys anticipate, because if so he'd have the same effect.

I also hope Romney, even if he doesn't admit it openly, comes to realize why a lot of people love Ron Paul. Paul was never very likely to become President, but he represents what a lot of people want to see in one, myself included. Sometimes it's better to make a stand on principle, even a losing one. I hope Romney comes to grasp that idea, because I feel that the most important thing a President can be now is an example. Ron Paul is an example and an icon for people, especially young people like me who tend to be very jaded at times, for exactly that reason. If Romney knows how and when to do that, he'll lose a battle here and there but win the war, and regardless whether he gets reelected or not, history will remember him well.



As I expressed in my last post, I don't blame you for not supporting Romney. If my expectations were that low, I wouldn't either. I suggest you get to know the man more intimately. Read his books. Read his speeches. Study his career.

He's going to be the nominee.....and after he takes office, he's going to knock your socks off.


Anthony, welcome aboard the Romney train. Sure the seats might be uncomfortable at first, but the company is great.



whether he gets reelected or not, history will remember him well.

I think that's really what Romney wants in life. I think he wants to do a great job, and be a respected former statesman. I just can't see Romney being like Obama - in that he gets into office for the attention and perks and then gets marginalized as a 1-termer who failed at what he promised like Jimmy Carter or HW Bush style.


I'll be skiing way behind the caboose of the "Romney Train."



Wait, we have a train and a bus?

Either we have a lot of people and a lot of money, or you just didn't want to be inside the shielded container on the top of the bus for the long ride.



Today I learned the shielded container on top of the bus is "air tight."

Therefore, I plan on skiing behind the caboose with a veeeeerrrry long tether.

But not before the convention.


Romney means that Ron Paul supporters have to vote Constitution Party (like I did in 08) yet again, and wait for Rand Paul 2016.

Voting is NOT about political expediency.


And I'm still waiting for Dalke to give an explanation how a simple appendectomy kept him from the caucus......


#86. It was an obscure, book that I read. If people are that stupid and shallow, then they are shallow. Just like believing that all Baptists like to handle snakes. LOL>


Fox Round table wiremen losing their mind over NH results.



LOL! Maybe because I was in Illinois, not Iowa, that day (long story short, I got the appendicitis while home visiting family for New Year's weekend).


The loss of one insignificant endorsement from somebody called Anthony Dalke is meaningless to the Ron Paul movement. The long-shot campaign has far more to concern itself with. But, that kind of whimsical and shallow flip-flopping is par for the course in Romneyland, so it would appear that Mr. Dalke has landed where he belongs. Good riddance.

Romney will likely get the GOP nod, but that will be meaningless as well since the party is so fractured. It is a bit condescending though to see the overtures coming from Romneyland (they are infrequent and subtle now but will increase in number and intensity) reaching out to the Ron Paul movement in the hopes that fences can be mended. They cannot. It's laughable to hear the pundits talk about Romney needing to play nice so that he can get Paul's support and then corral his supporters. That will never happen. As you know, we are unlike any electorate group before. We do not put party loyalty above loyalty to ideas of liberty. We will not "do as we're told" whether by party bosses or by Ron Paul himself and we don't see the "greater good" in getting Obama out of office so that the party puppet-masters can install Obama-lite into office. We'd be quite unwilling to accept the collective responsibility for the centrist disaster a Romney regime would bring.

Sure, there are a few Dalkes, but most of us will never forget the insults and condemnations hurled at us and our candidate. This election is every bit as personal as it is focused on the future of our once-great nation. For that, and because there are enough of us who will NEVER vote Romney, enjoy your primary win....but you might as well blow your wad on the convention party budget, because you and your slimy guy will NOT see the room with no corners. If we have to vote for Obama, no problem....there's little difference to us between the two.

We're used to losing....What's another four years...


One flip-flopper endorses another flip-flopper? who knew?!


I'm not sure how you go from supporting Paul to supporting Romney. Either your rights and a balanced budget are important to you, in which case you support Paul, or they're not and never were, in which case you support Romney.

Romney has signed anti civil rights legislation into law. I will never vote for him for that reason alone, though there are plenty more. I frankly don't understand how anybody can vote for him, he is a terrible candidate who doesn't support your rights or your choices. Just another big government politician...a failed politician at that.


The Washington Post wrote a piece on this morning on the stlobafl questions coming from the video's. Here's an exceprt: A couple who felt very passionately about states’ rights posed a question about the balance of power between states and the federal government. They remarked that the government was way too big. How to control it? So to whom did this question go? Hmmm, think we can find an inveterate libertarian on the stage? Someone who’ll find this one particularly easy?Go right ahead, Ron Paul. The 12-term congressman called on the muscles he’s been flexing for decades, vowing to “veto every single bill that violates the 10th Amendment.” YAY! The WP is right, except that it wasn't meant to be a stlobafl, because it was asked of ALL the candidates. Go right ahead Ron Paul, indeed. Gee, I wonder how he's going to answer. Duh! How about Romney and company giving that one a go? Their answers would be much more interesting to hear than Paul's.

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