The following is a cross-post from MRC written by Ben Collins. It is somewhat of an excerpt from a much larger article called RomneyCare – The Truth about Massachusetts Health Care, which covers more topics than just the side-by-side comparison to ObamaCare. I am posting this here in hopes some will find it informative and a useful reference. ~Nate G.
It is often asserted that RomneyCare is the same thing as ObamaCare, but this is simply not true. It is important to note that Massachusetts, the state where Romneycare was founded, opposed Obamacare. In fact, Massachusetts opposed Obamacare so much that they elected Senator Scott Brown (R) in 2010 to be the deciding vote against Obamacare after Senator Ted Kennedy’s death. Why would the state where Romneycare was founded be opposed to Obamacare if the two laws were really the same? The answer is, of course, that they are not the same. While there are similarities between the two laws, there are also key differences. Below is a table of differences between the Romney plan and the Obama plan.
Overall Size and Scope
-Whole bill was 70 pages
-Romney vetoed significant sections of the bill including the employer penalty for not providing health insurance
-Romney favored an “opt out” provision from the mandate
-Romney favored no mandated benefits for health care coverage, catastrophic only
-No federal gov. insurance option
-Intended as a market driven solution to healthcare
-Whole bill was 2,074 pages
-Very broad regulation of the insurance industry including an employer penalty for not providing health insurance and no “opt out” provision
-Establishes a 15 member board of unelected bureaucrats with great control over health care benefits and risks rationing health care
-Leaves open the option of creating single-payer gov. insurance in the future
-Intended as a step toward gov. run insurance
-No new taxes!
-Romney balanced the state’s budget first, then passed healthcare law
-No cuts to Medicare benefits
-Modest cost to state (only added 1% to state budget)
-Increased taxes by $500 billion and taxes people who don’t buy insurance
-Despite massive federal gov. debt, Obama still passed Obamacare
-Cuts Medicare by $500 billion
-Overall costs unknown!
-Very strong bipartisan support
-Strong special interest support
-Very popular among the public in Massachusetts
-Strong consensus of approval was built in the state to support the law
-Consensus was built to support an individual mandate
-Absolutely no bipartisan support
-Very controversial and divided special interest groups
-Unpopular in nation overall
-No consensus was built to support a mandate
Does Constitution Define it as a “Tax” or “Penalty/Fee”?
-Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts ruled state mandates are “penalties” because states have different authority and powers than the fed. gov.
-Mass. constitution never considered this a tax
-Supreme Court ruled that federal gov. only has the authority to enact this law by its ability “tax,” and does not meet the required standards to be considered a “penalty.”
-This tax breaks Obama’s promise that he would not raise taxes on the middle class
-A state solution to a state problem
-Through collaboration and discussion, Massachusetts created a consensus among stake holders to support the new law
-Federal gov. “one-size-fits-all” plan
-Doesn’t take into account that each state is unique in important ways such as:
1)Vastly different debt levels between states (some states can’t afford new spending on health care)
2)Some states have three times the percentage of uninsured citizens (Much greater costs will be imposed on states with a larger percentage of uninusured citizens)
3)Conservative states will reject implementation of federal gov. plan.
As the above table illustrates, the plan Romney proposed was a much more conservative, business friendly law than what the Democrats passed under President Obama.
The Boston Globe editorial board recently published an article defending RomneyCare on conservative grounds. The editorial board states “the role Romney played on the state level was skillful, creative, and business friendly. Romney was a governor sensitive to business concerns and worried about the state’s business climate.”
A crucial difference between RomneyCare and ObamaCare is that the two healthcare plans, while similar in some ways, present vast differences in the essential origins and motives that separate Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. One author summarized it this way:
We know what Romney’s goal was when he passed his health care plan. His goal was to involve the private sector of Massachusetts in insuring a small percentage of the Massachusetts’ residents [who didn't have health insurance and who were receiving free health care from the government.]
Obama’s goal prior to signing Obamacare into law was much, much bigger.
In 2003, he said, “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care plan.”
The fact is, Obamacare was originally going to be single payer. It was going to be European — as close to it as Congress would allow. But that was curbed. What they got, instead — what we got, instead — was the first step. Obamacare. The first step toward single-payer, universal healthcare coverage.
And that is the crucial difference. Romney never said, never touted, never promised that “we may not get [single-payer] immediately” or even a little later than immediately. Romneycare is not Obamacare because Obamacare is just getting started. One was an end in and of itself. The other is (still) a means to an end.
In 2006 when RomneyCare was passed, most conservatives praised Romney’s plan. The Bush administration sent a letter praising the passage of the new law. An often overlooked fact is that without the support of the Bush administration, Romney’s health care law never would have become a reality.
One of Romney’s main goals in passing healthcare legislation was to counter many much more liberal attempts within Massachusetts to take over the healthcare system. The Boston Globe newspaper discusses in detail one plan that Romney feared would become law if action was not taken. That plan was the imposition of a payroll tax of up to $1,700 per employee on all businesses that did not offer health insurance to their employees. It was a serious threat. The plan had been voted on in the year 2000 and the law barely failed by 3%. In 2006 the employer mandate coupled with a heavy payroll tax was to be voted on again.
In regard to ObamaCare, Romney firmly believes that each state should have the right to craft its own health care program. Health care has traditionally been a state issue, not a federal issue, and Romney wants to keep it that way. In his book, No Apology, Romney states:
“My own preference is to let each state fashion its own program to meet the distinct needs of its citizens. States could follow the Massachusetts model if they choose, or they could develop plans of their own. These plans, tested in the state ‘laboratories of democracy,’ could be evaluated, compared, improved upon, and adopted by others.”
In keeping with the belief that states should be able to craft their own programs, Romney has said that on his first day as president, he would issue a waiver to all 50 states allowing them to opt out of ObamaCare. This waiver would allow states to postpone the implementation of ObamaCare while Romney works with congress to formally repeal the bill.
In conclusion, a recent article in The New Yorker magazine states that “Romney had accomplished a longstanding Democratic goal – universal health insurance – by combining three conservative policies.” In other words, Romney had beaten Democrats at their own goal of providing universal health insurance – but Romney’s novel approach accomplished this goal not with a government takeover, but with conservative principles. The success of Romney’s healthcare law led many Democrats to consider adopting a similar approach to achieving universal health insurance. However, the end result from the Democrats under President Obama was a plan with a much larger government, much greater spending, increased taxes, and less power to the states and individuals to determine their own health care goals.
I can’t resist posting this, so here it is:
I have to admit the original song is very catchy, but I about died when I heard this version. Long live parody.
If the SOTU speech last night sounded familiar, it’s probably because you’ve heard it all before.
From the RNC – Familiar Rhetoric, Failed Record:
Though I’m well aware of the facts behind these issues, I take no credit for this researching these specific ads. Glenn “The Fact Checker” Kessler of The Washington Post investigated claims made against Governor Romney, by Team Perry, in two web ads released just yesterday and this morning. His findings: Three Pinocchios (out of four) for the first and a There-are-only-so-many-Pinocchios-one-can-award-in-a-day! for the second.
Perry claims the first edition of Romney’s book states that the Mass Health Care was a model for a national plan.
The video ad:
The Fact Check:
Via Twitter I stumbled upon an article at RickPerry.org and it only took me 2 minutes to find a major flaw in the numbers that blows open Perry’s claim to be the superior job creator. Team Perry responds to a “false, desperate attack” from Mitt’s team that points out while the US added no jobs to the economy in August under Obama (President Zero), Texas actually lost jobs to the tune of minus 1300 under Perry (Governor Sub-Zero).
The tables of data that RickPerry.org provides yield some unintended consequences when placed under the tiniest bit of scrutiny. First, here is the data taken directly from RickPerry.org, though I added a row of data (in red) on the second table for analysis purposes:
While Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts (Jan. 2003 – Jan. 2007):
|Private Sector Jobs||Jan. 2003||Jan. 2007||Change|
Population change during that time (2002 – 2006):
Now this is not too difficult to figure out, just look a the “change” columns. In Massachusetts during Romney’s tenure the state population only grew by 6000, but in the same time MA added 39,500 jobs added to the private sector. In Texas on the other hand (Perry as Governor), the population grew by a whopping 1.6 million but only added less than half that amount of jobs in the private sector, about 750,000.
What is the end result? Obviously in MA that equals a much lower unemployment rate, but oddly enough Texas’ unemployment rate dropped as well. Does that mean the “other” jobs created were actually created in the government? Perhaps that could be why Texas’ government spending has doubled while Perry has been Governor.
The Big Question for Perry: Sure Texas is creating a lot of jobs, but is that rate high enough to match the growth in population? If not, unemployment rates will not go down.
The Cold Hard Facts: #1-Unemployment in Texas hit 8.5% last month, the highest it has been in 24 years! #2-The state of Texas also happens to be 46th out of 50 in poverty rate – 28% higher than the national average!!
If that is a fantastic record of economic prowess, then I have a Texas-sized bridge I want to sell you.
Factcheck #2: Team Perry calls Romney’s campaign “flailing”, but according to Rasmussen (and backed by other polls) in the space of one month Perry’s lead over Romney has shrunk from 11% to 4%. One does not “flail” when they are edging up in the polls. Perhaps this article by Team Perry is “flailing” as they are now edging downward.
Bonus: On twitter Dave Weigel jokes: So if Perry is Governor Sub Zero, that makes Romney Governor Scorpion. #getoverhere
I was stumped by this for awhile until I recalled my junior-high Mortal Kombat video game days.
Last night’s GOP debate featured 8 participants, but the show clearly centered on the two front-runners of the race. Perry, who currently leads in national polls, was tested on the big stage for the first time in the race. You could also say that Romney was “tested” for the first time, though he had attended a few debates already this year.
As an ardent Romney supporter you need not ask me which I thought had won the debate. Instead, I’d like to show how the media reporters and bloggers have responded instead, and provide a tally of what I found. I searched twitter, news feeds, anything and everything I could find that provided not just a recap of the debate, but instead some sort of opinion of who won the debate. Though there were a good number who put them at a tie, the remaining consensus is overwhelmingly in favor of Romney.
I tallied what I would call significant responses, meaning not people who work for, or were already leaning heavily towards, either camp. And they had to be someone of some sort of influence, ie. blogger, reporter, opinion leader etc. Results were not limited to just conservatives or pundits that I liked.
For Romney: 16 news or blog articles, 7 tweets and 2 “other” factors
For Perry: 3* news or blog articles, and 3 tweets.
*One of the blog claims Perry won because “His total liberation from the constraints of reason give Perry a chance to represent the Republican id in a way Romney simply cannot match.” Not really a positive reason for winning. I’ll itemize all the results below. Let me know what I’ve missed – I’m sure more will come in throughout the day.
The Romney Round-up: (in no particular order)
1 – Mark Halperin of The Page: Halperin’s Take: Romney Wins, Perry Stumbles on SS
Grades: Romney A, Perry B+
[Romney's] Main Thing]: Came prepared with clear stats and a good attitude. Showed he won’t back down in the face of the Perry surge. Smart enough to retreat after Perry’s Social Security flap, increasing the odds that it will be the story of the night. Once again, looked fit, at ease, and more like a president than anyone on stage–including his main competition.
[Perry's] Main Thing]: Largely followed his advisors’ strategy: severe on Romney without being mean-spirited, solution-oriented when discussing the nation’s problems, adept at dodging unwelcome questions, appealingly loose and accessibly human. But his Social Security answer is sure to get a lot of scrutiny from the press, Democrats and Republicans (Romney included). The press will kill him on climate change, too. Not bad for a first debate, but second best is second best.
Mitt Romney’s speech today accomplishes a few important things to advancing his bid for the nomination. So often political reports and pundits have repeated that Romney must take on this issue of health care reform. He has now fulfilled their request, whether they agree with his points or not. Team Romney is now prepared to look forward and talk about things that he will do if he were to become president, and that is as it should be. He is not simply brushing away healthcare and saying “I don’t want to talk about that, let’s talk about economy instead.” He is laying out his plan in a forward-thinking manner. He is already looking forward to the general election, not assuming that he’s won the nomination, but showing his strength as a nominee by disclosing how he plans to take on Obama. It is the tactics of a front-runner, and I believe his campaign is playing their cards well.
It is also important for Romney to take on this issue before the debates. The slotted time for debate answer simply do not provide ample occasion to discuss all the details of his plans. I say plans meaning both his plan that was enacted in Massachusetts, as well as his plan to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with a bill of meaningful reform. Romney’s speech today was the greater part of an hour, yet even then I feel he didn’t have time to get into the minutia. There was simply not enough time to cover everything in full detail. That would take the greater part of a day and no casual watchers would stick around long enough to hear it all. Now, when the issue arises in debate he will have addressed most of the major issues, and can point back to his presentation today as a response. “Are you going to apologize for Mass-Care for being a complete failure.” “No, that would be an easier route, be it wouldn’t be honest.”
Which brings me to my last point. Romney points out in his speech, and this portion is included in the video below, that the prevailing political winds at the moment are incessantly calling for him to apologize for the supposed failure, and admit that he should have never tried to fix health care in Massachusetts. Now if Romney were the ultimate spineless finger-in-the-wind candidate that some opponents attempt to make him out to be, why wouldn’t he just succumb to the political pressures? If such a large percentage of conservatives are screaming for it, why should he not join in and help himself out politically? “There is just one problem with that, it wouldn’t be honest.” Romney digs in his heels and says I don’t care what the prevailing notion is, I did what I though was best – and I applaud the Governor’s courage in taking this stand today.
The AP has provided a nice segmented video (embedded below) that shows the more interesting parts of the speech, though it is only 4.5 minutes worth. With this short time I think they have done well encapsulating the message that Romney wanted to get across today. The whole video can be watch a this link to C-SPAN.
The slides for the speech are embedded below and they can be downloaded also –> click here.
Jim Talent also jumps in the debate with A Conflict of Visions in the NRO.
Rep. Brad Jones in the Boston Herald: Romneycare Right Medicine
And lastly, a little suprise from Chris Cilizza: Mitt Romney’s authenticity appeal on health care
Ouch! Take a peek at this list of words Romney employed in a new op-ed directed at Obama: failures, inexperience, misguidance, incompetence, deceptive, dishonest, demagoguery, divisiveness, deception, impair, depressing, short-comings, fault, impugning, disheartening, dangerous… and then the two harshest of them all… wrong and bad.
This op-ed makes an interesting departure from Romney’s give-Obama-the-benefit-of-the-doubt tone of the past two years. Read for yourself:
America saw a different President Obama yesterday. Over the last two years, the president’s job was to repair the economy and to make us safer. He has failed at both but at least he appeared to be trying — his failures were arguably attributable to inexperience, misguidance, and incompetence. Yesterday, however, the president went from being wrong to being deceptive and intellectually dishonest.
The peril of our nation’s present fiscal course has been amply documented. The facts are settled. The president’s own bipartisan deficit commission proposed entitlement and spending reforms to restore fiscal responsibility. The Republicans in the House of Representatives and Chairman Paul Ryan have offered alternative reforms of their own. With the resulting national recognition of financial peril, the country was presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity. As the president summoned the nation, change was hoped for. Demagoguery, divisiveness, and deception is what we got.
UPDATE: Just a few hours later another op-ed by Romney is release in the Orlando Sentinel “Rein in government – starting with Obama”
Romney gives Obama the old 1-2 with concurrent op-eds in two different publications. This newer one, by only a few hours, talks Tea Party (including the original one in Boston), GDP, ObamaCare, mind-boggling tax code, small biz and entrepreneurs.
Snippet from the Orlando Sentinel:
For the first time in the post-World War II era, there is a significant popular movement to scale back government and reduce the tax burden that has been stifling our economy. A lot of this is because members of the Tea Party are making their voices heard.
Almost 21/2 centuries after the original Boston Tea Party of 1775, the idea of limited government that inspired our forebears is very much alive. The growth of government is not some inexorable force. In a democracy, we the people decide. Thanks to the Tea Party, there’s real hope that we can rein in our profligate federal government.
But in order to make progress, we have to first rein in President Obama, whose spending binge is driving our national debt to historic highs.
These staggering new burdens are made worse by the fact that our system of taxation is killing our nation’s once-strong economic engine. The mind-boggling complexity of our tax system is only part of the problem. As of last year, the U.S. tax code had mushroomed into 71,684 pages that no one human being can fully understand. Along with complexity comes a dizzying array of perverse incentives.
A smart tax system would reward investment, savings and entrepreneurship, while providing job-creators with the predictability and stability they need to grow our economy. But our tax system is not smart; it’s quite the opposite. It needs urgent reform that reduces rates and restores a climate of confidence in our economy. With millions of Americans seeking but not finding work, a transformation of our approach to taxes is both an economic and moral imperative.
But reform requires both understanding and leadership. Unfortunately, when it comes to those qualities, we are facing Washington’s biggest deficit of all.
I particularly like that last line. Washington’s worst deficit is its leadership. In 2008 we had epic levels of debt. Obama’s spend, spend, spend policies have moved those debt levels from “epic” to a completely new class: über epic.
Below I’m cross-posting a rebuttal to a Boston Globe article. This was written by my brother and originally posted at our pro-Romney blog.
Debunking erroneous allegations from the media is becoming a full time job (one that doesn’t pay very well). I wish the press didn’t depend on fabricating nonsense in order to make a living — sure would allow me to trust them more.
The latest accusation comes from The Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby, and it is just as phony as it’s predecessors. Here’s Jacoby pretending he doesn’t know where Romney stands on the individual mandate, saying that Romney is ‘straddling the health care issue’:
Is it Romney’s position that coercive insurance directives are fine when they are imposed by states, and a “power grab’’ only when imposed by Congress? Does he oppose ObamaCare, with its maze of controls and penalties, as a matter of federalism — or as a matter of liberty?
I suggest Mr. Jacoby flip through the pages of Romney’s most recent book, where Romney discusses in-depth his stance on health care. Romney’s position on this issue has not wavered. There has been no “double speak”. He has not been “trying to have it both ways”.
Here are the hard facts on Romney’s health care stance:
State’s Rights: Romney believes that states have the right to structure their own plan according to the demands of that state, a belief guided by the principles of the constitution. He believes that the complexities of health care are so vastly different among each demographic in each state that there is no possible to way effectively manage a national, one-size-fits-all plan. He has stressed many times that the states were designed as laboratories of democracy, and as such they should learn from neighboring states and adopt whatever policy they deem appropriate for their state. The Mandate: Romney believes that if the alternative to a mandate is higher taxes on responsible citizens to cover the cost of free loaders, then a mandate may be a favorable option (again, its up to the state to decide). That said, Romney advocated an opt-out provision for people who wanted to forgo insurance and pay their own way; that provision, among others, was vetoed by the 85+ % democratic legislature. He has stressed that, at the time, Massachusetts felt that a mandate was the answer to their health care woes (and the notion was received very favorbly by his constituents), but that the same concept would never function nationally.Back to Jacoby’s piece where he makes the rehashed argument that Romney is to blame for ObamaCare by citing MIT economist Jonathan Gruber:
“If any one person in the world deserves credit for where we are now [with passage of the new federal law], it’s Mitt Romney. He designed the structure of the federal bill.’’
Oh really? Why, then, did Romney never get a phone call from Obama? As the supposed creator of ObamaCare, why was he never summoned to a health care summit? Why was he never given a white lab coat and told to pose in front of cameras at the white house? You would think that, as the expert on the matter, Romney would have been consulted at least over a text message or Skype. But no.
Here’s why the white house didn’t bother contacting Romney: they knew that the basis and overall intent of their plan was so immensely different from Romney’s that, essentially, they would have been talking to Henry Ford about how to erect a flying saucer. Their plan, rooted in big government principles, was to force private providers out of the market and rely on a sole government provider. Their plan was not paid for. Their plan raises taxes and cuts Medicare. Their plan was not viewed favorably by the people it would have effect on (all Americans). Their plan was not introduced after previously balancing the budget. Their plan had was jammed through the house, unread. Indeed, their plan was an “‘Unconscionable Abuse of Power”.
I suppose I’m not entirely sure what Romney would have told Obama if he had gone to him for advice, but Romney did have this to say the day ObamaCare passed:
America has just witnessed an unconscionable abuse of power. President Obama has betrayed his oath to the nation — rather than bringing us together, ushering in a new kind of politics, and rising above raw partisanship, he has succumbed to the lowest denominator of incumbent power: justifying the means by extolling the ends. He promised better; we deserved better.
He calls his accomplishment “historic” — in this he is correct, although not for the reason he intends. Rather, it is an historic usurpation of the legislative process — he unleashed the nuclear option, enlisted not a single Republican vote in either chamber, bribed reluctant members of his own party, paid-off his union backers, scapegoated insurers, and justified his act with patently fraudulent accounting. What Barack Obama has ushered into the American political landscape is not good for our country; in the words of an ancient maxim, “what starts twisted, ends twisted.”
His health-care bill is unhealthy for America. It raises taxes, slashes the more private side of Medicare, installs price controls, and puts a new federal bureaucracy in charge of health care. It will create a new entitlement even as the ones we already have are bankrupt. For these reasons and more, the act should be repealed. That campaign begins today
Look folks, it’s easy to see where Mitt Romney stands on the issue. It doesn’t frustrate me that people are concerned with Mitt Romney’s past regarding health care, they have that right; what frustrates me is when certain people use their high profile press position to regurgitate false allegations, all the while knowing exactly where Mitt stands.
I, for one, cannot wait till the campaigning begins. Romney, having sharpened his debate skills, will be given plenty of air time to reinforce his health care stance for those who choose to remain ignorant. Granted, people like Jeff Jacoby will always find a way to contort Romney’s words — after all, if they can’t succeed in creating buzz they will be yanked from their post and replaced by somebody who can.
Again I am not able to embed the codes here for some reason. You can find it at Mitt Romney Central by clicking here.
What you will find there:
1- A newscast from FOX13 in Utah about the Romney’s upcoming speech at the Salt Palace. It also video of Romney reading his book during the studio recording (and sporting reading glasses).
2- An audio segment of the entire first chapter from Romney’s new book. The segment lasts 11:30 minutes and touches on some American history in regards to wars, technology and economy.
My first impression: I’m immensely proud to be an American.
Any thoughts on the first chapter?
The following was written by my brother Aaron and is duplicated here by permission.
One of the first reviews of Mitt Romney’s new book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness came out yesterday from a fellow named David Bernstein from The Boston Phoenix. As it was (and still is) one of the only reviews of Mitt’s newest publication to hit the web, I found it to be quite insightful.
That said, the analytical tone Bernstein uses is rather tendentious and the picture he attempts to paint for Mitt’s future, especially with regards to the conservative south, is as abstract as a Picasso:
A critique of Bernstien’s misleading review and a more accurate synopsis of Mitt Romney’s future involvement in the South is provided by Mathew Continetti in his piece: Romney and the South:
[Bernstein] makes the questionable claim that “Romney is going to try to win without” Christian conservatives. And that means “skipping the South.”
Really? Religious conservatives make up a significant portion of the GOP electorate; winning the nomination without them is clearly a next-to-impossible task (McCain squeaked through because at first the religious conservatives split their vote among the various candidates). The South, moreover, is the geographic base of the Republican party — could a politician win the nomination with the Northeast, Midwest, Great Lakes, and Mountain States? Maybe, but he or she would have to sweep all those regions, which seems unlikely.
Romney is no dope; he understands how important the South is both in the Republican primary and in the general election.
Bernstein bases his claim on two pieces of evidence: (a) “Romney’s PAC has started ignoring southern pols” and (b) “most revealing is Romney’s decision not to attend this year’s Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC) in April in New Orleans.”
Let’s look at these in reverse order. A spokesman for Romney’s Free and Strong America political action committee tells me the governor isn’t attending the SRLC because of a scheduling conflict. “The reason Mitt Romney is not attending the SRLC is because of conflicts with his book tour,” says Eric Fehrnstrom. “The book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, comes out March 2 and he’s on the road promoting it the entire month of March and half of April. During the SRLC, he’ll be in Philadelphia (World Affairs Council speech), New Hampshire (St. Anselm’s Institute of Politics speech and remarks to Politics and Eggs breakfast), Boston (Ford Hall Forum speech) and Minneapolis (book signing, Freedom Foundation speech).”
Nor does missing one conference signify rejection of an entire constituency. Sarah Palin made a highly publicized decision to skip next week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. Does that mean she thinks she can win the nomination without conservative support? Hardly. The same rule applies to Romney.
Despite Bernstein’s assertion to the contrary, Romney seems also to be paying attention to “Southern pols.” In 2009 he campaigned and fundraised for South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, the Georgia House Republican Caucus, and the Duval County, Florida, GOP. This month, he’s scheduled to appear at a joint fundraiser for Georgia congressmen Westmoreland, Gingrey, and Price, and another for Florida Republican Rep. Connie Mack. Romney’s book tour (the full schedule hasn’t been released) will also take him through a variety of Southern locales.
Since losing the 2008 primary to John McCain, Romney has been expanding his political network. That expansion has not been limited to a particular area. Listen to him and his advisers: Romney will compete in the South.
Will southern Republicans vote for him? Now, that’s an entirely different question…
Does this group have a web presence yet?
(Note: I know Mark had posted a similar story to this here earlier, but as my data and review are a little different I’m posting mine as well.)
With the last bit of fundraising data in (the total number of donors to Romney’s PAC), we can now make a proper evaluation of the fundraising abilities of the 4 most-likely-to-run GOP candidates and their respective PAC’s. One major problem is that there are so many uncommon denominators in the results that there is no easy indication of a clear winner, nor of a clear loser.
First let’s look at the raw numbers. Before anyone gets too excited about it, you should recall that T-Paw’s PAC was only in operation in the fourth quarter, plus other variables that I will explain.
|Candidate||Revenue||Disbursed||COH||$ to Cand.||% to Cand.||# Donors||Ave/ Donor|
(*** Disbursed=expenditures COH= Cash on hand $ to Cand.= money given to GOP campaigns for office)
Review of performance:
Mitt Romney Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC, is the most cut and dry scenario we have of the four. His PAC was intact for the entire year. He didn’t have distraction or obligations that others did. The numbers here tell the most of the story. He raised money very well, and he notably spent more also. The story here that is not told in the numbers is even though most of the would-be GOP nominees gave about 2% to other GOP candidates for office, Romney’s impact on behalf of other GOP candidates can arguably claim to be the highest as he has had time and means to hold many fundraisers for them. A fundraiser bringing $200,000 (as some did) is of lot more value than the max $5000 his PAC can contribute directly to them. A few of the unseen benefits of Romney expenditures include items of great reward: freedom to travel as necessary to endorse, raise funds, do media appearances and speeches, and otherwise keep his name and face out there. Plus he is able to maintain he excellent campaign team through to the next election cycle, which is virtually the same team that helped propel Senator Scott Brown to victory.
Mitt Romney’s Grade: a (solid) B+ Romney raised the most (from the highest number of donors) and has the most cash on hand, but with his network and relative freedom that would be expected. Expectations are the only reason I don’t score him higher.
Sarah Palin SarahPAC didn’t quite pull in as much as the FSA-PAC, or from as many donors, be she certainly didn’t focus on it much because of a number of factors: SarahPAC didn’t form until a couple months into year (she was still Governor of AK at the beginning of ’09), she focused some fundraising efforts on her legal funds rather than her PAC, and much focus of the year went to writing and touring for her new book. Even so she has a healthy amount of cash on hand that she’ll be able to disperse of more liberally (to conservatives) as we go throughout 2010. Also her star power is a huge asset at this time. She may not have raised as much, but it won’t matter as she can use some of her own new found wealth to more than compensate for a relatively small difference in total number of dollars raised.
Sarah Palin’s Grade: B- With a little more focus on her PAC she should be able rival Romney’s numbers. The decision to focus on that is hers to make. With her new contract with FOX News, I’m not sure if that will happen. But then again the net benefit of being on FOX may be more than any funds she can raise… unless her contract brings her to the point of over exposure. I believe there is some risk in that.
Tim Pawlenty T-Paw and his Freedom First PAC got a much later start than the rest but it has impressed with his good-sized catch. The high average dollars per donor shows that he does have at least some ties and connections that will be vital should he decide to run (I’m sure he has already decided.) Even so, one should not make that mistake of thinking that since he only had 1 quarter to raise funds that $1.3 Million x 4 = $5.2 Million for the year. Certainly as some donors begin to max out ($5000 max contribution) that rate cannot be continue to be sustained. One way to be certain is to see where we are at the end of June 2010, where it will be easier to compare apples to apples. One other item that limits his current freedom is that he is still a sitting Governor whereas the others are merely former Governors and are free to move about.
Tim Pawlenty’s Grade: A- Sometimes it’s not how much you’ve raised, but how you did compared to expectations. I expected some, but not that much, especially given his lower name recognition.
Mike Huckabee HuckPAC is a little harder to grade than the others for the reason that- yes, he’s got some boots on the ground, but does that make up for the relatively low fundraising? Huckabee also has a distraction with his show on FOX. That kind of weekly exposure should be a boon to name recognition, which it is as evidenced by him being right at the top of most polls, but it all needs to transfer into some increased ability to raise funds. Huckabee did great on meager funds in the 2008 election, and it may turn out similar for him in the 2010 primary, but such a plan would not work in the general election. Raising more funds will be a must for him at some point in the future.
Mike Huckabee’s Grade C+ In comparison to the amount that T-Paw raised in one quarter, and to Romney’s 3 times average dollars per donor, the fundraising is unimpressive. BUT… 16,000 donors is a very good number. I would think to give a lower grade otherwise.
Newt Gingrich: Newt? Hey, he doesn’t have a PAC. Yes, but many are quick to point out that his 527 (American Solutions for Winning the Future) raised $6.4 Million. That’s more than the others put together! … Yes, but a 527 group is a totally different animal. It does not have the $5000 donation limit that PAC’s have. They are also limited in that they cannot directly support (or oppose) candidates for office …. just for clarification.
Newt’s Gingrich’s grade N/A Apples to apples… Besides my guess is that he will only tease and hint at running, but will not enter the fray.
Result: Yes, in my opinion the winner by a slight degree is T-Paw, mostly because of the ever present “expectations”. Time will tell if his fundraising is sustainable. If it is, welcome to the top-tier.
One other note: we should see the low percentages of money given to other campaigns go up as we get closer to the 2010 elections. The year 2009 was more of a ‘fill up the treasure chest’ type of a year.
Audio: Mitt Romney Reads the Introduction to No Apology
Transcript of Mitt Romney’s audio introduction to the book:
Running for President of the United States is an extraordinary experience. New profound friendships are unquestionably the greatest reward. They will last a lifetime. And there were moments of laughter, such as when Ann got up from a collapsed stage in Dubuque Iowa, dusted herself off and later ad-libbed, “Well, I fell on dubutt in Dubuque.” There were times of exhilaration. Winning the Michigan primary, the state where I was raised and where my dad had served three terms as Governor was one of them. Then there were the inevitable ‘lessons learned’. My dad, George Romney, use to say of his 1968 presidential campaign that it was like a mini-skirt: short and revealing. Mine was a little longer, but just as revealing.
I’ve run for office three times, losing twice and winning once. Each time when the campaign was over I felt I hadn’t done an adequate job communicating all that I intended to say. Some of that is because debate answers are limited to 60 seconds, ads are 30 seconds, and lengthy position papers are rarely read at all. This book gives me a chance to say more than I did during my campaign.
That being said, my interest in writing the book goes back well before my political life. My career in the private sector exposed me to developments abroad, and conditions at home, that were deeply troubling. At the same time, I saw that most of us were not aware of the consequences of blithely continuing along our current course. We’ve become so accustom to the benefits of America’s greatness that we cannot imagine any significant disruption of what we have known.
I was reminded of a book I had read when I was in France during the late 1960’s. Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber was a journalist and a business person, and from his perspective he became convinced that France and Europe were in danger of falling far and irretrievably behind the United States. His book, The American Challenge, stirred his countrymen to action and helped to galvanize Pan-European economic and political collaboration. While I am sufficiently realistic to recognize that this volume is highly unlikely to have as great an impact as did his, it is my hope is that it will affect the thinking and perspectives of those who read it.
Thus, this is not a collection of my positions on all the important issues of the day. In fact, a number of issues that I care about are not included. This is not a policy book that explores issues in greater depth than do scholars and think-tanks. I treat topics in a single chapter that others have made the subject of entire volumes. Nor is this an attack piece on all the policies of the Obama administration. Criticism is unavoidable, however, with policies which I believe are the most harmful to the future generations of America.
This is a book about what I believe should be our primary national objective: to keep America strong, and to preserve its place as the world’s leading nation. It describes the course I believe we must take to strengthen the nation in order to remain prosperous, secure and free. There are some who may question the national objective I propose. I make no apology for my conviction that America’s economic and military leadership is not only good for America, but also critical for freedom and peace across the world. Accordingly, as I consider the various issues before the nation, I evaluate our options largely by whether they would make America stronger or weaker.
In my first chapters I consider geo-political threats and lessons from the history of great nations of the past. In subsequent chapters I describe domestic challenges to our national strength and propose actions to overcome them. My final chapter is intended to provide a means for future Americans to gauge whether we have been successful in setting a course that will preserve America’s greatness throughout the 21st century. It describes, as well, the source of my optimism for America’s future.
These are difficult times. Homes have lost value, nest eggs have been eroded, retirees have become anxious about their future, and millions upon millions of Americans are out of work. Inexcusable mistakes and failures precipitated the descent that has hurt so many people, but even as we endure the current shocks we know that this will not go on forever. We know that because America is a strong and prosperous nation the economic cycle will eventually right itself, and the future will be brighter than the present. While I will touch upon today’s difficulties my focus is on the growing challenges to the foundations of our national strength. How we confront these challenges will determine what kind of America, and world, we will bequeath to our children and grand-children. This is a book about securing that future of freedom, peace, and prosperity in the only way possible: by strengthening America. A strong America is our only assurance that prosperity will follow hardship, and that our lives and liberty will always be secure.
The strength of the nation has been challenged before: at its birth, during the civil war, in the peril of world wars. It is challenged again today. In our past Americans have risen to the occasion by confronting the challenge honestly, and by laying their sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. We must do so again.
We’ve been keeping an updated reference for anything related to the book here. It includes where to buy it, a review, book tour dates and other news.
Good luck on that Governor.
(I think this the website he meant to say: StopTheSpendingBinge.com)
The following essay is reproduced with the permission of the original author, VoxPatriota, a contributing member of MittRomneyCentral.com. The essay was originally posted here. It is a entertaining and somewhat snarky review of Obama’s first year as President.
In the beginning, Obama created massive deficits and new entitlements.
And the earth was without respect for the west, and darkness was upon the face of America.
And Obama said, let there be Change. And there was Change.
Year One of The One is history. And so it is with some sense of vindication that I, and many conservatives, look back at that year and realize that those hesitations, objections, and concerns that we voiced about what an Obama presidency would mean for the United States of America were all completely justified, utterly valid, and in their own (probably racist and heretical) way prophetic.
Has it only been one year? It seems so long ago that the newly inaugurated president ignored common sense, logistical reality, and the underlying difficulty of the task, and promised with doe-eyed optimism, shored up with that now trademark and pseudo-stern manner of his, that he’d be shutting down the American Gulag in Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay. Of course, today that insidious prison still has its doors open, and its halls crowded with misunderstood parishioners of the Religion of Peace. And never mind that those who once knelt in prayer within those dastardly cinder blocks, but were set free to be “reeducated” are busily plotting and carrying out yet more “man caused disasters” as retribution for… the failed policies of the last eight years.
And now instead of the triumphant and promised closing down of the Great American Blot, Barack Obama celebrates his first anniversary as our Regulator in Chief with a stiff and bitter piece of humble pie. Boston Cream Pie, to be exact, evenly Browned over the flames of righteous indignation and the cold, fierce reality that Americans tend to be a rather pushy lot, quick to recognize and reject any obvious and overbearing attempt to drive us down that road to serfdom. Even in a state that repeatedly elected Ted Kennedy and J.F.K(erry).
But Obama has responded to the political equivalent of Sparta’s 300 with the same tired, arrogant, and narcissistic rhetorical nonsense that is coming to define this man: He blamed Bush. “The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office, people are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years but what’s happened over the last eight years.” It would appear that voters in Massachusetts were listening when Mr. Obama had admonished us all to “grab a mop…help clean up“.
But the President was right about our anger. We are angry. At him.
If we are to believe the leg-tingled, sycophantic backscratchers and bootlickers known as “the media,” then this unprecedented president has had an unprecedented year, achieving the unprecedented and long clamored for change, that is, “the fundamental transformation of America” that has forever been the utopian vision of the American people. Or something. After 223 years of inequality and that hampering inconvenience known as the Constitution, true social justice had come to Washington, in the form of a “light-skinned African American, with no negro dialect.” Truly, Progressivism has come out of the fringe and wilderness of political exorcism and into the red, white, and blue of the American mainstream. We are all Socialists now!
Apparently, however, fundamental transformation means a 30% rise in what was already an absurdly, and statistically abnormally high rate of unemployment. The United States now enjoys the double digits heretofore only common in Europe and elsewhere. Burgeoning models of enterprise and freedom, like, say… Cuba. And despite claiming to have “saved or created” a million (or was it a billion?) jobs, more Americans today find themselves without one since the days of Jimmy Carter. Could it be that Statism leads, inevitably to job loss? How many jobs were lost in 2009? Nearly 3 million. Personally (granted, I’m a right-wing nut job) I think I liked the “status-quo” wherein people had jobs, and were even paid for doing them!
The unprecedented unemployment rate was supposed to be staved off by the wonderfully Randian named “American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.” This so-called stimulus was Keynesian binge drinking – but we taxpayers are the ones left with the hangover. To Obama, and other redistributionists, it certainly sounded like a much better idea than it turned out to be. Costing nearly 800 billion dollars (which I think is the new revised number of jobs that were “saved or created”) and promising to “put Americans back to work” (and capping unemployment at 8%) the bill hampered economic recovery by redistributing wealth to important and shovel ready projects like creating robotic bees ($9.3 million), and the relocation of an unimportant bridge ($54 million). Indeed, it can be argued (if you are Paul Krugman) that this monstrosity did keep its promise of putting Americans back to work. That is, back to work hunting for… work.
Riding the success of economic futility, Mr. Obama pressed forward, determined to not only run the United States into the ground, but also the iconoclastic, union-laden symbol of can-do-it Americanism: General Motors. After dispatching of GM’s hapless CEO, Obama placed his hand-picked successor into the driver’s seat of a company crippled by unionism and government mandated lunacy. In the process, Uncle Sam became an owner of the company, ensuring that it will never more turn a profit. General Motors, meet Amtrack; and welcome to a life of subsidization. Sensing that inevitability, The President of the United States offered to help everyone in America buy a new car, pending government approval of course. And so Cash for Clunkers took the market by storm, creating false demand and compressing years of sales into a very short, very haphazard several weeks. Since the boondoggled program ended, auto sales have slumped, and dealers from coast to coast have been left asking, “Dude, where’s the government money for my car?”
Emboldened at the remarkable success he was having in the 57 states, Obama set out on several foreign tours that presented him ample opportunity to bow to the pressures and special interests of countries considered both friends and enemies (all of whom the Lightworker has managed to anger). He shook hands (bro’ style) with Hugo Chavez, and nearly kissed the feet of the Saudi King. All the while never missing an opportunity to dismiss American exceptionalism, its military power and of course, cultural influence. After all, we obtained such status through exploitation, profiteering, slavery, and uninhibited greed. At long last the chickens of American Imperialism were coming home to roost. It was time for our global comeuppance, humble pie on a national scale, baked with love by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Only, I suppose in that case, he is busy not baking pies, but yellow cake.
Except the American people weren’t having it. In fact, they were not having much of anything. Retail sales slumped, jobless claims rose, and Obama reached never before seen approval ratings. The bad kind. Unprecedented lows. Not even the detestable George W. Bush attained such cellar-dwelling numbers in his first year as were reached by Barack Hussein Obama. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.
He implemented a surge in Afghanistan after surging to victory in the Democratic primaries by disparaging the surge in Iraq. Which by the way, is still an American theater of war, even though his promised withdrawal date of March 2009 has long come and gone. Coming to his Afghan decision was difficult. He pondered the foggy bottom of options for days. And weeks. And months. In the meantime, while he dithered, he managed to wage war on Fox News, which, if you had not heard, is not a “legitimate news organization,” on Rush Limbaugh, who had the audacity of hoping Obama would fail, and on the American taxpayer. Keeping his pledge to “not raise taxes by one singe dime” he managed to, in fact, raise taxes by several dimes. An underachiever, this man is not.
Using such monumental success, and wielding the magical mantle of Best. President. Ever. Mr. Obama traveled to Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts to cast his spell on would-be voters and plebeians who were engaging in off-year special elections. In every case, and rather soundly, that candidate he championed fell to Republican challengers. The only possible explanation for such defeats: racism and bigotry and subterfuge Tea Party maniacs. A referendum on Him these elections were not. Obama was, and will ever be guiltless. Instead these elections are merely the manifestations of those bitter, God-loving, gun clinging neophytes who are so easily confused, and so quickly whipped into irrational frenzies orchestrated by the GOP Machine, nefariously led by Dick Cheney and his Evil Designs.
One can only hope that the president will continue to campaign for Democrats in this upcoming election year.
After 411 official speeches, comments and remarks, 178 TelePrompTer appearances, 42 news conferences (none since July), 158 interviews (a staggering number) 23 Townhall meetings (with SEIU?) 46 trips to 58 cities and 30 states (only 27 more to go!), 10 overseas expeditions to 21 nations, 160 Air Force One Flights, 28 fundraisers (Bush did six and raised more money), a 1.6 trillion dollar increase in debt and 26 vacation days, the Year of The One has come to a close.
And what of us who no longer believe (or never did) in the Gospel of Barack? We hope for change. And then, we vote for it.
Even in Massachusetts.
Recently the National Journal queried “political insiders” as to whom they thought would win the GOP nomination in 2012. Among them Mitt Romney was the overwhelming favorite (reported here and with additional info here.) A smaller poll was also done with not “insiders” but political bloggers with similar results.
Rank the top 5 candidates, 1 through 5, in terms of who you think is most likely to capture the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
I transposed the methodology from the insiders poll to match this poll:*METHODOLOGY: 18 right-leaning bloggers participated. In tallying the rankings, a first-place vote was worth 5 points, a second-place vote 4 points, and so on. The Insiders Index reflects the percentage of points that each contender received out of the maximum possible. For example, Mitt Romney scored an Index rating of 66, meaning he received 66 percent of the possible 90 points, the number he would have had if all 18 participants had ranked him first.
List of the right leaning bloggers: Dan McLaughlin, Baseball Crank; Bob Parks, Black And Right; Bookworm, Bookworm Room; D.S. Hube, The Colossus Of Rhodey; Bruce Carroll Jr., GayPatriot; Skip Murphy, GraniteGrok; Robert Miller, JoshuaPundit; Soren Dayton, The Next Right; Jon Henke, The Next Right; James Joyner, Outside The Beltway; Walter Olson, Overlawyered; Steven Taylor, PoliBlog; Debbie Hamilton, Right Truth; John Hawkins, Right Wing News; David Gerstman, Soccer Dad; Martin Solomon, Solomonia; David Kopel, The Volokh Conspiracy; Susan Duclos, Wake Up America
A group of left wing Democrats participated in a small survey as well:
Who would be the Republicans’ strongest presidential nominee in 2012?
Discussion: I personally don’t care whether people place a lot of stock in these “insiders” and bloggers’ opinions, its mostly human interest and I’m glad to see Romney well in any case. I’m interested in what people make of the disparity amongst the groups in relation to Sarah Palin. Why does she do well with the right-leaning bloggers, but doesn’t register with the left-leaning bloggers nor any of the “political insiders”? I don’t mean that as a knock on Palin at all, nor is it an invitation for a bash fest. It’s just an honest question hoping for some civil and thoughtful replies.
Note: The images above only show the top 5 from each category though there were many more names included. Click here for the full results.
As a Romney supporter and blogger I have very seldom written about faith and religion, whether in the general sense or as it applies to Mitt Romney as a presidential candidate. I’ve always known Romney’s religion to be a stigma to some. I’m sure it is even a boon to others, especially those who share his faith. Today, in remembrance of the 2nd anniversary of Romney’s speech “Faith in America”, I’m going to take a rare moment to share my thoughts on subject.
Full disclosure: I am a life-long member of the LDS (Mormon) church. Now let’s proceed.
I consider myself a strong social conservative. My social views aren’t limited to just abortion and same-sex marriage, but I also place strong emphasis on the morality of a politician or a candidate. How a leader comports him or herself in office and in their private life has a huge effect on our lives, whether they like it or not. Political leaders, sports heroes, and pop culture icons all set the trend as to what is acceptable behavior in our society. My religious belief that the family is of vital importance and is the basic building block of society causes me to decry behavioral impropriety, particularly marital infidelity, amongst those in the spotlight because of its lasting affect on many, many people. Behavior that becomes commonplace among celebrities is all too easily emulated by fans and constituents.
Back in the year 2000, when I was 9 years younger and more naive than I am now, I recall watching the GOP primary debates and being delighted with George W. Bush and some of the religious rhetoric he employed. It was refreshing to hear such talk, especially in the wake of a Clinton presidency and the scandals that had ensued. At the time I thought mostly of the character of the candidate and much less of what they actual knowledge and experience was. In retrospect, and being a little wiser now, I realize that probably wasn’t the best approach to choosing a candidate. Don’t get me wrong, I admire Bush greatly still, but there were many things that he could have done better, especially in terms of the economy. Even so, he was the best candidate available at the time.
In mid 2006, I began to look for a potential candidate to support for the 2008 GOP nomination. I knew I didn’t like McCain, mostly because of bad memories of the 2000 campaign. And I wasn’t keen on Giuliani either because of his highly publicized affairs. I recall thinking about rumors I had heard that Mitt Romney might run for president. Even though I’m from Utah, I knew absolutely nothing about him besides that fact that he was highly involved in the Olympics. In fact, I was away serving an LDS mission when the Olympics scandals happened, so I knew nothing about them.
My first thoughts upon hearing that Romney might run for president were, “Great, he’s probably going to embarrass us (Mormons) on the national stage, and just give people more reason to publicly ridicule us.” A couple weeks later, after reading everything I could about him, it didn’t matter to me anymore whether he was Mormon or not, or whether he would “embarrass” us on the national stage. I knew that he was qualified, and had the business and economic resume I wanted to see in a candidate, and that he had a fabulous record of turning large entities around, whether it be a business, a state, or the Olympics. And I could feel confident that he would not get involved the extracurricular antics Clinton tangled with while in office. Basically, I felt he was qualified AND would be a good roll model, and this was/is very important to me.
Of course there were obstacles to Romney’s path to the presidency. A USA Today poll in February of 2007 showed that of Republicans a full 30% would not support as qualified Mormon candidate. An additional 12% would do so with some hesitancy. Those combined make 42% at least that had a problem with Romney’s faith. I would consider that a substantial obstacle. I recall being somewhat dispirited from that bit of news, but was sure that once people got to know Romney better, and they certainly would, we might see those percentages fall. Fortunately many came to find that they could support a Mormon, especially one as qualified as Romney. Unfortunately, I believe it required from Romney a lot of money and campaigning to slowly break those shackles. That process won’t be nearly as staggering next time around in 2012. It certainly won’t be a cake-walk either.
My own experience as an LDS missionary in Southern Jersey taught me that folks can have wild misconceptions of what a Mormon really is. Then there were others that were well informed of our beliefs and remained strongly opposed to them. In both cases I was often the first Mormon they had ever talked to and they were surprised to find that I was a normal person, as opposed to being a socially degenerative schmoe stuck in the 1800’s. I share my experience because it coincides with a study on religious tolerance that was also revisited this last week in a USA Today column:
The study was an online survey experiment with a nationally representative sample of 3,000 respondents. We provided randomly selected respondents with different statements about Romney and then asked whether they would vote for him.
Some were given a boilerplate biography that did not mention religion; others were told that he has been a local leader in his church; others were told he has been a leader in the Mormon church. Still others were told, “Some people say Mormons are not Christians.” By comparing reactions to these various statements, we could see how each one affected a person’s willingness to vote for Romney, and also how different kinds of people responded to the statements.
The claim that Mormons are not Christians was particularly potent. […] the results of our study — conducted not long after Romney’s [Faith in America] speech — suggest that his religion was a liability. When respondents were told about the claim that Mormons are not Christians, nearly one-third said they were less likely to vote for him.
Interestingly, the claim that Mormons are not Christians had virtually no effect on those people who reported a close personal relationship with a Mormon.
People who objectively know a lot about Mormons — that is, those who scored 100% on a short quiz on facts about Mormonism — were much less likely to be bothered by the claim that Mormons are not Christians. In contrast, respondents who claimed they knew a lot about Mormons, but who actually did not, were bothered most of all by claims about Mormonism.
Bottom line: those who were well acquainted with Mormons, whether personally or informatively, were not affected by the debate of whether Mormons were Christians or not. Yes, ignorance is the greatest inhibitor of tolerance. The study shows that this is unfortunately true for other less-known religions as well. This really ought not to be, but misinformation will always abound, and until the public becomes generally educated on these minority religions we’ll continue to see similar results.
I believe these findings to also be consistent with the results from the GOP primary elections. There is and undeniable pattern that Romney is well-liked western states, but he is not so well received in parts of the south. Nevada is a state that has an LDS population of about 10%. It’s not a large percentage but it’s enough that most people are at least acquainted with Mormons. I’ve often heard people say that Romney only won Nevada because of the large number of Mormons in Nevada (I wouldn’t call 10% a dominant slice of the pie). But the fact remains that if every vote from a Mormon were discounted from the tally, Romney still won the state handedly. The point again: in situations where people were familiar with Mormons, they were much less hesitant to vote for one.
One can see why Romney ultimately decided to give his speech on faith in December of 2007, a speech that he hoped he would never have to give. I believe the decision to give the speech was driven by the fact that Huckabee had emerged on the national stage and portrayed himself as the “Christian Leader”, coupled with the fact that the once strong Romney state of Iowa was slipping away from him.
So what was the purpose of the speech? Merely for people to get acquainted with him on a large scale. Perhaps many wanted Romney to explain certain tenets of his faith to assuage their concerns. Romney wisely did not fall into that trap. In matters regarding doctrine he reffered people to the LDS Church itself, which is the proper manner to handle this situation because as a political leader it is not his duty to educate people on all the points of his beliefs. Perhaps also the buzz around the speech would draw folks to see it and realize “Hey, that Mitt is not a crazy Mormon like I thought him to be.” Many people got to hear from his own mouth that he was a Christian in the sense that he believed that Jesus is the savior of all mankind. But that wasn’t even the main point. The main point to get across was that Americans by and large want a person of faith to lead the country, and that he fit in those parameters. Was it effective? I think so. But it obviously didn’t yield the desired results of turning Iowa back in his favor.
I have embedded Romney’s full speech below so you can revisit it. I recall vividly watching this speech live on TV. I rarely get emotional, especially in the realm of politics, but this speech hit home with me. Regardless of Romney’s future, I believe this speech will hold it’s place in history as one of the most regarded speeches of the 2008 campaign cycle, and will be held by many as an inflection point their lives.
Here is a permanent link to the videos and transcript.
So did Romney lose the ’08 GOP primary because of religious intolerance? Who knows? It think there are valid arguments for both cases. I DO know that no one likes a sore loser and Romney has lead well by his example. Never has he tried to claim that he was discriminated against because of his religion. He lost because in the end he didn’t get the most votes, and it all happened fair and square. I think his supporters would be wise to follow suit. I recommend removing the word “bigotry” from your vocabulary. Even if you do see true cases of religious bias against Romney I would ask you to consider your reaction. By yelling “bigot” at every corner you do much more harm to your cause than good. Be an adult and just let it go.
For those interested in following the topic of religion and how it pertains to political office (especially in regards to Romney) I recommend reading the Article 6 blog run jointly by a Mormon and an Evangelical Christian.
Governor Romney must be a multitasker if he can pound the foreign policy drum and pound Barack Obama at the same time. No, I guess this would be more of a kill-two-birds-with-one-stone situation.
Romney has, over the last couple of months, taken a number of shots at President Obama, most particularly against his actions, or rather his inactions, concerning the situation in Afghanistan. It all started with his “conversation” at the Foreign Policy Initiative Luncheon. Last week it continued in his speech to the Young America’s Foundation, a speech to which David Axelrod took issue with and responded.
Today the drum beat continues with Mitt Romney’s most recent op-ed at Politico: The Cost of On-the-Job Training. The title is apt in that it plays to Obama’s lack of pre-Presidential executive experience in contrast to Romney’s life-long resumé of being the man in charge. An excerpt:
The president refused to focus on what was most important. He took on so many tasks that he underinvested in the most critical ones. The restructuring of the entire health care system and his cap-and-trade proposal eclipsed the economy and the war. Investor Warren Buffett, the “sage of Omaha,” counseled him against such a foolhardy agenda, but Buffett’s wisdom was no match for the heady prospect of all-encompassing change.
So it was that in the first 100 days after his appointment in June of Gen. Stanley McChrystal as commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Obama met with the general only once. After the press took note of it, the president squeezed in a mere 25 minutes for McChrystal when he was in Copenhagen to pitch Chicago’s Olympics bid. In the annals of American history, it is certain that no wartime president has ever spent less time with his generals than Obama has.
Not to be forgotten is Romney’s 13-minute interview with Sean Hannity yesterday. The topics included Obama and Afghanistan, as well as the economy, Sarah Palin, and the 9/11 terrorists’ trials. For some reason I’m not able to embed the audio here, so you can listen to it by clicking here.
The Free and Strong America PAC posted its second highest monthly receipts for 2009 in October. Monthly FEC filings for Mitt Romney and Co. show that the PAC brought in $440,000 last month, while expending $211,000. This month’s total also pushes the PAC’s year-to-date total above $3 million, and leaves them with almost $1.2 million on hand. October’s high numbers follow on the heels of strong fundraising numbers for September as well.
How does this compare to other potential candidates for the GOP nomination in 2012? Well, it’s always hard to tell because the Free and Strong America PAC files monthly while the Sarah PAC and Huck PAC have opted to file bi-annually, and Tim Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC is newly formed and has not yet made any filings.
July 1st of this year is the only point we can compare similar time frames. At that point it stood as following:
A few points to add these sums: My guess is that Romney has by far and away continued to raise the most since July. Sarah Palin’s PAC was not formed until February, and she also raised funds for a defense fund. She is also focusing much of her attention in promoting her new book. Even so her numbers for the second half of the year will be much more telling. Mike Huckabee, though he has dismal fundraising numbers, has had extreme benefit from his show on FOX as well as his radio program. That kind of exposure probably has more monetary value than all of the $3 million Romney has been able to raise this year. On the downside, if he can’t translate increased name recognition and exposure into shear fundraising number he will have a hard time in the general election when he can no longer depend on his TV show.
Month by month fundraising and disbursement totals for the FSA PAC:
Mitt Romney shelled out plenty of criticism against Barack Obama and his policies last night in a speech to the Young America’s Foundation. His remarks mostly focused on Obama’s foreign policy, but he always mentioned how the president’s domestic and economic failures are hurting our nation’s stance in the world.
Romney’s speech, which took place near the Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara California, was approximately 45 minutes, consisting of 22 minutes of his prepared remarks, and 23 minutes of questions and answers. Both the substance and the setting of the speech, plus the mention of his new book to be released in March, send strong signals that he has every intention to run for president again in 2012. The name of his book of course is a less than veiled jab at Obama’s foreign policy stance: No Apology: A Case for American Greatness. With Romney’s speech on Friday he continues to beat the foreign policy drum as he has done in several recent meetings and speeches, perhaps in effort to win over the DefCons in the 2012 election interim.
Below is Romney’s full speech. Some personal thoughts I had regarding it are that he speaks very fluidly and without a teleprompter (very refreshing when in contrast to Mr. Chop Talk), but at times he speaks a little too quickly. He did speak from prepared notes, but not during the Q & A, obviously.
(My apologies. I twice embedded the code and had not noticed that it doesn’t work. I cross-posted this at MittRomneyCentral.com. The full video can be watched there.)
Q & A: I’ll write the questions, you watch the video for the answer. I’ve paraphrased some of the lengthy questions.
Not mentioned anywhere above is the humor that was infused into his speech, as well as the few personal stories. There were about 5 or 6 good jokes. Some I had heard previously, but they were still very apt.
If you have not yet called any members of congress to express your disgust concerning this uber-expensive monstrosity of a bill known as H.R. 3962, the time is now! Nancy Pelosi has pressed to get a vote by this Saturday. There are rumors that it may not happen. Any delay is a small victory for conservatives. It means they don’t have the votes, otherwise they’d force it to the floor. Delay also means that the members of congress will go home and face their angry constituents again, and that’s something Pelosi can’t afford.
Some H.R. 3962 so-called Affordable Health Care for America Act quick facts:
Polls have shown that a majority of Americans are opposed to this Health Care Reform. Town Howlers and Tea Partiers have done much to discourage the bill and delay the vote. In fact some 25,000 folks attended an impromptu rally yesterday at the capitol. People left their work places, many traveled long distance to make their voices know heard in person to KILL THIS BILL. The least that you and I can do is to take a few minutes to call some representatives from the comfort of our own homes and and at no cost. Join the national outcry and help defeat this bill. If it goes down in defeat now it will be at least another 8-10 years until it will raises it’s ugly head again. Just think of the trillions of dollars that will be saved in the meantime.
At this point calling will be the most effective. Since all Republican are opposing it I would recommend calling Democrats to make your opposition known. You need not be from the their district to let your opinion be known, but many will refuse to hear you if you are not. Below is a list of the Blue Dog Democrats (50 or so), a fiscally conservative (or moderate) group of Democrats that are the most likely to be persuaded to vote against the bill. Many are in a rock and a hard place with the decision to stand up against their constituents or their party leadership. Nancy Pelosi is effectively asking them to walk the plank if they vote yes on this bill, because most will surely be fired in next years elections if they do. Call them up to convince them they should be more afraid of you than Nancy Pelosi!
(Note: I’ve cross-posted this at MittRomneyCentral.com. The table with all the names and phone numbers of the Blue Dog Democrats is posted there. I would post it here also, but I don’t have the admin permissions to do so. Please look at the list and make calls today!)
Update: I was able to copy a paste the source code for the table. You can see it after the jump.
Governor Romney addressed the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2009 summit in San Diego this morning. Here is a link to their website to learn more of what they are about.
Short take on Romney’s speech from Chris Cillizza’s The Fix:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) condemned the Obama Administration’s approach toward Iran, a republic he described as “unalloyed evil” and controlled by “ruthless and fanatical” leaders in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee today in San Diego.
“Stop thinking that a charm offensive will talk the Iranians out of their pursuit of nuclear weapons,” said Romney. “It will not.” Later in the address, he punctuated that sentiment by noting: “Once an outstretched hand is met with a clenched fist, it becomes a symbol of weakness and impotence.”
Mitt Romney remarks as prepared for the AIPAC 2009 national summit in San Diego:
Another Stimulus Is Not the Answer by Mitt Romney
With every month’s release of bad unemployment numbers, Americans must feel like Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day. The 263,000 lost jobs in September and the rise in the unemployment rate to 9.8 percent was far worse than forecast. What’s clear is that the stimulus bill as crafted has not worked. President Obama sold the stimulus as an immediate boost to the economy that would keep unemployment below eight percent. Rather than put the economy on sound footing, it has ushered in a new era of big government. Now the liberal voices in Congress will grow for yet another stimulus bill. That’s the wrong answer. We can’t afford anymore back-breaking debt that further hobbles our ability to remain competitive as a nation. The right answer is to fix the stimulus we have — throw out the provisions that are not directly tied to job growth and substitute incentives that will stimulate the private sector and create jobs.
Why do we continue to waste money on un-stimulating pet projects of the liberals while our economy falls into decay and our deficit skyrockets? The 2012 elections just can’t come soon enough.
Found this at Free and Strong America PAC blog:
The video is uncut and is the entire “conversation”, nearly an hour long.
Be sure to read Jennifer Rubin’s recap of the event (click here).
Instead of making an entire new entries (don’t want spam the front page) for these worthy posts, I’ll simply leave links here:
McCain to Host Fundraiser for Mitt Romney’s PAC in Phoenix, Sept. 30
The Real Dirt – an excellent write-up by Jayde Wyatt about the hypocrisy Obama administration (including Michelle) and the man-made drought of the San Joaquin Valley in order save the trouble Smelt Fish
MMM, Mmm, mmm. Barack Hussein Obama!
A video posted on YouTube appears to show a New Jersey elementary school class being taught to sing praises of the “great accomplishments” of President Obama.
The video shows nearly 20 young children taught a song overflowing with campaign slogans and praise for “Barack Hussein Obama,” repeatedly chanting the president’s name and celebrating his accomplishments, including his “great plans” to “make this country’s economy No. 1 again.”
The video identifies the kids as students at the B. Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington, N.J., with taping taking place last June.
There are actually 2 videos.
Even though it’s got a nice jingle to it I’d be furious if this were my kids’ school. What am I saying? I’m furious anyway. Here are the words:
Here are the words:
Mm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said that all must lend a hand
To make this country strong again
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said we must be fair today
Equal work means equal pay
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said that we must take a stand
To make sure everyone gets a chance
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
Mmm, mmm, mm
Barack Hussein Obama
#2 This has the first song plus another..
Words to second song:
Hello, Mr. President we honor you today!
For all your great accomplishments, we all doth say “hooray!”
Hooray, Mr. President! You’re number one!
The first black American to lead this great nation!
Hooray, Mr. President we honor your great plans
To make this country’s economy number one again!
Hooray Mr. President, we’re really proud of you!
And we stand for all Americans under the great Red, White, and Blue!
So continue —- Mr. President we know you’ll do the trick
So here’s a hearty hip-hooray —-
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
HERE IS ONE… It’s not new, it’s actually a very funny mash-up. Same idea though.
Mitt Romney had a big weekend, a lengthy weekend at that. Between Thursday and today he has done no less than five fundraisers, one of which was for his PAC, gave two high profile speeches, had three media appearances, and did at least one interview. He was even spotted by an excited Twitterer running laps around the Reflecting Pond Sunday morning. Besides the jogging, Romney’s spent much of his time this weekend discussing National Defense, and due diligence requires this to be topic be covered.
Alex, ever the Romney critic, has already posted regarding a “rather noticeable gaffe”. I beg to differ Alex. Romney is not questioning the quality of our intelligence, but whether the intelligence we have in regards to Iran is complete and clear. Nothing “weird” about it. Your gaffe claim is more likely a misinterpretation of Romney’s true meaning. Sure the issue also has to do with Russia also. He made that clear during his VVS speech:
They say this is a token of goodwill for Russia to get them to support sanctions on Iran. But the first rule of negotiation is this: only give something away when you get something.
My first impression when hearing Romney speech to the Values Voter Summit is that he spent more time than usual discussing foreign matters. It was indeed more Defcon than Socon. Not surprising because he is apparently not allowed to talk about such issues or forever be labeled a panderer. After taking a glance at it his speech again I’m seeing that he spent nearly half of his speech addressing foreign policy in one way or another, though his more meaty remarks were reserved for his speech to the Foriegn Policy Initiative Luncheon. His speech, or “conversation” at the FPI differed also in that he used no teleprompter or notes.
Jennifer Rubin of Commentary Magazine (and a former contributor to this site) gives a thorough review of the Romney’s appearance at FPI. She notes:
[Romney] appeared more relaxed and fluent than he had on the campaign trail. Without a fixed script (or any notes), he was able to demonstrate some impressive grasp of details while setting forth his big-picture critique of the Obama foreign policy. He gave credit to the president for his willingness to stick to a winning strategy in Iraq and for not “yanking all the troops out,” as he had promised during the campaign. But that is where his praise ended.
It was in many ways a surprising outing for Romney, demonstrating more depth and verve than many in the room could recall from the campaign. Whether that message resonates outside the room, with the larger conservative community and with elected leaders, remains to be seen. But certainly we will hear more from him in the future.
Rubin echoes what others have also said recently. Basically, that they hadn’t heard or seen this side Romney before. He is, and has been, underestimated on his “grasp of details” concerning national defense. Unlike the like social (abortion, same-sex marriage, stem-cell research) and economic issues that were on front and center during his tenure as Massachusetts Governor, there was only one instance that gave us a peek into what a President Romney might be like when faced with foreign issues: Romney Denounces Khatami’s Visit to Harvard, Declines to provide escort, or offer state support for trip.
At FPI, Romney also rapped President Obama on being soft about defending American values around the world, his misguided decisions on Honduras, Iran, Europe, and Israel, his efforts to win the global popularity contest, and his indecisive actions on Afghanistan. Not to be left out is praise that Romney gave President Obama on continuing with a winning strategy in Iraq, notably in contrast to his campaign promises to “yank all the troops out”.
If Romney is the work-a-holic that I know him to be, you can bet that he is furiously studying up on foreign policy with advisers and by reading anything and everything on the subject. With McCain and Giuliani out of the pool of potential 2012 candidate there is huge opening for someone to pick up the Defcon Mantra and shore up that leg of the 3-legged stool, and Mitt has his eye on it.
Case in point, the title of his book to be published in March: No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. An obvious dig at Obama and his habitual apologizing for us terrible Americans while abroad. You can bet there will be much in the book in regards to foreign policy. And a book is the perfect way to let the public at large get some insight into what he knows and understands on the subject. Heads will start turning. All except for Alex’s of, course.
I guess an introduction is in order. I’m Nate Gunderson, a long-time reader of Race 4 2012 (commenting under the name of Nate G.) and also a long-time supporter of Governor Romney. With a team of cohorts I’ve recently launched MittRomneyCentral.com (which is ever being developed), and I also manage the pro-Romney blog aggregator PlanetRomney.org. As such I am not here to shove Romney down your throats, but to defend his record where necessary (and when my time permits), report on some of the goings-on in the Romney camp, as well as discuss and inform on conservative issues, especially those that affect the race for 2012. I don’t pretend to be a great writer, nor even a great debater due to my slowness in writing posts or comments. I am however an American with valid opinions and great desire to see our country take corrective actions to remedy some severe missteps as of late.
I appreciate Kavon’s willingness to have me. I hope that we continue to have a healthy, fruitful, and civil debate.
Just this afternoon there was a noteworthy article written at Newsmax.com by Ronald Kessler. This article is a much needed clarification of the record of the MA healthcare plan that has received so much criticism as of late, most notably from potential 2012 rivals Tim Pawlenty and Mike Huckabee. Most frequent of the complaints leveled against the plan is that it is just a failure – but seldom are any facts or reasons given and without such there is nothing to argue against. So, the second most common statement is that it is bankrupting the state. This simply is not true. Detractors point to total cost of the program for shock effect, but that value is hardly fair to the overall picture. A more accurate report would be the net cost of the program, since the plan does provide savings in other areas in the budget.
Central to the plan was Romney’s recognition that uninsured individuals were costing the state and federal government money because they showed up in emergency rooms for non-emergency care. If they had health insurance, Romney concluded, those government payments to hospitals could be applied to paying to cover the uninsured.
“We said, let’s take the money that the federal government is giving us and that we’re taking from our own state coffers that we use to give to hospitals to give out free care,’ ” Romney says. “Instead, let’s use that money to help low-income people purchase their own private market-based insurance.”
In this society of one-liners and 140 character encapsulations (Twitter), the full story seldom gets told, but the headlines stick. Someone like Huckabee, whose name has proliferated the conservative halls of this country, should have access to such information and be able to avoid falsely claiming that the MA plan is making the state go belly up. Unfortunately he and other have gleefully sounded the alarm and the echo chambers have sounded in return. The FACT is, the HC plan is little over 1% of the MA’s budget, and it is not the reason for their economic woes. Can someone tell me a state that didn’t have to close a budget deficit the year? Massachusetts is in the same boat, and opponents have in their political opportunism seized upon MA’s woes and said “Look at that! Romney must have done it.” The only thing this indicates to me is that Romney has a huge target on his back going into 2012.
But wait there’s more! Some would like give sole credit to Romney to the MA plan. Remember there was a legislature involved. Remember that this legislature is extremely liberal (what is it 87% Dem?), and they have major override powers, which they used in this plan. More from the article:
As initially proposed by Romney, “The plan would not have cost the state an additional dollar,” Romney says. “However, the legislature decided to add some features, which are ones that I did not support.”
For example, Romney says, “In my proposal, I said that every individual should have to pay some portion of their health care insurance premium. In the final bill, people with low incomes don’t pay anything. Also in my proposal, I said that there should not be any mandates directed to insurance companies as to what insurance policies must include, such as unlimited treatments for in vitro fertilization. Such mandated coverage made the product far more expensive.”
Romney observes that those are legitimate decisions by a legislature.
“I didn’t agree with all of them,” he says. “In some cases, I vetoed those provisions, but they were put back in. And yet in the final analysis, the program is very much in line with the forecasts that were made by the legislature at the time of its passing.”
There were 8 sections in the bill that Romney vetoed, 6 were overridden. One of which is the employer mandate to offer insurance if you had a payroll of X amount of dollars. If you want to do your own research regarding the bill, here it is in it’s entirety. (It’s 39,000 words!) Also noted in the text are the sections he vetoed. Hint: Press CTRL-F in your browser and search for the word ‘veto’.
Other thoughts concerning the MA health-care plan: Does it cover abortions for $50? Yes. Is Romney to blame for that? Definitely not. Will you explain why? Yes, in a future post. Is the MA plan good for the whole nation? No, the health care plans and regulations should be handled at the state level – what’s good for MA is not necessarily good for Alabama. What should national heath care reform entail? Nothing more than provisions to help lower the costs of health care, something an individual state won’t be able to do by itself. What provisions would those be? Open up markets to sell across state lines, tort reform, and reform of the entitlement programs.
Again that article by Newsmax can be found clicking here. It is your civic duty to read the whole thing.