Till now, and with each of my favored candidates having given up any plausible chance of getting the nomination, I’ve been an ABO 2012 supporter – Anyone But Obama. However, Tuesday night, while watching the returns come in for the close primary in Ohio, and with no favorite in the race, I found myself rooting for a come-from-behind Romney win against Santorum. As such, I thought it only proper to write an article today, giving Mr. Romney my full endorsement and backing. This wasn’t an easy decision to come to, and Romney certainly wasn’t my first choice in this primary season, nor my favorite choice. However, at this stage of the race, he’s the only candidate with a real chance to beat Barack Obama, and that’s all that really matters in the most important election in this nation’s history.
When the candidates first came out, I liked Bachmann as the minority/female candidate to satisfy the PC gods. But I knew she had no real chance and as the race went on, she excluded herself with a number of comments that were either bombastic or provably false. Plus, I think some of her mannerisms grated on people.
As someone within close geographical proximity to Chris Christie, I was in a minority of conservatives who didn’t want him to run, and I’m thankful that he didn’t enter the race. Chris Christie is actually not very conservative, and he has a terrible habit of alienating voters. I was a big fan of Cain until the news came out about his philandering – and true or not (and does anyone really question the veracity of the charges at this stage?) he handled the accusations badly.
As someone who believes strongly in the Second Amendment, Perry’s entry into the race was one I was highly anticipating. But his debate performances were a total flop, not just because he reminded voters of George W. Bush (and I quite like our former president), but also because he clearly did not have a strong grasp of national and foreign policy issues. Then came Newt.
Newt had been in the race for quite some time when Perry flamed out, and he was seriously growing on me. I remembered him from the Clinton days, and while he was blamed in the liberal media for the Government shutdown of the ’90s, I felt that this cut both ways –you can’t credit Clinton for a budget surplus without acknowledging Gingrich’s role in driving Clinton towards austerity. Likewise, you couldn’t give praise to Clinton’s boom time of the ’90s without recognizing Gingrich’s role in helping shape domestic policy as Speaker of the House.
And then there were his debates. Whip smart, with a laser-like focus on the real issues, Gingrich would take a question, peel away the left-wing assumptions like the dry layers of an onion, and often put the questioner on the spot for even daring to proffer such nonsense at no less than a presidential debate. Like many, I started to ask, why not Newt?
We soon found out. Following some below-the-belt campaign tactics from Romney, Newt went negative – this after promising not to, and even lecturing others to remember the Reagan rule. Angry Newt wasn’t popular and his climb in the polls was halted.
On top of this, the leftist media, having polished their investigative skills on Palin’s trash, set their sights on Newt, and dug up his ex-wife who made him sound like a free-love hippie from the ’60s. This wasn’t new or arguably newsworthy info, but the damage was done. Newt cannot win – no female who’s been cheated on (and that pretty much includes every woman in this country) will vote for a man who told his wife that she needs to share him. And no Latino would vote for him given his past comments about Spanish being a “gutter language.”
Yes, his ex-wife may be lying, but he did make the comment about Spanish. While neither of these issues personally bothers me – it’s not my place to judge his marriages, and he did apologize for the Spanish remark – it doesn’t take a genius to see that with these clouds circling Newt, he can’t win, without women and Latinos. And his primary record bears this out – in Tuesday night’s 10-state race, he took one, and only because it was his home state. If he can’t win against Romney or Santorum in the primaries, he’s not going to win, period.
I’ve tried to like Santorum. He’s the classic, hardworking, unassuming, American family man. He’s got none of the baggage of Newt or Romney, but he does have a strong sense of ethics and faith. However, Santorum is the wrong candidate for our time. When the very future of our nation is in question, when lawlessness within the White House has reached new heights, and individual freedom for the first time in my memory is under threat by our own government, with all of the real problems we face, the very last thing any GOP candidate should have done was get into socially conservative issues.
Santorum’s willingness in the debates to engage on the issue of his past comments regarding states’ rights and contraception created an opening. It’s no coincidence that Obama, an excellent politician if nothing else, has since successfully co-opted so-called “Women’s Health Issues” to absolutely demolish the Republican opposition. At a time when so much is at stake, we should have been smarter.
Santorum, in trying to be the values candidate, only succeeded in taking the spotlight off of Obama and his terrible mismanagement of our economy, our energy, and our foreign policy, and a rapid growth of government combined with a reduction in individual rights and responsibilities. And in exchange, we’ve been distracted over what truly is a non-issue. As much as conservatives may like Santorum, he’s ensured that he cannot win the general election, and his actions have cast a pall over the entire GOP brand.
The result is that Obama and the left have been handed an opportunity to paint this election as a simple question that boils down to, “Are contraceptives good or not?” And let me tell you, to most of the idiot voters out there who have no real idea about anything that’s going on other than what the six o’clock news and their local paper or the New York Times tell them (most polls refer to these good folk as “moderates”), that’s exactly what they think. We need off the Santorum train now.
Now let’s talk a little bit about Romney: He’s an extremely successful businessman at a time when our economy is in the gutter. He’s an experienced politician and leader who has gotten elected as a Republican in one of the bluest states in the nation, and he’s governed successfully by working with both sides. He’s pretty good at debates, he’s good-looking, and there is nothing particularly wrong with him. Those who try to use his wealth against him will find themselves having to explain why, amidst 8.3% unemployment and a stuttering economy, it’s a bad thing to hire for president a man who earned his pay by creating over 100,000 jobs and many of the services we enjoy today. While he’s changed his positions on abortion and helped to pass Romneycare, he is now pro-life and has quite clearly stated that he wants to repeal Obamacare. Here’s an excerpt from his speech last night in Boston, which he gave after winning Massachusetts, Virginia, and Vermont:
“We won’t settle for this president’s new normal. I’m offering a real choice and a new beginning. I have a plan that’ll deliver more jobs, less debt, and smaller government. President Obama raised the national debt. I will cut, cap and balance the budget, finally. He passed Obamacare; I will repeal Obamacare. He lost our AAA credit rating; I will restore our AAA credit rating. Amazingly, he rejected the Keystone pipeline. I will approve it. You know, he has – he has stalled domestic energy production. I’m going to open up our lands for development so we can finally get the energy we need at a price we can afford. When it comes to this economy, my highest priority will be worrying about your job, not worrying about saving my job. I’ve –and, by the way, I’ve got a pro-growth tax plan, jobs plan that’s going to jump-start the economy. President Obama wants to raise your taxes; I’m going to cut them. That starts with an across- the-board 20 percent rate cut for every American. And, by the way, I’m also going to repeal the alternative minimum tax, and I will finally abolish the death tax. The – the president has proposed raising taxes for job-creators; I will cut taxes for job-creators. The president wants to raise taxes on savings and investment. I will help middle-class families save and invest tax-free.”
Is there anything in the above that you’d disagree with? Anything here that’s not conservative enough? What’s not to like exactly? It’s time for all of us to cut the crap – Romney is our best chance to win the general election. And despite the media narrative of a lackluster campaign, especially after last night, Romney is a clear frontrunner. With 730 delegates counted, 404 are for Romney, more than Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul combined. Of the 22 states already voting, Romney’s taken 14. Given the big tent that is the GOP, this is about as close to consensus as we can reasonably expect.
What this ultimately says is that the other candidates don’t have the delegates for a reason – Romney has the most appeal. The other candidates’ only strategy is to drag this race out till the end as spoilers. Yet, a “brokered convention” would be a victory for short-sighted fools and Barack Obama only.
While we’ve been arguing amongst ourselves, Obama’s been out there lying to the American people. We have no standardbearer to respond to these untruths, which are further sinking both our country and our chances at taking the White House. The sooner Romney wins the nomination, the sooner he can focus on the race that matters, and start calling Obama out on his bad policies and the disastrous direction in which he’s taken this country. Conversely, the longer we wait, the less time our nominee has to fight the real battle, the less our chances to actually win the general election.
Let’s not wake up on November 7 2012, with four more years hanging on our backs. It’s time to put away childish things, and get excited about Romney, the next president of the United States.