Romney, too, is having a hard time getting away from the truth about his past - supporting gay marriage, raising all those "fees" (by mandate rather than by election) and increasing the financial burden on the people of his state, and ending his one term as Governor of Massachusetts with a low favorability rating (43%). His reputation as a flip-flopper, while unpleasant, is not entirely undeserved.
Michael Medved wrote an interesting and devastating article about Romney highlighting his Michigan acceptance speech. I will quote the article in full as I am not nearly as eloquent nor as astute at Mr. Medved.
Thursday, January 17, 2008Posted by: Michael Medved at 2:44 AM
Mitt Romney won a big victory in Tuesday’s Michigan primary, thumping John McCain by the unexpectedly comfortable margin of 39% to 30%. In his victory statement, however, the former Massachusetts governor utterly undermined all those loyal supporters who insist that he’s a “true conservative,” Reagan’s rightful heir, and a solid, loyal Republican.
I’ve watched tape of Romney’s carefully crafted and exuberant speech three times now, and repeatedly reviewed the transcript.
One point comes across inescapably: nearly everything he said last night would have fit comfortably in a Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama victory speech (except for invoking the names of Reagan and, oddly, “George Herbert Walker Bush”). More than 90% of his remarks made Mitt sound like a Democrat – and a demagogic one at that.
Before all you Romniacs out there start shooting off your angry comments about that observation, please read the speech yourself. In fact, I will reproduce it below, in its unedited entirety, but with occasional comments from this observer.
First, I’ll acknowledge that Mitt did a good job of delivering these words, and that this little talk was blessedly brief— tighter and more focused than Huckabee’s victory speech in Iowa, or McCain’s in New Hampshire.
From the first, however, the Mittster sounded a note of arrogant showboating – the kind of ugly and inflated self-important that would help seal his defeat in a general election if he ever won the nomination.
Tonight marks the beginning of a comeback – a comeback for America! (Applause and Cheering)
Does Romney honestly maintain such a messianic view of himself that he suggests that his first inconclusive primary victory (with less than 40% of the vote) signifies the beginning of “a comeback for America”?
You know, only a week ago, a win looked like it was impossible, but then got out and tald America what they needed to hear.
You said we would fight for every job. You said that we would fight to get health care for all Americans. You said we’d fight to secure our border. You said we’d fight for us to be able to get lower taxes for middle-income Americans and Michigan heard and Michigan voted tonight. Congratulations. (Applause).
Please read over the paragraph above. Try to find one word that would make Clinton, Obama, or even John Edwards uncomfortable if they delivered it. Don’t say that they’re against a “fight to secure our border.” All Democrats – and all Republicans – want border security, and say so. The emphasis on fighting for jobs and to “get health care for all Americans” is vintage John Edwards. So is the promise to get lower taxes for “middle income Americans.” Republicans want radical simplification (flat tax or fair tax, anyone?) and lower rates for everyone, including lower corporate rates. Democrats make a point—as Romney does, repeatedly – that the tax cuts he wants are only for “middle income Americans.” A true conservative? Did you ever hear Reagan talk that way?
Tonight proves that you can’t tell an American that there’s something they just can’t do, because Americans can do whatever they set their hearts on.
And tonight is a victory of optimism over Washington-style pessimism. Now, tonight, we are celebrating here in Michigan. I’ve got to tell you that. Guess what they’re doing in Washington. They’re worrying, because they realize, the lobbyists and the politicians realize, that America now understands that Washington is broken. And we’re going to do something about it.
This new Romney theme (Romney 4.0, as his political personality continues to evolve and mutate) is “Washington is Broken.” Doesn’t that come very, very close to the Democratic theme that won them both houses of Congress in 2006? Don’t those words fit more comfortably with a liberal candidate than a Republican —especially after eight years of a (mostly) heroic Republican president, and six years of combined GOP rule in the White House and Congress?. As Romney continues, he harps on the theme “Washington is broken” and he promises to fix it – to make government work more efficiently, not cut it back. Reagan made clear that “government is the problem, not the solution.” To Romney, the solution is still government – a more effective government, not a smaller one. With his new emphasis on “competence, not ideology” he sounds like another doomed Taxachusetts governor who ran for president: Michael Dukakis.
You see, America understands that Washington has promised that they’d secure our borders, but they haven’t. Washington told us that they would live by high ethical standards, but the haven’t. Washington told us that they’d fix Social Security, but they haven’t.
Washington told us that they’d get us better health care and better education, but they haven’t.
All right, people, let’s stop right there. “Washington told us that they’d get us better health care and better education”??!!! Since when do conservatives believe it’s Washington’s job to “get us” any kind of health care and education? What happened to federalism, and the authority of the states? What sort of conservative candidate sees it as a failure of the federal government that it failed to “get us better health care and education.” Democrats talk about health care as a “right” but I thought conservatives wanted the feds less involved in medical care and local schools. Has Romney gone from channeling Tom Tancredo to channeling John Edwards in less than a week?
Washington told us they’d get us a tax break for the middle income Americans—but they haven’t!
This is a flat out lie – and again, a direct steal from Democratic attacks on President Bush. The President and the GOP Congress lowered taxes dramatically for middle income Americans – in both 2001 and 2003. It’s Dems who’ve promulgated the stinking lie that Bush provided only “tax cuts for the rich.” Now Romney, seeking the nomination of the President’s party, recycles that wretched lie in classically liberal terms. Bush lowered the bottom income tax rate more substantially than any other rate—dropping it from 15% to 10% , a cut of a full third. Did anyone tell President Bush that Mitt Romney now joins Democrats in denying that the tax cuts ever helped the middle class?
Washington told us that they’d cut back on the earmarks and the pork-barrel spending, but they haven’t. And Washington told us that they’d reduce our depenmdence on foreign oil, but they haven’t.
Anything at all in this carefully selected laundry list to make Democrats squirm? Or just one more liberal attack on the Bush administration?
And who’s going to get the job done?
Audience: We are! (Applause).
You guys, it was not very far from right here that Ann and I and our family behind us began our campaign at the Henry Ford Museum of Innovation. And at that Museum of Innovation, we said that we were going to take innovation and change to Washington, recognizing that there’s no way that an insider in Washington is going to turn Washington inside-out, but we’re going to do that.
Okay, the paragraph above would fit better with Obama than with Clinton, since Obama is running as the ultimate “outsider” with a similarly vacuous emphasis on “change.” Who’s more credible as an outsider, by the way, former community organizer and African-American poor boy Obama, or corporate honcho, globalist businessman and son-of-a-governor Mitt?
American voters said that knowing how America works is more important than knowing how Washington works.
That’s a good line – credit where credit is due. Easily the most effective line of Mitt’s speech.
And what we’re going to see in the next few days is Democrats saying that they’re the party of change. You’re going to hear Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and John Edwards saying that they’re the party of change.
Is he claiming, insanely, that he originated the demand for “change” and the Democrats are stealing it from him? Is he honestly unaware that Obama’s been beating that drum for more than a year?
And I think that they would bring change to America, just not the kind that we want. You see, I think they take their inspiration from the Europe of old, big government, big brother, big taxes. They fundamentally in their hearts believe that America is great because we have a great government; and we do have a great government. But that’s not what makes us the best nation, the strongest nation, the greatest nation on earth. What makes us such a great nation is the American people.
Platitudes, but at least this one paragraph sounds vaguely conservative. Finally.
I take my inspiration from Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush who took their inspiration from the Amrican people.
Is he trying to diss the President by mentioning his father, but not the current President Bush? What is the deal here? Most conservatives don’t see the controversial one-term Presidency of George Herbert Walker Bush as particularly inspiring. Why does Romney see it in those terms, and somehow comparable to Reagan’s revolution?
They took their inspiration from hardworking American people, people who believed in opportunity, who loved education, God-fearing people, people who also loved their families, people deeply patriotic. It is that characteristic of the American people that makes us the most powerful nation on earth.
Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush…
Here we go again.
… said we are a great and good people. It’s exactly what we are. It’s why we will always be the most powerful nation on earth.
Now, you heard right here in Michigan our campaign. We said we were going to strengthen our military with additional troops and better equipment and better care for our veterans when they come home.
All Democrats always emphasize this.
We also said that we’re going to strengthen our families.
How, Mitt? Hillary Clinton makes precisely the same promise.
We said we’re going to strengthen the economy. I will never accept defeat for any industry here in America!
He’s got to be kidding. No defeat, for any industry? Does that mean no more industries go out of business? How much corporate welfare, how much protectionism, will it take to keep his promise to save every single industry. Don’t conservatives understand that the freedom to succeed in a free market means that you must also have the freedom to fail – without the Nanny state making sure that every single industry wins. Doesn’t Mitt sound a bit like one of those soccer league directors who wants to hand trophies to every single team—even those that lost every game?
I have a couple of questions for you. Is Washington, D.C. broken?
Can it be fixed?
Are we the team that’s going to get the job done?
And I thought it was W., not Mitt, who was the yell-leader in prep school.
All right, let’s take this campaign to South Carolina and Nevada and Florida and all over the country. Let’s take it all the way to the White House! Thank you so much.
All right, I promised you every line, every word of his victory speech, and I delivered. I did so with a sneaky purpose in mind: so that you can pour over his words and his lists and his promises and note the glaring, and sickening, omission.
In the biggest speech of his life so far, after the greatest victory of his political career, Romney made not a single reference to the fact that we are a nation at war. No mention of winning in Iraq, or Afghanistan. No promise to defeat an evil, implacable enemy. No acknowledgment that the next president’s biggest job will be to keep us just as safe as we’ve been under George W. Bush.
Romney made no reference whatever to the most important aspect of the position he seeks: the role of commander-in-chief. The bland promise to “strengthen our military with more troops and better equipment” sounds more like Nancy Pelosi than like McCain or Giuliani (to name two candidate who understand the most consequential issue of our time).
In explaining to the world what his victory means, Romney offered no assurance to pursue the war in Iraq to a victorious conclusion, no determination to pursue the enemy with the relentless ferocity that characterized the best moments of the Bush administration.
Did his pollsters and focus groups tell him that voters don’t care any more about winning the war, or refusing to appease terrorists?
Does Romney agree with conservatives that the struggle in which we’re engaged is an existential conflict that will determine the survival of civilization? If so, there’s only one way to explain his failure to mention that ongoing war (in which John McCain’s son Jimmy, by the way, currently serves with the Marine Corps in Iraq).
While the world waited for the candidate to define the significance of his big electoral triumph, we got an empty speech from an empty suit.
As I noted last night: he’s not running for Commander-in-Chief. He’s going for the job of Panderer-in-Chief and Michigan has moved him closer to his goal.
I apologize for the length of this article, but felt it was important enough to disseminate to my readers. As my gentle, and not so gentle, readers know - I enthusiastically support Mike Huckabee and believe he is the candidate the Republican party is looking for but who which the 'establishment' is trying to avoid. The truth always always comes out, and Huckabee is the real deal.