Romney in 2002: “My views are progressive”

posted at 10:30 am on December 13, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Hey, we get it.  Republicans don’t win office in Massachusetts by proclaiming themselves as Ronald Reagan conservatives.  When running for governor in 2002, Romney needed to sell himself as a Republican that represented the mainstream of liberal Massachusetts, which is why he told reporters in this clip that he was a “moderate” Republican who was “not a partisan,” and that “my views are progressive.”  He told them what he needed in order to win the election.

The question is whether that was his strategy then and he was a secret conservative all along, or whether that’s his strategy today and he’s really a progressive:

Is it possible that Romney had a wide-ranging transformation from “progressive” to conservative?  Of course it is; it happens quite a bit.  Usually that entails admitting that one was a progressive prior to the conversion, however.  With the exception of abortion, Romney has argued that he’s always been a conservative thinker on politics and policy, and pushes back hard on the idea that he’s a flip-flopper.  Clips like these, however, are going to make that argument a tough sell.

I believe Romney’s not really one or the other, but instead a political pragmatist who has no problem packaging himself well for the circumstances.  That’s not an entirely bad thing, either; a pragmatist can get things accomplished, and a successful pragmatist can bend enough to get elected, as Romney did in Massachusetts.  But in a cycle where conservatives want some authenticity even from a flawed candidate — like Newt Gingrich, for instance, or Rick Perry — these kind of statements are not going to instill confidence in Romney’s conservative credentials, and will have the grassroots continue looking for the most effective Not-Romney to support.

Update: Unabashed progressive David Corn at Mother Jones relates what Romney wrote in 2010 about progressivism:

In his 2010 book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, Romney huffed, “progressives…rejected the notion of universal truths, objective judgments, and, ironically, progress itself, embracing neutrality among competing belief sets and rejecting the primacy of Western civilization, the great thinkers of the ages, and the principles espoused by the Founding Parents of the nation.” Yet Romney once proudly declared himself a fellow of progressive views. Maybe he should apologize.


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CatoRenasci on December 13, 2011 at 11:12 AM

it has meant big government nanny state politics ever since teddy and jane addams teamed up to try and save us from ourselves. your boy is toast, we dont want dem lite on our ticket.

chasdal on December 13, 2011 at 11:15 AM

It’s pure lunacy to allow people like you to get their hands on AK47s.
Basilsbest on December 13, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Uh oh. Incoming.

Harbingeing on December 13, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Some Mormons vote Democrat.

Dr Evil on December 13, 2011 at 11:11 AM

True. I can only imagine the type of cognative dissonance they must experience. That was one nice thing about the church getting behind prop 8–some of the Mormons who had deluded themselves into thinking they could be hip got slapped back into reality. There were a few less Prius in the church parking lot after that.

Kataklysmic on December 13, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Not every Mormon supports Romney. And some Mormons are not pleased with Beck over his “sins of omission” in this case.

Kataklysmic on December 13, 2011 at 11:04 AM
Some Mormons vote Democrat.

Dr Evil on December 13, 2011 at 11:11 AM

They voted Jon Arbuckle for governor.

RickB on December 13, 2011 at 11:17 AM

The anybody but Romney coalition is cracking up and getting desperate. Attacking people like Kraut, Beck, Barnes for stating the obvious.

Now they see a glimmer of hope for Perry it will get worse, as there planned consolidation will not happen, and Ron Paul island continues to grow stronger.

Its in disarray. But they’ll do their damnest to take some lame cheap shots at Romney to keep him off kilter.

But this is weak, weak, weak, weak, weak, weak, sauce.

swamp_yankee on December 13, 2011 at 11:17 AM

How did we end up here (Newt/Mitt) so quickly. Conservatives had two brief attempts at winning this nomination (Bachman, Cain) and then it quickly became a choice between two big government Republicans. What happened to the mid-term election of last year? It’s only been thirteen months! Where’s the Tea Party on this? Looks like they’re flocking to Newt telling establishment Republicans to screw themselves. Ok, but I’m not sure Newt is all there. Never know who he’ll wake up as/with.

I’m still hangin’ with Michelle Bachmann. What she needs right about now to jump start her candidacy is … 27 new foster kids!

ncjetsfan on December 13, 2011 at 11:18 AM

I like Newt but the fact that he threw Paul Ryan under the bus as early as this year really has me worried if he’s really changed from his couch days. IF he were to somehow beat Obama, I really worry about him doing something stupid and illegal that would get him impeached or unelected in 4. Romney may disappoint us sometimes, but I think he would run a better administration.

The Count on December 13, 2011 at 11:18 AM

This is nothing new. There are gobs of similar things out there about Romney, but maybe now he is a different person. He was my first choice in 2008, but I have now become convinced that the guy is too stiff, scripted, and uninspiring to win a general election. The telegenic and charismatic Obama with the help of the media will out shine him by building sandcastles of what can be accomplished with a second term. Newt with all his warts ( and he is definitely more conservative than Romney ) is the one who can kick the sandcastles over and paint a picture of beautiful castle that American can once again become.

RonDelDon on December 13, 2011 at 11:18 AM

And Texas continue to outperform the county with Governor Perry. And then it REALLY outperformed the country starting in late 2005. After Texas passed an historic property tax cut. And tort reform. And worker’s compensation reform. And reformed telecommunications regulation to allow billions of new investments in networks without outdated regulation. And then businesses and people continued to flock to Texas in the worst economic recession since the 1930s, and while the US lost millions of jobs, Texas quickly rebounded and gap between job growth in Texas and the US widened greatly.Oh, and for the period where both Rick Perry and Mitt Romney were both Governors? A picture is worth a thousand words.- Texanomics blog

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-a5fMY2cK6NM/TmjbFUnHtLI/AAAAAAAAANk/Pl7cQqJQUpQ/s1600/tx%2Bmass%2Bus.jpg

source: Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor

Results matter

workingclass artist on December 13, 2011 at 11:20 AM

link to Texanomics with data about the Texas Economy.

http://texanomics.blogspot.com/2011/09/texas-and-us-employment-growth-during.html#!/2011/09/texas-and-us

workingclass artist on December 13, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Romney may disappoint us sometimes, but I think he would run a better administration.

The Count on December 13, 2011 at 11:18 AM

No, it would be Bush III minus the folsky charm and with more left-leaning Boston types occupying the WH. Mark Warner would go on to beat Romney in 2016 and Congress would revert back to the Democrats since Willard is spineless and uninspiring. I’ll take my chances with Newt and his record of reform in Congress. :-)

Punchenko on December 13, 2011 at 11:23 AM

The telegenic and charismatic Obama with the help of the media will out shine him by building sandcastles of what can be accomplished with a second term.

RonDelDon on December 13, 2011 at 11:18 AM

That’s also my concern, whether the nominee is Romney, Gingrich or someone else. It’s difficult enough to beat an incumbent. It’s even more difficult when the incumbent has the MSM covering his rear end.

GrannyDee on December 13, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Romney in 2002: “My views are progressive”

WTH is a Progressive anyway?

Definition of PROGRESSIVE
1
a : of, relating to, or characterized by progress b : making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities c : of, relating to, or constituting an educational theory marked by emphasis on the individual child, informality of classroom procedure, and encouragement of self-expression
2
: of, relating to, or characterized by progression
3
: moving forward or onward : advancing
4
a : increasing in extent or severity b : increasing in rate as the base increases
5
often capitalized : of or relating to political Progressives

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

It’s a definition so vague it means nothing – it might as well say they want to save unicorns or something.

Chip on December 13, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Conservatives had two brief attempts at winning this nomination (Bachman, Cain) …

ncjetsfan on December 13, 2011 at 11:18 AM

You guys need to quit living in la la land. Neither Bachman, Cain, or Perry have shown themselves equipped enough to handle prime time. Bachmann makes great and strong assertions, but never any details about how she will make it happen. It seems as if she things by claiming it over and over it will happen. Cain and Perry would have been a disaster in the general against Obama. The media would have had a field day on their constant gaffes as the number of gotcha questions would have increased.

The country would have been swayed to think that no matter how bad things are under Obama(and anyway part of the blame is Bush policies) both Perry and Cain are too simplistic to deal with such complex and difficult problems.

RonDelDon on December 13, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Rick Santorum 2012! Come on Sarah; endorse him and give him the boost he (and we) desperately needs.

pannw on December 13, 2011 at 11:14 AM

There’s one thing Palin will never do… endorse Rick Santorum. That is a losing, losing move on her part. She is too smart for that.

Abby Adams on December 13, 2011 at 11:27 AM

From 2004-2008 manufacturing grew…

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-414zC9hSzQE/TqYQWJ0GmiI/AAAAAAAAAO8/Y2qoYjNFPO8/s1600/txuschinamanuf.jpg

(wasn’t China and it wasn’t the other 49 states)

*2004 to 2008 was picked because those are the latest five years that data is available at the BLS for estimates of Chinese manufacturing employment.*

source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (October preliminary data), US Bureau of Labor Statistics, China Employment and Compensation Costs in Manufacturing through 2008, Month Labor Review, March 2011

workingclass artist on December 13, 2011 at 11:28 AM

I like Newt but the fact that he threw Paul Ryan under the bus…

The Count on December 13, 2011 at 11:18 AM

You know who supports Paul Ryan’s plan…

JON HUNTSMAN!!! ;-)

Abby Adams on December 13, 2011 at 11:29 AM

That’s also my concern, whether the nominee is Romney, Gingrich or someone else. It’s difficult enough to beat an incumbent. It’s even more difficult when the incumbent has the MSM covering his rear end.

GrannyDee on December 13, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Yeah, so the GOP nominee will have to speak straight to the people. It will have to be someone with great communication ability to get through the media fog. Romney is just too dull and scripted to capture the attention of anyone who is not deeply into this stuff. I think Newt has this ability.

RonDelDon on December 13, 2011 at 11:30 AM

With the exception of abortion, Romney has argued that he’s always been a conservative thinker on politics and policy, and pushes back hard on the idea that he’s a flip-flopper. Clips like these, however, are going to make that argument a tough sell.

He says you have to be willing to change your mind; that if you can’t do that in business you won’t succeed, yadda yadda. Moving in one direction is a flip, not a flip flop. I am beyond tired of this tedious meme.

Look, some people are born into hardcore conservative culture and can make claims they are superior to people like Romney because they never wavered. But where one begins is largely a cultural thing – determined by geography, family influence, education and so forth. Romney’s father George was called a “Progressive”. He also happened to be a great man, a superb businessman, and a fine Governor – and he clearly had a huge influence on his son.

Moreover the meaning of the word has evolved (devolved?) more and more to the Left over time. The “Progressive Caucus” are hard core Socialists; Marxists hide under the “Progressive” label, and so forth. But to suggest that Mitt is not right of center is ludicrous. And of course until Glenn Beck came around, the word did not have the sinister implications it does now.

What matters is Romney’s agenda, his plans of action, his view of America – all of which could not be more in contrast with the current occupant. There are some things I disagree with him on (capital gains taxes is a big one) but I’d rather have Congress send up tax reform legislation on that issue for Mitt to sign, than listen to Newt talk about Bain Capital as if he were channeling Barack.

Buy Danish on December 13, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Republicans don’t win office in Massachusetts by proclaiming themselves as Ronald Reagan conservatives.

Instead of feeding them more progressives under the republican banner and ruining the republican brand , just let them have their correctly branded progressives until they get to fully understand it’s a crap brand.

MechanicalBill on December 13, 2011 at 11:31 AM

This will be too easy if he is the nominee. All captain “kick-ass” has to do is just go through the list. My what a list!

HerneTheHunter on December 13, 2011 at 11:34 AM

This is nothing new. There are gobs of similar things out there about Romney, but maybe now he is a different person. He was my first choice in 2008, but I have now become convinced that the guy is too stiff, scripted, and uninspiring to win a general election. The telegenic and charismatic Obama with the help of the media will out shine him by building sandcastles of what can be accomplished with a second term. Newt with all his warts ( and he is definitely more conservative than Romney ) is the one who can kick the sandcastles over and paint a picture of beautiful castle that American can once again become.

RonDelDon on December 13, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Ron and All,
I encourage you all to watch Romney’s speech and Q&A after at the Republican Jewish Coalition. It was a GREAT speech and he was very relaxed in the Q&A session. THIS is the Romney that I wish ALL would see.
http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/RemarkstoR

g2825m on December 13, 2011 at 11:34 AM

We get the point, Romney wasn’t as conservative running in Mass (socially).

Why don’t we get a new breathless headline every time noot says something like “give back all the money to the people you fired when you were turning small failing companies in to large successful chains”?

There seems to be a concentrated effort here to only focus on Romneys prior stances while every single thing that has to do with noot besides his rising poll numbers is ignored.

When you look at the big picture, Romney is clearly the more conservative of the two historically, and he’s clearly running on a more conservative platform in the present as well.

Ruiner on December 13, 2011 at 11:37 AM

you tell em!! like the way he conservatively signed a ban on assault weapons!! chasdal on December 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM

It’s pure lunacy to allow people like you to get their hands on AK47s.

Basilsbest on December 13, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Finally declaring yourself of disciple of Holder (nee Obama) I see…

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on December 13, 2011 at 11:41 AM

g2825m on December 13, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Gov. Perry’s speech and Q&A was better.

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/PerryRema

Number of Views on C-Span

Perry – 4,686

Romney – 2,519
Gingrich – 1,961
Santorum – 1,556
Bachmann – 551
Huntsman – 463

workingclass artist on December 13, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Why don’t we get a new breathless headline every time noot says something like “give back all the money to the people you fired when you were turning small failing companies in to large successful chains”?

Ruiner on December 13, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Thata way ———-> http://hotair.com/archives/2011/12/13/video-gingrich-offers-mitt-a-deal/

Abby Adams on December 13, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Mitt’s last shot is to follow Rush’s advice and go HARD right … proclaiming freely to anyone who asks: “yes, I’ve been a flip-flopper, and now I’m making one final flip to BIG time conservative, never to flop again!”.

For instance, re: questions on the 10K bet, NeoMitt would defiantly reply: “Hell yeah I bet $10K of my own money, but I’d have won that bet and donated the winnings to charity. Obama bet half a billion of taxpayer money on Solyndra, lost it, and now he’s asking for more …”

BatonRogue on December 13, 2011 at 11:48 AM

I’ll take a Perry name stumble over Ideological Foot In Mouth Disease for $10,000 Alex.

And that applies to Newt/Romney

workingclass artist on December 13, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Mitt beats Obama. Newt loses to Obama. The amount of dirt in Newt’s background is amazing. How many hours did he work for his 1.6 million dollar Fannie bribe? His home-wrecking wife as First Lady gives me the creeps. The damaging items that will be coming out of his closet will be amazing.

ZippyZ on December 13, 2011 at 11:52 AM

“Pragmatist”, Ed? Yes, remember when voters swooned for how “pragmatic” John Kerry was?

Lawdawg86 on December 13, 2011 at 11:52 AM

So now that we’ve conceded that both Romney & Gingrich, as current frontrunners, are “the wrong guy at the right time”, we’re gonna need the “less wrong” one, as hard to swallow as that sounds.

Anyone – Beck included – considering a third party alternative candidate is an abject imbecile. Ross Perot says hello.

Newt’s baggage won’t be wrapped around his neck as tightly as Romney’s, and more importantly, will be able to fight back and articulate positions against Mr. Present-dent and his allies in the LSM. He certainly won’t get into the fetal position – if Brett Baier bothered Romney, what do you think is gonna happen when the Chicagoland cabal starts slinging s**t at him?

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on December 13, 2011 at 11:53 AM

“The question is whether that was his strategy then and he was a secret conservative all along, or whether that’s his strategy today and he’s really a progressive:”

Translation: was he a liar then, or is he a liar now?

One might term it a “political white lie” – “necessary” to get votes, or in today’s scenario – the nomination.

It’s salami, no matter how you slice it. No matter what politically expediant words are applied to describe, or to “justify” – it still comes down to the basic truth that Romney believes the end [his election] justifies the means [his stating that he's conservative or progressive]. And as a general rule of thumb, people who follow that tenet – that the end justifies the means – are progressives – i.e., liberal moonbats who, like John McCain, are either blind to what Obama truly is, or on Obama’s side in his war against America.

It’s so strange. I think about those who want to preside in the Oval, and my mind flashes to seeing Ronald Reagan’s casket in the Capitol Rotunda. I see all of our politicians who, like assembly line products, stopped briefly – without tears – and then went on their way. And then there came the communist Gorbachev, who went up to the casket and ever so tenderly placed his hand upon the flag covering the body of the man Gorbachev knew to be a true and honorable leader of men and nations.

I look at the people of today who want the Office – who want to “serve” our precious country as its president – or in any political governing capacity – and I wonder who among them would even recognize the import of that philosophically-alien communists’ gesture.

Well…there was one, but she bowed out to save her family from further vilification and evisceration by the MSM and GOP – their punishment for her sin of being a true, unwavering conservative who also has Reagan’s leadership gifts.

GGMac on December 13, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Glenn Beck defends Romney:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/romneys-2002-flashback-my-views-are-progressive/

Hilarious!

Punchenko on December 13, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Ron Paul as a third party candidate? OMG…our sweet country is so screwed.

GGMac on December 13, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Glenn Beck defends Romney:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/romneys-2002-flashback-my-views-are-progressive/

Hilarious!

Punchenko on December 13, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Glenn has lost all credibility. He could have gone the “pox on both their houses” route and stayed relevant, but he just nailed his own coffin shut.

Kataklysmic on December 13, 2011 at 11:58 AM

No, it would be Bush III minus the folsky charm and with more left-leaning Boston types occupying the WH. Mark Warner would go on to beat Romney in 2016 and Congress would revert back to the Democrats since Willard is spineless and uninspiring. I’ll take my chances with Newt and his record of reform in Congress. :-)

Punchenko on December 13, 2011 at 11:23 AM

He could be Bush III, but Newt could be the philandering Clinton without the southern charm. :-)

The Count on December 13, 2011 at 12:01 PM

I love it how everybody who tells the truth about noot suddenly “looses all credibility”.

Ruiner on December 13, 2011 at 12:03 PM

For all of you who think Bachmann is non-specific, too strident, not experienced enough, etc. just consider this: we now have two PROGRESSIVES leading the pack. What would you rather have: a PROGRESSIVE who accomplishes a lot of his goals or a CONSERVATIVE who fails in most things, but DOES NOT EXPAND THE GOVERNMENT, DOES NOT LEGALIZE THE ILLEGALS, and DOES NOT RAISE ANY TAXES. And what if the Congress goes along with some of her “extreme” goals and actually DRAMATICALLY cuts the government. Just give it some thought, please.

Igor R. on December 13, 2011 at 12:03 PM

I’m no fan of Romney, but when he made that comment, in lefty Massachusetts in 2002, ‘progressive’ had not taken on the wholly negative meaning for Republicans it has now, and probably meant nothing more than a sort of general shout out that he wasn’t a social conservative troglodyte.

Nail him for stuff that’s meaningful, not bs like this.

CatoRenasci on December 13, 2011 at 11:12 AM

My thoughts exactly. Anyone who doesn’t factor this in, and treats this old clip as if Mitt said it today with the current connotation of “progressive” is just looking for excuses to jump on him.

If you don’t like Mitt or any other candidate, beat them up for something real (there’s plenty to hit all of them on as part of the vetting process). Perpetuating made up reasons to attack any of them is only going to hurt whoever the eventual nominee is.

gotsig on December 13, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Glenn has lost all credibility. He could have gone the “pox on both their houses” route and stayed relevant, but he just nailed his own coffin shut.

Kataklysmic on December 13, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Yeah, and there was his effort to boost with hapless Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann, a move that he surely knows would only accrue to Mitt Romney’s benefit. One begins to wonder whether Beck’s religion is making him more simpatico with Romney than most conservatives…

Lawdawg86 on December 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Looks, like I was a prophet about Beck.

kingsjester on December 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM

True. I can only imagine the type of cognative dissonance they must experience. That was one nice thing about the church getting behind prop 8–some of the Mormons who had deluded themselves into thinking they could be hip got slapped back into reality. There were a few less Prius in the church parking lot after that.

Kataklysmic on December 13, 2011 at 11:16 AM

I wish the Catholics would figure it out.

Dr Evil on December 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM

beacon on December 13, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Thanks for sharing the link.

momoftxmomof3 on December 13, 2011 at 12:06 PM

I wish SOME of Catholics would figure it out. Like Nan she’s really unhappy with Catholics with this conscience thing.

Dr Evil on December 13, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Yeah, and there was his effort to boost with hapless Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann, a move that he surely knows would only accrue to Mitt Romney’s benefit. One begins to wonder whether Beck’s religion is making him more simpatico with Romney than most conservatives…

Lawdawg86 on December 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM

I am definitely wondering that.

Kataklysmic on December 13, 2011 at 12:08 PM

(Romney) told them what he needed in order to win the election.

That’s not the kind of character you want setting the example for the nation. I mean, are those the kind of values you teach to your own children? Of course not. So why is this good for the nation?

I believe Romney’s not really one or the other, but instead a political pragmatist who has no problem packaging himself well for the circumstances. That’s not an entirely bad thing

I have a real problem with this atitude and just wish you would stop trying to justify bad behavior because it’s political. It’s wrong no matter how you spin it, so don’t.

apocalypse on December 13, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Sarah Palin is not too late. Romney and Newt are no good. Just because Romney bought the republican party doesn’t mean he bought the voters. The voters know a phony when they see it and Mitt Romney is a phony. Newt Gingrich is just a know it all that thinks Government can be perfected or made smarter, but he is wrong to. Perry lied to Palin and he is no good, Bachmann is part of the problem, Ron Paul is unacceptable to too many, Huntsman is another lib, and Santorum needs a miracle.

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/republicanracelateentry/

CoolChange80 on December 13, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Exit question: will the HA RINO’s return fire with an anti-Newt update?

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Eph on December 13, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Something else that needs to be pointed out again is Mitt has yet to be attacked the way every candidate that has risen to the front has. Yeah Mitt will get honorable mention on blog sites but has he faced the same vitriol as Palin/Perry/Cain and now Newt. Yes it has been a topic of Rush’s for the last few days but it is true. Assuming Mitt gets the nod, do people really believe he will be allowed to skate through and just take the presidency from Little o? However, if Mitt was allowed to do so by the media, that would be an extremely bad sign.

JAGonzo on December 13, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Looks, like I was a prophet about Beck.

kingsjester on December 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Yes.

momoftxmomof3 on December 13, 2011 at 12:12 PM

I’m no fan of Romney, but when he made that comment, in lefty Massachusetts in 2002, ‘progressive’ had not taken on the wholly negative meaning for Republicans it has now, and probably meant nothing more than a sort of general shout out that he wasn’t a social conservative troglodyte.

Nail him for stuff that’s meaningful, not bs like this.

CatoRenasci on December 13, 2011 at 11:12 AM

You’re joking right? In the context of describing his political ideology, he described his views as “moderate” and “progressive”; Romney was not saying that his views were “forward-looking” or whatever made up definition you clearly want to impart to “progressive” post facto. He was not saying that he favored a “progressive” tax structure. Romney was clearly talking about his political ideology, and in that context he refers to himself as “progressive.” Liberals were casting themselves as “progressives” in 2002; Mitt knew exactly what he was saying.

Lawdawg86 on December 13, 2011 at 12:12 PM

You know, I really like the Iron in Newts shirt. There is something special about this guy.

jjnco73 on December 13, 2011 at 12:15 PM

swamp_yankee on December 13, 2011 at 11:17 AM

The “Romney coalition”, such as it is, not only cannot close the sale on the eve of D-Day after five years of trying and multiple millions of investment, but sees itself unraveling. How can this be?

The problem isn’t what Romney said or even Romneycare, principally. I’m not sure I really care that much about the “I’m a progressive” solecism or even the “Bet.” The problem — massive and immovable — is a problem of mettle. It just isn’t there in Romney. People saw this in 2008 and see it in 2012. Indeed, events have turned in such a way that more people have more reasons to see and care about it and more tools to do something about it.

After the bitter humiliation of McCain and his abject failure to “fight, fight, fight,” and after Romney’s staggering miscalculation to take up the McCain-playbook in 2012, after the Tea Party, after Obama’s remorseless assault on the internal organs of America and freedom, people are looking beyond the presentation to man and mettle.

Gingrich has risen based on the gut realization of his warrior capabilities, a sense of his determination to drive a narrative into the teeth of the Leftist sh*tstorm sure to come. They forgive much in the name of this need, this craving. It is not something that Romney even comprehends as instinct, much less can embody or manifest as political behavior — or at this point even effectively pretend to embody. Too late.

For Romney, the non-congruence of man, moment and electoral mood is absolute. He stands a next-to-zero chance of winning the nomination. His once slim chance rests in total annihilation of the others. But even if Gingrich imploded, I don’t think it would matter. The convention would be brokered. In addition, Romney doesn’t have the skill and toughness to pull off any kind of attrition on this type. If he did, against all odds, the 2012 race against Obama would produce conservative dispiritedness and disengagement on a scale sure to lead to disaster.

rrpjr on December 13, 2011 at 12:15 PM

again you can argue all you want but- who the hell are you backing RIGHT NOW. Primary is in 3 weeks, its time to f@ck or walk.

drballard on December 13, 2011 at 12:17 PM

So its Newt. Well, all I can say is you losers are going to get what you deserve, a weasel K street loon

drballard on December 13, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Mitt had a Massachusetts political culture when he was in Massachusetts, and he’ll have a Washington political culture when he’s in Washington. So? How can people imagine Newt would be any better?

David Blue on December 13, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Not did he say this, he acted on it.

No conservative should support Romney based on principles.

aryeung on December 13, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Questions to ponder: If Bachmann, Perry, Santorum, Huntsman or Paul were enjoying Newt’s current poll numbers:

1) Would they be weathering the frontrunner scrutiny any better than Newt is?

2) Would establishment Republicans treat them with any less disdain than they do Newt?

3) Would Romney supporters be any less hysterical about the prospects of them winning the nomination as opposed to Mitt?

Kataklysmic on December 13, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Thats a good question.
Exactly who and WHEN the hell are we going to start pushing in the same direction and against the same enemy?
You have people claiming to vote 3rd party or not at all if there fetish is not the nominee.
And you wonder why some call the republicans the “dumb” party?

Mimzey on December 13, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Not only. I meant to say “Not only did he…”

aryeung on December 13, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Glenn Beck defends Romney:

I don’t understand those that hate Gingrich but defend Romney. I also don’t understand those that think Romney can beat Obama but Gingrich can’t. The economy is going to beat Obama. All the little soap opera and inside baseball issues will only dictate the margin.

MechanicalBill on December 13, 2011 at 12:23 PM

drballard on December 13, 2011 at 12:19 PM

If the nominee is Newt..who do you vote for?

Mimzey on December 13, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Unfortunately that is the problem with Romney… He is an East Coast Republican. And there aren’t any of them who are conservative, we found that out with Scott Brown too. Are they more conservative then a Democrat? Yes, but by how much is a little spooky… they are basically unreliable as a conservative. Most would call them a RINO. I would be one that says that too.

Unfortunately Newt is also a progressive. At best a big government semi-conservative.

Dasher on December 13, 2011 at 11:37 AM

That was weird my earlier post disappeared?

Dasher on December 13, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Exactly who and WHEN the hell are we going to start pushing in the same direction and against the same enemy?

When a few votes are cast and there is a clear Republican nominee-to-be. It’s too early to unite behind someone before the first primary.

Igor R. on December 13, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Mitt’s only redeeming quality seems to be that he’s electable. He doesn’t offer any great plans, any great conservative accomplishments or any tremendous virtues except a stable family life.

Except, I don’t get what makes Mitt electable. Is there something we can look to in his history, some gigantic sweeping election that he won by 20 points that makes him electable? Does he have a strong voting block behind him that can easily be built upon? Is he exceptionally charismatic and able to draw large crowds? Please tell me, I’m very confused.

The only argument I see in favor of his electability is that he is able to draw moderates who won’t be “scared away” by his boring rhetoric. Fine. But can you show me some proof of that assertion? And so we’ve decided to trade a possible few moderate votes for base votes? And what about the enthusiasm gap? Who (besides fellow Mormons) is going to be phone-calling and knocking on doors for Mitt?

Add to that the Bain capital experience, which is a huge negative in the general, plus his untrustworthy flip flops and what makes him so electable? I’m really curious.

I think Gingrich, for all his flaws, has a much better chance to excite people, motivate the base and convince people of the superiority of conservative principles. I know he did for me. The first time I knew I might be a conservative was listening to a Newt speech televised on C-Span back in 1994. He is the person that first converted me to conservatism, I know he can do the same for others.

Galadriel on December 13, 2011 at 12:41 PM

And for portlandon and hondav65 and all the other morons out there:
Romney as an executive of the most liberal state in the union-
1)eliminated a 2 billion dollar deficit and grew a $1bil surplus without raising taxes.
2)fought gay marriage
3) prevented the 85% liberal legislature from implementing single payer medical care
shall I go on?

drballard on December 13, 2011 at 12:41 PM

The question is whether that was his strategy then and he was a secret conservative all along, or whether that’s his strategy today and he’s really a progressive:

So either he is a progressive, or he is dishonest. The two concepts aren’t mutually exclusive.

gryphon202 on December 13, 2011 at 12:42 PM

I believe Romney’s not really one or the other, but instead a political pragmatist

I think the phrase you’re looking for is “lying for political opportunity“.

dominigan on December 13, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Fair question Mimzy- I think gingrich is horrible, and I will bet $10,000 that he will lose the general, but I’d vote for him

drballard on December 13, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Tell us something we didn’t know about Newt Romney! Your either “progressive” or your not. We don’t need another Bush. Bachmann and Santorum, like Obi Wan, are our last hope unfortunately.

ToneChristcon on December 13, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Glenn has lost all credibility. He could have gone the “pox on both their houses” route and stayed relevant, but he just nailed his own coffin shut.

Kataklysmic on December 13, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Indeed…the entire Beck morning team are so deep into Romney’s azz that they can’t get oxygen any longer.

Schadenfreude on December 13, 2011 at 12:47 PM

I just want to state a little bit of disapproval with this story. Typically the stories on here cite to some other story in a liberal news outlet that bashes a conservative and criticizes them for it. Now, with this story it seems Ed is unilaterally writing a story bashing a conservative — I can’t say I really like this trend. I know everyone at HA hates Romney, but lets try to stay above the fray a little bit more and leave the gotcha youtube clips to the dems.

kmalkows on December 13, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Schadenfreude on December 13, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Rush is deconstructing Romney’s comments about his aversion to “red meat” rhetoric pointing out the larger issue: the establishment’s urge to self-censor conservatism. Romney is the establishment proxy in this effort, which has been going on for decades. Beck is now also serving that purpose. The establishment — and Beck, I think — would rather lose with Romney than win with Gingrich. With Beck, it’s more an issue of ego: Gingrich knows more about history than he does and upstaged him in their interview. Beck also turned on Palin because she was proving capable of upstaging him. He’s a grostesque egotist (the worse sort, i.e., the ones who affect humility).

rrpjr on December 13, 2011 at 1:22 PM

“My views are progressive”. (2002)

Well, that should end Romney’s campaign, but likely won’t. He will be anything you want him to be, and take any position you want him to take.

And speaking of Progressives, Newt certainly falls into the category, and I see very little difference between him and Obummer!

GFW on December 13, 2011 at 1:26 PM

I’ll take my chances with Newt and his record of reform in Congress. :-)

And his whoring around for Freddie Mac?

No thanks.

kurtd on December 13, 2011 at 1:27 PM

rrpjr on December 13, 2011 at 1:22 PM

I think you nailed it.

Kataklysmic on December 13, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Newt said basically the same thing… here.

So, our top two candidates are BOTH progressives… Now what?

Fallon on December 13, 2011 at 1:38 PM

He should have switched parties and primaried Obama

Southernblogger on December 13, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Progressive is not a new term. Mitt knew what he was saying or else he’s completely politically ignorant. It’s Orwell speak.

From David Horowitz–This was originally published in 1997:

Of all the misnomers of our political vocabulary, “progressive” is the most abusive and the most abused. “Progressive” is the accepted term for the political left today, just as it was 50 years ago, when it was used as a self-description by Communists and fellow-travelers who sought its protective cover even as they supported the most oppressive regimes in human history. In the later years of the Cold War, it was the term of choice for liberals as well, who thought that the Soviet system was “converging” with Reagan’s America, just before the Communist fall.

INC on December 13, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Philip Klein’s take on this video:

So this really leaves only three possibilities:

1) Romney was lying to citizens of Massachusetts about ideological views he held for decades. (Remember, in his 1994 Senate race, he claimed, “I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush” – which would bring us back to the 1980s.)

2) Between the ages of 55 and 58, Romney underwent a dramatic ideological change from a “moderate”/”progressive” non-partisan Republican to a solid conservative Republican. And that transformation coincidentally occurred around the time he was deciding not to seek a second term as governor of a liberal state and to seek the GOP presidential nomination.

3) He’s lying to conservatives now.

INC on December 13, 2011 at 2:29 PM

There’s one thing Palin will never do… endorse Rick Santorum. That is a losing, losing move on her part. She is too smart for that.

Abby Adams on December 13, 2011 at 11:27 AM

You may be right about the fact that she will never do it. You may also be right about it being a losing move, because I’m not convinced he could win in this country, considering the state of the culture, but I do feel that if he (or someone like him- decent, moral, faithful…) can not win, nothing will save us. (To do with that Romans 1 thing.) So I don’t know if I’d call it smart, on her part. It is more calculating. Honestly, I’d call it cowardly, if she did feel he would be the strongest and best president for these times. Maybe she doesn’t. I don’t know. Still, I guess I’ve thought of Sarah as someone who truly did put the state of the country above her own political aspirations, but I also thought she’d run, so…

pannw on December 13, 2011 at 2:31 PM

This man has 0 chance of securing the nomination. He’ll more than likely be a highly competent moderate administrator, but he is not the man to hold the line and begin making reversals in the current ideological war with the left.

Spirit Crusher on December 13, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Ron Paul made over $157 million in earmark requests for FY 2011, one of only 4 Republicans to request any earmarks.

andy85719 on December 13, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Looks, like I was a prophet about Beck.

kingsjester on December 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Yup. He is doing what Ann Coulter did to herself.

One good, but painful thing about this election run is that we are seeing who some people really are.

sharrukin on December 13, 2011 at 3:38 PM

If in doubt, look at how Romney governed.

I see the video and pictures of the RomneyCare signing. At the signing Romney was the picture of a man who will never be happier with himself, pure self satisfaction, surrounded by beaming Democrats, among them Teddy Kennedy, who also looked like they would never be happier or more self satisfied. It was a great progressive moment brought to Massachusetts by Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential candidate? No Thanks!

RJL on December 13, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Oye vey. How is it again that the GOPs top two candidates are progressive establishment Republicans? Where is the tea party? Conservatives have apparently forgotten everything we learned in 2008 with Bush selling us down the river and the party nominating the progressive John McCain. We will never beat the Democrats by constantly nominating the milquetoast fake conservatives who stand for nothing and will switch their positions as soon as they get into power.

Jerry Bear on December 13, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Republicans don’t win office in Massachusetts by proclaiming themselves as Ronald Reagan conservatives.

This sentiment or trick, whatever one wants to call it, held/used by Republicans is the problem with the Party. One can’t claim he has values by which he stands if he has to lie about who he is and what he believes.

That’s a job for the New Fascist Party.

madmonkphotog on December 13, 2011 at 4:05 PM

“My views are progressive”

Willard Mittens Romney

nuff said Soetoro Lite.

Robert Jensen on December 13, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Hey, we get it. Republicans don’t win office in Massachusetts by proclaiming themselves as Ronald Reagan conservatives. When running for governor in 2002, Romney needed to sell himself as a Republican that represented the mainstream of liberal Massachusetts, which is why he told reporters in this clip that he was a “moderate” Republican who was “not a partisan,” and that “my views are progressive.” He told them what he needed in order to win the election.

If you have to run as something you’re not, either move to a more congenial place or forget about entering politics. Simple.

ddrintn on December 13, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Its in disarray. But they’ll do their damnest to take some lame cheap shots at Romney to keep him off kilter.

But this is weak, weak, weak, weak, weak, weak, sauce.

swamp_yankee on December 13, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Put pretty much the same words in Newt Gingrich’s mouth in a clip from 2002 and you and every other Romney fan would be referring to it non-stop. And you know it.

ddrintn on December 13, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Galadriel on December 13, 2011 at 12:41 PM

He’s only “electable” because he’s not attacked sufficiently. Anytime somebody else rises, he sends out his goons to destroy them. Of course, the MSM also is playing the same game which helps him. They want him for the general and if he is nominated, we will all find out eh was never electable at all.

promachus on December 13, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Both Romney and Gingrich are Western European style conservatives. They are running on the ability to manage the welfare state better than the liberals. It doesn’t really change the course we are on but will maybe slow up the arrival time of our country’s financial ruin.
If you think we have time for placeholders to tinker on the edge until we get someone that can truly change the trajectory then either Romney or Gingrich are acceptable choices. Think hard about the cost of kicking the can down the road until 2016 or 2020 even.

chemman on December 13, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Go read the comments for this post in Facebook. They are spot on. We conservatives are taking a dump on the most viable candidate just to look erudite or pure. We love the Fuhrer principle just as much as the Left loves their Dear Leader. It’s time to grow up conservatives.

aloysiusmiller on December 13, 2011 at 8:30 PM

Go read the comments for this post in Facebook. They are spot on. We conservatives are taking a dump on the most viable candidate just to look erudite or pure. We love the Fuhrer principle just as much as the Left loves their Dear Leader. It’s time to grow up conservatives.

aloysiusmiller on December 13, 2011 at 8:30 PM

Who said Romney’s the “most viable”? That’s an unprovable assertion which set up the whole “Romney’s the guy” crap in the first place. The guy has won one election in his entire career, and that was with under 50% of the vote, and now suddenly he’s Mr Electability that we criticize at our own mortal peril? Bull. Maybe conservatives want to select one who’s not necessarily “pure” (which is a straw man anyway), but rather one who is more conservative than the other. Maybe some aren’t basing their decisions only on the latest Gallup polls. Could be.

ddrintn on December 13, 2011 at 9:19 PM

BACHMANN! Voting my conscience.

balkanmom on December 13, 2011 at 11:48 PM

balkanmom: “BACHMANN! Voting my conscience.”

Good for you.

Vote for who you think would govern best for the next four years, not just for who will win the general election by the biggest margin.

David Blue on December 14, 2011 at 5:37 AM

My only wish is that the GOP would have hit Obama as hard in 2008 as they are each other in 2012. I am losing hope. I am going to have a hard time being civil to anyone who vote for this clown twice. 2012 may be a difficult year for me.

quiz1 on December 14, 2011 at 3:40 PM

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