Romney at CPAC: My record is “severely conservative”

posted at 4:50 pm on February 10, 2012 by Allahpundit

Not a gamechanger but not a bad speech either. If you like him, this will do nothing to dissuade you; if you don’t, this won’t change your mind; and if you’re undecided, you’re still undecided despite him dropping the word “conservative” into virtually every other sentence. (According to WaPo, a Republican strategist advised him recently to include more “conservative code words” in his rhetoric. The first conservative code word deployed: “Conservative,” of course.) His best moment here, I think, comes at 9:00 when he defends his work at Bain, but the takeaway line emerges at 14:15 when he describes himself — the architect of RomneyCare, remember — as having been … a “severely conservative Republican governor.” The awkwardness of that phrase is Romney’s whole candidacy in a nutshell. The word “severely” is almost always used colloquially in a pejorative or clinical sense (“severely unhappy,” “severely handicapped”), yet he’s using it here in a boastful way, as if to say that he can be as strident and unreasonable as he thinks the crowd needs him to be to give them comfort on his ideological bona fides as nominee. I go back and forth between being annoyed that a guy as intelligent as he is can’t even fake his identification with the right more effectively and feeling sympathy for him that he can’t connect with his audience on a gut level. That’s a tremendous retail disability for a politician and it must cause Romney no little agony, but he limps on towards the nomination regardless. If he ends up winning in spite of it, even with all his other advantages it’ll be an achievement.

Anyway, interesting to see shades of Mitt 2008 here touting his record on social conservatism. That’s proof positive of how worried he is about Santorum, especially as the backlash to the new HHS contraception rule picks up. Gingrich is speaking as I write this in the day’s other potential gamechanger. Stay tuned for that video in an hour or so.

Update: Rush Limbaugh: “I have never heard anybody say, ‘I’m severely conservative. No, I’ve never heard anybody SAY it.”

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Kleenex?

kingsjester on February 10, 2012 at 5:49 PM

There’s no crying in politics.

bluealice on February 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Romney is a conservative on most issues but nobody believes him.

gerrym51 on February 10, 2012 at 5:45 PM

The only reason we don’t believe he’s conservative is because some guy told us he wasn’t. Ya’ know….him.

29Victor on February 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM

murderously conservative

RedCrow on February 10, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Pathologically conservative

Sociopathically conservative

portlandon on February 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM

When does he plan on striking hard against PBHO? The day after never?

Bishop on February 10, 2012 at 5:43 PM

I want to believe, but he is an unconvincing speaker. He’s really trying to sound conservaive but it comes off as an effort more than the basis of his ideology. I hope I’m wrong.

leftnomore on February 10, 2012 at 5:45 PM

You know who could probably help Romney out right about now with a speech strategy that works on conservatives? That debate coach he fired after he helped him successfully debate Gingrich in the last debates….That guy had it going on. Too bad he was so successful, and had to be let go/ Mitt Romney “I like to fire people” we know Mitt, we know GRIN.

Dr Evil on February 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM

It was one very forced, awkward word that did not fit, considering his history of governance.

Kleenex?

kingsjester on February 10, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Actually it did fit. Given the nimber of cuts he did to the Mass. budget.

tbrickert on February 10, 2012 at 5:54 PM

There’s no crying in politics.

bluealice on February 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM

No do-overs, either.

kingsjester on February 10, 2012 at 5:54 PM

I hope no body falls for this Bullmitt from Romney.

SparkPlug on February 10, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Actually it did fit. Given the nimber of cuts he did to the Mass. budget.

tbrickert on February 10, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Romneycare was a cut?

kingsjester on February 10, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Romney is perversedly conservative.

SparkPlug on February 10, 2012 at 5:56 PM

temporarily conservative
conveniently conservative
deceptively conservative
disingenuously conservative
arguably conservative
secretly conservative
awkwardly conservative
laughably conservative

Romney on this Sunday’s morning shows:

“I meant to say hella conservative.”

Emperor Norton on February 10, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Romney regenerates alright — but not like Dr. Who. Mitt regenerates more like he’s part of the Borg collective. The guy just has no soul.

My collie says:

And he has no sense of direction without the Republican elite, aka the Borg queen.

CyberCipher on February 10, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Y’all are still heartless.

TexasDan on February 10, 2012 at 5:57 PM

No do-overs, either.

kingsjester on February 10, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Not asking for one.
alice

bluealice on February 10, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Susanboo on February 10, 2012 at 5:35 PM

.
Well Susan, I hadn’t planned to watch the speech either until I saw the level of unhinged frothyness in here. Talk about eat the rich. But yes, I can confirm it was a pretty decent speech, certainly presidential, and yes he overreached by trying to wrap himself in a deluge of “conservatism”. Why his people think he can/will win over red-meaters is beyond me. Aint never gonna happen.
But with the R House and Senate approval at 10% and Tea Party popularity waning near OWS levels- I’m not sure thats a place any nominee should position themselves for the General. Always remember the election is against Oblamer AND the media. Newter figured that out and turned SC. But ABO always has to be the first priority.

FlaMurph on February 10, 2012 at 5:58 PM

LOL.

Pork-Chop on February 10, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Romneycare was a cut?

kingsjester on February 10, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Two points-
1. Compared to what the Dems in the state wanted and could have done without his input- yes

2.There was more to his governing the Romneycare- did you not hear according to Newt he cut food for the holocaust victims?

tbrickert on February 10, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Severely unelectable by the severely conservative base severely staying home.

they lie on February 10, 2012 at 6:00 PM

All the Romney haters remind me of the people in the movie Idiocracy. Here’s a moral, intelligent, succeesful American guy who has a real chance of beating a president we all despise and all you can do is spout off 1 word posts making fun of him. Here’s the mob mentality in a microcosm. Go ahead and support big government Rick though. I wonder if Ricky will live in the whitehouse when he’s president or move to a foreign country and bill the American taxpayers anyway.

1984 in real life on February 10, 2012 at 6:01 PM

You know who could probably help Romney out right about now with a speech strategy that works on conservatives? That debate coach he fired after he helped him successfully debate Gingrich in the last debates….That guy had it going on. Too bad he was so successful, and had to be let go/ Mitt Romney “I like to fire people” we know Mitt, we know GRIN.

Dr Evil on February 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM

I think you’re right.

INC on February 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

I wonder how many here actually listened to his speech.

Mitch Rapp on February 10, 2012 at 5:25 PM

I did. I was also watching Twitter at the same time. It was a WTF did he say moment for a lot people. Here’s one of the tame ones. A tweet Larry Sabato sent when he said the “severely conservative” line.

@LarrySabato What does “severely conservative” mean?

btw, for those that didn’t listen to the speech, Allah didn’t mention that Romney also said:

“I know conservatism because I have lived conservatism.”

Flora Duh on February 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

2.There was more to his governing the Romneycare-

tbrickert on February 10, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Thats true, there was.

Romney favored “Assault” Weapons Ban
Romney Favors Waiting Periods to Buy Handguns
Romney raised taxes on business by a total of $309 million
Romney increased taxes on business property
Romney joined a coalition lobbying congress to tax internet activity
Romney refused to support the Bush tax cuts while governor
Romney refused to sign the No New Taxes pledge when campaigning for Governor
Romney Balanced Budget with $500 Million in New Fees
Romney supported abortion in general, and believes in sustaining Roe v. Wade.
Romney campaigned for Governor of Massachusetts as a pro-choice candidate, and was endorsed by a pro-abortion political group
Romney Approves of the Abortion Pill and Supports the Legalization of RU-486
Romney has a long history of promoting and furthering the homosexual agenda, and working closely with leading gay activists
Romney barred Boy Scouts from public participation in 2002 Olympics because of their Ban on Homosexual Scoutmasters
Romney unnecessarily (and unconstitutionally) implemented homosexual marriages in Massachusetts
Romney supported Racial preferences
Romney believes in the hoax of anthropogenic global warming
Romney supported the unconstitutional and wasteful “porkulus” spending
Romney supported the unconstitutional bailouts of bad business
Romney supported the assault weapons ban and Brady Bill
Romney believes illegal aliens should be rewarded with citizenship after violating our borders and breaking our laws

sharrukin on February 10, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Nobody but Romney 2012

rich801 on February 10, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Romney’s whole campaign is and will be based on, “Listen to me severely lie and pay no attention to my severely liberal governing record and for Gosh sakes, don’t even think of looking at my Ann Coulter severely Communist insurance blueprint for Obamacare.”

they lie on February 10, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Yet another unforced error. The slip, “severely Conservative”, Insinuates to me his true feeling is Conservative = bad. I generally associate this word with a negative connotation. Here is the definition. You tell me how he meant it.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/severely

Bmore on February 10, 2012 at 6:04 PM

btw, for those that didn’t listen to the speech, Allah didn’t mention that Romney also said:

“I know conservatism because I have lived conservatism.”

Flora Duh on February 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Cripes. That is a huge stretch by Mitt. Ok I might as well say it; its almost a lie.

SparkPlug on February 10, 2012 at 6:04 PM

All the Romney haters remind me of the people in the movie Idiocracy. Here’s a moral, intelligent, succeesful American guy who has a real chance of beating a president we all despise and all you can do is spout off 1 word posts making fun of him.

You forgot to mention “conservative”.

Paul Wellstone is moral and intelligent too. At least he was…before Dubya had his plane shot down.

Bishop on February 10, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Thats true, there was.

Romney favored “Assault” Weapons Ban
Romney Favors Waiting Periods to Buy Handguns
Romney raised taxes on business by a total of $309 million
Romney increased taxes on business property
Romney joined a coalition lobbying congress to tax internet activity
Romney refused to support the Bush tax cuts while governor
Romney refused to sign the No New Taxes pledge when campaigning for Governor
Romney Balanced Budget with $500 Million in New Fees
Romney supported abortion in general, and believes in sustaining Roe v. Wade.
Romney campaigned for Governor of Massachusetts as a pro-choice candidate, and was endorsed by a pro-abortion political group
Romney Approves of the Abortion Pill and Supports the Legalization of RU-486
Romney has a long history of promoting and furthering the homosexual agenda, and working closely with leading gay activists
Romney barred Boy Scouts from public participation in 2002 Olympics because of their Ban on Homosexual Scoutmasters
Romney unnecessarily (and unconstitutionally) implemented homosexual marriages in Massachusetts
Romney supported Racial preferences
Romney believes in the hoax of anthropogenic global warming
Romney supported the unconstitutional and wasteful “porkulus” spending
Romney supported the unconstitutional bailouts of bad business
Romney supported the assault weapons ban and Brady Bill
Romney believes illegal aliens should be rewarded with citizenship after violating our borders and breaking our laws

sharrukin on February 10, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Now, that’s some severely conservative Romney stuff .

they lie on February 10, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Some of us live according to a fixed set of principles. My trust is in the Lord, not hired hands in Washington D.C. I will fight for what I believe in and then vote my conscience regardless.

As the Good Book says, Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.

flyfisher on February 10, 2012 at 5:34 PM

I too have principles. One of which tells me that I should do my utmost to get Obama voted out of office as a second term for him would be bad for this country. My secular trust is in the free will given to me by our creator, I trust that my soul is in the hands of that creator.

oldernwiser on February 10, 2012 at 5:49 PM

I shouldn’t have said that exactly the way I did. I am sure you have principles. All I meant is that there are certain compromises I am unwilling to make in order to win. There are things I value more than winning. As I said, in the end my hope both in this life and the next is in the Lord, not a man.

On another note, ever read Jonathan Edwards The Freedom of the Will ?

flyfisher on February 10, 2012 at 6:07 PM

sharrukin on February 10, 2012 at 6:03 PM

you have facts mixed in with lies and I just do not have the time to set you straight

tbrickert on February 10, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Just think of the possiblities,Perry coulda been another Blutarski.

celtic warrior on February 10, 2012 at 6:08 PM

The only reason we don’t believe he’s conservative is because some guy told us he wasn’t. Ya’ know….him.

and thats why he’s most likely to beat Obama

gerrym51 on February 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Now, that’s some severely conservative Romney stuff .

they lie on February 10, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Now don’t be a hater and start doubting his severely conservative living of conservatism! All this stuff is unvarnished conservatism and Ann Coulter will explain why in her next column.

sharrukin on February 10, 2012 at 6:10 PM

You forgot to mention “conservative”.

Paul Wellstone is moral and intelligent too. At least he was…before Dubya had his plane shot down.

Bishop on February 10, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Hehe. Dubya had his plane shot down. Good snark line.

SparkPlug on February 10, 2012 at 6:10 PM

I am a big Newt supporter but i will accept Romney word that he is now a conservative.I just hope that if he is our nominee he will remember his words and live by then each and every day during the campaign and during his term as president.

logman1 on February 10, 2012 at 6:12 PM

I find myself starting to feel sorry for him, having to say conservative so many times. It reminds me of a contestant in a beauty pagent or American Idol who really thinks they are the best singer just to get eliminated,they just melt. If you cling to a rope to tightly it eventually slips thru your hands.

MontanaMmmm on February 10, 2012 at 6:12 PM

But I don’t really buy it. The single biggest factor in this campaign remains the fact that the base of the GOP is uncomfortable with Romney and refuses to believe that it can’t do better than the guy who invented Romneycare and talks to conservatives like he’s reading from a right-wing Berlitz phrasebook. He rails about “Washington politicians” –— which looks great on paper but sounds somewhat ridiculous coming from Romney, given that he seems more like a Washington politician than any of the Republican opponents left in the field.

The irony is that, in a weird way, Santorum has many of the same problems Romney has. Superficially, he looks like an anti-Romney when it comes to personality. Romney often sounds like HAL refusing to open the pod-bay doors in 2001: A Space Odyssey, while Santorum overflows with passion and emotion.

But simply having an authentic personally doesn’t necessarily mean you have a presidential one. All too often, Santorum looks like he has a thumbtack in his shoe that he presses down on to fool the polygraph. He can be dour and resentful.

Likewise, on substance, if you were going to design a GOP candidate to fit the moment, it wouldn’t be Santorum. The difference between him and George W. Bush: Santorum’s deadly serious about compassionate conservatism. He is honestly and forthrightly committed to using government to realize his moral vision for America. That’s his prerogative, and he has many good (and some very bad) arguments on his side.

But, suffice it to say, he is not the one the tea partiers have been waiting for.

Now, the race is just a mess. I feel like the revolver in reality’s hand is full of blanks, and anyone who thinks they know what happens next is stabbing in the dark. I could live with either man being the nominee. And while I would happily vote for either in a contest against Obama, I honestly have no idea who would be more electable. Frankly, I find the prospect of any of them becoming the nominee worrisome and hard to imagine. A brokered convention seems ever more plausible –— and desirable.

Schadenfreude on February 10, 2012 at 6:13 PM

I am severely disappointed./

tonotisto on February 10, 2012 at 6:13 PM

We deserve better than mitt.

tinkerthinker on February 10, 2012 at 6:18 PM

The only reason we don’t believe he’s conservative is because some guy told us he wasn’t. Ya’ know….him.

and thats why he’s most likely to beat Obama

gerrym51 on February 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

And that’s some Steely Dan worthy pretzel logic.

cozmo on February 10, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Romney says he was conservative in MA.

Well, we already knew he was a liar.

And some morons will even believe him…

Citizen-003528 on February 10, 2012 at 6:20 PM

tbrickert on February 10, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Which candidates wife said this:

We didn’t know a single Republican when we jumped in

RickB on February 10, 2012 at 6:20 PM

He is a damn good liar. But we already have one of those in office.

He can just look forward to his own planet someday.

tom daschle concerned on February 10, 2012 at 6:21 PM

I am severely disappointed./

tonotisto on February 10, 2012 at 6:13 PM

I severely agree with you.

JellyToast on February 10, 2012 at 6:23 PM

RickB on February 10, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Put it in context. Oh wait, that would not help you.

tbrickert on February 10, 2012 at 6:24 PM

The only con word that usually follows severely is constipated. Maybe that’s what he meant to say.

RickB on February 10, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Romney is tone deaf…severely.

onlineanalyst on February 10, 2012 at 6:24 PM

tom daschle concerned on February 10, 2012 at 6:21 PM

.

as opposed to all the Honest politicians we keep voting back in again and again?

FlaMurph on February 10, 2012 at 6:24 PM

“I know conservatism because I have lived conservatism.”

Flora Duh on February 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

In what way has his personal life not been conservative? That’s what he meant.

bluealice on February 10, 2012 at 6:26 PM

I think you’re right.

INC on February 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

It’s Romney’s campaign manager giving him the advice to make this speech when he could use a game changer. Another lost opportunity for Team Romney.

Dr Evil on February 10, 2012 at 6:27 PM

RickB on February 10, 2012 at 6:20 PM
Put it in context. Oh wait, that would not help you.

tbrickert on February 10, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Do you mean this context.

“An Independent until last December, he publicizes his brief stint as a Democrat to support ex-senator Paul Tsongas in the 1992 presidential primary,” wrote David Broder in the Washington Post on Oct. 7, 1994. ” ‘I’m not a partisan politician,’ he said. ‘My hope is that after this election, it will be the moderates of both parties who will control the Senate, not the Jesse Helmses.’ ”

Three days later, the Los Angeles Times’ Ron Brownstein wrote, “When Romney decided to run, Republicans exchanged quizzical looks: ‘We didn’t know a single Republican when we jumped in in December,’ his wife, Ann, says. As a registered independent, Romney had voted in the Democratic presidential primary in 1992 to support Paul E. Tsongas (though he backed George Bush in the general election, he says). He briefly considered running for the Senate seat as an independent as well, his wife says, before rejecting the idea as impractical.”

RickB on February 10, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Keep pretending he is Conservative.

I’ll pretend to believe it.

Then I’ll pretend to vote for him.

SurferDoc on February 10, 2012 at 6:28 PM

LOL, what an awful speech.

It’s like he thought he could fool conservatives into voting for him just by inserting the word “conservative” in every sentence. To top it off, he uses a incorrect adjective of “severely” to show his cluelessness.

His campaign is finished.

Norwegian on February 10, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Maybe it’s a Mormon expression.

WhatSlushfund on February 10, 2012 at 6:29 PM

temporarily conservative
conveniently conservative
deceptively conservative
disingenuously conservative
arguably conservative
secretly conservative
awkwardly conservative
laughably conservative

currently conservative
presently conservative
established conservative
McCain conservative
T-Paw conservative
Trump conservative
Coulters gone nuts conservative
Bush-league conservative
no-really conservative
Obama’s BFF conservative

chickasaw42 on February 10, 2012 at 6:30 PM

In what way has his personal life not been conservative? That’s what he meant.

bluealice on February 10, 2012 at 6:26 PM

In what way is Jimmy Carter’s personal life not conservative?

sharrukin on February 10, 2012 at 6:30 PM

RickB on February 10, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Yes along with this

Romney responded, “Kind of a mischaracterization. In Massachusetts, if you register as an independent, you can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary. When there was no real contest in the Republican primary, I’d vote in the Democrat primary, vote for the person who I thought would be the weakest opponent for Republican. In the general election…”

Stephanopoulos interjected, “So that was a way of supporting President (George H.W. ) Bush, is that what you’re saying?”

Romney answered, “Look, I’ve taken every occasion to vote against Ted Kennedy, he’s a good friend, but Ted Kennedy, and Tip O’Neill, they’re my congressman and senator. I go in their primary, just like a lot of other folks, and voted against the person who I thought was the strongest Democrat. Now, that happens in America today. But let me tell you, in the general election, I don’t recall ever once voting for anyone other than a Republican. So, yeah, as an independent, I’ll go in and play in their primary, but I’m a Republican and have been through my life. I was with Young Republicans when I was in college back at Stanford. But a registered independent, so I could vote in either primary.”

tbrickert on February 10, 2012 at 6:30 PM

I thought it was a good speech.

Mockingjay on February 10, 2012 at 6:31 PM

LOL, what an awful speech.

It’s like he thought he could fool conservatives into voting for him just by inserting the word “conservative” in every sentence. To top it off, he uses a incorrect adjective of “severely” to show his cluelessness.

His campaign is finished.

Norwegian on February 10, 2012 at 6:29 PM

If Romneycare thought he could give a speech and we would simply forget his record, he’s severely delusional.

flyfisher on February 10, 2012 at 6:32 PM

“I know conservatism because I have lived conservatism.”

Flora Duh on February 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

He got it into one sentence twice! I said on another thread that if 7% Solution had a drinking game for this and if the word was “conservative” we wouldn’t see him for a long time. He would be passed out on the bathroom floor. His speech was full of him talking about him and how everything about him his whole life was conservative. Not the game changer he was touting last night.

Night Owl on February 10, 2012 at 6:32 PM

as opposed to all the Honest politicians we keep voting back in again and again?

FlaMurph on February 10, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Is there supposed to be an argument here?

tom daschle concerned on February 10, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Norwegian on February 10, 2012 at 6:29 PM

.
What portion of his speech was not “conservative” ? What were the promises or goals he spoke of that were not “conservative” ? I must of missed the “awful” parts of his speech.
.
What were they ?

FlaMurph on February 10, 2012 at 6:33 PM

One word that’s all they have.

tbrickert on February 10, 2012 at 5:52 PM

One word is all it took. The entire purpose of his speech was to convince conservatives that he was a conservative. This is why he used the word conservative so many times. However, it was like him saying conservative, conservative, conservative,
conservative,
conservative,
conservative,
conservative, NOT!

That one word changes everything.

Nobody uses the word severely in a positive context. Its only used in a negative context. It lets us know that deep down, Mitt looks at conservatism in a negative way. It was a Freudian slip.

Mitt ruined the whole point of his speech with that one single word. He revealed the real Mitt with that one word. Severely.

KMav on February 10, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Maybe he meant “severed”…

right2bright on February 10, 2012 at 6:35 PM

It was a game changer, alright. Just not the kind Romney was hoping for.

kingsjester on February 10, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Willard is a convenient conservative.

wraithby on February 10, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Which candidates wife said this:

We didn’t know a single Republican when we jumped in

RickB on February 10, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I cheated and googled it.

Who is Ann Romney, Alex Rick?

Strange things political spouses say for $200.

Fallon on February 10, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Willard is a convenient conservative.

wraithby on February 10, 2012 at 6:37 PM

That’s the word I was looking for: convenient

SparkPlug on February 10, 2012 at 6:38 PM

I take severely in a positive context. Severe on budgets, severe on cutting spending, severe on killing programs. Me likey.

John the Libertarian on February 10, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Severely?

Every time I think I have a handle on just how lousy Mitt is, he says “No wait! I’m worse!”

Stoic Patriot on February 10, 2012 at 6:39 PM

It was one very forced, awkward word that did not fit, considering his history of governance.

Kleenex?

kingsjester on February 10, 2012 at 5:49 PM

better chill pill for you…it was just a word oin a speech of thousands…feel free to have a total fit over it…

jimver on February 10, 2012 at 6:39 PM

His campaign is finished.

Norwegian on February 10, 2012 at 6:29 PM

and we know your ‘predictions’ usually come true :-)…

jimver on February 10, 2012 at 6:41 PM

you have facts mixed in with lies and I just do not have the time to set you straight

tbrickert on February 10, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Severely failed rebuttal.

Kent18 on February 10, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Nobody uses the word severely in a positive context. Its only used in a negative context. It lets us know that deep down, Mitt looks at conservatism in a negative way. It was a Freudian slip.

Mitt ruined the whole point of his speech with that one single word. He revealed the real Mitt with that one word. Severely.

KMav on February 10, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Actually, severe also means strict, serious and is not always negative. As when some one said severely amusing. Or when one experiences severe pleasure. This is the only thing Mitt haters can go after in this speech so be it. The people going after him for this speech are the people who would say “Mitt can’t swim” if he walked on water.

tbrickert on February 10, 2012 at 6:42 PM

…it was just a word oin a speech of thousands…feel free to have a total fit over it…

jimver on February 10, 2012 at 6:39 PM

I agree, not much different than an “oops” moment.

In a perfect world, both would have been forgotten the next day.

cozmo on February 10, 2012 at 6:42 PM

better chill pill for you…it was just a word oin a speech of thousands…feel free to have a total fit over it…

jimver on February 10, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Thew only fits being thrown around here are Romney supporters trying to defend it.

Personally, I’m grinning from ear to ear.

kingsjester on February 10, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Back in the day, it was the mid 80s, there were several businessmen in MA who were interested in running for US Senate and governor. The RINO MA GOP establishment would send out their phony consultants to snare these guys and their moneybags by filling them up with a lot of conservative lingo and throw names around like Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, Richard Weaver, the Austrian school of economics blah blah blah. It was all a load of hooey. Willard is a product of the same finishing school. Sound and fury signifying nothing……

wraithby on February 10, 2012 at 6:46 PM

I agree, not much different than an “oops” moment.

In a perfect world, both would have been forgotten the next day.

cozmo on February 10, 2012 at 6:42 PM

true, as oupsy as the Santorum ‘women in combat & emo’ moment translation: (‘while they should be with kids and in the kitchen’ :-)… what can I say, when you are right, you are big time right :-)…

jimver on February 10, 2012 at 6:46 PM

In what way has his personal life not been conservative? That’s what he meant.

bluealice on February 10, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Given that we’re supposed to be nominating a candidate for president — not, say, Daddy-In-Chief, or First Husband — that is not only irrelevant, but screamingly irrelevant.

His political record as a (*kaff*kaff*) “conservative consists solely and entirely of his term as governor in Massachusetts. Pity, that.

Kent18 on February 10, 2012 at 6:47 PM

What really makes me feel amusement is the udder desperation, and palpable fear from the Romneyites.

Starting with Sarah Palin, they have invaded every large conservative blog, with total destruction in mind. Once Palin decided against the run, they turned their attention to Perry, then it was Bachmann, then Cain, then Newt, now you see these SAME people trying to destroy Santorum.

Can anyone that has been on this site for any length of time deny that this is so. Now the smell of fear and desperation from these destroyers is, for me, totally redeeming in my spirit. They aren’t giving up by no means, but damn it’s good to see. When Romney takes his million dollar attack machine back to where ever the heck he lives now, will be so refreshing, and the exploding of heads so enjoyable to behold.

jainphx on February 10, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Actually, severe also means strict, serious and is not always negative. As when some one said severely amusing. Or when one experiences severe pleasure. This is the only thing Mitt haters can go after in this speech so be it. The people going after him for this speech are the people who would say “Mitt can’t swim” if he walked on water.

tbrickert on February 10, 2012 at 6:42 PM

excuse them, Romney is not allowed to use figures of speech, metaphors, linguistic innovations, or put a personal touch in his speech/discourse, nooo, his political career is soo severely over because of this :-)….

jimver on February 10, 2012 at 6:50 PM

All the Romney haters remind me of the people in the movie Idiocracy.

1984 in real life on February 10, 2012 at 6:01 PM

And that’s exactly the attitude that has lost Romney and his supporters respect and good will from the base. You spurned us and derided us and now are starting to wonder how you wound up at the prom all alone.

Burke on February 10, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Did ANYONE listen to Santorum’s speech ? Can you objectively say he came off as Presidential as Mittens? man- I was looking real hard for it. A lot SoCon, and more than one cringing awkward moments. I understand why that one word is so important to hang on to, because Santo has a long way to go and a short time to get there.
.
Mitt will come out later and said he misspoke – the word was supposed to be “Surreptitiously.” ;)

FlaMurph on February 10, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Romney on this Sunday’s morning shows:

“I meant to say hella conservative.”

Only in California. In Massachusetts, he’s still “wicked conservative.”

El Txangurro on February 10, 2012 at 6:54 PM

I’m severely depressed.

Syzygy on February 10, 2012 at 6:55 PM

You spurned us and derided us and now are starting to wonder how you wound up at the prom all alone.

Burke on February 10, 2012 at 6:51 PM

going with the village idiot at the prom is not in itself a big accomplishment, is it? loneliness seems like infinite gratification when faced with the alternative…..

jimver on February 10, 2012 at 6:56 PM

I take severely in a positive context. Severe on budgets, severe on cutting spending, severe on killing programs. Me likey.

John the Libertarian on February 10, 2012 at 6:39 PM

LOL

Burke on February 10, 2012 at 7:01 PM

You spurned us and derided us and now are starting to wonder how you wound up at the prom all alone.

Burke on February 10, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Yup. The EXACT SAME UNFORCED ERROR as that blunderingly (and repeatedly) committed by Team McCain’s online apologia choir, just four short years ago.

CINOs. *Siiighhhhh* Absolutely, demonstrably incapable of learning. EVER.

Kent18 on February 10, 2012 at 7:02 PM

It sounds strange at first blush, but Romney was an English major and knows what words mean. Voila!:

Severely: Marked by or requiring strict adherence to rigorous standards or high principles.

“Praise or blame has but a momentary effect on the man whose love of beauty in the abstract makes him a severe critic on his own works” (John Keats).

It must have been an impromptu decision to use the word as it’s not in the official transcript. Putting his use of that word aside, it’s a very good speech.

As for repeatedly using the word “conservative”, refresh my memory…what does the C in CPAC stand for again?

PS: I liked the introduction by the CPAC’s Chairman, Al Cardenas whose gave his own excellent speech (see the link…)

Buy Danish on February 10, 2012 at 7:06 PM

And that’s exactly the attitude that has lost Romney and his supporters respect and good will from the base. You spurned us and derided us and now are starting to wonder how you wound up at the prom all alone.

Burke on February 10, 2012 at 6:51 PM

That and that at the start of the primary season Mitt supporters derided us for not wanting to support Romney if he was the nom in the general. Rally around the nominee at any cost, they said. We needed to support Romney if he won because he was not Obama! And now that their guy is in trouble they are starting to come out and outright say they won’t vote for Newt or Santorum in the general. Always enlightening to see the true colors come out.

BakerAllie on February 10, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Official transcript.

Buy Danish on February 10, 2012 at 7:06 PM

You Romneybots and establishment RINOs attack Sarah Palin and any conservative for THIS GUY? Come On, Mitt Romney should be booed of the stage.

CoolChange80 on February 10, 2012 at 7:13 PM

You know guys, there is such a thing as legitimate criticism, and then there is simply gratuitous BS.

Criticizing him for making the case he is severely conservative the latter. You guys can yuk it up right until election day. I don’t want to hear your wailing over Obama’s reelection the day after.

After all… Obama never said HE is severely conservative.

CoolCzech on February 10, 2012 at 7:14 PM

LOL, what an awful speech.

It’s like he thought he could fool conservatives into voting for him just by inserting the word “conservative” in every sentence. To top it off, he uses a incorrect adjective of “severely” to show his cluelessness.

His campaign is finished.

Norwegian on February 10, 2012 at 6:29 PM

It’s not Romney it’s the advice he’s getting from his campaign staff. The same people who told him to fire his debate coach after he successfully helped him debate Newt in the last debate.

Is there going to be some break after Maine before they go on to compete in Michigan and Arizona? Both Romney and Gingrich’s campaign teams need serious overhauling they should take that time to regroup and retool.

Dr Evil on February 10, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Galadriel on February 10, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Well said and well reasoned.

—-
I do not understand the charge by Romney supporters that those who view Mitt with a degree of skepticism are haters. Romney himself has created the problems in our not having a whole-hearted embrace of him as a candidate. He keeps making these unforced errors that reveal a mushiness, a go-along-to-get-along attitude.

While Romney may have a sterling personal life as a conservative, he does not speak with conviction of those values as a politician.

onlineanalyst on February 10, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Willard is a convenient conservative.

wraithby on February 10, 2012 at 6:37 PM

That’s the word I was looking for: convenient

SparkPlug on February 10, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Mittens is a “conservative this week because thats what polls tell him you want. – Next week – TBD (we’ll get back to you after further internal polling, focus groups and despicable ads from Pac’s and surrogates)” type of conservative.

Tim_CA on February 10, 2012 at 7:16 PM

All I know about Romney prior to 2002 is his el-foldo against Ted Kennedy in the 1994 Mass Senate race. He folded like a cheap tent in a high wind, and will do so again against Obama. His rich, elitist, noblesse-oblige background will not allow him to attack progressive ideas, nor will it allow him to attack a minority (bad taste, you know, regardless of what the minority says or does).

We are in deep doo-doo, and grabbing at Santorum like the last life boat off the Titanic is normal, admirable behavior. Staying with the ventriloquist dummy is not.

And betting $10K that he can’t say ‘conservative’ while Rove drinks a glass of water is safe.

jclittlep on February 10, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Buy Danish on February 10, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Those going after the use of the word “severely,” remind me of those who went after the use of the word “niggardly”. It sounded bad so it must be bad, regardless of the actual meaning.

For those who do not know the meanig of niggardly:

nig·gard·ly [níggərdlee]
adj (comparative nig·gard·li·er, superlative nig·gard·li·est)
1. not generous: very reluctant to give or spend anything
2. small or inadequate: very small or inadequate in quantity

tbrickert on February 10, 2012 at 7:21 PM

While Romney may have a sterling personal life as a conservative, he does not speak with conviction of those values as a politician.

onlineanalyst on February 10, 2012 at 7:14 PM

if by that you mean that his eyes don’t bulge out of their orbit when he speaks, his hands gestures are not uncontrollable and usually doesn’t put his fists in the air (like Perry) when he tries to make a point, or his tone does not take angry and bitter inflections, then I agree with you that he does not speak with ‘conviction’…he’s a rational speaker who appeals to a rational audience…

jimver on February 10, 2012 at 7:23 PM

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