Question for House conservatives: How psyched are you about Mitt Romney?

posted at 4:16 pm on April 17, 2012 by Allahpundit

A perfect follow-up to yesterday’s NYT story about the uneasy alliance between our “Massachusetts moderate” nominee and the tea-party Republican House. Skip to 12:38 for 10 minutes from reps like Jim Jordan, Raul Labrador, and Louie Gohmert, who brought down the house:

Rep. Louie Gohmert, the aggressively quotable former judge from Texas, basically conceded the point. “If you’re not sure about whether to support Mitt Romney,” he joked, “whether you’re liberal, or whether you’re very conservative, you ought to be excited, because he’s been on your side at one time or another.”

That’s from Dave Weigel, who, along with Joshua Green, is snickering at the palpable hesitation about Romney in the first few replies here. (The group gets back on message at 17:10 when some rep whom I don’t recognize offhand chimes in with a fairly enthusiastic endorsement.) What could they realistically say, though? They need to balance party loyalty with grassroots credibility. If they came out waving their pompoms for Romney, no one would take it seriously and tea partiers would be irritated. If they spent 10 minutes dumping on him, the left would have a field day and GOP leaders, starting with Team Mitt, would be incensed. The polite “anybody but Obama” message is how to walk the line. Besides, that attitude has the benefit of reflecting the bulk of pro-Romney sentiment among voters thus far, assuming anyone still believes the data in yesterday’s CNN poll.

Romney’s co-existence with tea-party congressmen will be a continuing subplot to the campaign, so think of this vid as episode one.



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dominigan on April 17, 2012 at 8:47 PM

yes. thanks.

renalin on April 17, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Madcon, I had a nice long reply to you but it’s either been eaten or is taking entirely too long in moderation. Essentially it outlined how I went from Daniels (before the field was set) to Perry (before he opened his mouth) to ABO, so I don’t have an affirmative argument for Romney because I’m not a fanatic. I would have supported Santorum, even though some of his policies concerned me, because the presidency is a lot bigger than the man in the Oval Office. Romney’s a terrible candidate, but Obama’s a terrible president and that’s enough of a motivation for me, but obviously not for you.

We all know the car speeding towards a cliff metaphor. There’s nobody running in 2012 to turn it around, but we have a guy who we know has his foot on the gas and another guy who could slow it down. Pretty big “could” but I’ll take my chances. The ABR crowd seem to be putting a lot of faith in the hypothetical that an approved candidate will win in 2016, let alone actually run and win the primary.

Client Number Nine on April 17, 2012 at 9:03 PM

So he’s not perfect.
writeblock on April 17, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Have you even been paying attention? 2016 is when the perfect candidate runs.

Client Number Nine on April 17, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Not voting for Romney helps Obama. But then, not voting for Obama helps Romney, yes? So it balances out.

Loony logic. It doesn’t balance out. Liberals will still vote for their guy. It’s a net loss for our side if a conservative stays home.

writeblock on April 17, 2012 at 9:11 PM

The ABR crowd seem to be putting a lot of faith in the hypothetical that an approved candidate will win in 2016, let alone actually run and win the primary.
Client Number Nine on April 17, 2012 at 9:03 PM

No kidding. I hope this isn’t “off topic” because gosh, I can’t imagine who this “perfect” candidate they have in mind is – this person who I’ve been told it’s breaking the rules to mention at a Romney thread (although to be clear it took numerous comments to MadCon before I even mentioned this mystery person who it’s “off topic” to discuss by name).

Buy Danish on April 17, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Have you even been paying attention? 2016 is when the perfect candidate runs.

Client Number Nine on April 17, 2012 at 9:06 PM

In other words, give Obama a second term till we get perfection. The country’s already at the edge of a cliff–and you are willing to give it a big shove.

writeblock on April 17, 2012 at 9:17 PM

So, Big Little Government, it is then.

Bmore on April 17, 2012 at 9:29 PM

No kidding. I hope this isn’t “off topic” because gosh, I can’t imagine who this “perfect” candidate they have in mind is – this person who I’ve been told it’s breaking the rules to mention at a Romney thread (although to be clear it took numerous comments to MadCon before I even mentioned this mystery person who it’s “off topic” to discuss by name).

Buy Danish on April 17, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Fourth comment, Pew Poll thread. The hall monitors must be in the bathroom.

In other words, give Obama a second term till we get perfection. The country’s already at the edge of a cliff–and you are willing to give it a big shove.

writeblock on April 17, 2012 at 9:17 PM

I forgot the sarcasm tag. There is no perfect candidate and there never will be.

Client Number Nine on April 17, 2012 at 9:33 PM

I forgot the sarcasm tag. There is no perfect candidate and there never will be.

Client Number Nine on April 17, 2012 at 9:33 PM

I didn’t need your sarc tag to understand what you meant:). And as for the 4th comment, I do hope she/he gets spoken to by Madison “Cartman” Conservative./

Buy Danish on April 17, 2012 at 9:40 PM

…so I don’t have an affirmative argument for Romney because I’m not a fanatic.

Client Number Nine on April 17, 2012 at 9:03 PM

If only fanatics can come up with an affirmative argument for Romney(which I haven’t yet seen), what does that say about him?

MadisonConservative on April 17, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Madison “Cartman” Conservative./

Buy Danish on April 17, 2012 at 9:40 PM

I LOVE IT.

I’ll grind your parents up into chili and feed them to you. Then I’ll let Mitch Connor finish you off.

MadisonConservative on April 17, 2012 at 9:51 PM

I’ll grind your parents up into chili and feed them to you. Then I’ll let Mitch Connor finish you off.
MadisonConservative on April 17, 2012 at 9:51 PM

My parents are already dead so they’ve been spared your special treatment. How about some joints and a guitar to mellow you out?

Buy Danish on April 17, 2012 at 9:58 PM

My parents are already dead so they’ve been spared your special treatment. How about some joints and a guitar to mellow you out?

Buy Danish on April 17, 2012 at 9:58 PM

You think you can bribe me with hippie bait? I want your Jew gold.

MadisonConservative on April 17, 2012 at 10:04 PM

If only fanatics can come up with an affirmative argument for Romney(which I haven’t yet seen), what does that say about him?

MadisonConservative on April 17, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Fanatic was a poor word choice. I meant someone who had been a supporter for a while. I’m lukewarm to the guy, personally, but at the bottom of the last page somebody referenced a Powerline article that was pretty affirmative of Romney’s record as governor. ABO’s not good enough for some people, but it works for me. Not good precedent for it, but then again Obama’s been quite unprecedented himself during his presidency.

Client Number Nine on April 17, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Fanatic was a poor word choice.

Client Number Nine on April 17, 2012 at 10:05 PM

It was a Freudian slip.

MadisonConservative on April 17, 2012 at 10:08 PM

There is no enthusiasm for Romney, never has been, never will be. His only path to the presidency relies on the weak argument that he is better than Obama by the simple virtue that he is not Obama. That argument is bound to fail, which is why none of us will be surprised id Romney loses.

Norwegian on April 17, 2012 at 10:14 PM

I still don’t trust Mitt. My two major concerns are: 1) his VP choice – don’t want Christie or Bush and 2) that he doesn’t flip on immigration/amnesty.

If he’s fine in those two areas, I will support him. If not, I will vote for him but I will not support him.

bw222 on April 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM

MadisonConservative on April 17, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Not Freudian so much as semi-intentional. On the internet, anyone who shows any support for a candidate someone else doesn’t like, the supporter automatically becomes a fanatic, an obsessive, a nut, etc. Everybody does it. You called me a Romney fanatic upthread and I was being passive-aggressive at what I would deem a misnomer. Maybe I am a Romney fanatic, but Rudy 2008 and Perry 2012 need to return my money in that case.

Client Number Nine on April 17, 2012 at 10:27 PM

What could they realistically say, though? They need to balance party loyalty with grassroots credibility.

The reality is that boundaries have shifted and some careerist Republicans are not happy. Living in DC I know one such Congressman who everybody would know who has been in Congress for a while. He could well be defeated in the primaries this year. He isn’t a bad guy. He isn’t a liberal. It is just that his constituency is fed up with the status quo and is willing to listen to the more conservative challenger. DC reality is one thing that does not necessarily translate to the folks back home.

For example, neither party was going to let the US go into default by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. Yet some Republicans are facing the wrath of that vote in their reelection efforts. It is very difficult to explain some issues to voters. I grew up in DC and (literally) lived in pretty much every region of the US except the Pacific Northwest. In some regions, these issues tend to be more simplistic than the reality.

That is why you have angry tirades from Congressmen on stupid stuff like the GSA convention (and why there is four hearings this week during an election year). Messaging to the folks back home is important. Four hearings from four different committees in the house gives scores of incumbents the ability to make reportable statements about their outrage. Nevermind all the witnesses plead the Fifth. This isn’t about them or the GSA.

So, it really isn’t about party loyality. It is about getting reelected.

Happy Nomad on April 17, 2012 at 10:28 PM

I sincerely believe Romney is the best candidate the Republicans have run since Reagan.W?

crosspatch on April 17, 2012 at 4:20 PM

No, can’t even say that much yet. It’s hard to say whether he stinks worse than McCain, or whether McCain was actually worse.

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 17, 2012 at 11:45 PM

Fanatic was a poor word choice. I meant someone who had been a supporter for a while. I’m lukewarm to the guy, personally, but at the bottom of the last page somebody referenced a Powerline article that was pretty affirmative of Romney’s record as governor. ABO’s not good enough for some people, but it works for me. Not good precedent for it, but then again Obama’s been quite unprecedented himself during his presidency.

Client Number Nine on April 17, 2012 at 10:05 PM

I posted that precisely because so many “conservatives” are ignorant about Romney’s real record. It’s time they looked at the facts of his career and stopped opposing a figment of their own imaginations. He may have dissembled while running for governor of our most liberal state, but he governed as a conservative for the most part, cutting spending and lowering taxes. He blocked card check and the unions generally, he consolidated agencies and fired deadwood bureaucrats, he vetoed 800 bills, including one for embryonic stem cell research. Only someone ignorant of all this would claim he’s no better than Obama.

writeblock on April 17, 2012 at 11:54 PM

We need someone with business experience to turn around this economy, not a talker who’s done nothing but hang around government buildings their entire career.

NoDonkey on April 17, 2012 at 4:47 PM

The myth of the successful businessman turned president who turned the economy around.

I don’t know of a time it’s ever happened before.

If you want to turn the economy around, don’t look at the president. Get a conservative Congress elected, not just a Republican Congress.

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 17, 2012 at 11:55 PM

That set of talking points did not come with “to be continued…”. That’s where arguments of Romney sheeple end, they are clueless when asked for specifics and excuses come up. Nothing but excuses…

riddick on April 17, 2012 at 8:58 PM

You want specifics? Reread my post. I cited Powerline’s John Hinderaker who in turn cites Club for Growth on Romney’s record:

Governor Romney’s single term contained some solid efforts to promote pro-growth tax policy. In May of 2004, Mitt Romney proposed cutting the state’s income tax rate from 5.3% to 5.0%—a measure Massachusetts voters had approved in a 2000 referendum, but was blocked by the State Legislature in 2002. The proposed tax cut would have provided $675 million in relief over a year and a half. When the Massachusetts Legislature refused to budge, Romney proposed the same tax cut in 2005 and again in 2006 with no success. Romney was more successful when he took on the State Legislature for imposing a retroactive tax on capital gains earnings. After a bloody fight, Romney succeeded in passing a bill preventing the capital gains tax from being applied retroactively, resulting in a rebate of $275 million for capital gains taxes collected in 2002…

Governor Romney’s record on spending must be considered within the liberal political context in which he governed. … On balance, his record comes out more positive than negative, especially when one considers that average spending increased only 2.22% over his four years, well below the population plus inflation benchmark of nearly 3%…

Governor Romney successfully consolidated the social service and public health bureaucracy and restructured the Metropolitan District Commission. Romney even eliminated half of the executive branch’s press positions, saving $1.2 million. He also used his emergency fiscal powers to make $425 million worth of cuts in 2006, taking particular aim at local earmarks, instead of allowing the Legislature to dip into the state’s $1.2 billion rainy day fund. While there is no question that Governor Romney’s initial fiscal discipline slacked off in the second half of his term, on balance, he imposed some much-needed fiscal discipline on a very liberal Massachusetts Legislature.

On welfare and entitlements, Romney’s record was excellent:

As governor, Romney pushed for important changes to Massachusetts expansive welfare system. Although federal welfare reform passed in 1995, Massachusetts was woefully behind, relying on a waiver to bypass many of the legislation’s important requirements. Romney fought for legislation that would bring Massachusetts’ welfare system up to date with federal standards by increasing the number of hours each week recipients must work and establishing a five-year limit for receiving benefits. Much to his credit and to the dismay of many Massachusetts liberals, Romney successfully forced Medicaid recipients to make co-payments for some services and successfully pushed for legislative action forcing new state workers to contribute 25% of their health insurance costs, up from 15%. Governor Romney also deserves praise for proposing to revolutionize the Massachusetts state pension system by moving it from a defined benefit system to a defined contribution system.

Romney’s record on regulation was also very good, according to Powerline:

He also vetoed a “card check” bill that would allow unions to organize without a secret ballot election. As governor, he often clashed with the knee-jerk anti-business Legislature over his attempts to ease Massachusetts’ regulatory burdens. Though some of his largest undertakings were ultimately crushed by liberal opposition, Governor Romney deserves praise for attempting to change the relationship between government and private enterprise for the better. These efforts include:

* Pushed to revamp the Pacheco Law, a union-backed measure that makes it nearly impossible to privatize or outsource state services
* Aggressively pushed to deregulate Massachusetts’ “Soviet-style” auto insurance industry. Massachusetts is the only state in which the government mandates maximum insurance rates and requires insurers to accept every applicant
* Called for the privatization of the University of Massachusetts medical school
* Proposed measures to eliminate civil service protection for all municipal workers except police and firefighters and exempt low-cost public construction jobs from the state’s wage law
* Proposed easing decades-old state regulations on wetlands
* Proposed easing pricing regulations on Massachusetts retailers
* Signed a bill streamlining the state’s cumbersome permitting process for new businesses
* Eased regulations for brownfield development
* Vetoed a bill limiting the ability of out-of-state wineries to ship directly to Massachusetts consumers, calling the legislation “anti-consumer”

When Romney took office, Massachusetts’s legislature was 85% Democratic. Rather than just trying to get along, Romney battled the Democrats, issuing more than 800 vetoes, the vast majority of which were overridden. Many of those vetoes were not politically popular. For example, he vetoed an increase in the minimum wage, explaining “there’s no question raising the minimum wage excessively causes a loss of jobs.”

A lot of people around here are spouting nonsense out of ignorance of Romney’s actual record. They pick up on a sound-bite here and a talking point there to paint a portrait that bears no likeness at all to the real man.

writeblock on April 18, 2012 at 12:20 AM

In other words, give Obama a second term till we get perfection. The country’s already at the edge of a cliff–and you are willing to give it a big shove.

writeblock on April 17, 2012 at 9:17 PM

So, what you’re saying is that it’s all my fault for refusing to vote for a democrat (regardless of party affiliation).

Just keep telling yourself that, I’m curious how many people like me you’re going to convert with that tactic.

Or perhaps you could just give us a choice. I keep saying this, you keep refusing. Odd.

runawayyyy on April 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Question for House conservatives: How psyched are you about Mitt Romney?

Not very.

Aodhan on April 18, 2012 at 4:18 PM

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