|For conservatives the choice should be clear...|
Exactly why would it be a good thing to unite behind Mitt now?
First, the Romney campaign has thus far been devoid of passion, purpose and practical solutions. Mark Levin reported on his radio program a few weeks back that approximately 91% of the $30 million Romney public advertising spending has been spent carpet-bombing states with negative ads about his opponents. In other words, Mr. Romney, despite running for president non-stop since early 2007 has once again failed to use the primary months to introduce himself or his vision for America to voters. Instead, he's spent over 9 out of every 10 campaign dollars on destroying the reputation of his opponents. The political landscape is littered with the political corpses of folks who dared oppose his coronation.
As a result, Mr. Romney is not well-known to voters, well-liked by voters and has failed to clearly outline any meaningful set of beliefs or agenda of reform. This is dangerous folly for a supposedly seasoned political candidate this far into the election season.
Secondly, Mitt Romney's "victories" have also been by vastly outspending his rivals and still underperforming by claiming the state by a razor-thin margin. This will not be the case in the fall when Barack Obama will not only outspend Romney by a huge margin, but will also have the benefit of a hostile and biased media doing everything within their power to ensure his re-election. The carpet-bombing strategy by Romney needs to be re-imagined if he is to be victorious in the fall.
Thirdly, Mitt Romney also enters the final stretch of the primary with the lowest approval rating of any potential presidential candidate in decades. His approval rating is currently languishing somewhere near 34% despite the fact that his last standing major opponent, Rick Santorum, suspended his campaign and the media has embraced him as the eventual nominee.
Taken together these points spell trouble. Consider:
- Mr. Romney's inability to put forth a coherent plan for conservative reforms that will catch fire with the electorate is troubling. His fiscal policy was a 10,000 point behemoth that said everything and nothing at the same time and demonstrated a flair for Washingtonian rhetorical double-speak. He's since abandoned that and delivered yet another fiscal plan that still hasn't been successfully sold, explained or pitched.
- On Romneycare, he has been unable to explain how his plan (a mirror image of the larger Obamacare disaster) is different than Obamacare or how it squares with his alleged "severely conservative" ideology.
- While under attack for his Bain Capital work, he was unable after 6 years of campaigning to coherently and succinctly convince the American people that his involvement in the free market capitalism (arguably his strongest portion of his resume) was a good thing.
- He's been unable to successfully explain how ranking 47th out of 50 states during his tenure in job creation qualifies him to fix Obama's nightmarish vision of Marxist economics.
- On abortion, he's been all over the map.
- On bailouts and "abandoning the free market to save the free market" he's equally fork-tongued.
- The mere 9% of expenditures directed towards explaining/promoting/advancing his ideological beliefs and agenda for America has not risen to the challenge.
Mr. Romney's performance thus far has painted a bleak picture of GOP prospects in November with him as the standard bearer.
Mathematically, however, it is increasingly likely that Mr. Romney will be the GOP nominee. With Santorum bowing out, only Newt Gingrich really stands in his way. Currently polling 30 points behind Romney and lacking even a fraction of the financial resources that the Romney campaign has, the political Lazarus that is Newt has his work cut out for him if he wants to stop Romney and open the door for a brokered or open convention.
However, Mr. Gingrich has continually shown the more conservative and comprehension plan for reform and the political courage necessary to implement it. His record of accomplishment in the political arena is vastly superior and vastly more conservative than Mr. Romney. As Mr. Gingrich has chosen to remain in the race, voters in the remaining states still have a choice. Newt is far from perfect. There have been moments when he too was a member of the RINOcracy and went off the conservative reservation to canoodle with leftist figures and ideologies. What Mr. Gingrich brings to the table, however, is a refreshingly honest admission of his mistakes. Having been booted by the very RINOcratic crowd that he once stampeded with, Newt understands the danger and folly of abandoning principles for political gain. He now comes chastened and ready for a fight, not just with the radical leftist agenda of Obama and his allies, but also with those in the GOP who demand mediocrity and submission over ideas and bold reform. There is a reason why folks like Rick Perry, Fred Thompson, Thomas Sowell and Sarah Palin have chosen Newt over Mitt.
Nobody is asking you to fall madly in love with Newt Gingrich. Serious minded common sense and independent Constitutional conservatives should take a long serious look at the former speaker, however. If your goal is to advance conservative reforms, then Newt Gingrich is your man.
And for those who say that the battle is over--it may well be. However, there is nothing wrong with supporting Newt Gingrich throughout the remainder of the primary to, if nothing else, hold Mitt Romney's feet to the conservative fire. With all other conservative options off the table for now, Mr. Gingrich could secure victories in key states like Texas to win a large block of delegates. It probably won't be enough to deny Mr. Romney the nomination, but then again, a year ago nobody would have believed that Newt and Rick Santorum would have been the last standing conservatives. As a certain former governor from Alaska once promised, this election cycle has turned out to be quite unconventional. And if Mr. Gingrich can stop Romney from hitting the magic 1144, the nominee could turn out to be a trustworthy conservative standard bearer like the former governor.
Even if Mr. Gingrich can't stop Romney, continuing to hold down Romney's vote totals will remind him that he needs the tea party movement in the fall if he wishes to win. It will go a long way to holding Mr. Romney accountable to the conservatism he claims now to embrace.
There may come a day during the general election when we need to unite behind Mitt Romney as our only viable alternative to Barack Obama. And we will do so, however reluctantly. That time is not now.
Conservatives should vote for NEWT GINGRICH in all remaining states in the primary election. Send a message to the GOP that this is the party of bold conservative visionaries like Ronald Reagan. Stand up for bold colors and demand sudden and relentless conservative reform. Our country demands nothing less.