Meet the GOP: Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney is another Republican candidate in the running for the presidential election. A former governor of Massachusetts, Romney is the front-runner according to the latest polls. He also ran in the 2008 primaries, in which he eventually lost to Sen. John McCain.

One issue voters have found with Romney is that he “flip-flops” on the issues. To refresh the memory, Merriam Webster dictionary defines flip-flop as “a sudden reversal (as of policy or strategy)”.

Here are a few examples of Romney “flip-flopping”, according to a recent document of Sen. John McCain which was recently posted online by Buzzfeed.com. To avoid confusion, I’ve included his current stance on the issues:

Immigration

FLIP: “Gov. Mitt Romney expressed support … for an immigration program that places large numbers of illegal residents on the path toward citizenship … Romney said illegal immigrants should have a chance to obtain citizenship.”  (Evan Lehmann, “Romney Supports Immigration Program, But Not Granting ‘Amnesty’,” The Lowell Sun, 3/30/06)

FLOP: “I think I’m best off to describe my own positions. And my positions, I think I’ve just described for you – secure the border, employment verification and no special pathway to citizenship. I feel that’s the course we ought to take.” (CNN’s “The Situation Room,” 5/22/07)

Romney opposes permanent legalization or amnesty for illegal aliens, and opposes temporary legalization for guest workers. He believes illegal immigrants should return home, and then apply through the proper channels.

George W. Bush’s Tax-Cuts

FLIP: “Romney spoke at the 10th annual legislative conference organized by U.S. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Lowell) and met with the Massachusetts delegation. … Congressional sources said that a point of contention arose when Romney refused to take a position on Bush’s massive, 10-year tax cut plan.” (Noelle Straub, “Romney Talks Policy With Bush Staffers, Mass. Delegation,” Boston Herald, 4/11/03)

FLOP: “McCain opposed President Bush’s tax cuts, Romney noted. ‘I supported them,’ the former governor said.” (Lee Bandy, “Romney Targeting McCain,” The State [SC], 2/4/07)

Reagan

Most Republicans look fondly when reminiscing about the Reagan era, and look for qualities of Reagan in their party leaders. Where does Romney stand on Reagan?

FLIP: “I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan- Bush,” Mitt Romney said during a debate with Ted Kennedy.

FLOP: “‘Ronald Reagan is one of my heroes,’ Romney said as he praised Reagan’s strategy for winning the Cold War: ‘We win; they lose.’” (Michael Levenson, “Romney Links Gay Marriage, US Prestige,” The Boston Globe, 2/26/05)

National Rifle Association And Gun Laws

FLIP:  “Romney said he will take stands that put him at odds with some traditional ultra conservative groups, and cited his support for the assault rifle ban and the Brady gun control law. ‘That’s not going to make me the hero of the NRA,’ he said. ‘I don’t line up with a lot of special interest groups.’” (Andrew Miga, “Mitt Rejects Right-Wing Aid,” Boston Herald, 9/23/94)

FLOP:  Romney told a Derry, N.H., audience, ‘I’m after the NRA’s endorsement. I’m not sure they’ll give it to me. I hope they will. I also joined because if I’m going to ask for their endorsement, they’re going to ask for mine.’” (Glen Johnson, “Romney Calls Himself A Longtime Hunter,” The Associated Press, 4/5/07)

FLIP: “I have a gun of my own. I go hunting myself. I’m a member of the NRA and believe firmly in the right to bear arms,” Romney said. (Glenn And Helen Show, http://www.glennandhelenshow.com, 1/10/07)

FLOP: “Asked by reporters at the gun show Friday whether he personally owned a gun, Romney said he did not. He said one of his sons, Josh, keeps two guns at the family vacation home in Utah, and he uses them ‘from time to time.’” (Scott Helman, “Romney Retreats On Gun Control,” The Boston Globe, 1/14/07)

After supporting gun control laws earlier in his career, Romney now supports the 2nd Amendment, and hopes to receive the NRA’s endorsement. Within four days, Romney apparently does or does not own a gun, but is a member of the National Rifle Association. On the issue of hunting, he has stated that he hunts frequently, while other times he has said he has only been a few times.

Same-sex Marriage and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

FLIP:  In 1994 “Romney called President Bill Clinton’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ military policy ‘the first of a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation’s military.’” (Dan Balz and Shailagh Murray, “Mass. Governor’s Rightward Shift Raises Questions,” The Washington Post, 12/21/06)

FLOP:  “Romney defended his policy switch on gays in the military. He said when he first heard the phrase ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ he thought it was ‘kind of a silly phrase that didn’t make a lot of sense.’ But the last 10 years have convinced him that the policy is working and there is no reason to change it, he said.”  (Alexa Aguilar, “Romney Campaigns In Chicago,” Chicago Tribune, 4/12/07)

Romney is against same-sex marriage and civil unions, and believes that to allow such a thing would harm the culture as well as the children of America. He believes people should be respectful of all people and their orientation, but that the institution of marriage must be upheld. He supported the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have prohibited same-sex marriage by modifying the U.S. Constitution. Romney has also been accused of flip-flopping on this issue.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

FLIP:  “Speaking at a bioethics forum, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Mitt Romney yesterday endorsed embryonic stem cell research … Romney endorsed embryonic stem cell research, saying the controversial science might one day help treat his wife’s multiple sclerosis in addition to numerous other degenerative diseases. … Romney spoke extensively about his position on stem cell research, which also involves embryo destruction.” (Raja Mishra, “Romney Endorses Stem Cell Research, Is Silent On Cloning,” The Boston Globe, 6/14/02)

FLOP: …On Feb. 10, 2005 … Romney came out strongly against the cloning technique … He vowed to press for legislation to criminalize the work. Romney’s opposition stunned scientists, lawmakers, and observers because of his past statements endorsing, at least in general terms, embryonic stem cell research.” (Scott Helman, “Romney’s Journey To The Right,” The Boston Globe, 12/17/06)

Romney is a strong supporter of stem cell research, but is against cloning or embryo farming. He is also against federal money being used for embryonic stem cell research.

Healthcare

FLIP: “In a Colonial-era hall, with a fife-and-drum corps marching in with him, Gov. Mitt Romney (R) signed a bill Wednesday requiring all Massachusetts residents to purchase health insurance — portraying the measure as a historic solution to health-care costs, even as questions emerge about whether the state can afford it. The signing [was] staged with a near-presidential attention to theatrics and slogan-bearing banners…” (David A. Fahrenthold, “Mass. Marks Health-Care Milestone,” The Washington Post, 4/13/06)

FLOP: “As governor of Massachusetts he signed a bipartisan law intended to ensure that every resident has coverage. Romney touted it as an innovative free-market solution. Yet these days, Romney … is much more likely to present his state’s universal coverage law as not a model to copy but an example for other states to learn from. He’s now a critic of his own biggest achievement.” (Sean Higgins, “Ex-Gov. Romney Keeps Distance From His Own Mass. Health Plan,” Investor’s Business Daily, 3/7/07)

Romney has stated that he will repeal ObamaCare if elected. He supports the goals of the Republican House plan to reduce spending by cutting Medicare and other federal programs.

Tax Pledges

FLIP: “Four years ago, Mitt Romney broke with GOP tradition and refused to sign the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to ‘oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes’.” (Lisa Wangsness, “Healey Will Sign Antitax Pledge,” The Boston Globe, 9/4/06)

“Romney’s Gubernatorial Campaign Spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, Dismissed Such Pledges At The Time As ‘Government By Gimmickry.’” (Scott Helman, “Romney Finds ‘No New Taxes’ Promise Suits Him After All,” The Boston Globe, 1/5/07)

FLOP: “Almost five years after he refused to sign a ‘no new taxes’ pledge during his campaign for governor, Mitt Romney announced … that he had done just that, as his campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination began in earnest.” (Scott Helman, “Romney Finds ‘No New Taxes’ Promise Suits Him After All,” The Boston Globe, 1/5/07)

On the issue of tax cuts, Romney believes that permanent tax cuts will stimulate the economy. He opposes the estate tax, endorses the elimination of minimum wage, and wants to cut the corporate tax rate. He supports a budget that cuts payroll taxes for people aged sixty-five and older as well as cutting taxes on people earning less than $200,000 a year and reducing taxes on savings and investment.

Money in Politics

FLIP: “Romney also said he advocates spending limits on congressional elections, even suggesting that the current race against Sen. Edward M. Kennedy should have a $6 million spending cap.” (Frank Phillips, “Romney, Vowing To Live It, Touts Congress Reform Plan,” The Boston Globe, 7/27/94)

“Mitt Romney once touted dramatic restructuring measures such as taxing political contributions and placing spending limits on federal campaigns.” (Alexander Bolton, “Romney’s About-Face On Campaign Funding,” The Hill, 2/8/07)

FLOP:  “Romney noted his foe from Arizona wrote the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law that restricts certain types of contributions. ‘That’s a terrible piece of legislation,’ Romney said. ‘It hasn’t taken the money out of politics. … (But) it has hurt my party.’” (Lee Bandy, “Romney Targeting McCain,” The State, 2/4/07)

More Pro-choice Than Ted Kennedy

FLIP“I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as an US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it.” (Joan Vennochi, “Romney’s Revolving World,” The Boston Globe, 3/2/06)

FLOP:“When I am asked if I am pro-choice or pro-life, I say I refuse to accept either label.” (Glen Warchol, “This Is The Place, But Politics May Lead Romneys Elsewhere,” The Salt Lake Tribune, 2/14/99)

FLIP: “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose, and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard. I will not change any provisions of Massachusetts’ pro-choice laws.” (2002 Romney-O’Brien Gubernatorial Debate, Suffolk University, Boston, MA, 10/29/02)

FLOP: ]‘It hit me very hard that we had so cheapened the value of human life in a Roe v. Wade environment that it was important to stand for the dignity of human life,’ Romney says.” (Karen Tumulty, “What Romney Believes,” Time, 5/21/07)

Romney is now running as a Pro-Life candidate. He supports abortion only in the case of rape, incest, or endangerment of the mother’s life. he also supports repealing Roe v. Wade.

Capital Punishment and Civil Liberties

Romney is in favor of the death penalty, and would support doing “whatever it takes to protect the American people” i.e. wiretaps.

Energy/Environment

Romney believes America must become less dependent on foreign oil and to become more energy independent. Romney has stated that he will do everything he can to safeguard the environment while working towards this goal, but also will work to protect American jobs.He also has shown support for drilling on domestic soil, while exploring other options such as bio-diesel, ethanol, and nuclear energy.

Foreign Policy

Romney’s foreign policy has two main issues: competing with Asia economically and defeating the Jihadists.

  1. To compete with Asia, Romney wants the U.S. to open up its market even further by reducing the tariffs, decreasing corporate taxes, and easing up on immigration laws.
  2. To defeat Jihadists, Romney wants to use military options and work with locals in nations where terrorists are living. He also wants to use diplomacy to employ a worldwide fight against terrorists.
Romney believes that pressure should be put on Palestine to recognize Israel’s right to exist. He also believes that Iran is a serious threat and cannot be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. He has proposes economic sanctions to prevent this, but will use force if necessary. He has stated that if Obama is reelected, Iran will develop nuclear weapons, but that if he is elected, he will not allow it.

Day One of Romney in Office Would Be…

If elected, Romney pledges to enact 10 major actions on the first day, consisting of five bills and five executive orders.

The Five Bills
• The American Competitiveness Act
Reduces the corporate income tax rate to 25%
• The Open Markets Act
Implements Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea
• The Domestic Energy Act
Directs the Department of the Interior to undertake a comprehensive energy review
• The Retraining Reform Act
Consolidates federal retraining programs and return these programs to the states
• The Down Payment on Fiscal Sanity Act
Immediately cuts non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent ($20 billion)

The Five Executive Orders
An order to end ObamaCare, in which the Secretary of Health and Human Services are supposed to return the maximum possible authority to the states on the issue of healthcare.
An order to cut red tape, making all agencies end Obama-era regulations that burden the economy or job creation.
An order to boost domestic energy production, in which the Department of the Interior is supposed to implement a process for rapid issuance of drilling permits.
An order to sanction China for unfair trade practices which would require the Department of the Treasury to list China as a currency manipulator and the Department of Commerce to assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports.
An order to reverse the executive orders issued by President Obama that favor organized labor.

At the Arizona Primary, on February 22, 2012, Romney also promised to drop lawsuits against the states who are enacting the E-Verify system on his first day in office. E-Verify is an online system which allows employers to see whether a potential employee is able to legally work in the U.S. The E-Verify system, he believes, would help cut down on illegal aliens being hired, and supports the bill.


The Washington Post also did some fact checking on some of the claims of his flip-flopping, which can be viewed here.

Romney’s stance on the issues seems to have struck a chord with voters, as Romney is currently holding the lead with 203 delegates, with Santorum not far behind, holding 92 candidates. No clear front-runner has emerged as of yet, and anyone could win this race.

(Note: This article does not reflect the views, opinions, or political affiliations of the author. Sorry, guys, that’s for me to know. I do, however, strongly urge that you do the research for yourself. Look up the candidates’ positions on the issues, know where they stand, so that you, as a voter, can make your choice as a well-informed citizen of the United States. For more information of Mitt Romney, visit his website:http://www.mittromney.com/)

For my piece on Rick Santorum, please visit https://bpete393.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/gop-santorum/.

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About Benjamin D. Peters

Ben is a reporter for The Missouri Times. Missouri State University alum, degree in media. http://SeeDisclaimer.com View all posts by Benjamin D. Peters

3 responses to “Meet the GOP: Mitt Romney

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