What is Mitt Romney?

Is Mitt Romney a Conservative? The short answer would be no by the classic standard. So, precisely what is Mitt Romney? The answer becomes quite muddy when you look into his record running for the U.S. Senate or as Governor of Massachusetts. Let’s review some of the facts and you decide for yourself.

Romney and McCain

Before becoming Governor, Mitt Romney attempted to unseat the late Ted Kennedy. In 1994 Mitt Romney made several statements, issued letters and expressed opinions that would cause Barry Goldwater or William Buckley to spin in their graves.

One noted letter was sent to the infamous Log Cabin Republicans, a group which advocates for the civil rights of Gay and Lesbian citizens. Several excerpts are worth noting:

“I am not unaware of my opponets considerable record in the area of civil rights, or the commitment of Massachusetts voters to the principal of equality for all Americans. For some voters it might be enough for me to simply match my opponent’s record in this area. But I believe we can and must do better. If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern.”

“One issue I want to clarify concersn President Clinton’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue’ military policy. I believe that the Clinton compromise was a step in the right direction. I am also convinced that it is 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.”

Also during his campaign against Ted Kennedy Mitt Romney said:

“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 a US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it.”

Romney deflates Conservatives

As governor Mitt Romney had several opportunities to defend conservative values but opted instead to follow the left-wing passions of Massachusetts. When the state’s Supreme Court issued a decision supporting gay marriage Mitt Romney was given the opening to make a stand but chose to bow to the radically liberal court. In an open letter to the Governor Mitt Romney, titled Mitt Romney: Meet Calvin Coolidge noted Conservative Patrick J Buchanan implored Romney to defy the court and defend traditional marriage. Instead Mitt Romney ordered Justices of the Peace to perform gay marriage or be fired.

During his tenure as Governor Mitt Romney earned considerable condemnation from conservative publications including garnering number 8 on the list of RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) from Human Events.

The Boston Globe, certainly no conservative publication, noted that Mitt Romney’s tenure as Governor had served to devastate the Massachusetts Republican party. Whereas most states see an up-tick in party registration for the party of the governor, exactly the opposite occurred during the Mitt Romney administration, according to the Boston Globe, eventually leading to the first loss of the state’s governorship in 16 years. Imagine what he can do for the Republican National Committee?

Mitt Romney would like everyone to believe that as a noted businessman he would take steps to help rebuild America by encouraging business growth, yet his record as governor would tend to point in another direction. Faced with a daunting budget deficit Mitt Romney did not impose new taxes, which allowed him to assert he never raised taxes during his tenure as governor, but how business friendly were his policies?

With a $2 billion shortfall in the budget, Mitt Romney approved measures that created numerous fees that while they might not be called “taxes” had the same effect. Nearly $500 million of the $2 billion hole were filled with new “fees.” Mitt Romney also amended the state’s tax code to remove loopholes that primarily affected local businesses.

John Regan, spokesman for Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a pro-business group that represents employers, suggested in an interview that weighing changes in tax rates alone would be misleading. As governor, he said, Mitt Romney “adjusted the tax code under the guise of closing loopholes, the net effect of which was hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue, the bulk of that from business.”

When Mitt Romney ran for the presidency in 2008, the Club For Growth wrote a white paper on the candidate that included this scathing assessment:

Governor Romney’s history on tax policy is also scattered with inconsistencies. He opposed Ballot Question 1 to eliminate the state income tax and proposed an auto excise tax on SUVs and a greenfields tax on the development of ocean space. In 2003, the Governor refused to endorse the Bush tax cuts, earning the praise of Massachusetts liberal congressman Barney Frank, and was even open to a federal gas tax hike. His strident opposition to the flat tax is most curious and difficult to explain since Romney wasn’t a political candidate at the time. In 1996, he ran a series of newspaper ads in Boston, New Hampshire, and Iowa denouncing the 17% flat tax proposed by then presidential candidate Steve Forbes as a “tax cut for fat cats.” In 2007, Romney continued to oppose the flat tax with harsh language, calling the tax “unfair.”

You could write page after page of Mitt Romney’s actions and policies while in Massachusetts that would point decidedly against a molecule of conservative values. Perhaps by Massachusetts standards Mitt Romney is a Conservative; however when measured by national standards Human Events had it right, RINO is a more apt term.

What say you?