Today’s New Hampshire primary is historic. Mitt Romney’s win makes him the first non-incumbent Republican to win both Iowa and New Hampshire since Iowa became the kick-off state in the election cycle. (Update: Recount has shown that Rick Santorum actually edged Mitt Romney in Iowa) While that doesn’t mean he’s the nominee–Rick “Sweater Vest” Santorum, Ron Paul and to some extent Newt Gingrich still have a viable shot–but at this point you have to bet on Mitt Romney over the field.
With that being said, I’m not a Romney-hater searching for the best “anti-Romney,” nor am I a supporter of his. That gives me an open mind to evaluate the pros and cons of him as the GOP nominee. I may go back and add more later, but here’s what comes to mind. Please add pros and cons that you can think of in the comments. For every con try to add a pro and vice versa.
- He’s the only GOP candidate that when pitted against President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 matchup defeats him (by 2% overall and by 6% with independents according to FNC). He’s often credited as being the most electable candidate and these statistics lend credence to that argument. (Update: Newt Gingrich loses to President Obama by 9%, 1/23/2012)
- He’s more electable because he’s more liberal than the other candidates. The Wall Street Journal called his job growth plan timid and more like Obama’s (than other candidates). He has deemed his own views “progressive,” said he’d be better for gay rights than Ted Kennedy, and promised to be a pro-choice governor.
- Mitt Romney has committed to cutting spending to 20% of GDP.
- Government revenues are typically 18% of GDP meaning even if Mitt accomplishes this goal we’ll still be running a deficit. His ideas are not bold enough, and he’s rather moderate.
- Mitt Romney‘s experience in the private sector is stellar. Some, including fellow Republicans Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, have attacked his tenure at Bane Capital and called him a corporate raider. Romney has proven that he created a net job growth while there, thoroughly debunking that argument. Rick Santorum called the criticism unfounded last night on Fox News. Mitt did great work for Staples while working with Bane Capital and then worked with the Olympics. He really understands business at a level that President Obama simply does not and is much more qualified to handle the economy.
- While his private sector experience is fantastic and his tenure as Massachusetts governor seems to have been quite successful, he lacks foreign policy experience. We haven’t heard him say much about foreign policy in speeches or debates either.
- He has unequivocally stated conservative social values, yet hasn’t been viciously attacked and demonized by the media like someone with similar views such as Rick Santorum.
- As much as he wants to say about his social views, it’s hard to believe they are strongly held convictions when they differ so wildly from what he said about his social views when running in the very liberal state of Massachusetts.
- Mitt knows how to make political allies and get things done. His historic run through the first two primaries was aided by endorsements from conservative politicians in key states. He was able to work with liberal Democrats while serving as Governor in Massachusetts and is a better hope to end the partisan strife in Washington than any very liberal Democrat or very conservative Republican.
- While Barack Obama claimed that he would be a “different type of politician” and run the most transparent administration we’d ever seen (and subsequently struggled to achieve it), Mitt Romney wouldn’t bother to make such claims. 35 of Mitt Romney endorsers received contributions from Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC.
- Romney has the strongest organization among the GOP nominees. He has the biggest war chest, the best advisers, and the strongest get-out-the-vote effort. These will be critical if the GOP nominee is to give President Obama a worthy challenge.
- His aforementioned advantages over GOP rivals won’t stack up as advantages against Barack Obama and his powerful political machine. If Romney is winning the GOP nomination simply by outspending his rivals, having a stronger ground game, and crushing them with negative ads, what will he do when President Obama outspends him, has a stronger ground game, and runs more negative ads? Rely on $4.00 gas?
Feel free to share more in the comments and I may add them to the list. Thanks for reading.
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