Was Mitt Romney Designed to Lose?

Mitt Romney Loses

Those who follow this blog know that I’ve never been a fan of Mitt Romney. I predicted that he was mathematically incapable of winning when Herman Cain was hot on his tail. When Cain fell from grace and Newt Gingrich rose, there was finally a remnant of true conservatism possible, but that was squashed as well. Then, Rick Santorum emerged as the not-Romney with extremely conservative views, but he wasn’t strong enough to take down Romney.

When it became clear that Romney would get the nomination, I prepared for the inevitable Obama victory. Despite knowing from the start that Romney had no chance of winning, I was still stunned at how badly he was trounced. It has been percolating in my mind since the election and now I’m convinced, circumstantially it may be, that Mitt Romney was engineered as the candidate and that Barack Obama’s victory was a foregone conclusion.

History tells us that conservatives win elections. Moderates can only win when they either follow the momentum created by a conservative president (G.H.W. Bush) or when they run on the premise of being a conservative (G. W. Bush). There were conservative contenders and there were conservatives who could have been contenders, but all of them fell to the untrustworthy, unlikable Mitt Romney.

There are plenty of conspiracy theories out there already being circulated about the election being rigged, and I am not going to participate. I simply want to point out that Mitt Romney was designed to lose. It was clear and apparent even to the Republican Establishment. What forces are behind the scenes pulling their strings? What strings are being pulled with our government today. What is the end goal? Where will America be in a year?

I don’t know, but I’m scared.

I am the Problem with the Republican Party

Image Credit: runluaurun

Ever since the GOP primary season started, I’ve been very displeased with Mitt Romney as the Republican Establishment’s anointed choice. He is not a conservative, but perhaps more importantly his health care record with Romneycare will absolutely prohibit him from being able to defeat Barack Obama in November. Conservatives don’t like him. Moderates don’t trust him. The only people who seem to like him are liberals because they see what the Republican Establishment is unwilling to see, that Mitt Romney is a fraud that will be exposed by the tremendous campaigning machine the Obama’s team will unleash on him if he is indeed the nominee.

The reason that he hasn’t been knocked off his pedestal thus far is me. That’s not a statement exemplifying delusions of grandeur.  It’s what I represent as that loud but unconsolidated group of conservatives who are so strongly opposed to Romney that we are looking to Santorum or Gingrich (or even Paul) to step up. I have “pulled a Romney” several times in the last few months casting my support to the Conservative du jour who seems to have a chance.

That’s the problem.

Any of the candidates other than Herman Cain had a chance if only we would have united around one of them. It was Bachmann. Then it was Perry. Then it was Cain. Then it was Gingrich. Then it was Santorum. Then it was Gingrich again. Then it was Santorum again.

My indecision and the indecision of people like me have propelled Romney to the likely victory he is now clawing his way towards. In the end, he may be better for the country than Obama and that’s another part of the indecision that is haunting the party. Many who have voted or plan to vote for Romney are doing so reluctantly because we want the fighting to end and for the party to concentrate on the true foe. We want to prize. We want the presidency.

Right here, right now, I’m drawing the unpopular line. I will not vote for Romney. Many will say that it’s a statement and position that further damages the party. They are right. Unfortunately, they are also wrong. Voting for Mitt Romney will hurt the Republican party and the country more than another 4 years of Obama. His chances are mathematically lighter than either Santorum or Gingrich to be able to beat Obama simply because he cannot win the important states.

If he is able to win somehow in November (anything is possible in politics, particularly when Obama is involved), he will do damage to the party in ways that will take at least 8 years to fix much in the same way that Bush Sr. did in 1988-1992. He will hurt what has been built up recently in congress by pulling us away from the possibility of a majority in both the House and the Senate. He will put a Democrat back in the White House in 2016 and likely again in 2020 because of the debacle that his presidency would be.

Ron Paul, for all of his good ideas and intentions, is also in the same boat. His foreign policy ideas are impossible to support.

This leaves Santorum and Gingrich. The line in the sand has been drawn. Who will step up and earn my support from now until the end?

General Election Scenarios Favor @RickSantorum

GOP Election Scenario Map

With 22 states very likely to vote for the Republican candidate and 19 states plus Washington DC very likely to vote for President Obama, there are 9 states that will be at the center of each campaign once the Republican nominee is selected.

For a Republican victory, it’s easy to see that Santorum would have an easier road to the White House than Romney.

In Colorado, Iowa, and Ohio, Santorum fairs better.  In Virginia and Florida, Romney is the stronger candidate. However, Florida may be a moot point as it will likely stick with Obama as it did in 2008 unless Marco Rubio is the GOP Vice Presidential nominee. In that scenario, Republicans would have a great shot at picking up the state.

This leaves Pennsylvania, which voted for Obama behind strong campaigning by Scranton-born Joe Biden. Santorum can deliver Pennsylvania. Romney cannot.

The “established” delegate count puts the Republicans at 180 and Obama at 232. Add Santorum’s Pennsylvania delegates and Marco Rubio’s Florida delegates and it brings his total to 229. If he can deliver Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, and Colorado, places where his chances are stronger than Romney’s, he would squeak out a victory even if Obama retains New Mexico, Virginia, and North Carolina.

With Romney losing in Pennsylvania, he would have to win South Carolina (where he didn’t even win the primary) plus either Virginia or New Mexico to win. This is assuming he is also able to deliver Ohio, Colorado, and Iowa, places where Santorum is more popular.

If the Republican party’s goal is to defeat Barack Obama, there is very little room for doubt that mathematically speaking, Santorum is the much better bet.

The Broken System: Santorum Leads Nationally But Everything Hinges On Michigan

Santorum Over Romney

It’s an antiquated system designed before the internet and with the intention of allowing voters and delegates to see their nominees in person. It harkens to a day when trains crossed from sea to sea with candidates waving at people who were lining up just for a glimpse. Those days are behind us. The system should be as well.

The grind of the nomination process (and the state-based election system altogether) no longer make sense. Currently, Rick Santorum leads all GOP nominees in national polls, but most of those voters will not have a voice. If Michigan goes to Romney, this race has 10 days left. For people living in states who have primaries after Super Tuesday on March 6th, your votes won’t make a difference.

A win for Romney will give him the momentum he needs to wrap up the nomination. The fight will continue for a long time, possibly up to the convention, but everyone other than the hardcore supporters of each remaining candidate will lose interest.

How can someone better-represent a party’s choice but not have a chance of reaching the majority of the voters? Why is a vote in Michigan more powerful than a vote in Utah, a state that has more delegates but who has very little chance to make an impact with their primary in late June?

According to the most recent USA Today poll, Santorum is ahead of President Obama head-to-head by 3% while Romney is tied with the President. As you can see in the graphic above, Santorum also beats Romney in a nationwide poll. The fact that we still have this ludicrous system is asinine.

We have television. We have the internet. We have ways to see each candidate and have them speak to the people in each state. The primary system should be consolidated to one that makes more sense in the digital age. Standard conservative thinking is to allow the states to do what they feel like doing to select delegates, but for once we’re deviating from the norm. Regardless of who wins today, the fact that voters in Michigan are more empowered than voters in other states is absolute proof of a broken system.

“A Tale of Two Mitts” Worked for McCain in 2008. Why aren’t 2012 Candidates Doing the Same?

John McCain

In 2008, John McCain was on the outside looking in during the early months of the GOP nomination process. Rudy Giuliani was a favorite but didn’t show up until Florida.  Fred Thompson was a lump on a log during debates. Mike Huckabee faded early as well.

By this time 4 years ago, it was really down to two men: John McCain and Mitt Romney. Romney tried something that we’ve seen all-too-much of during this round – aggressive and misleading negative campaign ads. He painted McCain as a Richard Nixon clone, but it didn’t work. McCain used a series of commercials that simply took clips of Romney saying the exact opposite of what he had previously said time and time again. “A Tale of Two Mitts” helped to solidify the nomination for McCain and gave him a head start on the Democrats who were still fighting over Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

Rick Santorum is attacking Romney on social issues. Ron Paul is going after his foreign policy and economic records. Newt Gingrich is painting Romney as an ineffective moderate. If any one of them would simply come out and use McCain’s tactic, hammering home the fact that Mitt Romney has never found a position that he didn’t like for now but would be willing to like later, they would hurt him much more than trying to go toe-to-toe with him as they are.

Unless Santorum pulls the upsets on Tuesday or Newt Gingrich bows out before Super Tuesday, it’s very likely that we will have the weakest GOP nominee in decades.

Here’s McCain’s technique. It worked. It would work again if the Republican candidates would only invoke it with a 2012 spin. Now’s not the time for creativity. It’s time to do what works.

You can bet that Obama’s team won’t make the same mistake the Republican candidates are making.

ABORT! Romney’s Inability To Galvanize His Own Party Is Why It’s Time to Write Him Off

Mitt Romney Abort

I was one of those people. The person in the large group at the restaurant who was last to order, mulling over the menu because nothing popped out at me and I didn’t want to make the wrong selection – that was me. With a heavy heart, I started supporting Mitt Romney when my last hope for a solid choice, Herman Cain, turned out to be a dud.

Romney was the safe bet. He could appeal to moderates. He might not have had the chops to beat Obama, but he was less-likely to say or do something that would make him outright lose to Obama. He was the veteran quarterback who couldn’t take over a game for his team but had a good record because he didn’t make many mistakes and ran an efficient offense.

Now that it’s crunch time with Michigan and Arizona around the corner, I realize the error of my thinking and I’m hopeful that the Tuesday primary states do the same thing.

Mitt Romney has zero chance of defeating Barack Obama.

I came to this conclusion over the last month during a time when Romney should be wrapping up the nomination. He hasn’t. He cannot get his own party to believe in him. His passion seems insincere at best (contrived and forced is probably a better way to put it) and his decision-making abilities are absolutely abysmal.

This was his nomination. He had everything working for him – more money, opponents with baggage, favorable states in the early primaries – but he lacks the leadership skills that Republicans and Americans in general desperately crave. The sheer fact that we’re still looking for someone better is a crystal clear indicator that he’s not the right person for the nomination.

“Landslide” doesn’t remotely approach the proper context of Obama’s victory if Romney wins the nomination.

At this point, sobering up from the drunken stupor I put myself in over wishing that Romney was more than what he really is, I can only hope for Santorum to win on Tuesday. Both Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich appeal to me more than Santorum, but Republicans allowed themselves to be bought by Romney’s campaign dollars and Santorum is the only one within striking distance. Romney was my 1st choice. He’s now my 4th (and possibly 5th). Yes, even as a relatively-conservative Republican, I am to the point to where Romney’s ineffectiveness worries me.

I’m to the point that I would rather see Obama get another term than to see Romney try to lead this country.

I (poorly) Photoshopped the image above because that’s how I feel right now. The man that had earned my vote by default a month ago is now just a crooked-mouthed politician who doesn’t deserve to be in the conversation.

Co-Chair of Romney’s Arizona Campaign Steps Down Over Accusations from Gay Lover

Paul Babeu

When it rains, it pours for the Romney campaign.

Paul Babeu, a local Arizona sheriff who was co-chair of Mitt Romney’s Arizona campaign team, has stepped down after accusations surfaced that he threatened deportation of a former male lover if he discussed the relationship.

The lover identified as “Jose” was allegedly asked by Babeu’s lawyer to stay silent about the relationship with the sheriff.

“All of these allegations that were in one of these newspapers were absolutely false, except for the issue that referred to me as being gay, and that is the truth. I am gay,” Babeu said at the news conference.

After receiving the threats, “Jose” went to Melissa Weiss-Riner, attorney, for counsel.

“Jose came to our firm because he felt he was being intimidated, and he was in fear for his life,” Weiss-Riner says. “He wanted his legal rights protected.”

Arizona is a key state for Romney with his hopes of winning in his native state of Michigan fading. He needs to win either state on March 28th to build momentum going into Super Tuesday 8 days later.

Democratic National Committee Invokes John McCain to Attack Romney’s Olympic Record

Salt Lake City Olympics

When an enemy attacks a candidate, it can be dismissed as biased. When someone on the same side of the fence challenges the decisions of a candidate, it’s newsworthy.

That’s the hope of the Democratic National Committee who released their first advertisement of the election season. In it, they negatively depict one of the aspects of Romney’s past that the candidate has been touting as a strength: his chairing of the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. To drive their point home, they took the words of a former foe and turned them against the GOP front runner.

At $1.3 billion, Salt Lake City received more than double the public funding that the Atlanta Olympics 6 years earlier received. Many on both sides of the fence called it wasteful and blamed Romney for arrogantly pulling strings to “save” the Olympics from scandal and disaster. Here’s the video, which was not endorsed by either Obama or his campaign:

Romney is Declawed in Time for Santorum to Remain the Front Runner

Santorum Front Runner

It has been a whirlwind of a primary season as five candidates have held the top spot in national polling amongst likely Republican voters over the last several months. The only constant has been that Mitt Romney has never fallen below #2 and has fought of Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich through their surges.

He was recently eclipsed by Rick Santorum. This time, Romney will not be able to bash his way out of second place thanks to a perfectly-timed defection of a certain Ohio Attorney General.

Mike DeWine has been a Romney supporter for a while now, but today’s announcement did more than just represent a defection away from Romney and into Santorum’s camp. It highlighted the tactic that Romney has used throughout the campaign when threatened: attacks on the front-runner of the day.

It worked with Rick Perry (aided by poor debate performances) and would have worked on Herman Cain had his past not come back to haunt him (which many speculate Romney’s team had a hand in anyway). It destroyed Gingrich after his stunning victory in South Carolina with Romney’s team outspending the field 6-to-1 in Florida, most of which was spent taking down Gingrich.

Thanks to DeWine, Romney’s despicable methods will be called into question when he tries to do the same to Santorum.

“To be elected president, you have to do more than tear down your opponents,” DeWine said. “You have to give the American people a reason to vote for you, a reason to hope, a reason to believe that under your leadership, America will be better. Rick Santorum has done that. Sadly, Governor Romney has not.”

Every time Romney or his SuperPAC attempt to destroy their opponents, they’re adding fuel to the fire that Obama and his team are already counting on for victory. Whether it’s Santorum, Romney, Paul, or Gingrich, the eventual GOP candidate will be limping into a fight against an extremely formidable opponent. The Romney attack machine needs to be called out every time it fires up. DeWine’s comments and defection will further highlight this need.

Mitt Romney is not a Conservative

Ronald Reagan Flag

American politicians are supposed to be guided by the will of the people through an electorate that decides who will best represent their goals and fill the needs required of office. It can be said that going with what the people want is an asset and should be considered a strength. There are times, however, when personal passion and unwavering convictions are more important than the willingness to change.

Voters know this instinctively, which is why Mitt Romney hasn’t taken the commanding lead that his money and the support he receives from the Republican Establishment should be giving him. When someone’s voiced opinions change based upon the audience at the time, it means that either the opinions their voicing are false part of the time (you can’t live on both sides of any particular fence) or that the ability of a person to form opinions that make sense to them (and therefore the electorate) is missing.

Mitt Romney’s flips and flops are well documented, but that’s politics. A candidate must often put their words through a filter to fit the situation and actions tend to speak louder than words. However, there’s a statement that should disqualify Romney from ever being able to call himself a conservative. It’s one thing to change over time and become more conservative, but to go from an independent to moderate Republican and now to a conservative as he is claiming is simply not feasible. To claim to have changed that much over the years is either a lie or alarming if it’s true. America does not need a President with such weak convictions that they are able to tumble so easily.

We don’t need Mitt Romney.