Sunday, February 20, 2011

How Mitt Romney Could Prevent A Mitch Daniels Candidacy

I was in Barnes and Nobles today and I picked up a copy of Romney's recent book. I admit I have not read it, but I am making plans to do so in April (I already have a strict reading schedule until then). When I get a chance to read it, I will be sure to post a review here at Rightspeak.

Nevertheless, I couldn't help but spend some time in Barnes & Noble reading Romney's section on entitlement spending. And to my relief, Romney is as worried about that 40 percent of the budget as I am. He actually has some very clever ideas on how to reign in mandatory spending. He also rightfully believes that the budget should be published each year in order to raise awareness on how the government spends taxpayers' money (it is effectively an entitlement spending agency guarded by a large military). 

My only regret is that Romney has hidden these serious proposals in his policy book (that will only be read by people who care about public policy) and has not made them public to the grassroots. As far as I am aware, Romney made no mention of entitlement spending in his CPAC speech. Daniels did. Chris Christie talked about entitlements in his AEI speech. Paul Ryan has publicly promised to tackle the issue as well.

Now, I understand the strategy. Romney already has a huge following that consists of quite a few senior citizens. Daniels, Christie, and Ryan do not. In fact, Daniels has absolutely nothing to lose by being the "truth teller." But if Romney does not watch his step, Daniels is going to take the mantle of the 'serious candidate' from Romney. Daniels has already stood up to the base/talk radio/Fox News cabal on several occasions. The conventional wisdom is that truth telling doesn't get you very far within the conservative movement and it might not get Daniels very far this time. But it also might work. I have noted in the past week that I sense a different mood creeping into conservative circles. If Romney doesn't step up to the plate, he might miss a golden opportunity to publicly promote serious proposals at deficit reduction.

As far as I can tell, there are four Republicans who have publicly admitted that Medicare needs to be cut: Romney, Daniels, Christie, and Ryan. Of those four, one of them has spoken out only via his policy book. That's not enough.

I am pledging right here and now that I will not cast a vote for anyone, Republican or Democrat, who does not publicly propose that we reduce Medicare spending in some way. If Mitt Romney will lead the charge, then my vote will go to him. If he doesn't, then I will likely be a Daniels man.


Anonymous said...

Pablo, I'm glad you posted this, I was just thinking about Daniels. He has some great qualifications, and he is easily my second choice after Romney. But he's not perfect. He has as many or more defects as Romney--hey everyone has them.

As Scarborough and others have pointed out, he was partly responsible for the out-of-control spending under Bush--so the rhetoric doesn't quite match the record. This to me, is a much bigger problem than the truce. He's saying all the right things, and he has done some good things in Indiana. But his record is what it is, and it's tied to Bush and out-of-control spending.

He's also squarely in the establishment category. Close supporter of Richard Lugar, which doesn't inspire a lot of confidence, IMO.

One of the first things he did as Governor was to propose new taxes. Will he do the same thing POTUS, especially under the circumstances? A lot of people say we need them, I'm not one of them.

In spite of these things, to my mind he's far and away better qualified to be president that most everyone else, and I would be very happy to support him if necessary.


BTW - I do think Romney has spoken about entitlements. I don't doubt for a second that Romney is ready to do whatever it takes to get on a better track. And I think his record shows how serious and capable he is.

BOSMAN said...

Romney is not hiding from the Entitlement issue. Videos:

Go to 2:30 minute mark:



go to 7:00 minute mark:

Pablo said...


Interesting videos.

The first one Romney said nothing about Medicare. In fact, he criticized the President for cutting Medicare.

The second two videos Romney gave a good answer, although neither one was on a national news station.

The last one was on Morning Joe.

I guess I am satisfied with Romney's answers, I just would like to see him proclaim a little bit more. But I guess the campaign hasn't started, so I have an open mind.

Pablo said...


Those are good comments on Daniels. I am still learning more about him. I definitely prefer Romney, because I think that Romney is in a better place to win. If Romney will be a little more bold about Medicare reform, then I won't have any more doubts about him.

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't trust Romney on much of anything. Too many conflicting signals and flat out reversals over the years. I do think he has a better shot than Daniels in the general though based on appearance alone.

Ellie said...

Anon, please tell us what you see as 'conflicting signals'. And reversals? What reversals? I like Daniels, and he is my second choice after Romney. but he's not my first choice. Why have someone sorta like mitt, when you can have the real thing? He has a decent background as Gov. But the Bush stigma might do him in.

I think Mitt Romney is America's best choice for these times and this season.

Dave said...


Romney's in a class all by himself when it comes to economics. Once he announces, he will start running on the issues of balancing the budget without raising taxes, and creating jobs by increasing the size of the private sector of the economy.

For more info, read Bosman's post on Romney's Bain career, No Apology, and/or Turnaround.