Core Beliefs: Contrasting Perry and Romney
The Wall Street Journal twice in recent months has questioned whether Mitt Romney has any core beliefs.
“The biggest rap on Mr. Romney as a potential President is that it’s hard to discern any core beliefs beyond faith in his own managerial expertise,” said the Journal on September 7, while panning the Romney jobs plan as “surprisingly timid and tactical considering our economic predicament.”
Whether Mr. Romney has any core beliefs becomes an even more acute question, in light of his campaign’s fear-mongering weekend attack on Rick Perry for having the courage to say that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme–that younger generations who pay into the fund will not be able to get their contributions back.
When a Republican attacks another Republican, employing unprincipled, Democrat-style demagoguery aimed at our parents and seniors, it’s a pretty ugly spectacle. Particularly when Governor Perry has said repeatedly that he would not jeopardize current or near future social security recipients but phase in change so that future generations can benefit.
Use of fear tactics does nothing to further the discussion of how best to reform Social Security. Nor does it do anything to address the vital issue of restoring jobs and prosperity. Instead, it only further calls into question Mr. Romney’s core beliefs.
In contrast to his opportunism on Social Security in recent days, Mitt Romney in his 2010 book, forthrightly accused Congress of criminality in its management of Social Security. “Let’s look at what would happen,” he wrote, “if someone in the private sector did a similar thing. Suppose two grandparents created a trust fund, appointed a bank trustee, and instructed the bank to invest the proceeds of the trust fund so as to provide for their grandchildren’s education. Suppose further that the bank used the proceeds for its own purposes, so that when the grandchildren turned eighteen, there was no money… What would happen to the bankers…? They would go to jail.”
That was Mitt Romney last year. Has he yet again changed his tune on yet another important issue? So it seems. Add a Social Security flip-flop to his flip-flops over the years on abortion, global warming, Romneycare, capital gains tax cuts, etc., etc.
Perhaps it is the tepid response to his jobs plan and the criticism of his poor performance in jobs-creation while governor of Massachusetts — 47th worst performance of all 50 governors — that impel Mr. Romney to try to take the focus off jobs creation. The Romney record contrasts poorly with that of Governor Perry, whose state under his leadership created fully 40% of all of the new jobs in the entire nation since 2009.
Or, perhaps it is because he is badly trailing Rick Perry in the polls that Mitt Romney wants to change the subject. The latest national poll, the CNN poll taken over the weekend and released just Monday, confirms two recent national polls showing Perry way out ahead of the pack, with Perry leading Romney by 32 to 21 percent. This is an amazing turnabout in a race that Mr. Romney led since declaring his candidacy and a development that demonstrates the shallowness of much of his support.
Perhaps even more alarming to the Romney strategists is the finding that by 42 to 26 percent, voters believe Rick Perry is the strongest candidate to beat Barack Obama. Since, electability is foremost on the minds of voters of all parties who are fed-up with this clueless president, Perry’s numbers are all the more impressive and persuasive.
Most important of all, given the primacy of jobs in the minds of voters, the CNN poll found that voters favor Perry by 35 to 26 percent for Romney as the person most likely to “get the economy moving.”
As governor, Rick Perry fought for and secured the first cut in state spending since WWII. Current state spending in Texas is 6 percent lower than the budget in place when he was first sworn in ten years ago. Governor Perry secured the largest property tax cut in state history and cut taxes on small businesses, which produce the bulk of new jobs. He has produced a climate of lighter and more predictable regulation. And he’s succeeded in a major lawsuit reform that all but eliminates the frivolous lawsuits that drive up our insurance premiums and drive down employment.
Rick Perry’s core beliefs are that freedom from excessive government alone is the well-spring of opportunity, that opportunity produces jobs and prosperity. He says what he believes and does what he says, with, with great success for the people of Texas. And, unlike some who waver back and forth, he’s tough enough to take the heat and lead. Rick Perry says he wants to get America working again and based on his core beliefs and his track record, he will.
Gordon Humphrey, a resident of Chichester, NH, served two terms in the United States Senate, concurrent with the terms of President Ronald Reagan, whom he regards as one of America’s greatest presidents.