I thought I would start my analysis of presidential candidates with an in-depth look at my current preferred candidate, Mitt Romney. As you can see below, I have analyzed what the candidate has said on the issues (his stance) and what he has done (his record). I really enjoyed this exercise (a sign of a true political junkie) and look forward to going through this exercise for the other major candidates.
About the candidate: Mitt Romney (Republican) is the former governor of Massachusetts (serving 2003 through 2007). He is a former CEO of Bain & Company, a management consulting firm, and the co-founder of Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm. He also served as president and CEO of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
|Issue/Voting Criteria||Candidate’s Stance||Candidate’s Record||Grade|
|1. Strengthening the Family||“America cannot continue to lead the family of nations around the world if we suffer the collapse of the family here at home.” Gov Romney, Feb 26, 2005
-Faced with the dilemma of choosing between same-sex marriage or civil unions after the MA Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriages, Romney reluctantly backed a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage but still allowing civil unions
-Romney endorsed a petition effort led by the Coalition for Marriage & Family that would have banned same-sex marriage and made no provisions for civil unions
|1A. Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion||Though running as pro-choice in a 1994 senate race, Romney has more recently said, “I am pro-life. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother… I believe that the states… should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.” Gov Romney, Boston Globe, July 26, 2005
|1B. Pro-Traditional Marriage
||“We respect hard work … We are self reliant, we respect human life, we are a religious people… We are a purpose-driven people founded on the family unit. I think every child deserves to have a mother and a father.” Gov Romney, March 19, 2006
|2. Defending Our Country||“We need to increase our investment in national defense. This means adding at least 100,000 troops and making a long-overdue investment in equipment, armament, weapons systems, and strategic defense…We are going to need at least an additional $30-$40 billion annually over the next several years to modernize our military, fill gaps in troop levels, ease the strain on our National Guard and Reserves.” (Gov Romney, “Rising To A New Generation Of Global Challenges,” July/August 2007)
||From a Mitt Romney Press Release
-In December 2006, Romney signed a memorandum of agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deputizing state troopers to enforce immigration laws.
-Romney vetoed a Massachusetts bill to provide in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.
According to Tim Cruz of National Review Online
|2A. Defeating Terrorists||“Today, as we stare at the face of radical violent Jihad and at the prospect of nuclear epidemic, our military might should not be subject to the whims of ever-changing political agendas. The best ally of peace is a strong America.” Gov Romney, Dearborn, MI, 2/13/07
|2B. Protecting Our Borders||“We need to make America more attractive for legal immigrants — for citizens — and less attractive for illegal immigrants. I want to see more immigration in our country, but more legal immigration and less illegal immigration.” Gov Romney, June 23, 2006
|3. Free Market Economic Policy||CNBC’s Larry Kudlow: “I think [Romney’s] a real capitalist. I think he’s a free market capitalist. I think he’s a supply-sider. He talked to me a lot about keeping the Bush tax cuts in place and lowering the corporate income tax” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 8/30/07)
-Upon entering office in 2003, Romney faced a $1.2 billion deficit
-Through spending cuts and lower taxes, and removal of tax loopholes the State had a $700 million surplus by 2006
-Romney increased the state gasoline tax by 2 cents per gallon
-The state legislature with Romney’s support also cut spending by $1.6 billion
-Romney sought additional cuts in his last year as Massachusetts governor by vetoing nearly 250 items in the state budget.
|3A. Lower Taxes||“I want to lower taxes. I want to lower marginal rates across the board. I want to lower taxes for corporations – we’re high relative to our competition around the world.” (CNBC’s “Kudlow & Company,” 8/28/07)
|3B. Smaller Government||Gov. Romney “imposed some much-needed fiscal discipline on a very liberal Massachusetts legislature.” (The Club For Growth, Press Release, 8/21/07)
“I don’t want to add entitlements. I want to find ways to reform our entitlement programs.” Gov Romney, Boston Globe, Jan 27, 2006
Romney’s grade point average, therefore, comes out to be 3.78 on a 4 point scale. He got a perfect score in 7 of the 9 categories. The two issues on which he was penalized were Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion (for his pro-choice stance in the 1990s) and Lower Taxes (for supporting a gasoline tax increase). Overall, not a bad showing for Romney.