The day after the Arizona Republican debate, where Romney and Paul ganged up on Rick Santorum, accusing him of not being a true conservative, conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin seemed really annoyed at both Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, each of whom has made it clear, in the past, that they are not true conservatives.
Mark brought out a number of audio clips from Romney’s past that expound his moderate position. If you are one of those who like to think of Romney as a true, consistent conservative, I invite you to listen to these short audio clips. Most of them are about 30 seconds long.
Here’s the one I like the best, because it’s the most clear that he considers himself a moderate. This is from his campaign for governor of Massachusetts, where he defines himself as a moderate and a progressive:
Romney: A moderate with progressive views.
I had an interesting personal experience with this. In 2007, I ran a publishing company that was asked by a bookstore distributor to publish a biography about Mitt Romney. They felt the market needed an inexpensive paperback on Romney. I knew a couple of authors I thought would be great for the project. Though they were not deeply into politics, they were great researchers and had just finished collaborating on an excellent history book for us. When I got their final manuscript of the Romney book, I saw that they had described Romney’s political philosophy as moderate. I objected. They told me this was their conclusion from their research. I told them that we wanted this to be a pro-Romney book, and that calling him a moderate would be a kiss of death in the primaries, so I instructed them to take that out. I chuckle now, remembering that. You can still find the book (Mitt Romney: The Man, His Values and His Vision, published by my publishing company, Mapletree Publishing Company) listed on Amazon.
It’s interesting, too, Romney’s criticism of Rick Santorum for voting for “No Child Left Behind.” That vote was in 2001. I mentioned in another post that all of the solid conservatives in the Senate: Phil Gramm, Strom Thurmond, Rick Santorum, and Jeff Sessions, voted for that. The three Republicans who voted against it were all liberal. But after it was implemented, there were misgivings among conservatives as they saw its effect. But not with Romney. In 2006, after five years of implementation, Romney had high praise for “No Child Left Behind.” Here’s the clip Mark Levin played:
Mark also dug up this clip where Romney comments on gun rights. While the other clips are about 30 seconds or less, this one is two minutes because it includes some commentary by Mark Levin, and a long preface the interviewer gave to his question, asking Romney to explain his opposition to NRA policies as governor, and then signing up for a lifetime membership in the NRA when he decided to run for president.
There’s more. Here is Romney, again in 2002 when he was running for Governor, saying that he thinks Utah has too many Republicans and that wasn’t a good thing.
Romney: Utah has too many Republicans.
And here he is again, in the race for governor, distancing himself from “the Republican view of things.”
I can see, with all these clips, how Planned Parenthood felt comfortable endorsing him for governor.
And after the debate, Romney had little shyness in criticizing Rick Santorum for his accurate depiction of politics as a “team sport.” But apparently, as governor, he understood the value of team players as he sought to get his Romneycare passed. Here he is praising Ted Kennedy for his support in helping pass Romneycare.
But when it gets really good is when you get clips of him running for the Senate against Ted Kennedy, where he tried to sound even more liberal.
(Tsongas was US senator from Massachusetts from 1979-1985, and was known as a social liberal and economic moderate.)
Click here to visit the Liberty Musings conservative politics home page.