If I had to choose among the four leading contenders (at least according to the latest polls) for the Republican nomination, I would settle on former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney not so much because of his strengths, but because of the weaknesses of the other three.
Although Rick Santorum is not the extremist portrayed in the legacy (and gay) media, the former Pennsylvania Senator is more of a George W. Bush Republican than any of the other contenders and, over the years, has made some pretty bizarre statements about homosexuality. Excellent on domestic issues (and asking important questions on money and banking), Ron Paul favors an isolationist policy at a time of growing unrest abroad — and he has himself made some strange statements. And there were those, as Ace puts it, “old-line racist/neoconfederate ravings in Paul’s newsletters“.
And then there’s Newt, often eloquent on the stump, brimming with ideas, but also a man who responds in a manner similar to the Democratic incumbent when political rivals criticize him and his record. And he does have a lot of baggage.
That said, although I prefer Romney to his three leading competitors, I’m not yet ready to sign up for his campaign or signal my support for him. I have expressed my concerns about his candidacy on several occasions, notably here and here.
My friend Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director of GOProud, however, has expressed no such hesitation:
Ann Coulter, the honorary chair of GOProud’s Advisory Council, is rarely wrong — and when it comes to the 2012 Republican nomination, she is spot on: If conservatives want to defeat Barack Obama, then it is time to rally around former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
. . . .
Let me be very clear, this is a personal — not an organizational — endorsement. GOProud represents a wide swath of right-of-center individuals and our members support a wide range of candidates for president. I believe there are many good candidates in this field and I respect the decisions of those who support other candidates. For me, however, this decision is an easy one: Only Mitt Romney can beat Barack Obama in November.
Taking on those who “conservatives who have had and who continue to have misgivings about Mitt Romney”, Jimmy reminds us “that plenty of our greatest conservative leaders have had similar evolutions. Indeed, even the great Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat.” Read the whole thing.
I appreciate the electability issue, but wish the former governor of Massachusetts would put forward an economic plan at least as bold as the man considered the most liberal candidate in the GOP field.
NB: I tweaked the sentence about Newt Gingrich as it didn’t read well when re-read it.