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Behind closed doors, Romney reveals real reforms

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:30 am - April 16, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Real Reform

A lot of bloggers (mostly on the left) are buzzing about an MSNBC report of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s remarks at a “closed-door fundraiser . . . Sunday evening” where the former Massachusetts governor “offered some of the most specific details to date about the policies he would pursue if elected.”

Unlike remarks the presumptive Democratic nominee made four years ago at a similar closed-door fundraiser, Romney’s comments hardly present the image of an elitist politician looking down on American citizens not drawn to his campaign.  Instead, they reveal a conservative reformer, eager to eliminate excessive bureaucracy and to promote federalism:

“I’m going to take a lot of departments in Washington, and agencies, and combine them. Some eliminate, but I’m probably not going to lay out just exactly which ones are going to go,” Romney said. “Things like Housing and Urban Development, which my dad was head of, that might not be around later. But I’m not going to actually go through these one by one. What I can tell you is, we’ve got far too many bureaucrats. I will send a lot of what happens in Washington back to the states.”

Asked about the fate of the Department of Education in a potential Romney administration, the former governor suggested it would also face a dramatic restructuring.

“The Department of Education: I will either consolidate with another agency, or perhaps make it a heck of a lot smaller. I’m not going to get rid of it entirely,” Romney said, explaining that part of his reasoning behind preserving the agency was to maintain a federal role in pushing back against teachers’ unions. Romney added that he learned in his 1994 campaign for Senate that proposing to eliminate the agency was politically volatile.

At that time, Sen. Ted Kennedy ran ads against Romney — then a political neophyte — accusing him of being uncaring for saying he wished to eliminate the agency.

Nice to see that the candidate, in the spirit of Waiting for Superman, recognizes the need to push back against the teachers’ unions, among the primary obstacles to real education reform.

Reports of Romney’s remarks can only help him consolidate support among conservatives, eager to see, at minimum, at real restructuring of the federal government.  Nor will they hurt him among wavering independent voters, eager, to borrow an expression, not to continue “down the road we’re on.



  1. Wow, good stuff.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 16, 2012 @ 10:47 am - April 16, 2012

  2. There was a time when the entire Federal bureaucracy…except for the military…was housed INSIDE the Federal Triangle along Pennsylvania Avenue. Now they’re sprawled all over DC and the VA/MD suburbs like mold spore.

    And if he’s reorganizing the Departments, it’s time to go back to having a “War Department”.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — April 16, 2012 @ 11:00 am - April 16, 2012

  3. Obambi ran on no specifics in 2008 and he is desperate to run against anything Romney offers up. So far, Obama has had to create issues to take the offense and avoid having to defend his miserable record.

    Romney needs to reassure his base, but he does not need to put his solutions out for distortion and demagoguery when he has endless Obama lies, flip-flops and economic disasters bungled by Obama to chip away at.

    The public is wary and tired of Obama.The Democrats chipped away at Bush for eight years. Obama has only taken four years to wear out his credibility.

    Comment by heliotrope — April 16, 2012 @ 1:07 pm - April 16, 2012

  4. What about the EPA, Mittens?

    Comment by V the K — April 16, 2012 @ 1:44 pm - April 16, 2012

  5. This is why the man’s a joke to so many conservatives. “I might get rid of some stuff and I might not. I might consolidate some stuff and I might not.” There are no specifics at all here, just political cowardice trying desperately to avoid anything “political volatile.”


    Comment by pk — April 16, 2012 @ 1:50 pm - April 16, 2012

  6. I think the word that will describe a, Mittens administration is COMPROMISE and the phrase will be, WORKING WITH ALL PARTIES. There will be no clear lines drawn in a Mittens administration.

    Comment by Richard Bell — April 16, 2012 @ 2:31 pm - April 16, 2012

  7. There will be no clear lines drawn in a Mittens administration.

    Absolutely right, Richard. Wouldn’t want to piss off the moochers and looters you know.

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — April 16, 2012 @ 2:46 pm - April 16, 2012

  8. 7 – Right, Bastiat Fan, don’t forget the hope and change the father of “gay marriage” and “Romney care” might bring too.

    Comment by Richard Bell — April 16, 2012 @ 3:12 pm - April 16, 2012

  9. Richard:

    Is it too much to HOPE for that they’ll fundamentally CHANGE their dysfunctional ideologies and leave me the hell alone?

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — April 16, 2012 @ 4:01 pm - April 16, 2012

  10. 9 – In a word, yes.

    Comment by Richard Bell — April 16, 2012 @ 4:03 pm - April 16, 2012

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