This morning on CNBC, Steve Forbes, who made a bid for the 1996 GOP nomination, offered perhaps the best concise criticism of Mitt Romney (well, except for that of a regular reader V the K, “an opportunistic political windsock, who doesn’t reveal his core but simply responds with robotic talking points“).
Forbes called Romney’s economic plan “weak tea”, saying the former Massachusetts governor needs to “get more bold” lest he continue to sound like failed Republican presidential nominee Tom Dewey. The financial publisher reminded viewers that instead of offering a moderate message, Ronald Reagan made the case for conservative policies,bold reforms, in terms working class Democrats could understand (am paraphrasing here).
Later, on the show, Larry Kudlow echoed Forbes’s point saying that Mitt Romney needs to get bolder and then, as if anticipating this post, praised Jon Huntsman’s tax and economic package. Despite the rap on the former Utah governor as a RINO, he has probably put forward the boldest and most sensible conservative economic plan, better, as the Wall Street Journal editors put it in September, “than anything so far from the GOP Presidential field“.
Romney, seemingly true to his executive experience, has perhaps the best campaign organization in the GOP field, Huntsman the best economic plan. Would it we could combine the two. Huntsman has the bold kind of economic agenda Romney needs to present.
Should he do so, he might be able to erase some of the doubts conservatives have about his candidacy. And to erase those doubts, he would need to meet with mainstream conservative leaders — and bloggers — as he puts forward just such a plan.
Both Huntsman and Romney have something other Republican candidates and the incumbent Democrats lack, a record of accomplishment in executive positions. If only the Republican frontrunner could combine that with a bold economic plan.