It seems fairly clear to me after tonight’s debate that Mitt Romney’s campaign continues to be buoyed only by money and not by principle. I’m really rather shocked that pundits are saying that Romney did well. As Bill Kristol said recently:
America is going bankrupt, Iran is going nuclear, the Obama administration is going after religious liberty. And Mitt Romney is going after Rick Santorum.
Indeed, Mitt is spending millions to attack Santorum even with the mainstream media propping him up. The “points” that pundits claim Romney got against Rick Santorum were based on massive hypocrisy and inconsistent claims. Let’s take a look.
Mitt Romney was critical of Rick Santorum’s vote for Davis-Bacon. Is Rick Santorum what Mitt Romney is claiming him to be in regard to big labor? Not according to this report from Byron York:
Critics point to Santorum’s Senate votes against a National Right to Work Act, in favor of Davis-Bacon wage rates, and in favor of raising the minimum wage to show that Santorum was overtly pro-union. But in his speech to the Detroit Economic Club Thursday afternoon, Santorum had an answer ready when asked how he would handle organized labor as president.
“I’ve been attacked as the ‘big union’ Republican in this race,” Santorum said. “I went back to look at my AFL-CIO scorecard, and I had a 13 percent rating. If that’s ‘big union’ in the Republican party, I guess we’ve narrowed the field quite a bit, haven’t we?”
A look at the AFL-CIO’s ratings shows that Santorum is correct about his record. The union group’s website has posted ratings for senators going back to 1996, Santorum’s second year in office. And for most years his rating was indeed quite low, indicating that big labor did not particularly like the way he voted. In some cases, Santorum’s rating was lower than some conservative stalwart lawmakers, and even Jim Talent himself.
Take a look at the Media Research Center report on Romney and unions. When his audience changes, his position on unions apparently changes. In his Michigan speech, Romney sounds very pro-union but anti-Obama.
When it comes to unions, the reasonable position is to keep one’s self from being in the tank for them (or any other special interest group) and to reject public-sector unions, as even FDR did.
The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, don’t generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers. F.D.R. considered this “unthinkable and intolerable.”
It is the public sector unions which are causing such hardships on state governments and the taxpayers who fund them. Rick Santorum’s strong opposition to public sector unions is a winning argument with Americans across the board. He reiterated that position recently in his Michigan speech.
Romney has also come out swinging at the United Auto Workers union, but Santorum chose to take a different tack in Detroit. (Solidarity House, the union’s headquarters, sits just three miles from the site of Santorum’s speech.)
“My grandfather was a coal miner and treasurer of his union,” he said. “I have no problem with private-sector unions. They play a role in society.”
But lest he sound too pro-labor before his business audience, Santorum noted his support for state-level right-to-work laws and his belief that public-sector unions should not be allowed to negotiate wages or benefits.
Mitt Romney has “fiercely protected” public sector unions.
As governor of Massachusetts, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney “fiercely protected” a costly bonus program for police officers after an influential police union endorsed him, according to the Boston Globe.
Noting Romney’s recent accusations that GOP rival Rick Santorum and President Barack Obama have been too cozy with labor, the Globe reported during the weekend that Romney fully funded a $45 million police salary bonus program after receiving an endorsement from the union.
You can’t be all over the board on such an important issue as big labor. Mitt Romney is all over the board. Rick Santorum’s position is as conservative as Jim Demint’s. It’s a position that is simple to understand, and appealing to a broad spectrum of the American people. It’s not based on ideology, mindlessly anti-union sentiment, or on political expediency but rather on what is going to work for America, to end corruption, to serve taxpayers well, and simultaneously to respect the right to collective bargaining in the private sector.
2) RAISING THE DEBT CEILING.
Mitt Romney’s claim that Santorum’s votes for raising the debt ceiling do not reflect conservatism are not based in reality. CLICK HERE for the FACT CHECK on that claim.
Mitt Romney, who has attended at least one Planned Parenthood fundraiser while Rick Santorum was defending the right to life in the Senate, has some explaining to do. LOTS OF EXPLAINING.
4) VOTING TO EXPAND THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Rick Santorum has said that his vote for No Child Left Behind was a mistake made in support of our Republican president at the time, George Bush, who promoted it as a key initiative of his administration. Apparently, Mitt Romney wants to have cake and eat it, too, by failing to point out that he, too, supported No Child Left Behind and has not apologized for it as Santorum has.
Romney currently supports the federal government’s involvement in education and would keep in place the No Child Left Behind act created under President Bush in 2001. In a 2007 presidential debate, Romney said that he supports testing in schools and that testing “allows us to get better schools.” He also approved efforts in Massachusetts to require parents in poorly performing schools to attend parental education classes. This plan would also include the awarding of four-year scholarships to the best students. In an interview with The Concord Monitor, Romney also said he favors paying bonuses to teachers who “successfully teach.” In his 1994 run for the Senate, Romney supported abolishing the Department of Education but has since walked those remarks back.
Hypocrisy? I think so.
From Senator Santorum, during the debate.
He’s out there on television ads right now, unfortunately, attacking me for saying that I’m this great earmarker, when he not only asked for earmarks for the Salt Lake Olympics in the order of tens of millions of dollars, sought those earmarks and used them, and he did as the governor of Massachusetts, $300 million or $400 million. He said, I would be foolish if I didn’t go out and try to get federal dollars.
So the idea that somehow earmarks during the time that I was in Congress were this thing that drove up spending in Washington, D.C., if you actually look at it, as I said before, as a percentage of GDP, actually the deficits — the debt went down. What happened is there was abuse.
When abuse happened, I said we should stop the earmarking process. But I did say there were good earmarks and bad earmarks.
We wouldn’t have the V-22 Osprey, which was the most essential air platform for our Marines in particular in the war against the radical Islamists. We wouldn’t have it if it wasn’t for an earmark. That program would have been killed under George Bush 41. Dick Cheney, the Defense Department, wanted to kill that program, and many of us, including myself, stood up and made sure that was there.
Congress has a role to play when it comes to appropriating money, and sometimes the president and the administration doesn’t get it right. What happened was an abuse of the process.
When that abuse occurred, I stepped forward, as Jim DeMint did, who, by the way, was an earmarker, as almost everybody else in Congress was. Why? Because Congress has a role of allocating resources when they think the administration has it wrong.
I defended that at the time. I’m proud I defended it at the time, because I think they did make mistakes. I do believe there was abuse, and I said we should stop it, and as president I would oppose earmarks.
When it all boils down, a candidate who has lobbied for earmarks has no business criticizing the earmark process as a whole rather than, as Rick Santorum has done, fought against abuses. Romney has no credibility considering that he lobbied for earmarks, was for the Wall Street bailout and is responsible for Romneycare, the basis for Obamacare. I mean, are you kidding me?
6) ROMNEY’S CLAIM ABOUT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.
Mitt Romney said this during the debate:
John, what’s happened — and you recall back in the debate that we had George Stephanopoulos talking out about birth control, we wondered why in the world did contraception — and it’s like, why is he going there? Well, we found out when Barack Obama continued his attack on religious conscience.
I don’t think we’ve seen in the history of this country the kind of attack on religious conscience, religious freedom, religious tolerance that we’ve seen under Barack Obama. Most recently, of course –
most recently requiring the Catholic Church to provide for its employees and its various enterprises health care insurance that would include birth control, sterilization and the morning-after pill. Unbelievable.
And he retried to retreat from that but he retreated in a way that was not appropriate, because these insurance companies now have to provide these same things and obviously the Catholic Church will end up paying for them.
This, I found to be the most interesting of all considering that he did the same thing in Massachusetts…which means, of course, that if Mitt Romney is the nominee, I will have no candidate to support and will have to do a write-in. This Catholic will not vote for any person who is not willing to defend her right to be Catholic, even if it requires going to the Supreme Court. Anyone who wants to try to convince me otherwise is merely barking only to find that I am the wrong tree.
If Mitt Romney “won” this debate, then America is in sorrier shape than I thought. As it stands, I think that if we are going to judge the winner based on who is the most conservative, who is the best able to go forward as our nominee, and who is the most willing to tell the truth, then the winner was most certainly Rick Santorum.