Among Best-Qualified 2016 Republicans, Mitt Romney Still Wins

By Joseph Delli Gatti ––

In 2008, I fell into the same trap as a lot of voters: I learned about the candidates from the arguments and accusations of the competition.  I watched the mainstream news media, and accepted what they said at face value.  I didn’t know that it was a problem either – until shortly into the 2012 Republican primaries.

In 2012, I lightly researched the candidates, and settled on Tim Pawlenty because of the fiscally and morally conservative values that I believed he held.  When Tim bowed out of the primaries early, and endorsed Mitt Romney, it caught me off guard.  I went online and argued with people about how I couldn’t vote for Mitt Romney because of his positions on abortion, taxes, healthcare, and marriage.  Someone responded to a comment that I made: it was a plea to research Mitt Romney’s positions to more depth on at least one issue.  So, half out of spite and half out of curiosity, I did.Screen Shot of Mitt Romney's public campaign Website

What I found was actually pretty startling: the claims against Mitt Romney by his opponents were usually completely baseless, false or were gross distortions of what Mitt Romney actually said.  And I found that while some of Mitt Romney’s attacks seemed mean or unfair, they were accurate and honest.  I didn’t necessarily agree with all of Mitt’s positions or approaches to fixing the issues facing our nation, but at least I actually studied his real platform.  And I had a lot of myths dispelled about the Massachusetts healthcare reforms he was involved in, and about his alleged “flip-flopping”.

As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney took on a liberal and broken healthcare system, and made it function again – even while working with one of the most liberal legislatures in our nation.  During that process, he vetoed several proposed parts of it – only to have several of those vetoes overridden.  But, he also ensured that conservative and free-market principles had a large roll in the legislation, that the legislation adhered to the state’s constitution, and that taxes wouldn’t be increased to accommodate it.  The end result was a compromise among liberal Democrats, the minority-party (Republicans), and the healthcare industry.  All parties involved endorsed the 70-page law.  It wasn’t perfect – nor was it everything Mitt Romney wanted; however, it was enough to get the metaphorical ambulance running again by making necessary repairs using politically-conservative parts.

ObamaCare was clearly not the same.  Not one Republican signed off on ObamaCare – not one single vote.  It was passed by Democrat force alone – and amazingly without one Democrat having read it.  Speaker of The House Nancy Pelosi simply slapped the 2,074-page proposal onto the pulpit, and said, “You have to pass the bill to see what’s in it.“, and Democrats voted blindly along party lines.

ObamaCare increased taxes by $500 billion while cutting Medicare by about the same amount.  It was sold by President Obama based on the fact that it wasn’t a tax, and then it was deemed by the US Supreme Court to be constitutional only if it were considered a tax.  President Obama promised the American people that they would be able to keep their healthcare plan and their doctor, and that people could expect healthcare costs to go down.  But after the legislation passed, millions of people lost their existing healthcare coverage, insurance costs skyrocketed, and people ultimately lost access to their family doctors, healthcare, and favored healthcare providers.   The legislation was sold to the American people by Obama, Democrats, and even the bulk of the mainstream media outlets – all based on false information and false promises.  It constituted a large chunk of President Obama’s campaign platform.

Another error came about when the media and political opponents accused Mitt Romney of making a promise that couldn’t be kept or that would destroy our country if it were kept: the accusation was that Mitt Romney was promising to lower all income taxes
by 20 percent.  This claim was even featured and contested in major BusinessWeek and Bloomberg articles.  But cutting everyone’s taxes by an overall 20 percent was never Mitt Romney’s claim at all.  Screen Shot from Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign Website

Mitt Romney claimed that he’d lower all “marginal” income-tax rates by 20 percent.  Marginal means how much more you’re paying than the next tax bracket down.  So, if you have $10 in taxes, and the next lower bracket is $8.  Your marginal tax amount is $2.  Take 20 percent off of that $2, and that’s how much Mitt Romney was proposing to lower taxes.  So, while the mainstream media and the Obama campaign was stressing that Mitt was promising to lower everyone’s taxes from a hypothetical $10 to $8, Mitt Romney was clearly stating that he would lower people’s taxes from a hypothetical $10 to $9.60.  He also promised to close tax loopholes for the wealthy, and that he wouldn’t “put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit.”

ObamaCare and Marginal tax rates represent just two of many issues that arose during the 2012 presidential campaign that required more than just listening to MSNBC commentators or heeding the mud slung by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s other opponents.  In order to find the truth, you had to dig up objective perspectives, and read pro-Romney resources such as his campaign Website.

Before I became a Mitt Romney fan and adamant supporter, I remember watching Mitt Romney announce that he was bowing out of the Republican Primaries in 2008. I thought, “That sure was a lack-luster effort for a guy as capable and as dedicated as Mitt Romney – the guy who gave his inheritance away to charity and to Brigham Young University, became a self-made millionaire by flipping businesses, and then shined as a national/international hero when he flipped the olympics.”  It just seemed like a weak attempt to me – and he had literally just jumped into the race at the last second. Then I realized what he was doing.

How many people who have run a successful primary presidential campaign are willing to share their secrets? I’m willing to bet that Mitt Romney didn’t have a solid mentor to get him through the primaries – this was a self-made success taking his opportunity to test the waters, and to see what he needed in order to be adequately prepared.  So, in his next primary run, he dominated the competition – even with infiltration of the Democrats into the Republican primaries, even with the “No 1,144” voter suppression campaign waged against him and his supporters, and even with the most bitter, slandering, and mud-slinging primary held in my lifetime. Mitt Romney, dipped his toes to test the waters, and then cannon-balled into the victory pool – and he did it while running the cleanest campaign of his competitors. But that was a primary win.

If he runs in 2016, we shouldn’t consider this a “third” run. I know he tried really hard in 2012 – and that he lost to Barack Obama’s campaign of lies and unethical activities (see the examples cited above). Mitt Romney’s 2012 general election campaign was more than dipping his feet to test the waters; it was a worthy attempt. But just like Mitt Romney learned from the 2008 primary campaign how to win the primary nomination in 2012, so he can also win the 2016 election based on his 2012 general election experience.1229979_561036493976231_1697180483_n

In other words, Mitt Romney ran two primary campaigns, and one general-election campaign. This would be a third primary-campaign attempt, but we need to also consider that one of those was successful.  So second time was a charm.  A third primary run would essentially serve as a reelection primary.  Again, I don’t think you can add the two different levels/types of campaigns together.  And history has proven that Mitt Romney typically gets it right on his second attempt.

I’m a believer that America lost in the 2012 general election – not Mitt Romney.  Mitt Romney ran an honest, hard-hitting, winning, and energy-packed campaign – he gave more than enough effort to win.  For those of you who thought he was unelectable, just remember that he was more electable than the primary candidates that lost to him.  He was a better candidate than they were in 2012 – and the only one who could stand against President Obama’s $1 billion campaign.  Having run one general election already only makes him an even better candidate for 2016.

And, although we have a field of very worthy, formidable, and qualified candidates in 2016, Mitt Romney would still be our best option for the White House.  I hope to see Mitt Romney drafted and accepting his party’s hearty endorsement in 2016.  I would eagerly vote for and support a Mitt Romney presidency.

If you’d like to join the Draft Romney/Draft Mitt movement, several groups and grassroots campaigns have sprouted up for you to join and support:

[Update] You can now also visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/[yourState]4Mitt/ to join a brand new state-wide coordinated grassroots group.