Mitt Romney addressed CPAC this afternoon, and I did support his candidacy. After all, he was the only person in our miserable 2012 crop of candidates that had the best chance of winning. However, his communications team was mostly on defense, his high-tech GOTV ORCA program crashed rendering 30,000 volunteers helpless on Election Day, and his candidacy prohibited conservatives from talking about health care. As a result, he lost, and gave Obama a second term.
Romney began his speech with:
Of course, I left the race disappointed that we didn’t win. But I also left honored and humbled to have represented values we believe in and to speak for so many good and decent people. We’ve lost races before, and in the past, those setbacks prepared us for larger victories. It is up to us to make sure that we learn from my mistakes, and from our mistakes, so that we can win the victories those people and this nation depend upon.
It’s fashionable in some circles to be pessimistic about America, about conservative solutions, about the Republican Party. I utterly reject that pessimism. We may not have carried the day last November 7th, but we haven’t lost the country we love, and we haven’t lost our way. Our nation is still full of aspirations and hungry for new solutions. We’re a nation of invention and of reinventing. My optimism about America wasn’t diminished by my campaign; no, it grew—It grew as I came to know more of our fellow Americans.
Well, I agree with Romney that losses have prepared conservatives for larger victories. The 1964 presidential election, where Sen. Barry Goldwater was destroyed by Lyndon Johnson, paved way for Ronald Reagan’s landslide win in 1980. However, as he spoke, Romney said:
We need the ideas and leadership of each of these governors. We particularly need to hear from the Governors of the blue and purple states, like Bob McDonnell, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Susanna Martinez, Chris Christie, and Brian Sandoval because their states are among those we must win to take the Senate and the White House.
Save for Scott Walker, Govs. Susanna Martinez, Brian Sandoval, John Kasich, and Chris Christie are all expanding the most expensive provision in Obamacare. Gov. Bob McDonnell is still on the fence, but his crime is much worse. He’s proposed $6.1 billion in tax increases to supplement infrastructure development. Lastly, when Christie says he agrees with ultra-liberal Gov. Cuomo of New York on 98% of the issues. With statements like that, you have to wonder about his commitment to the principles of limited government.
So, yes, Mitt Romney is right he he says, “it is up to us to make sure that we learn from my mistakes, and from our mistakes, so that we can win the victories those people and this nation depend upon.” We shouldn’t make the mistake of nominating another Northeastern Republican to the national stage again. We should nominate politicians that adhere to the Madisonian vision of limited government, and won’t cave to big government liberal policies a la Chris Christie – or propose billions in tax increases. It’s time for conservatives leave squishy Republicans behind. It’s time for them to tell moderates – in the words of Francis Underwood – that “we‘ll cleave you from the herd, and watch you die in the wilderness.”