Reason 872 I Can’t Vote For Mitt Romney; Update: Mitt Flip-Flops…Again; Update II: Video Added
OK, I may be exaggerating on the number, although I’m sure if I had the time and inclination to count all the reasons, 872 would be in the ball park. I was away from my computer yesterday and missed the Mittster’s latest, shall we say, “Romneyism”. But when I logged on this morning, I had over a dozen emails alerting me to yesterday’s antics. Romney was in Ohio yesterday, presumably in an attempt to push his support above that 20% ceiling he can’t seem to exceed for any length of time. While here, among other things, he snagged the endorsement of career politician and noted RINO, Mike DeWine. (This after DeWine previously endorsed T-Paw in June.)
Anyway, while in Ohio trolling for votes, Romney showed up at a Republican phone bank at which callers were trying to drum up support for State Issue 2, which is on the ballot in two weeks. For those who don’t know, State Issue 2 is the Ohio equivalent of Scott Walker’s bill which reined in some of the excesses of public employee unions in Wisconsin last winter. The Ohio Senate passed a bill, SB5, earlier this year which Governor John Kasich promptly signed into law. The plan essentially restores a small amount of fiscal sanity in such areas as layoffs, seniority, and health care benefits while requiring public employees to contribute 10% to their pension plans. The bill also codifies the apparently revolutionary concept that pay raises for public employees should be based on merit as opposed to longevity. The horror.
But Ohio isn’t known as a declining rust-belt state from which businesses and individuals are fleeing for nothing, and the unions managed to garner the required number of signatures to force a ballot initiative on November 8, If State Issue 2 passes, Kasich’s sensible plan will be upheld. If it fails, however, the PEUs get to continue their party at taxpayer expense and Ohio’s budget situation, which Kasich has been working hard to fix after inheriting a disaster in January, will take two giant steps in the direction of Greece (or worse, California). Unfortunately, polls show that the millions spent by the PEUs are overwhelming the disorganized taxpayers and Issue Two appears to be doomed at the moment.
Whether or not to support Kasich on this issue should be an easy call for a candidate who wants to be the Republican nominee in 2012, right? You’d think so, but in Romney’s case, you’d be wrong. The Washington Examiner’sConn Carroll has the sordid, if predictable, details:
Campaigning in Ohio today, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stopped by a Republican Party phone-bank making calls in support of Gov. John Kasich’s government union reform referendum, but refused to endorse the actual referendum. CNN’s Peter Hamby called the scene an “incredible moment in politics.”
Kasich already signed his government union reforms into law in March of this year, not long after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker won his battle against government unions. But Democrats, with the help from the AFL-CIO, placed a referendum on next week’s ballot Issue 2, that would repeal the new law. A vote for the referendum would keep the law, a vote against would repeal.
Kasich’s new law: 1) bans government unions from bargaining over health insurance, 2) requires that all government union members pay at least 10% of their wages toward their pensions, 3) ends seniority rights as the sole factor in layoffs, 4) replaces seniority pay raises with merit pay raises, 5) bans government unions from striking, and 6) makes government union dues voluntary. But government unions would still be able to bargain about many other topics including pay and working conditions.
Ohio [can’t] pass up this opportunity to break with an unsustainable status quo. Yes, change is scary. But look around: Not changing is even scarier. When they mark their ballots, Ohioans cannot worry about what is best for any political party or interest group — on either side of this debate. They need to consider what’s best for the future of their children, their communities, their state.
If Romney can’t endorse this common sense reform at the state level, why should conservatives believe he will fight against government unions at the federal level.
That’s an easy question: He won’t. Again, how is it possible that the supposed frontrunner for the Republican nomination, a man who claims to be a brilliant manager and “turnaround artist”, can’t support Governor Kasich’s common sense reforms Carroll outlined above? Remind me again: Why should conservatives even consider a vote for this guy?
Yesterday’s gutless dodge by Romney is the antithesis of how Republicans should behave in these perilous times. What we need is leadership. Real leadership. Back in April Governor Palin provided it in spades in a similar circumstance. She went directly to ground zero in the battle to restore balance between taxpayers and public employee unions, Madison Wisconsin, and fearlessly delivered the following speech in front of a raucous throng of supporters surrounded by hostile Wisconsin PEU parasites supporters:
Unlike the Mittster, Governor Palin has no problem stating her position clearly and forcefully, no matter the venue or crowd makeup and without any ambiguity or dissembling. Can anyone imagine Mitt providing that kind of fortitude and leadership on this issue which is crucial to restoring our nation’s fiscal health? Or, let’s be honest, any issue at all? I know I can’t. He had a chance yesterday in front of a friendly group of Republicans and failed miserably.
No post is complete without a Romney flip-flop and, as you’d expect, this one is no exception. Romney’s refusal yesterday to back Kasich’s plan must have come as quite a surprise to those who support it since, just five months ago, he supported it:
“My friends in Ohio are fighting to defend crucial reforms that the state has put in place to limit the power of union bosses and keep taxes low,” Romney wrote on his Facebook page in June. “I stand with John R. Kasich and Ohio’s leaders as they take on this important fight to get control of government spending. Please visit www.BetterOhio.org for more information.”
Heh. Classic Mitt: He was for it when it was doing better in the polls. Now, when polls indicate a loss of support, he votes present. Natch. What courage. This kind of reminds me of another Massachusetts politician. I can’t quite remember who that was…oh yeah.
Related: Hot Air has a great summary of yesterday’s Romneyism here.
Update: This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so scary. If Romney’s the nominee, the Republican ticket in 2012 is doomed. First, Romney was for the Ohio PEU reforms. Then, just yesterday, when asked his position on the issue he flipped and refused to endorse the plan (see above). Today, after taking heat for yesterday’s idiocy, he flopped and now claims to be “110 percent” behind Kasich’s reforms. Via the Washington Post:
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney today declared that he was “110 percent” behind a law in Ohio that limits collective bargaining rights, after refusing to comment on the matter Tuesday.
Romney was roundly hammered by conservatives for refusing, on a visit to Ohio, to endorse a ballot measure there that curtails collective bargaining for public employees. The Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, and prominent pundits all attacked the presidential candidate. Rival Texas Gov. Rick Perry quickly joined them.
“I fully support Gov. Kasich’s Question 2 in Ohio,” Romney said at a campaign stop in Virginia, referring to the Issue 2 referendum that would maintain the law. “I’m sorry if I created any confusion there.”
The episode was especially odd because Romney — as he pointed out in Virginia — endorsed Issue 2 way back in June, on his Facebook page. He was also at a call center for volunteers rallying support for the law when he declined to comment.
“To say that Mitt Romney flips around on his positions more than a weathervane would be charitable,” said Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse in a statement.
I can’t disagree with the DNC spokesman on this particular issue (probably the only one), and my guess is this latest Romneyism has been placed neatly on the shelf at the DNC, waiting to be made into a campaign ad should Romney win the nomination. Romney’s position on PEU reforms tomorrow is anyone’s guess. I suspect that depends on a number of factors: The direction of the wind, the time of day, the location, the crowd, the phase of the moon, etc., etc. But not to worry, if you disagree with it, there’s always the following day…and the day after that.
Update II: Speaking of the DNC, here’s a video sure to show up in the 2012 campaign if Mitt’s the nominee: