Mitt Romney then and now: 2008 vs. 2012 presidential run
Mitt Romney dropped out of the 2008 GOP primary race on this date in 2008, after winning 11 states. What did Romney say then?
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Romney was spot-on in his assessment of entitlement spending and its role as a serious political issue in the future. However, 2008 Romney perhaps wouldn’t be so impressed with 2012 Romney’s economic plan, which the Wall Street Journal famously called “timid.” They were equally unsparing about his plans for entitlement reform:Skip to next paragraph
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On spending, Mr. Romney joins the GOP’s “cut, cap and balance” parade, setting a cap on spending over time at 20% of GDP. What Mr. Romney doesn’t do is provide even a general map for how to get there, beyond cutting spending on nonsecurity domestic programs by 5% upon taking office.
He praises Paul Ryan for making “important strides” on Medicare but says his plan “will differ,” without offering details. He also says there are a “number of options” to reform Social Security without endorsing any of them. We are told those specifics will come later. It’s hardly unusual for candidates to avoid committing to difficult proposals, but it won’t help Mr. Romney contrast his leadership with Mr. Obama’s.
2. To go the distance?
“Even though we face an uphill fight, I know that many in this room are fully behind my campaign.”
AUDIENCE: Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!
“You are with me all the way to the convention. Fight on, just like Ronald Reagan did in 1976.”
With Newt Gingrich vowing to take the GOP race all the way to the Republican nominating convention in Tampa and Ron Paul pursuing a strategy of racking up as many convention delegates as possible even if he’s not going to win the nomination outright, this question of whether to persevere or pass to one side continues into the 2012 campaign.
But what all candidates must do is weigh their own chances against the good of the party. Thus, what has changed for Romney - and the nation - is the reason Romney gave for dropping out. For Romney, it was…
1. Terrorism and “radical jihad.”
“Today we are a nation at war. And Barack and Hillary have made their intentions clear regarding Iraq and the war on terror: They would retreat, declare defeat.
And the consequence of that would be devastating. It would mean attacks on America, launched from safe havens that would make Afghanistan under the Taliban look like child’s play. About this, I have no doubt.
Now, I disagree with Senator McCain on a number of issues, as you know.