His conclusion? “I don’t see why Newt can’t get elected.” It was clear that he doesn’t much care for Mitt Romney, and also believes that the GOP field is still wide open.
Sorry, Mr. Mayor. You may not like Mitt Romney, but you are wrong on two counts. There are at least three reasons Newt Gingrich can not be elected in the general election: serial adultery, serial marriages, serial greed as a lobbyist.
As for the field still being wide open, that’s a nice fairy tale. It’s going to be Mitt or Newt. Other Prince Charmings, like Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, or Marco Rubio (my choice, were it but possible), simply can’t get organized, funded, or on the primary ballots. A brokered convention would be the only way someone not now running could be nominated. That is possible, but highly unlikely.
Back to the present. As the saying goes, we go to war with the army we have. The choice is clear: Mitt Romney. He is steady, upright, clean as a hound’s tooth. He can, and has, gotten things done. He is a doer, not a man who will call it in and be fearful of making hard choices.
Many conservatives don’t like some of the things he has done (especially RomneyCare). Some evangelicals don’t like Mormons, but this isn’t 1975 any more. Is Mitt is a born-again conservative? Or is he merely an opportunist, tacking to the right merely to gain the nomination? Let’s just say he’s been rather steady in his stated views since he ran in 2008. And he is to the right of Newt Gingrich. He also benefits from not being the consummate insider that Newt has been for decades.
Mitt Romney is a businessman, a free-market capitalist. He knows from personal experience the cost of too much government. He’s also a proven leader, a manager who can get complex projects started – and, as important, finished. There aren’t many things more complex than our leviathan federal government; Mitt has the temperament and ability to at least begin to tame it.
Finally, I fall back on the Buckley rule: nominate the most conservative candidate who can win. As a conservative, I believe our first imperative is to defeat Obama. Ideological purity is not something the Republican Party, my party, can afford at this juncture. Lastly, while not statistically significant, my discussions with independents reinforces my conclusion that, given the choice of Newt or Mitt, Mitt can win. Newt can not.