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November 14, 2012 4:30 AM
National Review: It's Not Mitt's Fault--it's the Party's Fault
Posted by Laura
Another entry in the post-mortems to explain the GOP losses on November 6: an interesting but flawed piece by Ramesh Ponnuru of NRO. Recall that during the Republican primaries, National Review endorsed Mitt Romney in a glowing cover-story. Bottom line, he argues, is that the GOP over time became identified as the party of big money and big corporations--not an appealing message for the middle class. Solutions, instead of talking points, Ponnuru writes, resonate with Americans who are trying to support their families or start one. He cites the GOP's failure to lay out what they would do in place of Obamacare. Romney had his weaknesses, but he did better that most GOP senate candidates such as Connie Mack in Florida and Josh Mandel in Ohio. I simply don't buy Ponnuru's argument that the "Party" dragged Romney down. In a presidential election year, he IS the GOP. And the fact is, he refused to engage on key issues such as healthcare and the HHS mandate. He ran as a "generic" Republican because his strategists thought they could ride a bad economy to victory. Romney couldn't even excite Republicans enough to turn out at the polls in greater numbers than they did for McCain. (At present, Romney received 606,206 fewer voters than McCain, a loss of about one-percent.) Ponnuru seems to dismiss the idea that supporting immigration reform to attract Hispanics or abortion to help with women voters will do much to improve Republican fortunes. But after reading his piece, I am not clear on how what he advocates is much different from the Big Government conservatism of George W. Bush. That ended up not working out so well for our deficit or GOP demographics.
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