Romney Addresses Values Voter Summit After Bill Bennet Defends Him Against Bigotry

Bookmark and Share  Today Mitt Romney took to the podium at the Values Voters Summit and delivered a speech that gave all whom call themselves Christians plenty of reasons to vote for him.  Romney’s speech came a day after Southern Baptist Convention leader Robert Jeffress, introduced Texas Governor Rick Perry at the Values Voters Summit and then proceeded to unleash extraordinarily unchristian-like conduct through bigoted statements that condemned Mormonism and disqualified Mitt Romney as a legitimate presidential candidate because he is a Mormon.

Upon hearing these statements, White House 2012 posted a scathing editorial which among other things, denounced Jeffress, suggesting he was anything but Christian in his conduct and attitude and called him a bigot.  The editorial also questioned the sincerity of Governor Rick Perry’s attempt to disassociate himself from Jeffress, who his campaign agreed to let introduce him at the Value Voters Summit.  In that post White House 2012 also called upon Governor Perry to not just distance himself from Jeffress, but to repudiate him for his bigotry.

I continue to stand behind this position.  It is a position that I have seen few other forums covering the Republican presidential nomination contest take.  For a while I was beginning to think that I was alone in  my harsh judgment of Jeffress.  Such loneliness left me with a feeling of great disappointment in my Party.  As I stated in the original post;

“In this day and age, for Americans to hold prejudices against a political leader because of their faith, is nothing other than an example of backwards thinking and a contradiction to the very constitutional principles that the G.O.P. is trying to stress the need for our nation to return to.”

To think that I was alone in that belief within the G.O.P., left me angry.

That is until today.

Prior to Jay Sekulow’s introduction of Mitt Romney, the events emcee, former Reagan Education Secretary and  George H. W. Bush Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Bill Bennett , addressed the remarks made a day earlier by Pastor Jeffress after Rick Perry addressed the gathering the day before [see the video below] .  Bennett called the pastor’s comments “bigotry” and added

“Do not give voice to bigotry,” …… “You stepped on and obscured the words of Perry and Santorum and Cain and Bachmann and everyone else who has spoken here. You did Rick Perry no good sir, in what you had to say.”

Can I hear a hallelujah, praise the Lord, and Amen to that!

I felt redeemed in my disgust with Pastor Jeffress and his anti-Christian remarks and at the same time, Bill Bennett helped redeem my Party.  I applaud him for stepping up to the plate and correcting the record for us all.  And at the same time, I must pat myself on the back  among the first to take the position which I did, a position that Bill Bennett happened to echo when he stated that the words which Pastor Jeffress spoke, did nothing to help his Rick Perry, his chosen candidate for President.

I presented the same argument when I wrote;

 “Jeffress did little to win over any converts to Perry.”

 Soon after Bennett spoke, Mitt Romney followed, and  stated;

“And how ’bout that Bill Bennett?  He really hit that out of the ballpark.”

After that, Romney proceeded to present a case which did not allow for any Christian to legitimately question Romney’s committment to faith, values, morals, and Christian principles.  He called for everything from the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and defunding planned parenthood, to reaffirming marriage as that of a union strictly between a man and a woman, and for our government’s need to respect religious values.  And he did so in a presentation that was relaxed, laced with mild injections of appropriate humor, and also outlined his presidential agenda beyond social issues.  In it’s entireity, Romney’s speech was articulate, convincing and a presentation of a strong case for his being our next Commander-in -Chief  [see the complete speech below this post].

Unfortunately though, the religious intolerance and bigotry of people like Pastor Jeffress was something which existed and among far too many of those attending this celebration of Christian values.  While those who possess the ugly prejudices which use religion to divide people rather than unite them were in the minority, the few that do subscribe to such intolerable conduct had often received levels of visibility that were distasteful representations of the Family Research Council which holds the annual Values Voters Summit.   For that reason, Romney found a legitimate need to allude to his opening references to bigotry, towards the end of his speech.

Scheduled to speak after Romney, was Bryan Fischer, a director at the American Family Association.  In the past, Fischer claimed that Mormons and Muslims have “a completely different definition of who Christ is” than the founding fathers did, and therefore, as a result,  do not deserve First Amendment protections.    That prompted Romney to note

“Now one more thing.  Our values are noble as citizens. And they strengthen the nation.  We should remember that decency and civility are values too.  One of the speakers who will follow me today, has crossed that line I think.”

And in a direct reference to Fischer’s call to deny Mormons and Muslims their rights, Romney stated;

“Poisonous language does not advance our cause. It has never softened a single heart nor changed a single mind. The blessings of faith carry the responsibility of civil and respectful debate.”

He added;

“The task before us is to focus on the conservative beliefs and the values that unite us – let no agenda  narrow our vision or drive us apart.”

It is both ironic and a shame that Mitt Romney, a Mormon, had to waste time pointing these things out to Christians. The shame is that Christians should be well aware of the point he made.  The irony is that a man of the very religion Christians are claiming is not Christian, is espousing the Christian values that some of them are not.    The whole incident helped to demonstrate to me that while Romney has changed his position on about three issues throughout his adult life, unlike some Christians who are inconsistent with their own values, Mitt Romney at least practices what he preaches.  For that reason, I am more than proud to disclose that I am moving closer to endorsing Mitt Romney for President.

With Daniels, Ryan, Pence, and Palin out, I am slowly returning to the confidence I had when I endorsed Mitt Romney over the false prophet Huckabee and the false Republican McCain in 2008.   I am close but I am not there yet.  I want to be sure that Republican nominee earns my vote.  As such, I am inclined to still give Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum the chance to do that.  All three of these candidates have served the conservative and/or represent the conservative admirably and have already earned my respect.  If any of them can prove to me that they would be a better candidate and conservative Commander-in-Chief than Mitt Romney, than  I will accept as the better candidate and support them until the end.

For now though, I will await for Governor Perry to do the right thing and like Bill Bennett, denounce his friend and political supporter Pastor Robert Jeffress for his bigotry and injection of hate in to the Republican presidential contest.  As I have indicated on a previous occasion.  This is Rick Perry’s Jeremiah Wright moment.

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Romney Plan Changes Some Policies for the Better But Fails To Change Washington

Click Here To Read and/or Download the Plan

Bookmark and Share   Mitt Romney traveled to Nevada, and used the state’s higher than national average unemployment rate as a backdrop for his own detailed plan to create jobs and strengthen the U.S. economy. The plan entitled “I believe in America: A Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth” consists of 59 points and 160 pages of proposals and explanations for them.  Probably the most notable aspect of his 47 minute speech was his comfort level, confidence and command of the economic issues he addressed.  Such seeming expertise and the ability for voters to trust it can go a ong way in the 2012 election.  It also happens to be the one thing that Mitt Romney has going most for him.  [Click on the image link to see the video of the speech, below this post]

The Romney plan consists of no in increase the size of the federal budget or bureaucracy and goes to great lengths to cut spending and streamlines regulation. Romney’s blueprint also points out that his economic recovery program does not promise to immediately create any imaginary number of jobs, because, as he states, “government cannot create jobs—at least not productive ones that contribute to our long-term prosperity.” According to Romney, “it is economic growth, not government growth, that provides productive opportunities for American workers. That is the lesson of these past three years, and one that America has learned well even if the White House has not.”

But the Romney camp does estimate that if implemented, his economic recovery program would create 11.5 million new jobs and lead to 4 percent annual growth in the U.S. economy over a period of four years. While Romney does offer some bold specifics in his plan , it generally is a wide-ranging proposal to create jobs, by among other things, reducing regulations and taxes on companies and reducing or eliminating several other taxes, increasing more U.S. oil, coal, and natural gas production, and expanding trade pacts. Perhaps the most unique aspect of Romney’s plan is his willingness to confront the problems posed to the U.S. economy by China.

In 2008, Romney’s campaign was forceful on the need to insure that the United States became and remained more competitive with China and had greater access to the burgeoning Asian economies that will continue to be vital to jobs and profits here at home. In the 2012 campaign, Romney is prepared to continue to make this issue and his new proposals consists of some strong handed measures that would seek to reduce many of the overbearing influences of big unions which are a detriment to U.S. competition in the world economy and it even proposes sanctions against China in order to force them to capitulate on their unfair currency practices.

The issue of China is one that needs to raised in 2012 and not just in regards to currency policies and their ownership of a vast majority of our national debt. China’s ever expanding military capacity and influence must also be addressed. Of course that is a topic meant for discussion on a day when is not focusing our the economic priorities, but the fact that Mitt Romney is one of the few candidates to voluntarily address the problems we currently have with China, is promising.

Some of the other more immediate and bold initiatives of the Romney plan include what he calls a “Five Bills for Day One” initiative and another which he describes as his “Five Executive Orders for Day One” proposal.

His promised first five executive orders are as follows:

An Order to Pave the Way to End Obamacare

Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health care solutions that work best for them

An Order to Cut Red Tape

Directs all agencies to immediately initiate the elimination of Obama-era regulations that unduly burden the economy or job creation, and then caps annual increases in regulatory costs at zero dollars

An Order to Boost Domestic Energy Production

Directs the Department of the Interior to implement a process for rapid issuance of drilling permits to developers with established safety records seeking to use pre-approved techniques in pre-approved areas

An Order to Sanction China for Unfair Trade Practices

Directs the Department of the Treasury to list China as a currency manipulator in its biannual report and directs the Department of Commerce to assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports if China does not quickly move to float its currency

 An Order to Empower American Businesses and Workers

 Reverses the executive orders issued by President Obama that tilt the playing field in favor of organized labor, including the one encouraging the use of union labor on major government construction projects

Romney also proposes to immediately present to Congress the following five bills for consideration and passage:

  • The American Competitiveness Act which would reduces the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent
  • The Open Markets Act which implements the Colombia, Panama, and South Korea Free Trade Agreements.
  •  The Domestic Energy Act which would directs the Department of the Interior to undertake a comprehensive survey of American energy reserves in partnership with exploration companies and initiates leasing in all areas currently approved for exploration.
  •  The Retraining Reform Act that consolidates the sprawl of federal retraining programs and returns funding and responsibility for these programs to the states.
  •  The Down Payment on Fiscal Sanity Act…..an act to immediately cuts non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent, reducing the annual federal budget by $20 billion.

Each of those 10 points  provide enough positive fodder for Republicans to consider. Each of them could and should be warmly received by the G.O.P. and even the TEA Party. The problem is that with a plan that consists of 160 pages of explanation, he becomes vulnerable for a Rick Perry or of she runs, a Sarah Palin, to accuse him of trying to complicate things and argue that we all know it is really very simple…….we need to cut spending and simply reduce the size and scope of government. However, on the flipside, had the Romney campaign not issued a substantial program, Mitt would have been open to ridicule from the left for being an empty suit.

Ultimately, Romney made the right call to issue the type of lengthy report he did. While many of his proposals are simple enough to turn into the type of bullet points that answers to an electorate with Attention Deficit Order, he can also point critics on the left, to the exact page and details that support each of his economic ideas. While this all makes for the best possible strategic move he could have possibly made at this time, and while it was well executed, I am still left wanting something more. And in the end, I think the ginned up conservative base and TEA movement will to.

This is an election year where the G.O.P. does not want the status quo. They do not want another McCain or Dole and unless Romney proves to be bolder than his economic plan inititally seems, he will just be viewed as an accountant adding and subtracting the numbers that someone gives him. This year I, and I believe many others out there, want a candidate who is a bit of a rebel and very much an anti-establishmentarian. For that reason, while I applaud Romney’s plan for being a good example of a low tax, pro-growth agenda and for being very soiund policy, I wish he would have gone a step further with his proposals.

For instance, while Romney’s plan reduces corporate taxes to 25%, this past Saturday Sarah Palin proposed getting rid of it altogether. While Romney proposes reducing regulations and even the size of the bureaucracy, candidates like Ron Paul are out there proposing the elimination of whole government Departments. While Romney tinkers with the tax code in an attempt to make it flatter, candidates like Herman Cain are out there calling for our tax code to be totally scrapped. For that reason, the one thing I believe the Romney plan really lacked was an example of “major” reform…….something that dramatically changes the business that Washington does, not just how Washington does business.   For my part, I would have liked to see Mitt prove himself to be a real conservative reformer, a conservative with a Jack Kemp-like passion for supply-side economics and was committed enough to the cause to propose a Flat Tax.  Such a tax would produce the quickest and most dramatic boost to our economic malaise.  As it has done for every single nation that has adopted a Flat Tax, it would lead to profound rate of national economic growth and if there is one thing we need as the nation braces for an Obama led double dip recession, it is quick and dramatic economic growth.

Not proposing a Flat Tax was a missed opportunity for Romney, for Republicans, and for the nation.

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Click Here to see Romney's complete economic proposal speech

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