On April 4, I said on Twitter that I would support Mitt Romney when Rick Santorum drops out of the race or when Romney mathematically locked up the nomination. Well, my chosen candidate dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for President last week. I am now supporting Mitt Romney for President.
Let me be honest here. While I endorsed Romney in 2008 because I believed he was the best candidate in the field at the time, I do not believe that Romney is the best choice of the candidates who ran for President this time. Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, or Newt Gingrich would have been better.
But the reality is that Romney is for all intents and purposes the Republican nominee for President. And while Romney may not have been the best choice, he will be a dramatic improvement over Barack Obama. I will not hesitate to openly support and vote for Romney in the November general election.
That said, the nomination process is still ongoing and I have no problem with Republicans supporting other Republican candidates while this process winds down. As Republicans, we should not harangue other Republicans for standing by their principles and supporting their candidate of choice. Whether that is Ron Paul (who has the most consistent limited government record of all the candidates) or Newt Gingrich (who led the Republican Party to a huge wave election in 1994 and engineered multiple key reforms and the first balanced budget in 30 years) we should respect their decision to stand by their convictions.
I think this process has made Romney into a better candidate and it is much better for Romney to deal with the criticisms from the right in the primary than in the general election where it could more effectively demoralize the base. There was not one single thing that was brought up in the primary that would not have been used by Obama in September or October, and it is better to deal with those issues in the winter and spring than after Labor Day.
In the 2008 general election, I voted for the Libertarian candidate for President because I could not in good conscience support John McCain. While there are certainly concerns about Romney’s conservatism, he is no McCain. In fact, the reason I supported Romney over McCain in the 2008 primary is because Romney is a much stronger conservative.
Romney is a pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-gun, limited government conservative who is campaigning on a platform of lower taxes and limited government. After a successful career in the private sector, Romney understands that the tax and regulatory burdens put in place by the federal government are harmful to our economy. Romney understands that he needs the conservative base and that the Tea Party movement will hold him accountable. I do not think we need to worry about the same kind of problems we had with George W. Bush expanding government.
And let’s make no mistake: Barack Obama is the issue in 2012. His reckless and irresponsible spending is driving this nation into unsustainable debt that is unprecedented in the history of this nation. The fact that Obama immediately gave us budget deficits of over a trillion dollars should alarm all Americans. That’s not the national debt, folks. That is the amount added to the debt in one single year. Under a Romney administration, that will stop.
I respectfully submit that, with the nomination all but certain, we focus our efforts on electing Mitt Romney as our next President. The Romney campaign has some work to do in healing the damage it caused to party unity by using scorched earth tactics in the primaries, but that can be helped along by supporters of other candidates letting bygones be bygones and uniting around our nominee to achieve the most important goal of the last 100 years – defeating Barack Obama.