Politics
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney looks over to shake the hand of an old neighbor Robert Gardner, Friday, June 24, 2011 in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Leah Hogsten)  DESERET NEWS OUT; LOCAL TV OUT Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney looks over to shake the hand of an old neighbor Robert Gardner, Friday, June 24, 2011 in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Leah Hogsten) DESERET NEWS OUT; LOCAL TV OUT  

Romney races ahead of Bachmann, backs ‘Cut, Cap and Balance’

Photo of Steven Nelson
Steven Nelson
Associate Editor

Former Massachusetts Gov. and frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination Mitt Romney raced ahead of his conservative rival Rep. Michele Bachmann Wednesday on a key barometer of fiscal conservatism, backing the “Cut, Cap and Balance” plan of the conservative wing of the House GOP conference.

“I am for ‘Cut, Cap and Balance,’” Romney told reporters shortly after a meeting with Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee.

Romney’s backing for the plan puts him to the right of conservative darling Bachmann, who congressional sources say is still considering whether to back the plan.

Romney’s voice as GOP frontrunner is also likely to raise the profile of “cut, cap and balance” in the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations between Republicans and Democrats.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner has pushed broadly for cuts and spending reforms, not the plan conservatives favor, and the right flank of Boehner’s caucus remains suspicious of House leadership on key provisions like the balance budget amendment to the Constitution introduced by Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois.

Lee applauded Romney’s decision in a statement released after the meeting. “I was happy to hear that Gov. Romney supports the Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge including a Balanced Budget Amendment — one of my top priorities — and that his focus remains on growing the economy to create good jobs for our country,” Lee said.

Idaho Republican Sen. Jim Risch entered the meeting between Lee and Romney as it was in progress.

The pledge, increasingly emerging as a litmus test for Republican presidential candidates, is also supported by former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

(Conservative groups, lawmakers officially roll out Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge)

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich announced his support for the pledge on Tuesday.

The pledge calls for no increase to the nation’s debt limit without major spending cuts, a cap to spending, and a Balanced Budget Amendment.

Romney will meet later in the day with Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Jonathan Strong contributed to this report.

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  • TreasonUS

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    • JL1999

      The conspiracy theorists just keep coming don’t they? There must be a lot of people in a lot of basements dreaming this stuff up.

  • kingfish

    I have good friends who are Mormons, and I admire their personal qualities and family lifestyles. However, recent articles are bringing to light graft by the church leadership, and ask valid questions about the issues now supported by the church. Romney received a $400 million payoff involving the Bush/Clinton criminal cabal. (google: White Hat Report #12)

    MORMON LEADERS ACCUSED OF BILLION DOLLAR GOLD THEFT
    http://www.moneyteachers.org/Rothschilds+Gift+to+Mormons.htm

    EXCERPT:
    “This gold…ended up in the Granite Mountain Vaults owned by the Mormon Church. Thousands of metric tons of gold, sitting in the vaults of the Mormon Church could explain why the leadership is so willing to support corrupt individuals like the Cannons, Marriots, Eccles, Bush, Cheney, Reid, Hatch, Huntsmans and Romney.”

    Mormon Church Assists Bilderberg Agenda
    http://www.moneyteachers.org/Mormon+Bilderbergers.htm

    • JL1999

      The writer is an acolyte of Daniel Estulin who wrote that he believes the Federal government has plans to assassinate Ron Paul. What does that tell you about this guy?

  • doncicciofitipaldi

    I was first, I was first, I backed the wrong plan first….I’ll never ever ever even dream of implementing it, but I have some Tea Party idiots I have to placate to get nominated………this is Mitt thinking by the way……lol

  • brnstb700

    Oh, so we can really believe Mr. I was for Abortion, now I’m not. If it is not in his heart, don’t bet on it.

  • Wallysmom

    Romney will “say” anything to keep ahead in the polls. Hard as it is for me to say but Bachmann has stayed true to her beliefs for her entire political life. Romney is an empty suit.

    • doncicciofitipaldi

      …wrong beliefs, but beliefs nevertheless…….where is the virtue in never changing your mind? Remember GW Bush who was NEVER wrong? Certitude is a mental disorder

  • gazinya

    Flash….Romney and Gingrich on same page. Finally two of the most ‘maverick’ conservatives that just last year backed Sozzofozzy for congress now agree neither would consider her for V.P. “Somewhere, that’s for sure but not V.P.!”

  • JL1999

    Good for Mitt. It is time to start making some committments. It is time for teh candidates to start telling us how they would fix the economy in detail too.

  • baal

    OK, so Mitt’s showing some backbone now. Good for him. I still like Cain and Paul better, but Mitt just gained a bit of respect from me.

    • skillymooch

      I once heard someone say “talk is cheap.” Seems appropriate at the moment.

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