Politics

Krauthammer declares Romney ‘most conservative candidate who can win’ thus far

Although we’re some 14 months out of the 2012 presidential election, knowing who will be facing President Barack Obama is still up in the air.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’a initial splash upon entering the field of Republican candidates garnered him a lot of attention and a bump in the polls, but some are saying that the luster has worn off. On this weekend’s broadcast of “Inside Washington,” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, who admitted he wasn’t sold on Perry, seems to be leaning toward former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“I think what has been said is correct — Romney is polished,” Krauthammer offered. “In the end, Republicans are going to have to decide whether they want authenticity or electability. And that is really where it is. I mean, it often is a choice. Democrats have had that in the past with Howard Dean and others. You often have to come down and say, ‘Which way are you going to go?’ Do you want the guy that you can rely on ideologically on everything or with the guy that might have a better chance of winning?”

And according to Krauthammer, Romney seems to have the edge when it comes to applying the so-called William Buckley rule.

“I would invoke the Buckley rule,” Krauthammer continued. “He always said ‘I vote for the most conservative candidate who can win.’ And I think people have to make a judgment. In 1980, Reagan had to make a threshold: Is he acceptable? Can you live with this guy? Is he a non-lunatic? He did. He may have been demonized in the past as a radical ideologue. He was acceptable — he wins.

“I think Obama is going to be not quite as weak as [Jimmy] Carter, but relatively weak — high unemployment. And that’s going to be the threshold question for any Republican: Is he electable? Does he meet a threshold that the independents and disaffected Democrats would accept? Thus far, I think Mitt Romney is doing that.”

Watch: