As governor of one of the most liberal states in the union, Mitt Romney did something even Ronald Reagan didn’t do as governor of California: He balanced the budget without raising taxes.
Romney became deeply pro-life as governor of the aforementioned liberal state and vetoed an embryonic stem cell bill. (Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich lobbied President George W. Bush to allow embryonic stem cell research.) Romney’s approach to illegal immigration in Massachusetts resembled what Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona is doing today, making her a right-wing heroine.
Romney pushed the conservative alternative to national health care that, had it been adopted in the 49 other states, would have killed Obamacare in the crib by solving the health insurance problem at the state level.
Unlike actual establishment candidates, Romney has never worked in Washington, much less spent his entire life as a professional politician. He’s had a Midas touch with every enterprise he has ever run, including Bain Capital, the Olympics and Massachusetts.
The chestnut about Mitt Romney being pushed on unsuspecting conservatives by “the establishment” is the exact opposite of the truth. The establishment, by any sensible definition, is virulently opposed to Romney — and for completely contradictory reasons.
The entire NFM (non-Fox media) hates Romney because he is the only candidate who stands a chance of beating Obama.
Meanwhile, many of the pillars of the conservative establishment also implacably oppose Romney. Fox News is neutral, but its second-highest-rated host, Sean Hannity, is unenthusiastic about Romney, as is prominent Fox News contributor Sarah Palin, who has told Fox viewers she’d vote for Gingrich — and has also offered herself up as a possible presidential nominee at a contested convention. (Wouldn’t a former candidate for vice president on a major party’s ticket be part of the establishment?)
The No. 1 conservative talk-radio host in America, Rush Limbaugh, is critical of Romney, and another top conservative talk-radio host, Mark Levin, is adamantly against Romney — though both Limbaugh and Levin supported Romney as the conservative alternative to John McCain in 2008, and Romney has only gotten better since then.
Purely to hurt Romney, the Iowa Republican Party fiddled with the vote tally to take Romney’s victory away from him and give it to Rick Santorum — even though the “official count” was missing eight precincts. Isn’t the party apparatus of a state considered part of the establishment?
I’m not sure what part of the establishment supports Romney. Is it Romney supporter Christine O’Donnell, erstwhile tea party candidate for the U.S. Senate from Delaware? Am I the face of the establishment? (If so, the country is going to be just fine.)
I would think that the pristine example of the Republican establishment is Weekly Standard editor and Fox News contributor Bill Kristol. But he wants anybody but Romney, even proposing that we choose someone not running by means of a contested convention.