For conservatives committed to defeating Barack Obama, the choice is clear

Jimmy LaSalvia Executive Director, GOProud
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Ann Coulter, the honorary chair of GOProud’s Advisory Council, is rarely wrong — and when it comes to the 2012 Republican nomination, she is spot on: If conservatives want to defeat Barack Obama, then it is time to rally around former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Unlike some of my other colleagues at GOProud, I have personally stayed out of the primary until now. Conservatives and libertarians of all ideological stripes, whether gay or straight, should make defeating this failed president their number one priority. It is with that goal in mind that I write today to voice my support for Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy.

Let me be very clear, this is a personal — not an organizational — endorsement. GOProud represents a wide swath of right-of-center individuals and our members support a wide range of candidates for president. I believe there are many good candidates in this field and I respect the decisions of those who support other candidates. For me, however, this decision is an easy one: Only Mitt Romney can beat Barack Obama in November.

Not only do I believe Mitt Romney should be the nominee, in the wake of the results of the Iowa caucuses it is clear he will be, which is why now is the time to rally around Romney and turn our attention to defeating the billion-dollar campaign machine of Obama and his radical left-wing special interests.

I understand the liberal media’s desire for a long, drawn-out, bloody Republican primary. The longer the GOP primary lasts and the nastier it gets, the more likely it is that Obama can win re-election. Conservatives should not play into the hands of Obama and his friends in the media.

Before the Iowa caucuses, there were only three candidates with the potential to build the broad base of support necessary to secure the Republican Party’s nomination: Romney, Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. The results of the Iowa caucuses have all but ended the campaigns of Perry and Gingrich. None of the remaining competitors to Romney — Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul — have any prayer of being the Republican Party’s standard-bearer in November.

I understand conservatives who have had and who continue to have misgivings about Mitt Romney and his commitment to the values we hold dear. Certainly much has been made about some of Governor Romney’s evolution on issues over the years. The truth is that plenty of our greatest conservative leaders have had similar evolutions. Indeed, even the great Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat. Regardless of where Governor Romney may have once been on any issue, the reality is that today he articulates a clearly conservative plan for America.

Governor Romney supports cutting taxes and simplifying our overly complex tax code. Unlike President Obama, Romney understands that the last thing we should do in this troubled economic environment is raise taxes on any American.

Romney has a plan to make American companies more competitive by lowering corporate tax rates, opening new markets to U.S. goods through new free trade agreements and reducing bureaucratic red tape by eliminating unnecessary and unworkable federal regulations. He understands that there is no magic green bullet for creating energy independence, which is why he supports expanded utilization of American energy resources.

Romney is committed to repealing Obamacare and dramatically reducing federal spending, and he knows that we must reform entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid if we are to seriously tackle the debt and deficit crisis facing this country.

When it comes to foreign policy, Governor Romney recognizes the continuing threat posed by radical Islam. Governor Romney will support Israel and will do what it takes to prevent terrorist mad men like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

On issue after issue, Mitt Romney offers an approach that is vastly different from — and unquestionably more conservative than — the failed approach that Barack Obama offers.

Unlike Obama, and unlike his opponents in the GOP primary, Mitt Romney isn’t a career politician. Indeed it is his experience in the private sector that has most prepared him to be president. During his time at Bain Capital, Romney oversaw the restructuring, downsizing and refocusing of companies Bain invested in. Thanks to Romney’s efforts, previously bloated, inefficient and failing companies were turned around and made successful. That is exactly what we need our president to do to the bloated, inefficient and failed federal government.

Mitt Romney will be and should be the nominee. Mitt Romney can and will win in November. For conservatives who are truly committed to making Barack Obama a one-term president, the choice is clear — it’s Mitt Romney for president.

Jimmy LaSalvia is the executive director of GOProud.