Contrary to popular belief, Mitt Romney is not a tough sell to social conservatives.
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, speaks to a crowd during a campaign event, in Warwick, R.I., Wednesday, April 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Now that the GOP presidential race is coming to a close and it is all but certain that Governor Romney will lead Republicans on the ballot in November, the debate amongst conservatives is over. We have a nominee. We have clear contrasts between our nominee and the president. The only question remaining is whether we defy the pundits and put the social conservative grassroots machine into high gear? With the tremendous differences between the Obama platform and Romney platform, what we need now is clarity.
Let’s start with the mother of all social issues, abortion. President Obama declared to Planned Parenthood that when it comes to abortion, “on this fundamental issue [choice], I will not yield.” This is a promise the president has certainly kept. The abortion surcharge in the Affordable Care Act along with the now controversial HHS mandate (the abortifacient mandate) are two examples of the president’s proactive pro-abortion activism.
The contrast? Mitt Romney has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood and has been endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee, Susan B. Anthony List, and a number of prominent pro-life activists and elected officials (a list growing by the minute).
The clarity? Conservatives, it’s time to stop bickering. If individuals who have dedicated most or all of their careers to defending the unborn accept Governor Romney as strongly pro-life, you should too – right now, not next week or in a month.
On marriage, Governor Romney is clear while President Obama doesn’t seem to know exactly what to say. Governor Romney supports traditional marriage and has pledged to, “appoint an Attorney General who will defend the Defense of Marriage Act – a bipartisan law passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton . . . and also champion a Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.” President Obama is still “evolving” on gay marriage. Unless he has a pre-November change of heart, as some have suggested , the contrast is simple. We know where Mitt Romney stands and we don’t know what President Obama will do. To clarify the message, it will be important to pressure President Obama and his campaign to tell the American people – left and right, gay and straight – where he stands and what he’ll do on this issue if he is re-elected.
ObamaCare led to a social conservative dominated tea party revolt in the buildup to the 2010 midterm elections, resulting in the end of a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. While the Supreme Court may make the issue moot before Election Day, keep in mind that President Obama has already indicated his willingness to make the Supreme Court and the healthcare decision a political issue. The contrast is simple. Are you a voter that wants more justices like Kagan and Sotomayor or Alito and Roberts?
While Romney has pledged to repeal ObamaCare, piece by piece if necessary, the bigger issue is the makeup of the Supreme Court for decades to come. The next president will determine whether the court moves left or right. That’s about as clear as it gets.
On the economy, you really don’t need me to get into it, that’s how much contrast there is – higher taxes (Obama) vs. lower taxes (Romney), more government regulation (Obama) vs. free enterprise (Romney), more spending (Obama) vs. less spending (Romney).
Foreign policy deserves its own blog or blogs but suffice to say, Israel is a key social conservative issue and post-election “flexibility” regarding missile defense is surely going to comeback in a big way.
The media will make Romney’s Mormon faith as much as an issue as voters let it become. As conservatives, let’s take the high ground and practice what we preach. We judge a candidate by their actions and pledges, not their personal faith. Remember that those who deride the Mormon faith on the left think that you as an evangelical are really no different. Do not fall into the trap.
Finally, Romney’s secret weapon in attracting strong grassroots conservative support is not so secret anymore. Ann Romney can and will be a unifying figure for the Romney campaign. The “war on women” is looking more and more like a “war on moms,” specifically Mitt Romney’s wife.
It’s a recipe of social issues that looks good for conservatives in November.