Monday, May 9, 2011

Romney blaming Iowa and South Carolina problem on religion?

I have written previously about the apparent strategy of Mitt Romney to not "play" in Iowa and South Carolina. Two recent columns -- one by Craig Robinson of the IowaRepublican and the other by Ben Smith of Politico -- discusses that strategy.

Robinson, in writing that the former Massachusetts Governor has not been in the Hawkeye State for 195 days, destroys that claim by Romney's camp and the mainstream media -- including Smith of Politico -- that Romney does not do well in conservative states because he belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints. If conservatives were such bigots -- to a religious group, by the way, that is one of the most conservative -- Robinson asks wouldn't have Orrin Hatch faced such criticism when he ran for President? And if Iowa Republicans were so opposed to Mormons, how could Matt Schultz have won a "contentious primary" against the Republican favored by the establishment in the 2010 race for Secretary of State? (Robinson does not mention him, but Jon Huntsman, who will likely be running for President this cycle, has not been dragged down by being a Mormon either.)

So, Robinson asks, maybe it's not Romney's religious faith but his record? His record of flip-flopping on abortion and marriage. His health care bill that is essentially the same as Obamacare. (Romney supporters who distinguish the two bills by saying one was a state and one was a federal statute miss the point of federalism. If government is controlling your life, it does not matter much if the bureau is located in your state capital or the nation's. Federalism is essentially a legal argument: the states have domain over certain issues and the federal government has domain over a few, which does not include forcing citizens to buy health insurance. That makes Obamacare unconstitutional -- on top of bad policy. Romneycare is not unconstitutional -- just terrible policy.)

Robinson quotes Chuck Lauder, a former Executive Director of the Republican Party of Iowa, saying: "The entire fiction [that Romney is being dragged down by his faith] is a twin of the same loser argument that to be opposed to Obamacare means you're a racist."

If Romney hopes to do better in Iowa and South Carolina, along with other states with large numbers of conservatives, he would be well served to not have his campaign hint that the only reason people could possibly have to oppose him is his religion.

1 comment:

  1. His problem is largely simple:


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