Anybody who knows me personally knows that I’ve been a staunch supporter of Herman Cain ever since watching a few of his speeches on YouTube and then seeing the very first GOP debate back in May. Now that he has fallen behind in the polls, though, it’s clear that even if he had my vote in the primary, he still wouldn’t be the eventual candidate. So I would basically be throwing away my vote on him, a la those who vote for Ron Paul or any third-party candidate.
All this to say that I now officially support Mitt Romney for president in 2012. Not only would the markets immediately pick up at his mere nomination over Obama on Election Day 2012, but he has integrity out the wazoo. The case has been made before that integrity is the single most important trait in a leader. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with that, but here’s why I say he has integrity:
There was that one debate on Fox News when they were just coming back from a commercial break, but Michele Bachmann wasn’t on the stage with the rest of the candidates. Bret Baier, the moderator, looked around and said, “Are we missing a candidate?” The audience laughed and Romney spoke up: “She’ll be right back,” saying it in a “don’t worry, she’ll be here in two seconds” kind of way, attempting to ease any potential attacks against Bachmann that might have ensued later that night by liberals on the blogosphere.
Then there was that time during another debate (it might have been the same one) when Romney didn’t just prop up himself and say, “I’m the only one on this stage who has experience creating jobs in the private sector,” but instead, in addition to himself, propped up Cain, an opponent of his, by saying, “Mr. Cain and I are the only ones on this stage who have experience creating jobs in the private sector.” (Side note: since Cain has the Tea Party support and has the appeal of being a non-politician, and since Romney has the moderate support, I think Romney would be wise to choose Cain as his running mate.)
And then there was a third time that Romney showed extraordinary integrity. I forget if it was during Perry’s first debate or his second one, but he was getting attacked from the moderators and from the other candidates, one after the other, over his executive order on HPV immunizations. When it came time for Romney to voice his opinion on the matter, Romney said, “Look, I think Governor Perry would have done it differently if he had a second chance,” and, turning to Perry and addressing him, added, “and I think he’s said that and made that clear.” Wow! Mitt Romney defended Rick Perry, who is Romney’s number one opponent in this race and has a double-digit lead over Romney. He could have let the attacks continue against Perry, and he could have even engaged in the attacks himself. It was the perfect opportunity. Perry was being beaten down. It would have been so easy to let that continue, hopefully resulting in Perry’s poll numbers dropping in the next poll. But Romney saved him. What an honorable thing to do.
Now about this whole Romneycare thing, stop it. I’m what the left calls an extreme right-winger, but my fellow conservatives, including those who are running for president right now, are totally wrong about Romneycare. I love Michele Bachmann, for example, but she’s just trying to drum up votes when she calls Romneycare unconstitutional. Take note: “unconstitutional” does not mean anything you don’t like, and it does not mean anything that’s a failure. Romneycare was a failure (thanks mostly to Romney’s successor), but it was by no means unconstitutional. Where in the Constitution does it say that states cannot force people to buy a product? Does it address the subject anywhere in the Constitution? No. Therefore, according to the Tenth Amendment, it is a state issue. The federal government cannot do it, but states can, whether it’s a good thing or not. States can outlaw red-colored cars if they want to since that issue is not mentioned in the Constitution. It wouldn’t be wise to do so, just as aspects of Romneycare were unwise (as Romney admits). But that’s what the price of freedom is: the risk of failure. Mitt Romney had every constitutional right to try this good-hearted experiment (you can’t say Obamacare is good-hearted). The goal of Romneycare was not to “take over” the health-care industry or to bankrupt businesses. Romney had good intentions, and they failed. That’s what our Constitution allows. Even Rush Limbaugh said that Romneycare should have no bearing on what people think about Romney as a potential president.
A bit more about Rick Perry: I don’t trust him. He seems sneaky. Every single attack he’s launched at an opponent during the debates so far has been out of context. He misquotes his opponents. If this were ignorance, it’d be one thing. But he seems to know he’s taking their quotes out of context. He doesn’t look at his opponents when he says something about them, probably because he knows he’s lying. Instead, he just smiles at the audience. When his opponents then address whatever Perry brought up about them, he still refuses to look at them, still smiles at the audience, and is proven to be a liar when his opponents ultimately explain what Perry was referring to in his attack on them. One example is when Perry quoted Romney’s book. When I heard the quote (the paraphrase, actually), I thought, “Oh, wow, I can’t believe Romney would write that in his book!” But then Romney put the quote in context and it made much more sense and I agreed with it.
Even if I did trust Rick Perry, he’s too similar to George W. Bush in personality and characteristics, and therefore wouldn’t beat Obama (or would barely beat him, but who wants to take that risk?). He also can’t debate his fellow Republicans, so imagine how horrible he’d fare against the master debater, Obama. (Gotta say that carefully, “master debater.”) He also strikes me as not very smart. I wasn’t one to question Bush’s intelligence (gaffes don’t equal lack of intelligence), but Perry seems just very simple or dense. So, again, he’d look horrible next to Obama, who I know isn’t as silver-tongued without his TelePrompter, but he will still be prepared for all the questions he will be asked during the debates, so his tongue will still have plenty of silver on it. There is no denying, however, that Mitt Romney is an excellent debater and would be able to hold his own in a debate with Obama.