-President Ronald Reagan
"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan
-President Ronald Reagan
"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan
When you went to a Ronald Reagan speech, and you listened to it, if you listened to one of them or all of them, you always felt the speech he just got done giving was the greatest speech he had ever given. And you would follow him to the moon if he'd have led you there after the speech – and I'm not seeing that in Fred Thompson at all. I see no call.Reagan, who claims not to have a "horse " in this race, says, "I think the lower-tier that nobody gives any credit to, the Huckabees the Hunters – I think they offer something."
"It is my duty to let you know that Linda Rozett is no longer with our committee," wrote campaign manager Bill Lacy. "I will have to make a lot of tough decisions to make our venture successful, and this was one of them. Linda is a talented, professional and gracious lady who will be missed."
He added: "But in the limited amount of time we have I feel it critical to have a communications point person with significant campaign experience."
Rozett's departure follows that of press secretary Burson Snyder last week.
"In April 2006, Massachusetts passed historic legislation aiming to increase dramatically the number of people covered by health insurance. While only in effect since July 2007, the early signs are encouraging. More people are signing up for affordable private insurance plans. Massachusetts is leading the way in the effort to provide all citizens the opportunity to purchase affordable health insurance. This landmark achievement is due in no small part to Governor Mitt Romney and his strong leadership, working in cooperation with the legislature.
"Fewer Republican presidential candidates are better prepared to meet our nation's health care challenge than Governor Romney. Health care is a complex issue and tackling it is no easy task, as politicians from across the country have discovered. Yet, Governor Romney brought together all sides to find a solution that at its heart advances individual choice and responsibility, and free-market principles.
"Under Governor Romney's plan in Massachusetts, state citizens are empowered to enter the private market and obtain their own health insurance. Personal responsibility is the defining principle of his plan. To facilitate movement towards a free-market, Governor Romney's reforms created a new insurance marketplace and provide subsidies to lower-income state citizens to obtain their own private plan."
"Beyond this, Governor Romney took additional steps to limit government's role in health care. He vetoed a Democrat proposed $295 per employee fee for businesses that fail to offer insurance. While the State Legislature did not adopt all of Governor Romney's free-market proposals, he did make progress in helping insurers create lower-cost plans by modernizing our insurance markets."
"At the heart of Governor Romney's plan in Massachusetts is a core belief that the solution to the challenge of reforming the health care system lies in private market solutions. What we have done in Massachusetts is unleash the power of competition. For the first time, many Massachusetts citizens are buying their own health care plans. This was achieved not by putting the government in the health care business but instead by empowering individuals."
Tim Murphy is the former Massachusetts Health And Human Services Secretary
Sometimes I feel like we are playing whack-a-mole (you know, the carnival arcade game) with the whole "Mitt's a flip-flopper" meme in the MSM (and from rival campaigns).
The latest concerns some comments Mitt made recently about overturning RvW and giving the Abortion decision back to the states and how that might be inconsistent with supporting the GOP platform advocating a Human Life Amendment.
Having followed Mitt closely, I think it's clear that these are not mutually exclusive, but rather two phases of a long-term change effort. Rather than just give you my opinion, however, I'll let a couple well known right-wing bloggers weigh in more eloquently.
"Mitt Romney is simply struggling to explain the Republican Party's conventional pro-life position. Which is: overturn Roe v. Wade. And then, slowly build up public support for a constitutional amendment banning abortions. ETA: 30 years or more.
This is not a flip-flop.
The reason why Romney is struggling to explain the complicated two-step is that he is relatively new to the dance. Pro-life activists who have been in the trenches for years are very comfortable with the nuance and subtlely of their beliefs and know how to translate them into morsels for the media's consumption. This measured, incremental approach — relatively new to the movement — has been successful in many ways."
"I know it's cool on all sides not to trust Romney, but this strikes me as no there there, despite the reporter's contention otherwise. He supports a human life amendment but lives in the incremental real world. If Roe is overturned, states will take up the issue. If Roe is overturned, it would be helpful to have a president who supports a federal ban, and who will presumably support those trying to ban abortion in their states (something worth hearing him make clear he would). Romney's position makes sense to me.
Sorry, no "waffle."
A pro-life, pro-Romney friend on the Hill sends me this:
The piece this morning is a regurgitated hit piece. The same "hit" took place on August 6 when Mitt appeared on GMA. Romney's position is quite simple: Romney says, "I am pro-life, I support a ban on all-abortions, but since that doesn't seem likely to pass, our immediate goal must be to overturn Roe V Wade and return the law to the states."
Neither of these folks is particularly known as a Romney apologist…they seem to be very fair analyses of what's going on here.
The MSM is what it is…I'm not expecting much from them. For the rival campaigns, however, my question is why don't they try differentiating themselves with positive messages regarding their competence, experience, track-record of results, etc. instead of demonstrating how intolerant the Right can be for folks who come around to our pro-life position (better late than never).
Perhaps if those things were the primary criteria for President, Mitt would clean their clocks?
Reasons to agree:
Reasons to disagree
Reasons to agree:
Reasons to disagree:
Websites that agree:
Reasons to agree
In 1994, Romney also said that he was personally opposed to abortion. He also said that he became committed to legalized abortion after the death of a family friend in an illegal abortion made him see "that regardless of one's beliefs about choice, you would hope it would be safe and legal."
"Many years ago, I had a dear, close family relative that was very close to me who passed away from an illegal abortion," Romney said in a televised debate opposite Senator Edward Kennedy. "It is since that time my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that." The person Romney was referring to was a teenage girl engaged to marry a member of Romney's extended family. Romney's sister Jane has said that the girl's death changed the family's perspective on the legality of abortion. "With my mom, that was a personal thing because we had a tragedy close to us -- not in our immediate family, but a young girl who actually was engaged and had an illegal abortion and died." "She was a beautiful, talented young gal we all loved. And it pretty much ruined the parents -- their only daughter. You would do anything not to repeat that."
Romney has said he has kept his campaign promises. Romney vetoed an emergency contraception bill in July 2005, claiming that allowing it to pass into law would violate his "moratorium" on changes to the abortion laws.
Prior to his run for governor Romney told a newspaper in Salt Lake City Utah that he did not want to be classified as a "pro-choice" politician.
If you go to Google Video and type Mitt Romney, you will find this video:
The Governor Mitt Romney interview takes about 20 min. If you just want to watch the part about this topic, go to this portion of the video:
Abortion: 15:20 min
Abortion State by state 16:04 min
The poor old Scandinavian moose is now being blamed for climate change, with researchers in Norway claiming that a grown moose can produce 2,100 kilos of methane a year -- equivalent to the CO2 output resulting from a 13,000 kilometer car journey.
Now poor moose are being blamed for global warming.
Norwegian newspapers, citing research from Norway's technical university, said a motorist would have to drive 13,000 kilometers in a car to emit as much CO2 as a moose does in a year.
Bacteria in a moose's stomach create methane gas which is considered even more destructive to the environment than carbon dioxide gas. Cows pose the same problem (more...).
Norway has some 120,000 moose but an estimated 35,000 are expected to be killed in this year's moose hunting season, which starts on September 25, Norwegian newspaper VG reported.
"Republicans should never abandon pro-growth conservative principles in an effort to embrace the ideas of Al Gore. Instead of sweeping mandates, we must use America's power of innovation to develop alternative sources of energy and new technologies that use energy more efficiently."
Each candidate in the 2008 Presidential race will undoubtedly offer a health care plan. Those plans will include initiatives ranging from a single payer system, to employer mandates, to tax incentives for the purchase of private health insurance. But only one candidate has actually done something, waded into the issue and emerged with a successful plan that does not resort to one-size-fits-all, government run "Hillary Care." That innovative candidate is former Governor Mitt Romney.
On April 12, 2006, Governor Romney signed into law landmark legislation ensuring that every resident of Massachusetts would have access to affordable, portable, quality private health insurance – without higher taxes, an employer mandate or a government takeover of health care.
Republican presidential hopeful, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney talks with reporters after speaking at a gathering of potential supporters, Friday, July 27, 2007, in Adel, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Massachusetts was afflicted with many of the same problems that plague the health care system across the country. There was no easy way to buy affordable insurance except through an employer. Without the employer option, it just was not feasible for many people to buy health insurance. As a result, they had to resort to emergency room care and the taxpayers ended up footing the bill. People choosing their health care provider could not get critical information about the cost or quality of care, and excessive state regulations reduced choices and drove up costs.
When Governor Romney decided to tackle the double-digit annual increases in health insurance costs, the average uninsured resident in Massachusetts had to pay $335 a month for private health insurance, which did not include coverage for prescription drugs and featured a $5,000 deductible. Moreover, the state was spending over $1.3 billion a year on "free care" for the uninsured.
Governor Romney actually got the Democrat-controlled legislature to enact a plan that addressed these problems. He took the time to understand what makes private health insurance markets work and transformed the market in his state from one that was government-controlled to one that allows competition to flourish.
Governor Romney's health care plan featured a number of reforms. First, his plan deregulated the overburdened Massachusetts insurance market to reduce the cost of private insurance, while giving consumers more choice from a broader range of plans. Second, the plan addressed the problems caused by the fact that many people could not get healthcare through their employers and could not afford it on the individual market. Third, he redirected the millions of dollars that were being spent on free emergency room care and used it instead to help those who truly were not able to afford private health insurance.
Finally, Governor Romney recognized that competition is the key to the success of any market – so doing what no one had ever done before, he created a new market where consumers can go to pick the health care plan that suits them best. Called the "Connector," this marketplace is not a new regulatory agency or insurance purchasing pool. It is a place that gives people access to more choices, better information, and lower costs in selecting a private health insurance plan. The Connector also provides a way for individuals to purchase insurance with the same pre-tax advantage given to those buying insurance through their employers. Even better, the Connector gives people the chance to buy private insurance independent of their jobs, so that they don't have to worry about losing their coverage when they change employers.
But Governor Romney's reforms did not stop at reducing the cost of insurance today. He also tackled a number of reforms that will help reduce the rise in health care costs over the long-term. His plan included medical transparency provisions that allow consumers to compare the quality of hospitals and providers, while tracking and recording the costs associated with the care they provide. The reforms also instituted measures to encourage the use of electronic health records, which will reduce medical errors and lower costs.
What's been the result of all these reforms? Although the reforms were signed into law just over a year ago, the changes are dramatic. The same uninsured individual whose choice was formerly limited to a policy with a $335 a month insurance premium with no drug benefits and a $5,000 deductible now can purchase quality private insurance, which includes coverage for prescription drugs, office and emergency room visits, and a $2,000 deductible, for $175 per month. Between July 1, 2006 and May 1, 2007, nearly 125,000 previously uninsured residents of Massachusetts got health insurance coverage.
Taxpayer-funded "free care" is falling at double-digit rates, because the Romney reforms no longer allow people to let others pay for their health care if they can afford their own health insurance. Those who previously couldn't afford health insurance now have the help they need to get access to affordable, quality, portable private coverage. And, as he promised, Governor Romney did all this without raising taxes and without a government take-over of health care.
All of Governor Romney's reforms are consistent with the goal of making private health insurance more available, flexible, and affordable. That is why many conservative organizations have hailed Governor Romney's health care reforms. The Heritage Foundation called it "one of the most promising strategies out there." Massachusetts Citizens For Limited Taxation said that Romney's plan was a responsible solution to America's health care challenges. And the Ethan Allen Institute praised Governor Romney's plan because of its focus on personal responsibility and choice.
The bipartisanship, innovation, conservative statesmanship and creativity he exhibited confirms my view that he is the kind of leader this nation needs.
Former Senator Jim Talent (R-MO) is Chairman of the Romney for President Domestic Policy Task Force.
Club for Growth Releases Fifth Presidential White Paper
Romney's Record: Promise and Puzzlement
Washington - Today, the Club for Growth released its presidential white paper on Republican presidential candidate Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (see PDF or HTML). The fifth in a series of white papers on the pro-growth records of presidential candidates, the attached report provides an extensive summary of Mitt Romney's economic record from his unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate to his single term as governor of Massachusetts.
"Governor Romney's economic record contains a mixture of pro-growth accomplishments and some troublesome positions that beg to be explained," said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey. "While his record on taxes, spending, and entitlement reform is flawed, it is, on balance, encouraging, especially given the liberal Massachusetts Legislature. His record on trade, school choice, regulations and tort reform all indicate a strong respect for the power of market solutions. At the same time, Governor Romney's history is marked by statements at odds with his gubernatorial record and his campaign rhetoric."
Romney's strident opposition to the flat tax; his refusal to endorse the Bush tax cuts in 2003; his support for various minor tax hikes; and his once-radically bad views on campaign finance reform all cast some doubts on the extent and durability of his commitment to limited-government, pro-growth policies. His landmark steps in the healthcare arena also exhibit a mixture of desirable pro-free market efforts combined with a regrettable willingness to accept, if not embrace, a massive new regulatory regime.
"While Governor Romney still needs to explain some of his past positions," Mr. Toomey continued, "given his overall record as governor and the strong pro-growth positions he has taken on the campaign trail, we are reasonably optimistic that, as President, Mitt Romney would generally advocate a pro-growth agenda."
The Club for Growth is committed to lower taxes-especially lower tax rates- across the board. Lower taxes on work, savings, and investments lead to greater levels of these activities, thus encouraging greater economic growth.
During his 2002 campaign for governor, Mitt Romney pledged to balance the budget without raising taxes and touted his fulfillment of that pledge throughout his term. While it is true that Governor Romney did not impose any broad-based tax hikes despite pressure from liberal special interests and an inherited budget deficit, he imposed a slew of fee hikes and tax "loophole" closures, together with spending cuts, in order to eliminate the budget gap.
The largest of these was $259 million worth of fee hikes in FY 2004, the bulk of which came from higher Registry of Deeds fees[1 ]. Smaller fee hikes, including higher charges for boaters and golfers, were imposed in FY 2003 and FY 2005 . Romney also sought $128 million worth of so-called tax loophole closures for FY 2004[ 4]; $70 million for FY 2005; and $170 million for FY 2006, which were later reduced to $85 million due to backlash from business leaders .
That said, Governor Romney's single term contained some solid efforts to promote pro-growth tax policy. In May of 2004, Mitt Romney proposed cutting the state's income-tax rate from 5.3% to 5.0% -- a measure Massachusetts voters had approved in a 2000 referendum, but was blocked by the State Legislature in 2002. The proposed tax cut would have provided $675 million in relief over a year and a half. When the Massachusetts Legislature refused to budge, Romney proposed the same tax cut in 2005  and again in 2006 with no success[ 9].
Romney was more successful when he took on the State Legislature for imposing a retroactive tax on capital gains earnings. After a bloody fight, Romney succeeded in passing a bill preventing the capital gains tax from being applied retroactively, resulting in a rebate of $275 million for capital gains taxes collected in 2002. Governor Romney also signed legislation that provided property tax relief to seniors  and legislation establishing a two-day tax-free shopping holiday in 2005.[ 12]
Governor Romney's history on tax policy is scattered with inconsistencies. As a candidate for governor, Romney refused to sign an anti-tax pledge distributed by the local Citizens for Limited Taxation. He opposed Ballot Question 1 to eliminate the state income tax and proposed an auto excise tax on SUVs and a greenfields tax on the development of ocean space. In 2003, the Governor refused to endorse the Bush tax cuts, earning the praise of Massachusetts liberal congressman Barney Frank, and was even open to a federal gas tax hike[ 15]. His strident opposition to the flat tax is most curious and difficult to explain since Romney wasn't a political candidate at the time. In 1996, he ran a series of newspaper ads in Boston, New Hampshire, and Iowa denouncing the 17% flat tax proposed by then presidential candidate Steve Forbes as a "tax cut for fat cats". Even today, Romney continues to oppose the flat tax with harsh language, calling the tax "unfair." 
Overall, Romney's record on tax policy is mixed. His record is marred by questionable statements and positions, and his fee hikes and "loophole" closures are troubling. However, his support for broad-based tax cuts in liberal Massachusetts together with his enthusiastic embrace of the Bush tax cuts on the campaign trail offers hope that Governor Romney's previous ambivalence on tax policy is more a function of Massachusetts politics than his core beliefs.
The Club for Growth is committed to reducing government spending. Less spending enhances economic growth by enabling lower taxes and diminishing the economically inefficient political allocation of resources.
Governor Romney's record on spending must be considered within the liberal political context in which he governed. The Massachusetts Legislature was (and continues to be) dominated by Democrats more interested in raising taxes than cutting government programs. Throughout his tenure, Romney's proposed cuts were met with opposition while the vast majority of his vetoes were relegated to the graveyard of overrides.
On balance, his record comes out more positive than negative, especially when one considers that average spending increased only 2.22% over his four years, well below the population plus inflation benchmark of nearly 3%.
Governor Romney receives credit for actual spending in FY 2003, even though he entered office halfway into the fiscal year, because of the tremendous spending cuts he forced down the Legislature's throat in January of 2003. Facing a $650 million deficit he inherited from the previous administration, Romney convinced the unfriendly State Legislature to grant him unilateral power to make budget cuts and unveiled $343 million in cuts to cities, healthcare, and state agencies. This fiscal discipline continued in 2004, in which Romney continued to slash "nearly every part of state government" to close a $3 billion deficit.
At the same time, Governor Romney clearly loosened the purse strings for FY 2006 and in his proposed budget for FY 2007 (final spending for FY 2007 is not yet available, and is partly the responsibility of Romney's successor, Governor Deval Patrick). With surpluses flowing into the state coffers, the Romney administration sought to undo some of the success it had achieved during the initial lean years. The result was a budget proposal for 2007 that was a whopping 10.12% larger than the preceding fiscal year.
To his credit, Romney attempted to cut down on government spending by streamlining many duplicative and wasteful elements of Beacon Hill. Some of his more ambitious proposals were rejected by his über-liberal Legislature. These include: his plans to overhaul the wasteful Boston Municipal Court and close underused courthouses; merge the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority with the Highway Department; decentralize management of the University of Massachusetts; streamline the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission; and phase out the obsolete Worcester State Hospital where employees outnumber patients nearly 3 to 1.
Governor Romney successfully consolidated the social service and public health bureaucracy and restructured the Metropolitan District Commission. Romney even eliminated half of the executive branch's press positions, saving $1.2 million.[ 25] He also used his emergency fiscal powers to make $425 million worth of cuts in 2006, taking particular aim at local earmarks, instead of allowing the Legislature to dip into the state's $1.2 billion rainy day fund. While there is no question that Governor Romney's initial fiscal discipline slacked off in the second half of his term, on balance, he imposed some much-needed fiscal discipline on a very liberal Massachusetts Legislature.
Free trade is a vital policy for maximizing economic growth. In recent decades, America's commitment to expanding trade has resulted in lower costs for consumers, job growth, and higher levels of productivity and innovation.
Although Mitt Romney's practical record on trade is scant, his rhetoric has been supportive, demonstrating an understanding of the crucial relationship between economic growth and free trade. At a speech before top technology executives in 2005, Romney encouraged U.S. companies to sell their products abroad, rather than turning toward protectionism: "We must move ahead in technology and patents. I don't like losing any jobs but we'll see new opportunities created selling products there. We'll have a net increase in economic activity, just as we did with free trade. It's tempting to want to protect our markets and stay closed. But at some point it all comes crashing down and you're hopelessly left behind. Then you are Russia."
Romney was also a supporter of CAFTA, saying, "It does make me chuckle, when you see Congress struggling about whether we should open our trade with Central America. When Asia is looming off the horizon, we're worried about El Salvador and Guatemala?"
America's major middle-class entitlement programs are already insolvent. The Club for Growth supports entitlement reforms that enable personal ownership of retirement and healthcare programs, benefit from market returns, and diminish dependency on government.
As governor, Romney pushed for important changes to Massachusetts expansive welfare system. Although federal welfare reform passed in 1995, Massachusetts was woefully behind, relying on a waiver to bypass many of the legislation's important requirements. Romney fought for legislation that would bring Massachusetts' welfare system up to date with federal standards by increasing the number of hours each week recipients must work and establishing a five-year limit for receiving benefits. Much to his credit and to the dismay of many Massachusetts liberals, Romney successfully forced Medicaid recipients to make co-payments for some services and successfully pushed for legislative action forcing new state workers to contribute 25% of their health insurance costs, up from 15%. Governor Romney also deserves praise for proposing to revolutionize the Massachusetts state pension system by moving it from a defined benefit system to a defined contribution system.
Regarding Social Security, Romney's record is scarce. Romney has ruled out the option of raising Social Security taxes, embraced the idea of reducing the growth rate of future benefits, and supports personal accounts, but unfortunately, has not embraced a comprehensive reform plan as of yet.
But one cannot talk about Romney's record on entitlement reform without considering the universal healthcare plan Governor Romney helped craft in Massachusetts. The bill that Governor Romney signed with a grinning Ted Kennedy in the background on April 12, 2006, has been the victim of much scorn from many economic conservatives. Some of those criticisms are valid. However, Romney also deserves credit for trying to move a terrible system towards free-market improvements.
It is important to state that many of the problems that plague our healthcare system are rooted in federal law, leaving governors with their hands tied. The federal tax code severely impedes individual ownership of health insurance, and federal legislation requires hospitals to treat all patients regardless of their ability to pay, effectively creating a universal healthcare mandate and forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for people who can afford, but refuse to buy, insurance.
Governor Romney didn't have the option of reforming federal law, and was forced to contend with a liberal Legislature that rejected many of his positive reforms. He was also facing a Bush administration threat to cut off $385 million per year in federal Medicaid funds unless the state reduced the number of uninsured people. Given these limitations, Governor Romney deserves credit for proposing (and to a lesser extent, enacting) a plan that encourages individually-owned health insurance and circumvents some of the inequities carved into the federal tax code.
In order to bypass this inequity, Romney created a device known as the "Connector" that serves as a government-sponsored clearinghouse/regulator for private healthcare plans. Ideally, the role of the "Connector" would be played by the private sector and would not include a regulatory function. Nevertheless, the Massachusetts "Connector" does dramatically facilitate individually-owned health insurance plans by enabling individuals to purchase health insurance with pre-tax dollars and choose from a number of competing private plans.
Governor Romney also deserves credit for redirecting money earmarked for hospitals, as part of the uncompensated care program, to individuals directly in the form of a subsidized premium assistance program. While subsidies for individual purchases are overly generous (people earning up to 300% of the federal poverty level qualify), in contrast to subsidizing hospitals, they encourage individual ownership of private health insurance, broaden the private health insurance pool, distribute risk over a wider spectrum, and may lower overall costs.
To be sure, the Massachusetts plan's individual mandate to purchase healthcare insurance rankles libertarian instincts and necessitates a government-defined standard for compliance-and Romney should be taken to task for this. A system of incentives for purchasing insurance together with penalties for consuming healthcare services without coverage would no doubt be a major improvement over the Massachusetts government-imposed mandate. Romney's original proposal offered individuals the option of forgoing insurance and posting a bond in an interest-bearing account, but the Legislature made sure that option never saw the light of day.
Governor Romney tried to deregulate the overregulated healthcare insurance coverage. Many of his efforts were rebuffed by the Legislature, but he did make some progress. Thanks to Governor Romney, HMOs can now offer high deductible plans tied to health savings accounts; Massachusetts set a three-year moratorium on new benefit mandates; and individuals aged 19-26 have the option of enrolling in low-cost plans with dollar-limited annual benefits.
One of the most objectionable elements of the plan in principle-the employer mandate that requires businesses with 11 or more full-time employees to provide health insurance-was inserted by the Legislature and is easily circumvented. Governor Romney vetoed this provision, but the veto was quickly overridden.[ 41]
To be sure, Commonwealth Care is a far cry from free-market healthcare. Besides the individual and employer mandates, the program expands Medicaid, does not deregulate enough, and will likely cost more than the current system[ 43], which despite all its flaws, does, after all, already provide universal healthcare on demand. Most of the blame for the deficiencies in the Massachusetts plan lies with the liberal Legislature which, absent the resistance of Governor Romney, almost certainly would have enacted a major tax increase while moving healthcare reform in the worst possible direction. Nevertheless, given its massively regulatory nature and likely high cost, the Massachusetts healthcare plan is not a model upon which a national plan should be built.
Excessive government regulation stymies individual and business innovation necessary for strong economic expansion. The Club for Growth supports less and more sensible government regulation as a critical step toward increasing freedom and growth in the marketplace.
Mitt Romney's record on regulation is generally impressive. On the campaign trail, he has supported drilling in ANWR[44 ] and opposed the burdensome regulations imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley. As governor, he often clashed with the knee-jerk anti-business Legislature over his attempts to ease Massachusetts' regulatory burdens. Though some of his largest undertakings were ultimately crushed by liberal opposition, Governor Romney deserves praise for attempting to change the relationship between government and private enterprise for the better. These efforts include:
Governor Romney's regulatory record contains some flaws. Despite vetoing the Legislature's minimum wage increase, the Governor is on record supporting indexing the minimum wage to inflation. Romney also signed into law a measure banning smoking in the workplace including bars and restaurants (with exemptions for some private clubs); and implemented "comprehensive ocean zoning reform" that imposed new regulations on ocean front development. 
On balance, Romney's anti-regulation efforts reflect an intuitive appreciation for the free market and its important role in promoting economic growth. While many of his proposals were rejected by the State Legislature, he demonstrated strong support for private enterprise in a state where regulation is a way of life.
The Club for Growth supports broad school choice, including charter schools, voucher programs, and tax credits that create a competitive education market including public, private, religious, and non-religious schools. More competition in education can only lead to higher quality and lower costs.
Mitt Romney is on record supporting charter schools, school vouchers, and home schooling. As governor, Romney focused on charter school expansion rather than implementing a voucher program. He pushed to eliminate the state-mandated cap on the number of charter schools and successfully vetoed a moratorium on the opening of new charter schools, passed by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2004.  Although comprehensive school choice clearly is the solution to much of what plagues primary and secondary education, it is understandable that Governor Romney chose to spend his political capital on more attainable charter school expansion given the political opposition to empowering poor children in Massachusetts.
During his 1994 Senate race, he advocated abolishing the Department of Education, but has since moved away from that admirable position, saying in the FOX News Republican presidential debate that he supports No Child Left Behind and has seen as a governor that "the Department of Education can actually make a difference."
Political Free Speech
Maximizing prosperity requires sound government policies. When the government strays from these policies, citizens must be free to exercise their constitutional rights to petition and criticize those policies and the politicians responsible for them.
Mitt Romney's position on political free speech has undergone a radical evolution. During his 1994 Senate race against Ted Kennedy, Romney took an outrageous position on campaign finance reform that put him to the left of the current McCain-Feingold legislation, arguing for campaign spending limits-unconstitutional even under Buckley v. Valeo-and the abolition of PACs:
"I personally believe that when campaigns spend the kind of money they're now spending...and to get that kind of money you've gotta cozy up as an incumbent to all of the special-interest groups who can go out and raise money for you from their members, and that kind of relationship has an influence over the way you're going to vote...And for that reason I would like to have campaign spending limits and to say we're not going to spend more than this in certain campaigns...I also would abolish PACS. You probably have one. I don't like them. I don't like the influence of money-whether it's business, labor, or any other group. I do not like that kind of influence..."
In his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Romney proposed a radical new campaign finance system, in which privately-funded campaigns would be taxed 10% in order to fund publicly-funded campaigns as part of Massachusetts' Clean Election Law in order to "spare taxpayers the burden of shouldering the entire expense of this program." In 2003, he allowed a repeal of the Clean Elections Law to stand. 
As a presidential candidate, Mitt Romney has pivoted drastically, abandoning his old anti-First Amendment stance and taking the harshest position on McCain-Feingold of all the candidates. He has called repeatedly for the legislation's repeal, and even labeled the bill "one of the worst things in my lifetime."  Now Romney is advocating "reforms that promote transparency and disclosure, preserve grassroots activism and protect the ability to criticize or endorse current officeholders and candidates." While we welcome this change of heart, we hope it is inspired by greater appreciation for the First Amendment rather than by the political dynamics of the presidential primary.
The American economy suffers from excessive litigation which increases the cost of doing business and slows economic growth. The Club for Growth supports major reforms to our tort system to restore a more just and less costly balance in tort litigation.
From his 1994 Senate race, to his gubernatorial campaign in 2002, and throughout his four years as governor, Romney was a strong proponent of tort reform. As governor, he supported capping personal injury claims in automobile-related cases and advocated for overhauling Massachusetts' exorbitant medical malpractice system. Massachusetts is notorious for having some of the highest malpractice insurance rates in the country, driving doctors in key specialties out of the state.
During his gubernatorial campaign, Mitt Romney supported capping punitive damages to replace the unlimited status quo. In 2003, Romney also supported a bill to cap noneconomic awards at $500,000, arguing at a rally organized by the Massachusetts Medical Society, "If we have in place policies which drive physicians away, which drive costs spiraling out of control, we can't attract jobs, we can't have a better future for our kids and the families that want to live here. We need reform now." In May of 2006, the Romney administration issued a specific tort reform proposal, calling for:
On the campaign trail, Romney has taken his impressive record to the national level, insisting on badly needed nationwide tort reform.
As Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney's record on economic issues was generally good. He demonstrated a willingness to take on his Legislature and deserves credit for the many pro-growth measures he advocated and the modest reforms he was able to achieve. While his record on taxes, spending and entitlement reform is flawed, it is, on balance, encouraging, especially given the liberal Massachusetts Legislature. His record on trade, school choice, regulations, and tort reform all indicate a strong respect for the power of market solutions.
At the same time, Governor Romney's history is marked by statements at odds with his gubernatorial record and his campaign rhetoric. His strident opposition to the flat tax; his refusal to endorse the Bush tax cuts in 2003; his support for various minor tax hikes; and his once-radically bad views on campaign finance reform all cast some doubts on the extent and durability of his commitment to limited-government, pro-growth policies. His landmark steps in the health care arena also exhibit a mixture of desirable pro-free market efforts combined with a regrettable willingness to accept, if not embrace, a massive new regulatory regime. Nevertheless, given his outstanding private sector entrepreneurial experience; the strong pro-growth positions he has taken on the campaign trail; his overall record as governor; and the fact that the U.S. Congress will not be as liberal as the Massachusetts Legislature, we are reasonably optimistic that, as President, Mitt Romney would generally advocate a pro-growth agenda.
Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance, internal documents
Boston Herald, 01/30/03
Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, 01/29/04
Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, 02/27/03
Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, 01/29/04
Boston Globe, 03/26/05
Boston Globe, 05/20/04
The Providence Journal, 05/18/05
Boston Globe, 07/01/06
Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, 12/02/05 & Associated Press, 12,05/05
Press Release, Mitt Romney, 11/20/05
Press Release, Mitt Romney, 07/22/05
Boston Herald, 10/27/02
Boston Globe, 04/11/03
Boston Herald, 02/08/07
Hotline On Call, 04/28/07
Des Moines Register, 04/05/07
Bureau of Labor Statistics & U.S. Census Bureau
Boston Globe, 01/30/03
Telegram & Gazette, 02/27/03
Telegram & Gazette, 01/14/06
Executive Office of Administration and Finance
Telegram & Gazette, 08/03/03
Telegram & Gazette, 08/03/03
Associated Press, 01/28/03
Boston Globe, 11/23/06
CRN.com, 11/16/05, Source
Associated Press, 11/16/05
Boston Globe, 07/09/05
The Patriot Ledger, 07/05/03
Boston Globe, 06/20/03
Boston Globe, 03/09/03
Mitt Romney, Club for Growth Winter Conference, 03/29/07 & St. Petersburg Times, 08/07/07
The Daily Free Press, 04/13/06, Source
International Herald Tribune, 04/06/06
Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder, No. 1953, 07/18/06
Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder, No. 1953, 07/18/06
Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder, No. 1953, 07/18/06 & Boston Globe, 11/13/05
Heritage Foundation, WebMemo, No. 1414, 04/04/07
Heritage Foundation, WebMemo No. 1045, 04/20/06
Business Insurance, 05/08/06, Vol. 40, Iss. 19
Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder, No. 1953, 07/18/06 & Boston Globe, 11/10/05
Health Affairs, "The Third Wave of Massachusetts Health Care Access Reform," 09/14/06 & Cato Policy Analysis No. 595, 06/28/07
Boston Globe, 12/13/05
Mitt Romney, Club for Growth Winter Conference, 03/29/07
Telegram & Gazette, 08/01/06
Boston Globe, 02/26/03
The Sun, 06/02/05
Telegram & Gazette, 02/27/03
Boston Herald, 01/31/03
Telegram & Gazette, 09/05/04
Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, 02/27/03
The Berkshire Eagle, 08/04/06
Boston Globe, 09/12/03
Press Release, Mitt Romney, 11/21/05 & Telegram & Gazette, 11/22/05
The Patriot Ledger, 11/02/02
Press Release, Mitt Romney, 06/18/04 & The Patriot Ledger, 06/11/04
US Fed News Service, 03/18/05
Telegram & Gazette, 01/24/04
Boston Globe, 06/26/04 & Boston Globe, 07/21/04
Boston Globe, 10/12/94
Fox News Channel, Republican presidential debate, 05/15/07
C-SPAN2, 10/17/94, Source
The Patriot Ledger, 10/15/02 & Telegram & Gazette, 06/30/03
Telegram & Gazette, 06/30/03
Press Release, Romney for President, 03/02/07
The Hill, 02/08/07
Press Release, Romney for President, 03/02/07
Boston Globe, 07/01/94
The Sun, 06/02/05
Boston Globe, 11/13/03
Boston Globe, 10/02/02
Boston Globe, 04/09/03
Press Release, Mitt Romney, 05/23/06
Mitt Romney, Detroit Economic Club, 02/07/07