"Welcome to the Nancy Pelosi-Harry Reid-President Obama farewell party. This has been a pretty tough year for those three--their numbers have gone down the chute faster than a Jet Blue flight attendant."
That's how Mitt Romney, potential presidential candidate, begins his speech to the Values Voter Summit here in Washington today. The rest of the speech is much less temperate than anything I've heard Romney give this year. Romney has the fundamentals for a presidential bid down pat, but he's a day late and a dollar short to the Tea Party. This speech plays catch-up.
BUT -- notice that, as a pattern, he's doing the responsible thing ... waiting in most of these primaries for the people to pick the candidate and then endorsing the people's choices. He doesn't get props for jumping on bandwagons before they're in the parade, but no one gets angry at him either. There are some exceptions: Romney endorsed Terry Branstad early on in Iowa, and has been strategic about his New Hampshire endorsements, too.
This President and his fellow-travelers in Congress implemented the most anti-growth, anti-investment, anti-jobs measures we've seen in our lifetimes. He called it ambitious. It was reckless. He scared employers, so jobs are scarce. The uncertainty and lack of predictability he created has caused businesses to shrink from spending and from hiring. He hasn't helped end the crisis, he made it deeper, longer and more painful. We have had government declare war on poverty and a war on drugs, but this is the first time our government has declared war on free enterprise.
The White House tries to argue that their stimulus has helped. That's a bit like saying that squirting water from a garden hose helps put out a forest fire. The question is not whether it helped a little, but rather, did it do the job, or do as well as it could have. And the answer is a resounding "no." 8% predicted unemployment became 10%. Since the Obama stimulus was passed, 127,000 government jobs have been created, but more than 2.4 million private sector jobs have been lost. In Ohio, more than one in ten people are out of work. In California, the unemployment rate has hovered around 12% for more than a year. There are now nearly 15 million Americans that are out of work: if they stood in a single unemployment line, it would stretch from the coast of California to Washington D.C. and then back again! If that's their vaunted "recovery summer," heaven help us from their recovery winter!
The President's foreign policy has not compensated for his failure at home. Under his engagement policy, North Korea has tested nuclear weapons, launched long range missiles, and sunk a South Korean ship. And Iran has funded Yemeni insurgents, armed terrorists, and accelerated its nuclear program. He gave Russians their number one foreign policy objective--abandonment of our Eastern Europe missile defense--and got nothing in return. He insulted Israel at the United Nations and forgot to mention that Hamas has launched thousands of rockets into that country. Our success in Iraq is in spite of his policy preferences and thanks to those of his predecessor, George W. Bush. And his strategy in Afghanistan has been needlessly muddled by announcing a withdrawal date, unfortunately putting domestic politics ahead of national purpose. Yes, we have serious enemies and growing threats around the world. Unfortunately, we have an Administration whose idea of a rogue state is Arizona.
This room is filled every year by citizens--modern patriots--who are passionate about America's values. These values include the sanctity of life and the preservation of marriage. But the Obama Administration has taken its assault to even more American values. The American people have finally seen Obama liberalism for what it is; they have seen the counterfeit values that underlie it, and they want none of it! The liberals' values include spending and borrowing in behalf of my generation even though it will bankrupt my children's and grandchildren's generations. They believe that the rule of law should be subordinate to their view of the greater good. They believe that government knows best how to care for your health - not you, not your doctor. They believe that the rewards of success should be taken from the person who created them and given to those who did not. They believe that workers shouldn't have the right to vote by secret ballot as to whether or not they want a union.And even though one half of the children in our cities do not graduate from high school, they believe that parental choice and teacher accountability should bow to the interests of union bosses.
The Obama Administration promised that they would "fundamentally change the way Washington works." They misled us. They are trying to change the way America works, And we must not let them! This Administration does not lack for confidence. But confidence in yourself is not the same as confidence in your country. And believing in the power of government is not the same as believing in the power of the governed.