The Case Against Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney’s nomination as the 2012 Republican candidate for President is an important and historical moment for me and many other members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints across the U.S. and the world. A thick glass ceiling was shattered when Romney, a prominent member of my faith, overcame anti-Mormon bigotry prevalent in parts of the Republican primary electorate to clinch the GOP nomination. During the past twelve years we have been witnesses to a triumph over a wide array of social prejudices in American politics with the nomination of Senator Joseph Lieberman, who is Jewish, as the Democratic Party’s vice presidential candidate in 2000, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s historic run as the first serious female contender for the White House in 2008, and Barack Obama’s election as the country’s first African-American president. We may very well have a Mormon as our President starting next January. While I admire Romney’s dedicated unpaid service in my church as a bishop and stake president, believe that he is a good family man who also cares deeply about our country, and am thrilled by Romney’s ascension to the GOP nomination in this Mormon moment, I am confident that he is the wrong person for the job of President of the United States.

Major Shifts on Major Issues

GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a very different person from moderate Republican Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney. I liked Governor Romney much better. In order to survive at the national level in the Republican Party, Mitt Romney had to undergo one of the most astonishing political transformations in modern American politics. His dramatic 180-degree shifts on such a significant number of major political issues in such a short period have revealed him to be one of the greatest political chameleons of our age. The timing of his shifts, which usually synced with the new electorates he faced, seemed to be choreographed better than a Hollywood political satire. Here are a few of Romney’s most significant flip-flops:

I recognize that many politicians shift their positions from time to time, but cannot think of any politician as well-known as Governor Romney who has gone through such seismic political shifts. These shifts are disconcerting not only to me, but also to many GOP primary voters who wondered whether Romney was as “severely conservative” as he said he was. Governor Romney’s GOP Primary opponents were often frustrated by Romney’s flip-flops and had difficulty cornering him on any particular issue. How do we know how Romney would govern as President? While I suspect Governor Romney may not be as conservative as he appeared in order to clinch the nomination, no one really knows. This is why I do not find Romney to be trustworthy as a politician.

More Defense Spending, Major Cuts in Non-Defense Programs

Flip-flops aside, the policies Governor Romney currently advocates are wrong for America. Romney favors a significant increase in already record-high levels of defense spending, boosting defense spending to 4 percent of GDP, but has given no specifics on how increased defense spending would improve our security. At the same time, Romney claims to be serious about confronting our debt problem. Despite the fact that U.S. defense spending is greater than the next 17 countries combined, Romney claims he can simultaneously increase defense spending, lower the deficit, and cut taxes. Even Pentagon officials, including former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, have acknowledged that the federal debt is one of the biggest threats to our national security and that reduced defense spending has an important role to play in the solution. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates recognized this when he, as Secretary, unilaterally proposed $78 billion in defense cuts in 2011.

While Governor Romney favors this increase in an already bloated defense budget, his economic proposals would invariably lead to even more catastrophic cuts to safety net, education, infrastructure, and research programs than those previously proposed by his running-made, Congressman Paul Ryan. A September 2012 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) shows that for the government to meet Romney’s proposals of a 4 percent of GDP minimum on defense spending with an overall cap on federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, programs like Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as veteran’s benefits, food stamps, unemployment benefits, and children’s school lunches would be hit with massive cuts- potentially over 50 percent in 10 years. These cuts would mean millions of the poorest Americans would lose their health insurance coverage. Many people, especially children, would face hunger and malnourishment at the erosion of food stamps and school lunch programs. Not only safety net programs would be affected, but also other key items such as education, law enforcement, and medical research would have to be significantly rolled back to meet Romney’s budget benchmarks.

Romney and Ryan also propose to end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system. Multiple independent analyses of the Ryan Medicare reform plan, which is similar to what he and Romney currently propose, concluded that seniors would eventually pay over $6,000 more per year for their benefits.

At the same time, Governor Romney proposes significant cuts to federal taxes, which are at a 60-year low. Our debt problem cannot be solved by decreasing tax revenue and increasing defense spending while slashing programs for the lower and middle classes. As Bill Clinton said in his speech at the Democratic National Convention, it’s a matter of “arithmetic,” and Romney’s math doesn’t add up. What’s ironic about Romney’s and various Republican proposals on the budget is that they cut spending in areas that were not major contributors to our debt problem. Since Bill Clinton left the White House in 2000 with a federal budget surplus, the three greatest contributors to public debt have been the Bush-era tax cuts, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the recession. Thus any prudent approach to our budget deficit must address these factors. That is why President Obama’s proposals on solving the debt problem have been so much more balanced and sensible.

Middle Class Tax Cuts: Republicans’ Trojan Horse

Governor Romney was not the first Republican to complain about the nearly 50 percent of Americans who pay no federal income tax when he made his infamous “47 percent” remarks. This became a notable issue during the GOP Primary with Governor Rick Perry and Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann feigned dismay at the supposed injustice of what they see as a “taker” class. Congressman Paul Ryan told an audience at the conservative Heritage Foundation that “we’re coming close to a tipping point in America where we might have a net majority of takers versus makers in society.” This recurring theme of a “taker class” is illustrative of Romney and his party’s approach to governing. Romney and his fellow Republicans fail to acknowledge that this phenomenon occurred primarily because of tax cuts enacted by Ronald Reagan in 1986 and by George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003. As Ezra Klein of the Washington Post observed, “Republicans have become outraged over the predictable effect of tax cuts they passed and are using that outrage as the justification for an agenda that further cuts taxes on the rich and pays for it by cutting social services for the non-rich.” It’s almost as if the small portion of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts which went to the lower and middle classes were really just a Trojan Horse to help the GOP muster enough support to dismantle our safety net and education programs as well as other critical public services. Romney’s budget proposals are designed to do just that.

Weak on Foreign Policy

Governor Romney’s approach to foreign policy has often been troubling. From his anachronistic suggestion that Russia is our number one “geopolitical foe” and his consideration of reinstating torture, to his saber-rattling with Iran, Romney has demonstrated an intent to return to the neoconservative foreign policies of the George W. Bush years. Governor Romney opposed a new nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia that had staunch bipartisan support, including endorsements from former Republican Secretaries of State Colin Powell, George Schultz, and Henry Kissinger, as well as former Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft. Romney routinely criticizes Obama for not being tough enough on Iran, but has offered no specifics of how his Iran policies would differ. He’s also ignored that current economic sanctions against Iran are the toughest ever implemented (yes, they are much more intrusive than sanctions applied under Bush), and have wreaked havoc on the Iranian economy. Romney criticized Obama for ending the war in Iraq and labeled the administration’s decision not to keep significant numbers of troops in the country for years to come an “astonishing failure.”

On the Middle East, Governor Romney has been as feckless as President George W. Bush was reckless. While Governor Romney fully embraced President Bush’s “freedom agenda” in the Middle East, including the messy full-scale invasion of Iraq, he hypocritically opposed the Obama administration’s efforts to support democracy in the Middle East during the Arab Spring and in some cases actually advocated supporting the existing dictatorships instead of the people who were protesting for freedom. Romney was highly critical of Obama’s successful intervention in Libya, which ousted long-time dictator Muammar Qaddafi. Yet at the same time, Romney has been agitating for much greater U.S. involvement against the Assad regime in Syria. Governor Romney used the recent attacks on our embassies in Benghazi and Cairo as an opportunity to score political points when he anachronistically criticized the administration’s response. This is consistent with his line of attack on Obama for not doing more to guide the transition to democracy in the Middle East, but as usual, he offered no specifics on alternate actions he would take as president.

Overall, Governor Romney’s foreign policy critique of the Obama administration is full of rhetoric but void of content. As foreign affairs commentator Thomas Friedman noted, Romney’s foreign policy vision is one where, “America stands astride the globe with unrivaled power to bend the world our way, and the only thing missing is a president with ‘will.’ The only thing missing is a president who is ready to simultaneously confront Russia, bash China, tell Iraqis we’re not leaving their country, snub the Muslim world by outsourcing our Arab-Israel policy to the prime minister of Israel, green light Israel to bomb Iran.” Romney’s foreign policy vision is little more than a return to the verbose belligerency of the previous administration.

A Conservative-Activist Supreme Court

There is another major reason to be concerned with a Romney presidency. The Supreme Court currently has a slim conservative majority, and four of the justices are now in their seventies. In the aftermath of the Citizens United decision, I am concerned about an activist conservative Supreme Court giving more political power to corporations and wealthy individuals, which would further erode our democracy. In addition, given the extremely close decision on the Affordable Care Act, a court packed with more right-wing judges would likely be more aggressive in challenging our country’s core safety net programs.

Furthermore, Justices Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito have all shown affinity to an extreme legal philosophy — the Unitary Executive Theory, about unchecked presidential power in matters of defense — during their tenure on the court or in their preceding legal careers. Decisions about checks and balances concerning the executive branch arise frequently and the Court’s conservative faction has shown much more deference to the president in matters of civil liberties. In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, the Court affirmed on a 5 to 4 vote that the president had the power to indefinitely detain without trial U.S. citizens captured overseas on or near a battlefield. A federal appeals court extended this power in the Padilla v Rumsfeld decision to U.S. citizens detained on U.S. soil. A Republican-controlled Congress codified the president’s power to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens on U.S. soil in the Military Commissions Act of 2006. That act remains the law of the land today and has not yet been challenged at the Supreme Court-level. The conservative justices Romney would appoint to the high court would likely vote to uphold the president’s ability to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens arrested while in the U.S. We need President Obama to continue to appoint justices to the Court who will serve as a check on burgeoning corporate political power, protect the social contract, and vigorously defend our civil liberties.

Climate Inaction

A Romney administration would mean trouble for the nascent clean energy industry and more subsidies and loopholes for the dirtiest forms of energy. Mitt Romney has ignored the overwhelming consensus among climate experts on human-induced global warming and has demonstrated that he would do nothing prepare the energy sector and our nation to combat and adapt to climate change.

While Governor Romney’s candidacy is exciting for Mormons and has done a tremendous service for our church by helping to bring it out of obscurity and to generate a national and global conversation about Mormonism, a Romney presidency would be wrong for our country in many ways. Even if Romney is more moderate than he seems, many of his party members in Congress are “severely conservative” and would put tremendous pressure on him to pass right-wing legislation and appoint right-wing officials and judges.

For these reasons and others, I cannot support Mitt Romney for President.

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Aaron

Author / Editor at MormonDems
I have been an active Latter-Day Saint all of my life and have also been an enthusiastic Democrat and progressive since my days as an economics undergraduate student at Brigham Young University. The hostile climate towards progressives at BYU inspired me to get involved with the BYU College Democrats, where I served as president during my senior year. I have since obtained a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Oklahoma. I served a full-time mission to the Philippines. I’m active in my local ward, happily married and have two rambunctious little boys and an infant daughter.

28 Responses to The Case Against Mitt Romney

  1. Kay Baldwin says:

    My fear is that Mitt Romney will be elected and make some major blunders that effect our country and the world, just as George Bush did. Then how will the world view Mormons??

  2. Amen! This is exactly the way I see him too:)

  3. Grant Hansen says:

    Most political figures in both parties have a set of basic core beliefs. I can disagree with the ideas of a Robert Dole or a John McCain while respecting their political beliefs. I am troubled by Mitt Romney because he doesn’t seem to have any CORE political beliefs. He will change his positions as the audience changes or the need arises.
    He reminds me of when I went fishing as a boy and caught a fish and tried to hold it but it slipped out of my hands and flip-flopped on the ground. It is true that President Obama has changed his mind a time or two, but has made those changes through very public announcements. In the last debate Romney made several comments that shocked many of us since they were completely opposite from his previous.positions,—health care, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, genuine concern for the middle class (I.e. 47%), etc.

    • Aaron says:

      Great comment. Given Romney’s record on the issues since he ran for Senate in the 1990s, it’s impossible to know what his core political beliefs are. I fear, as you said, that he has none.

  4. […] out the reasons not to vote for Gov. Romney this November. I encourage you to read the whole thing here for the meat of the argument, but here are some key […]

  5. David Stevens says:

    I am sorry that you can’t see the writing on wall. The present administration has brought us precariously close to the precipice. Change has got to happen now!

    • Aaron says:

      In reality, the present administration, along with the Federal Reserve, helped bring us back from the precipice to an economy that is now steadily growing and hiring, as I illustrated in this new post: http://www.mormondems.com/archives/333

    • Cindy says:

      We have many reasons we voted for President Obama in early voting in our state. Partly, we are not supporting any GOP candidates is because they are “anti” everything. We believe in emergency preparedness. The GOP is anti-infrastructure. If we want a robust economy, we MUST invest in our country’s infrastructure, as well as in people. Mr. Romney wants to invest in corporations and Wall St. We need to invest heavily in retraining and education for tomorrow’s economy. The media has been short-sighted in buying into the notion that Romney has the know-how to turn the economy around. Saying so doesn’t make it true. He knows how to produce wealth for a few; I grant him that. He does not however have the slightest notion of what is needed to invest in people who are marginally employed and to prepare them for jobs in the new global economy. Until we invest in Americans we will struggle to recover this economy. Read his book, “No Apology”, Mitt Romney does not believe there is a role for government in job training.

  6. karen bennett says:

    Hi, I am a disenfranchised Republican that voted for Obama in 2008. I live in Utah and am surrounded by very conservative Rebublicans that
    absolutely hate Obama. My husband too is Rebublican and we have had to
    agree to disagree and we avoid political discussions. Does anyone have
    any advise for me on how to be true to my political beliefs with out being a lightning rod for hostility and controversy? At work I have to
    endure Oboma bashing constantly and my Dad sends me horrible hateful emails about Obama. I delete them without reading them now. I am really feeling alone and discouraged. Also any encourging thoughts on why Obama might possibley win this election would make my day!

    • Gloria says:

      I can agree that although i am not a Mormon and dont know about your religion ican say noone knows jow you vote in the booth go alone so you will be satisfied personally because it seems you want to decide who to vote for on women issues republicans have taken their party to the far right that most are ashamed of real true conservative dont blow up the spending the. Way they did now want obama to be the scapegoat while supposing to be christian with the hatred of blacks women gays lesbians Muslimmormons and so on you cant be of christ and hate the poor do as your heart desires

    • Aaron says:

      Karen-Thank you for reading and commenting. I can sympathize a little with what you’re going through since I used to live in Utah when I attended BYU. I wrote about some of my experiences in dealing with people, particularly Mormons who are very intolerant to those who have different political beliefs, as well as ideas on how to deal with such situations, here: http://www.mormondems.com/archives/144

      I have plenty of right-wing family members and I generally try to avoid speaking politics with them, but they often bring it up with me intentionally. When they do, I try to be as polite as possible while trying to help them understand that there is another valid viewpoint on the issue. If they don’t seem to be interested in hearing another side of an issue and just want a contentious debate, I change the subject. I’ve found that some relatives and friends are simply incapable of objectively considering an alternate viewpoint and so I avoid politics with them altogether. I’ve also found it helpful to write about my political beliefs as a release for my own strongly-held opinions, which is why I got into political blogging. It could be helpful for you to write about some of these things, even if you only do it in a private journal.

      My colleague here at MormonDems wrote a great post here (http://www.mormondems.com/archives/224) where he noted that he personally avoids using Facebook and email forwards to air his political viewpoint since such methods often cause contention with the people we care about the most. It may be worth asking your father and others to stop sending you things as you find them disrespectful.

      It’s a shame that politics in our country have become so divisive. And hatred of the president has become a frenzied phobia. But I am cautiously optimistic about Obama’s prospects this election. The FiveThirtyEight blog at the NY Times (http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/) employs a variety of statistical methods based on current polling, historical voting patterns, and state fundamentals to calculate probabilities of the candidates winning in any particular state. Despite the recent gains Romney has made in polls, Obama is still the favorite for this election. The NYT FTE blog estimates his likelihood of winning at about 68%. Obama holds the lead in enough swing states right now to get past the needed 270 electoral votes. Let’s hope he hangs onto that lead.

    • Danielle says:

      Thankfully, I live in Portland, Oregon, so most people at work and in the community lean left. However, being LDS most of my Facebook contacts are also LDS and I have removed many of them from my newsfeed. I delete the bashing emails without even reading them. One sis-in-law is extremely conservative and we’ve had to agree to disagree. I’ve even lost a long-time friend (we met at girls camp at age 13) because of political differences. I think the best you can do is to simply say that you take offense at people saying such horrible things about our President and kindly ask them to refrain from including you on those emails/discussions.

      • Aaron says:

        That’s great advice. It’s a shame how some people allow their politics to become so extreme that they care more about spreading their point of view than maintaining important relationships.

    • Karen, my advice is to MOVE OUT OF UTAH if at all possible! I have lived in Utah and the Intermountain West, but now live in “the mission field.” While I have many LDS friends who are staunch Republicans/Romney supporters, I have found them to be very respectful and accepting of those in the Church who are Democrats. I have heard this same thing from LDS friends who live outside of Utah. We just don’t bring politics to church. Plus, it is nice to find non-members who are Democrats/Obama supporters too. I feel your pain. Good luck!

  7. Cindy says:

    I share Karen’s and Aaron’s concerns about how to preserve loving relationships with family and friends whose hyperpartisanship has caused us grief. I am avoiding Facebook until the election is over because of the nastiness of the posts of Gov. Romney’s supporters.I have already been the recipient of the wrath of President Obama’s foes in person, in e-mails and on Facebook for expressing an independent view of an issue. I experience these reactions as a form of bullying and intimidation. I am deeply saddened especially by those attacks from my LDS friends, because these behaviors are clearly not aligned with gospel principles.

  8. Julia Wall says:

    Wow, Aaron–

    I just wanted to say that I really appreciated your very thoughtful and eloquent post. This election season has eroded my faith in people more than usual – not because people disagree with me, but because they cannot intelligently articulate why they disagree. Instead they rely on crazy ad hominem attacks they pick up from Fox News. It has been truly disheartening, so I thank you for your positivity and logic.

  9. David Goates says:

    Aaron –

    Well thought out and “almost thou persuadest me. . .” However, here’s the case against Obama, and it’s more compelling:

    I can tell you that if you were to elect President Obama, you know what you’re going to get. You’re going to get a repeat of the last four years. . .
    He said that by now we’d have unemployment at 5.4 percent. The difference between where it is and 5.4 percent is 9 million Americans without work.
    This was the president’s plan — didn’t get there.
    He said he would have by now put forward a plan to reform Medicare and Social Security because he pointed out they’re on the road to bankruptcy. He would reform them. He’d get that done.
    He hasn’t even made a proposal on either one.
    He said in his first year he’d put out an immigration plan that would deal with our immigration challenges — didn’t even file it.
    This is a president who has not been able to do what he said he’d do. He said that he’d cut in half the deficit. He hasn’t done that either. In fact, he doubled it.
    He said that by now middle-income families would have a reduction in their health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year. It’s gone up by $2,500 a year. And if ‘Obamacare’ is passed — or implemented, it’s already been passed — if it’s implemented fully, it’ll be another $2,500 on top.
    The middle class is getting crushed under the policies of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy working again. He keeps saying, look, I’ve created 5 million jobs.
    That’s after losing 5 million jobs. The entire record is such that the unemployment has not been reduced in this country.
    The unemployment, the number of people who are still looking for work, is still 23 million Americans.
    There are more people in poverty — one out of six people in poverty.
    How about food stamps? When he took office, 32 million people were on food stamps; today 47 million people are on food stamps.
    How about the growth of the economy? It’s growing more slowly this year than last year and more slowly last year than the year before.
    The president wants to do well; I understand. But the policies he’s put in place, from ‘Obamacare’ to Dodd-Frank to his tax policies to his regulatory policies — these policies combined have not let this economy take off and grow like it could have.
    Add to all this his over-the-top support as POTUS for gay marriage, openly gay military personnel and the gutting of don’t ask don’t tell, then the disaster in Benghazi (still unexplained to anyone’s satisfaction, and yesterday pronouncement he would add a Secretary of Business to his cabinet and you have a well-rounded picture of a totally incompetent president.

    You can pick apart every single political position Mitt Romney ever espoused, as you skillfully did, but compared to Romney in nearly every area of basic competence for the job, Obama is a disaster. How anyone with reasoning skills could seriously consider voting for Obama for four more years is beyond me.

    Apart from that, Barack Obama is a perfectly sound choice for a third-world country’s dictator. For America? Give me Mitt Romney with all his flawed political positions any day of the week.

    • Kay Baldwin says:

      Here is a more compelling reason not to vote for Mitt Romney, even though he is a good man and he is a good businessman. I don’t care for some of the people he supports. I am proud to say that I am definitely voting for President Obama. I am a New York Mormon and this article I’ve included rings so true in my ears at this time following this very destructive storm of the century. Those who don’t believe in climate change are delusional and their actions are very destructive to our world and our future.
      http://www.prwatch.org/node/11822

    • Nichole W says:

      Your commentary is so biased. Bush destroyed the country in his first term and I am sure that you are one of the people that voted to let him do more damage a second term. We were operating in a surplus and he managed to make up operate in a deficit. How was OBAMA TO FIX THAT IN 4, especially when senators made it there job to make sure that he wouldn’t? And lets be serious, Obama probably still wont fix it this term but if Romney made everything the same way as Bush, we would still be back in (edited) creek, swimming upstream without a paddle.

    • Aaron says:

      David, thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. However, I think you’ve given a lot of spin below and really just provided a regurgitation of the Romney campaign talking points.

      Unemployment: True, the Obama administration aimed to have unemployment down to 5.4% by the end of his first term. However, that projection was made before he even took office and was based on assessments of the economy that were revised as it became clear that the recession was deeper than most economists had initially stated. I fault the Obama administration for making any projection on unemployment 4 years out because any economist will tell you that such long-term projections are nearly impossible to make with any accuracy. Any macro-economist will tell you that unemployment always lags behind other economic indicators in any recovery. The fact is, as I illustrated in this post (http://www.mormondems.com/archives/333), the recession was deeper than predicted, but since it ended, unemployment has been steadily in the decline. Additionally, I’m sure you were a Reagan supporter, but you probably don’t know that a comparison of the unemployment rate curves of Reagan’s and Obama’s first terms shows they are nearly identical: http://www.mormondems.com/archives/310 Claiming to be unsatisfied with unemployment under Obama while not holding Reagan to the same standard is hypocrisy.

      Immigration: You are citing GOP spin and half-truths. Obama endorsed an immigration plan 14 months after he took office (http://www.reid.senate.gov/newsroom/upload/REPAIR-proposal.pdf) that had a little bipartisan support, but not enough from the Tea Party GOP, who would consider nothing other than a law enforcement-only-based approach to immigration. Any plan that would involve a pathway for some undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. was DOA in the Tea Party House.

      Medicare: More spin and GOP talking points. The truth is Obamacare did help reform Medicare. Of course it didn’t go far enough (that wasn’t it’s purpose), but it helped to reform the flawed fee-for-service scheme that has been one of the leading drivers for over-bloated costs within Medicare. The Democrats offered real entitlement reform in the Supercommittee, with a 6:1 ratio of spending cuts to discretionary and entitlement spending to tax revenues, but the Tea Party GOP wouldn’t compromise to any tax increases, however modest. Obama has offered benefit cuts to both SS and Medicare, which has been highly unpopular with his base, in an attempt to find common ground with the GOP. But they have offered no concessions of their own.

      Obamacare: False, Obama did not promise that by now, families would have a $2,500 per year reduction under ACA. He said that would be the end result after ACA is fully implemented, which won’t happen until 2014. However, the rate of insurance premium increase has slowed to 4%, it’s lowest in well over a decade, after the passage of ACA. When more people enter the insurance pool by 2014, there will be further downward pressure on premiums.

      Poverty: This is the most disingenuous and most asinine part of your argument, which you copied almost verbatim from the Romney stump speeches. Of course dependency on food stamps increased after Obama took office. The month he was sworn in, the economy shed 800,000 jobs. How do you think most of these people were able to eat? It is intellectually dishonest to lambast the president for the dramatic rise in poverty and use of poverty-combatting programs in the aftermath of the most serious recession since the Great Depression. Of course that rise would happen. Thank goodness we had a president compassionate enough to expand the coverage on food stamps to ensure that unemployed workers and their families wouldn’t go hungry.

      GDP growth: Again, citing half truths. Yes, in the aftermath of the stimulus act, GDP growth went from -6% in 2009 to +4% in 2010. That was an abnormally high growth rate that all informed observers expected would decline after stimulus funds ran out. Please be more honest when citing facts and give the whole story.

      DADT: The Constitution affords all Americans equal protection and rights under the law. Why do you support discrimination against gays in the military? Studies conducted after the implementation of the DADT repeal have shown absolutely no negative impact to military readiness or morale. Any calls for reinstating DADT are based on raw bigotry.

      The laundry list of GOP talking points you cited here are full of half-truths and some flat-out lies. I recognize that it’s not always easy to access accurate information in the midst of high stakes elections, but we need to do better than this. And emotionally-charged, fact-devoid statements like “how can anyone with reasoning skills vote for Obama” are counterproductive and contribute to the contentious and vitriolic environment that exists in our public discourse. If we want real change in Washington, we need to have real change within ourselves and avoid spewing emotionally-charged spin.

  10. The man cannot be trusted. Since Hurricane Sandy, Romney’s position has completely flip-flopped. First he said disaster relief should go to the states and now he is saying it shouldn’t. Which is it, Mr. Romney?? He seems to always take the side of the most popular opinion. Check out this blog from the New York Times. http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/01/romney-on-fema-then-and-now/

  11. Curtis says:

    A beautifully written piece. I agree with everything you said. I would also add that I’m troubled by Romney’s promises to roll back equality measures like the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and also to work for passage of a Constitutional Amendment banning Marriage Equality. The last the thing the Church needs is another Mormon advocating for discrimination against anyone. One of the reasons I’m a Democrat is a belief the government has a role in protecting citizens from the extremes of majority oppression. I don’t see the GOP lead by Romney as taking that role seriously, in fact I see it acting as a force against minority groups be they racial, gender or sexuality.

  12. Nichole W says:

    I can honestly say that this is the most tasteful unbiased response to the election that I have read the last two years. Thank you for being sensible and well versed.

  13. Kelly says:

    Couldn’t have said it better. Thanks.

  14. Romney is a two time loser and can’t keep his mouth shut. He was rejected by the voters Tell him to just go away..

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