JONATHAN CHAIT JUNE 7, 2011
Yet another conservative group out to defeat him:
Anti-tax organization Club for Growth – declared foe of government spenders and ‘establishment’ Republicans -- has released its policy white paper on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, offering a bleak assessment of the perceived GOP frontrunner’s record on taxes and regulation.
The group’s report takes Romney to task for his “unshakeable reputation as a flip-flopper,” with Club for Growth president Chris Chocola concluding that the organization has “serious concerns over his governing philosophy.”
“To this day, Romney supports big government solutions to health care and opposes pro-growth tax code reform – positions that are simply opposite to those supported by true economic conservatives,” the report reads.
The Massachusetts health-care plan enacted under Romney remains a potentially serious problem in the former governor’s bid. By nearly 2 to 1, Republicans oppose the plan, with strong detractors far outnumbering solid supporters. But there is some potential for him to frame the matter: Almost four in 10 Republicans expressed no opinion about the state’s program.
The Post presents the fact that 40% of Republicans have no opinion of Romney's plan as positive evidence for him. Still time to spin them! I believe it suggests the opposite. Romney still clings to decent support because a lot of Republicans don't know that he's the father of national health care reform. Given that the plan violates party dogma, is being attacked relentlessly by conservatives (Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani are the latest to go after it), and Romney doesn't want to defend it anymore (as evidenced by his failure to mention it in his announcement), what do you think is going to happen when those Republicans learn about Romneycare from Fox News, talk radio or another trusted news source? Is it going to make them more friendly toward Romney, or is it going to make them hate him? Another way to ask this is, do you think the Republicans who haven't yet heard about Romneycare are somehow more disposed to favor it than the Republicans who have? To me, the question answers itself.