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February 28th, 2011

Mitch vs. Mitt: A Race to the Bottom

If I didn’t know better, I would think that Mitt Romney and Mitch Daniels are in a competition to see who can end their presidential ambitions the quickest.

Romney finally admitted that he’s “proud” of the healthcare mandate that he thrust upon the people of Massachusetts, while Daniels caved when given the opportunity to confront organized labor last week.  If Daniels waving the white flag of surrender on what has turned into the hottest issue in America wasn’t bad enough, he felt it necessary to remind his old college newspaper that he was busted for possession of marijuana and LSD during his college days.

In the case of Romney, he had no other place to go.  If he had said that the healthcare mandate that he signed into law in Massachusetts was a mistake, it would just be adding another flip-flop added to his resume.  Even so, by trying to be anti-Obamacare while still defending his Massachusetts healthcare boondoggle, Romney has staked out ground in no-man’s-land.  He will be unable to attack President Obama on the most defining issue of the 2012 campaign.

The mess that Romney finds himself in was self-created during his time in office and his previous political forays.  Mitch Daniels, on the other hand, has gone out of his way to set up roadblocks and other obstacles that will make it difficult for him to run for national office in the current political climate.  Unlike Romney’s political problems, Daniels has unnecessarily created roadblocks for himself.

Daniels first went out of his way to distance himself from the base of the Republican Party by declaring a “truce” on social issues.  Then, while the debate over public sector unions is receiving the most attention it has ever had in modern history, Daniels declared a truce on those issues, too.

Why did he decide to run from the union debate?  Probably because he didn’t campaign on those issues in 2008.  Can you imagine if our president had had the same reaction after September 11?  Politicians have to be able to deal with any crisis that may arise, even if it’s one they didn’t anticipate.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Daniels has been talking about his drug use while attending Princeton University.  He rightfully says that his past drug use is water that is way under the bridge, but if there was a three strikes rule in politics, “My Man Mitch” would be out.

Romney and Daniels are making an unknown candidate like Herman Cain look like the 800-pound gorilla in the race.  They make Ron Paul look like a savvy politician.  And suddenly, Tim Pawlenty looks more and more like Ronald Reagan.

If you need any more evidence that Romney and Daniels are on the wrong side of the base of the Republican Party, just realize that when Donald Trump told the crowd at CPAC that he was pro-life, pro-gun, and willing to repeal Obamacare, he instantly was perceived as being more conservative than the two of them.

If The Donald can get to the right of Romney and Daniels by giving a ten-minute speech, imagine what they rest of the field of candidates will be able to do against them.

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheIowaRepublican.com, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and TheIowaRepublican.com as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, TheIowaRepublcian.com. Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.




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