Romney's Speech: Conservatives Take Heart

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We're pleased to offer you this, Governor Romney's speech in full.

ImageIt's good to be with so many conservatives. In fact, I invited all the conservatives in Massachusetts to come hear me today and I'm glad to report that they are both here.

I'm happy to learn that after I speak you're going to hear from Ann Coulter. That's a good thing. I think it's important to get the views of moderates.

The mainstream media is surprised that we're here. They wrote our obituary last fall. Course, they've written our obituary before: after Watergate, after the 82 midterm elections, after Iran-contra, and after Bill Clinton's election. The truth is that their wishful thinking reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, I predict that we'll be around a lot longer than . . . say, newspapers.

No conservatism is alive and well. And it is needed more than ever. America faces a new generation of challenges, critical challenges. Today is similar in many respects to what we faced as a nation 30 years ago, looking at the menacing face of communism.

Read on . . .

In fact, 30 years ago, in this very conference, one man stood up and told America what was needed. It was conservatism, a new coalition of conservatives that would lead to a brighter future for the nation. Ronald Reagan said this: "What I envision is not simply a melding together of the two branches of American conservatism into a temporary uneasy alliance, but the creation of a new, lasting majority." And here is where he said that this conservative alliance would lead: "I have seen the conservative future, and it works."

Coming from Massachusetts, I saw first hand the liberal future, and it doesn't work. That's why I ran against Ted Kennedy. Liberal social programs weren't solving poverty; they were in fact creating a culture of poverty. I didn't win, but at least Teddy had to take out a mortgage on his home to beat me.

I was once campaigning in a poor section in Boston when a person came up to me and said: "What are you doing here? This is Kennedy country." I looked around at the vacant store fronts and boarded up windows and replied: "Yeah, it looks like Kennedy country."

No, it is the conservative coalition represented here that can build a brighter future for America: economic conservatives, social conservatives, and national security conservatives.

I saw the potential of economic conservatism when I became governor. The state budget was $3 billion short. Liberals wanted to raise taxes, but I cut government instead. I eliminated and combined duplicative and wasteful agencies and programs, and I balanced the budget four years in a row. One commentator said that I didn't just go after the sacred cows, I went after the whole herd. And after four years as governor, I'm proud to report that Massachusetts has 600 fewer state workers than when I took office.

I went after taxes as well. The Legislature passed a $250 million retroactive capital gains tax increase. I knew my veto would be overridden by the 85% Democrat majority. So I had the Department of Revenue send every taxpayer a pro forma bill for their new higher taxes, and then I waited for folks to call their legislators. And did they ever. Then, I sent the Legislature an amendment that turned the $250 million tax increase into a $250 million refund. Amazingly, the Legislature now saw the error of their ways.

I didn't stop there. We made the investment tax credit permanent. We passed sales tax holidays. We gave tax breaks to medical manufacturing companies. We gave real estate tax breaks to seniors. And in each of my last three years, I submitted a budget that cut the income tax.

It's time for some economic conservatism in Washington as well.

We've seen an embarrassing spike in non-defense, discretionary spending. As you know, I'm proud to be the first Presidential candidate to sign Grover Norquist's tax pledge. But I have another pledge I am making to you today. If I am elected President, I will cap non-defense discretionary spending at inflation minus one percent. That alone will save $300 billion over 10 years. If Congress sends me a budget that exceeds the cap, I will veto that budget. I don't care if it's a Republican or Democrat Congress, I will veto that budget.

And I know how to veto. I like vetoes. I vetoed hundreds of spending appropriations as Governor. And, by the way, if Congress doesn't want to do the cutting itself, then give me the same line item veto I had as governor.

And one more thing, I will personally lead a top to bottom review of government programs, agencies, procurement and spending. It's time to cut out the mountains of waste and inefficiency and duplication in the federal government. I've done that in business, I've done that in the Olympics, and I've done that in Massachusetts. And boy, I can't wait to get my hands on Washington.

Democrats in Washington are itching to raise taxes – 2011 is set to be a record breaking tax hike. Not if I'm President. I'll fight to stop the tax hike. And I'll fight for a new savings plan for middle class Americans as well – one that will grow the economy and help families at the same time. Under my plan, the amount of tax they will pay on dividends, interest and capital gains will be absolutely zero.

It's high time to take government apart and put it back together, but this time simpler, smarter and smaller.

Let's talk about social conservatism too.

Massachusetts became center stage for the liberal social agenda – sort of San Francisco east, Nancy Pelosi style.

Ten months into my term, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said our Constitution requires gay marriage. John Adams, who wrote it, would be surprised.

Less than a year later, scientists were trying to convince me that it's not a moral issue to clone entirely new human embryos solely for research.

Not long after that, the Catholic Church was forced to exit their adoption service because they preferred placing kids in homes with a mom and a dad, not two dads or two moms.

I have stood in the center of the battlefield on every major social issue. I fought to preserve our traditional values and to protect the sanctity of life.

I vetoed bills, and filed new bills. I enforced a law that banned out-of-state same sex couples from coming to Massachusetts to get married. I went to the court again and again, I testified before Congress for the federal marriage amendment, and I championed our successful drive that collected 170,000 signatures for a citizen ballot initiative to protect marriage.

To me, a fundamental principle of democracy is at stake. It is the people who are sovereign in America, not a few folks in black robes. Judges add things that aren't in the Constitution, and they take away things that are in the Constitution. In that regard, they let the campaign finance lobby take away First Amendment rights. If I'm President, I will fight to repeal McCain-Feingold.

Another aspect of American sovereignty is the security of our borders. The current system is a virtual concrete wall against those who have skill and education, but it's a wide open walk across the border for those that have neither.

McCain-Kennedy isn't the answer. As governor, I took a very different approach. I authorized our state police to enforce immigration laws. I vetoed a tuition break for illegals and said no to driver's licenses. McCain-Kennedy gives benefits to illegals that would cost taxpayers millions. And more importantly, amnesty didn't work 20 years ago, and it won't work today.

The new generation of challenges we face today includes challenges to our national security as well. Violent Jihadists are intent on replacing moderate Islamic governments with a Caliphate. To do that, they seek the collapse of our economy and our military.

We will defeat the violent jihad with a two-part strategy. First, an unquestionably strong military. The best ally peace has in the world is a strong America. We need more men and women in the military, better armaments, and a Strategic Defense Initiative. And there's a second aspect of our strategy: we must bring together all the civilized nations of the world in what might be called a Second Marshall Plan. Together with them, and with volunteers, businesses and NGOs, we must support moderate Muslim nations and peoples. They need public schools that are not Wahabi schools, the rule of law, property rights, modern banking and agriculture and pro-growth economic policies. In the end, it is the Muslim people themselves who will eliminate radical jihad.

Iraq is just one front in the war. We removed Hussein, but afterward, we were under-prepared, under-planned, under-manned, and under-managed. But walking away now or dividing the country and then walking away would have real and severe risks for America and for our troops. I support the troop surge for that reason. And one thing I know, we shouldn't let Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid dictate our battle strategy to the commanders in the field or to the Commander-in-Chief.

Conservatism is a belief in strength. It is because of America's strength that we don't all speak German and that our kids don't all speak Russian. And it is because of America's strength that our grandchildren will not have to speak Farsi or Arabic or Chinese. America must remain the world's military superpower. That is a first principle of conservatism. To remain the military superpower, we must remain the world's economic superpower as well. You can't be a Tier I military with a Tier II economy – the Soviet Union tried to keep that up for a while, and lost.

It's inconceivable to us that we could ever be passed economically. But 100 years ago, it was inconceivable that anyone could have passed England or France. But we did. And if you look East, you can see that we are facing much more difficult competition from Asia than we have faced before. They want to move the center of manufacturing and technology and innovation from America to Asia. We may just smile, but don't forget what Will Rogers said:
"Even if you're on the right track, if you don't move, you'll get run over." America will move, but the question is, "In what direction?"

History can be a guide. The 20th Century saw two economic systems pitted against each other. Ours was built on free enterprise, free trade and the primacy of the individual. The Soviet's was built on government command and control, and the primacy of the state.

Ours produced the most powerful economy in the world that has given its citizens a standard of living our grandparents never dreamed possible; theirs produced a downward spiraling standard of living and eventual collapse.

The 20th Century history lesson is that America's economy is strong because we put our trust in freedom, in the American people, and in the free enterprises they create.

If we are to keep America strong, we must turn to the source of America's strength. Liberals think that government is the source of our greatness. They're wrong. The American people are the source of our strength: hard working, educated, skilled, family-oriented, willing to sacrifice for their family and their country, God-fearing, freedom-loving American people. They always have been the source of our strength and they always will be.

And so if we need to call on the strength of America, you don't strengthen government, you strengthen the American people.

You strengthen the American people by letting them keep more of their own money, and not taxing their families at death.

You strengthen the American people by making sure that the voice of millions of voters trumps the voice of unelected judges.

You strengthen the American people by securing our borders and by insisting that the children who come legally to this land are taught in English.

And perhaps most importantly, you strengthen the American people when you strengthen the American family. Marriage must come before children because every child deserves a mother and a father.

This is not the time for us to shrink from conservative principles. It is time for us to stand in strength.

Because America faces unprecedented challenges, strength is the only answer. Strong military, strong economy, strong families.

Thirty years ago, in challenging times, a great coalition was forged in these halls. Today, we face a new generation of challenges.

If we in this room lock our arms together, we can forge the political will to rebuild our military might. If we in this room will simply march forward we can propel America's growth and prosperity to lead to the world. If we in this room lift up our eyes, we will lift the spirit of the nation.

Now is the time, this is the place, for us to stand together, to lead a great coalition of strength, For our families, for our future, for America. May God bless this great land.

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Romney's Speech: Conservatives Take Heart 34 Comments (0 topical, 34 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

Believe it or not, there is a Republican Party in Massachusetts, and they held more seats in the legislature and more statewide offices before Romney breezed through from out of state than after he checked out (about a year or two before his term was up).

I am not saying that it isn't humiliating for conservatives to admit that they are from Massachusetts. We all joke about it from time to time. But the tone and consistency of his Mass-bashing is starting to grate on me. Had he stuck around long enough to actually try to build a more effective state party and do something positive for the state instead of treating it like a doormat, maybe he could talk. As it is, his jokes at the expense of the state that elected him look cheap and cynical.

What if he wanted a post at the UN? Would he start cracking wise about how dumb Americans are? Somehow I wouldn't be surprised.

...but the REST of us do! LOL

There were more Republicans before Romeny? Were there more conservatives, too?

Relax. Massachusetts. Berkeley. San Franisco. Austin. All conservatives make fun of liberal places. The problem with Massachusetts Republicans is that they are not conservatives. There may have been some weak edifice of a party, but lower taxes and not being a radical liberal (which is what the Mass Republican Party stands for) doesn't make one a conservative.
I've been to the last threee state GOP conventions and there are few real conservatives in MA as far as I can tell.

Funny, up until he started running for president the complaint in MA GOP circles was that he was too liberal. Now suddenly he is the only purist. Go figure.

And I am not saying that Mass jokes are off limits to everyone. The state is a walking joke and anyone who lives there knows it. They are just annoying coming specifically from Mitt. The US was cause for humiliation sometimes during the Clinton years but you didn't see George HW Bush touring around the world mocking America.

Because no ex-President would ever go around saying negative things to undermine the current President.


(Eats a peanut butter sandwich)

he happened to be the Greatest Ex-President in History (TM)

You are right about him he is also a flip flopping cult member. Just look up his so called relgion its very very weird . This guy will sink us if he gets nominated and I for one don't want the second Clinton Administration with a majority democratic congress in both houses. By the way Benthamite you might like to know that Jeremy Bentham believed in big government.

The Founding Fathers gave us a government infused with sufficient power to deliver justice to a people who believe in justice, but structured to be incapable of enslaving the people. The government's powers were separated, dispersed, and tied down with the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Law was made a shield of the innocent rather than a weapon in the hands of government.

This Blackstonian concept of law was gradually eroded by the Benthamite conception. In a nutshell, Jeremy Bentham's argument is that once democracy had triumphed over monarchy, people no longer had reason to fear government which was now the product of self-rule. Bentham argued that Blackstonian concepts constrained government from using its power to do good, and that the restraints should be removed in the interests of the greatest good for the greatest number.

a decent Senator

Molon Labe!

I just tilted a little more in Mitt's direction. I've never heard (or read) him without coming away impressed.

Romney "sounds" great, it's a great speech. Ann C endorses him, no matter what that's a biggie.

This kind of talk gets my blood going, reminds me that this is for me the essence of my America.

Woohoo let the games begin, I'm glad he left out the name calling although if he kicked McCain by name that's fine with me.

What the heck if it helps the cause I hereby volunteer to wear a McCain mask and sit in dunking booths at events like this with all the cash going to a properly conservative organization. Although I do insist on being properly protected from those who would hit me directly.... lol

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

Excellent speech, the best so far. Mitt has my vote. I think he wins the nomination. All this Rudy love is MSM bias towards a big liberal Republican. I don't know why some people refuse to see this. The primary voters ARE NOT GOING TO VOTE FOR A MAN THAT HAS BEEN MARRIED 3 TIMES. Sorry. McPAin can't raise the money. He has only $500,000 in the bank and a bunch of hired consultants. Mitt has GRASS ROOTS support, Bush money guys, and the LOOKS to be president. (yes it matters) Plus..he will wip Rodham - Clinton.

Plus..he will wip Rodham - Clinton

I've seen zero proof of this and would be grateful if you could produce some?

You may be right about Rudy and McCain but Newt beats Mitt hands down in a Head-to-Head primary!

Founder and contributor to The Minority Report and Senior writer for The Hinzsight Report

You look at Romney and you look at Hillary, and you ask "president?" For most of America, I think that's a no-brainer.

Not to mention their family histories. The Romneys look down right angelic next to the Clintons and Guilianis.

for that matchup.

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

Newt by Arnie

What Executive experience does Newt have? Republicans require successful executive experience for a good reason.
Arnie Speaker doesn’t count?

Where did I say that Newt had Executive experience?

Founder and contributor to The Minority Report and Senior writer for The Hinzsight Report


Molon Labe!

spoke more from the heart. Mitt is a bit too polished, lots of rah rah USA but little substance. I am not saying I would not support him, but he actually seems Less real than GWB.

Molon Labe!

"lots of rah rah USA but little substance"

This is from Kate O'Bierne at NRO (it seems like he was the only candidate with substance including specific pledges and not just "I like Alito" - wink wink):

It seems to me that Mitt Romney's willingness to make specific pledges and outline a platform helpfully moved him beyond the typical GOP platitudes about smaller government. Grover Norquist noted that the former governor was the first in the field to sign his tax pledge and now Romney has married it with a spending pledge. In an effective, ahem, contrast, he noted that when it comes to government spending "I like vetoes." His pointed pledge to fight for the repeal of McCain-Feingold and his opposition to the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill appeared to be big crowd pleasers. So too was his "our people are sovereign" slam on activist judges. In stringing together some of the events he faced upon taking office - the Massachusetts court ordering gay marriage, the scientific community's support for creating embryos for research, and the blackballing of Catholic Charities over gay adoption - he offered a potentially plausible sequence that prompted second thoughts on social issues. [He was just endorsed by Ann Coulter: "I like the fact that he tricked liberals into voting for him."] Romney emphasized the importance and power of an enduring coalition of economic, social, and national security conservatives and he clearly hopes to unite them behind him. Today, he did a convincing job of explaining why they should.

Mitt speaks the truth, mASS is the joke of the country. And any true "conservative" that lives here KNOWS it. If not lets ban some trans-fats and fluffernutter, and see if that gets your attention.
Of course there were more Republicans in office before Romney's term. At one time Republicans were the majority!!
The point is "normal" not even "conservative" people are running OUT of the state like it's on fire.
The peoples progressive republic of mASSachusetts is the bluest state in the country by far.
There will be one last attempt to re-energize and strengthen the MA. GOP. If it fails, will the last Republican left please turn out the lights.

Even the "normal" people that leave still vote Democrat. They ruined MA, so they move to NH and vote the same way. They are like locusts.

And the Mass GOP, I swear, is stuck in the sixties. I can't believe how retro their politics are. Loose the sweater vests, class rings, get out of the country clubs and get real.

When The Commonwealth (thats state for those of you in Rio Linda) loses 2 House seats after the next census, then maybe that will cause a shift to the right in all levels of government but right now, Jesus could come back to Massachusetts and run as a conservative against one of the Senators and still lose. I love where I'm from, Boston is America's most beautiful city, and I go back there at least once a year to visit friends, family, and catch a Sox game. However, the politics SUCK!

We've seen an embarrassing spike in non-defense, discretionary spending. As you know, I'm proud to be the first Presidential candidate to sign Grover Norquist's tax pledge. But I have another pledge I am making to you today. If I am elected President, I will cap non-defense discretionary spending at inflation minus one percent. That alone will save $300 billion over 10 years. If Congress sends me a budget that exceeds the cap, I will veto that budget. I don't care if it's a Republican or Democrat Congress, I will veto that budget.

I like it, particularly the pledge to veto budgets that exceed the cap. The “un-Bush” indeed. I look forward to hearing his speech on reforming entitlement programs which make up about half the budget and are of a greater long-term priority. I know that he has been rightfully critical of Medicare Part D but would like to see his proposals for fixing it.

I'm not a South Park Republican, I'm a King of the Hill libertarian.

No not yet...Just wait until Mitt wins the Republican primary.
It is intuative. All the so called "feminist's" who supposedly will vote for Clinton will look at and HEAR her and look at Mitt...No way she wins thatone. nu - uh. They will justify not voting fot Clinton..The will say..hmmmm She has a good job now, or hmmm She has already lived in the white house,
lets give someone else a chance.. I can hear the ramblings in many FEMALE voters minds that WERE SUPPOSE to be Rodham -Clinton's voters. Against MITT ...she loses.

for one thing, us the reply to link like everyone else, it's a biggie for the moderators, as an FYI.

Second... show me a poll, oh wait don't bother, THERE ARE NONE to back that up.

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

Quite frankly there is little support for Rudy, Mitt and John in NH because they are not really 'conservatives'. If Rudy and McCain don't think enough of us in NH to join the first debate on April 4th then I guess we don't need them either.

I've put my money where my mouth is in support of Ron Paul because he is uniting people from all over the map and has wide support from all. He is a true conservative with a stellar background.

If you would like to help:
Checks should be made out and mailed to:

The Ron Paul 2008 PEC
837 W. Plantation Drive
Clute, TX 77531

More info on Ron:

I just wish other people would check him out I'm sure that they would like what they see and hear from him. He's by far the best of the bunch.

Masterfully written and delivered. SUBSTANCE with PASSION.
I like it. And the more I read about what Mitt Romney has to offer the more he has my vote and the votes of my like-minded friends.

So Romney tells CPAC: "Coming from Massachusetts, I saw first hand the liberal future, and it doesn't work. That's why I ran against Ted Kennedy. Liberal social programs weren't solving poverty; they were in fact creating a culture of poverty."

Who is this guy kidding? As Governor of Massachusetts, he not only supported the liberal future, he went back to the liberal future, by reinstating AFFIRMATIVE ACTION!

Yup, Romney put back into effect the affirmative action rules written in the 70's by Mike Dukakis! This guy has no principles and moral compass for leadership. He will say anything and do anything to get elected. And do anything and say anything once elected.

Bay State GOP. If you are really from the Bay State, you must be a bitter Swift supporter. The Mass GOP is a tiny private club. Sorry Mitt rained on your little parade. God knows we need the leadership of people like Brian Lees. LOL. You guys are so dysfunctional it's pathetic. I went to your last three conventions. You can't fool me. Unrealistic wack jobs who think they deserve a red carpet to the Governor's Office and liberal elitist Republicans who long for the day the Brahmin class Rockefeller wing still ruled. Who are you fooling.

he is playing conservatives like a violin he will say anything to get elected check out ron paul he's the real thing.

is that Romney was someone who really wanted to steer out of some initiatives if they'd had time to work, before they got out of hand. The other choice would have been someone with no intention of righting the ship of state, regardless of ultimate results. I haven't lived in Massachusetts but, if I ever did, I guess I'd be reaching for ways to make the best of it.

Mitt Romney doesn't cease to amaze me. Reading his speech made me feel that there is hope for the 2008 elections for the Republican Party. He may not have the money or the backing of the Good old boys, but he has the support of the grassroots by talking about the issues that are relevant to the average citizen like taxes, economy, defence and social moral issues that we are now faced with. He speaks about strengthening the family in many levels which is the strength of America. It gives me hope for the future. God Bless him.

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