March 6, 2011
Campaign trail, New Hampshire primaries
Politico described Romney’s speech to Carroll County Republicans as his unofficial kick off to his New Hampshire campaign. Here are some highlights from the speech.
The President should have learned a lesson from New Hampshire. Anyone who sees the row after row of textile mill buildings in Manchester knows that this state has experienced economic crisis. New Hampshire’s answer was to hold down taxes and red tape, to balance its budget, to keep government efficient, and to keep it small. And the end result was that the state became a capital of innovation and small business.
Senator Obama campaigned hard in New Hampshire but he apparently didn’t like what he saw. He certainly didn’t learn from it. Instead of lowering taxes, he raised them. He wrapped businesses in red tape, he grew government, he borrowed trillions of dollars, and he made it clear that he doesn’t like business people very much.
Read the full speech here.
March 3, 2011
Romney made the rounds in Atlanta, Georgia Wednesday, meeting with business leaders to discuss jobs and the economy. He also made an important stop at a local barber shop.
Mitt Romney stopped by Tommy Thomas’s barber shop in Atlanta on Tuesday for a trim.
He came to the right place — Thomas has clipped hair for many of Georgia’s top politicians. “Both senators, the governor, you name them, they all come through the barber shop,” Thomas told POLITICO after cutting Romney’s hair.
Thomas charges $16 for a trim, but he offered to give Romney a cut for free — but the well-coiffed former governor refused and gave Thomas a $20 bill, telling him to keep the change.
Romney tweeted this picture of himself on Tuesday in Atlanta and said: “Brave Tommy, taming the beast with clippers and a comb.”
Romney met with Republican legislators in Florida on Thursday, building his base and helping with fundraising projects. He endorsed Republican budget proposals, saying “Now is the time for all of us to send a powerful message that Americans will no longer tolerate the Washington culture of higher taxes, higher spending, and higher debt.” Romney finished third with 30% of the vote in the 2008 Georgia primaries, and a strong second in Florida.
March 1, 2011
endorsements, South Carolina primaries
Nikki Haley, the Republican governor of South Carolina who has a libertarian streak, has said she will endorse a candidate in the 2012 Presidential primaries. However, she went out of her way to suggest that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s time had passed, and praised Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Haley Barbour.
Haley’s endorsement will carry significant weight given the state’s prominence in the presidential nominating process. It is slated to be one of the first four states to hold its primary.
That makes her a woman lots of people will want to get to know. And already, she’s spoken with many potential 2012 presidential candidates making swings through her state.
The most likely recipients of Haley’s endorsement would seem to be Palin and Romney, who each endorsed Haley in her long shot 2010 GOP primary campaign. Palin’s endorsement, in particular, gave Haley a shot in the arm at the exact time she needed it, and Haley endorsed Romney in the 2008 presidential campaign.
But Haley insists she’s not favoring anybody in 2012 and won’t engage in any kind of political payback.
“Not at all,” she said. “That is something that I will always be appreciative of and grateful for, but this is not a quid pro quo.”
Haley declined to criticize Romney for a health care bill he instituted as governor of Massachusetts, but she did say that “what governor Romney thought is right for Massachusetts is not right for South Carolina.”
February 28, 2011
Health Care, Mike Huckabee
Former Arkansas governor and Christian socialist Mike Huckabee has attacked Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care program in his new book.
A noble goal, indeed, but when the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation stepped into the lab to examine this experiment-in-progress, they found that health care, which was 16 percent of the state budget in 1990, had jumped to 35 percent in 2010. (That’s not a typo; health care is consuming over a third of the entire state budget!).
It’s pretty misleading to use a 20-year statistic to describe a health care plan that has been in place for four years. Actually, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation
reported in May 2009 that the cost of the plan to taxpayers has been “relatively modest and well within initial projections.” He continues,
You get one guess as to who now has the highest average health-insurance premiums in the country. Yep, it’s Massachusetts!
What Gov. Huckabee fails to mention is that Massachusetts already had the highest health care premiums before RomneyCare. Now Huckabee is calling for Romney to apologize for his health care plan. If anyone owes an apology to the taxpayers, it’s Governor Huckabee, the ultimate Big Government Republican, who was described by the libertarian CATO Institute
as having an “insistence on raising taxes at almost every turn throughout his final term.”