There’s no doubt that the field to pick from in the Republican presidential primary is less than stellar.
Also, it’s disappointing how the candidates have too often opted to take a scorched-earth policy in their assessments of each other, though that won’t be a fatal blow to whomever comes out with the nomination. When Hillary Clinton was battling Barack Obama for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2008, she used the now infamous 3 a.m. phone call ad to demonstrate that Obama wouldn’t be up to the challenge if he were in the White House getting news about trouble. Despite that image — one that has stuck in the mind of many — Obama is now president and Clinton is serving as his secretary of state.
It would be better if candidates stood on their own merits, but the way the system operates doesn’t allow for that. The focus is more on making a voter afraid of another candidate or discouraging a voter who doesn’t support you from voting at all. Democratic candidates run hard to the left during their party primaries and Republicans run hard to the right in order to sew up enough support of their respective party’s most ardent supporters to capture the party’s nomination. As soon as that happens, they each play toward the center to pick up the independent-minded voters who ultimately determine national elections.
In practice, it’s not a system that gives you a reason to vote for someone as much as it does a reason to not vote for someone else.
Obama has no opposition this year, so he is assured of a spot on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. Who he will face will be determined by Republican voters in presidential preference primaries and caucuses. More than 38 percent of the total number of delegates needed to win the GOP nomination will be up for grabs Tuesday when Georgia and nine other states go to the polls on what has come to be known as Super Tuesday. Of the 10 states, Georgia has the largest number of delegates with 76.
While there are nine candidates listed on the Republican ballot, only four are actively seeking the nomination — former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
Of these candidates, we believe Romney would do the best job as president.
All of the Republican candidates bring a moderate to conservative agenda to the table on social issues, but the most important issue right now is the economy. The United States is in a critical stage as it recovers from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Unemployment is still above 8 percent and the U.S. government is borrowing 40 cents of every dollar it spends. For the fourth straight year, the annual deficit is expected to surpass a trillion dollars.
A government can’t be expected to run exactly like a business, but it can incorporate some realistic, good-business practices. To see where the U.S. is headed is something isn’t done, all you have to do is look across the ocean to Greece, which is losing a large degree of its sovereignty to its lenders. That country is taking severe austerity steps not because it wants to, but because its government could collapse if it doesn’t do what its financiers demand.
Romney knows what it is like to head up a business. The United States has to have a chief executive officer who acts like a CEO, one willing to give a dose of economic reality to our nation’s tax-and-spend leaders who are addicted to an open federal checkbook. America needs a leader who hasn’t lost touch with the principle of being a responsible steward of our tax dollars.
America’s future financial well-being requires a leader who can integrate the principles of good business practices into the out-of-control Washington culture. Romney is far from perfect, but so is the rest of the Republican field and the incumbent president. Romney also is the only candidate who can draw upon his record of growing business. We recommend him in Tuesday’s GOP primary.