Romney Redefines Conservatism (to Suit Himself)

President Ronald Wilson Reagan once defined the foundation of Conservatism as “a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom.”

Yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Willard “Mitt” Romney changed President Reagan’s definition to meet his own personal ideology:

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the insurance mandate included in the Massachusetts healthcare law he signed is fundamentally a conservative principle.

Speaking Wednesday on “Fox and Friends,” Romney defended the Bay State’s healthcare law, which includes a version of the individual mandate, as inline with the Republican world view. The individual mandate was the centerpiece and most controversial aspect of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, which has widely been blasted by Republicans as governmental overreach.

“I’m happy to stand by the things that I believe. I’m not going to change my positions by virtue of being in a presidential campaign,” Romney said. “What we did was right for the people of Massachusetts, the plan is still favored there by 3 to 1 and it is fundamentally a conservative principle to insist that people take personal responsibility as opposed to turning to government for giving out free care.”

Besides being a stupid statement, it’s also a scary one, because this flip-floppin’ “Legacy” is making a move in Iowa:

Even as he tried to keep talk about his prospects in check Tuesday, a slew of public and private polling and anecdotal evidence on the ground suggests that Romney is within striking distance of a first-place finish in Iowa — especially as Ron Paul’s momentum spurt appears to have run into the reality of front-runners’ scrutiny.

Romney’s team is moving to make the most of it. The candidate launched a bus tour Tuesday and suggested on a conference call with Iowans this week that he’ll be in the state for New Year’s Eve. After a solid ad buy in Iowa for a month totaling more than $1.1 million, Romney’s camp has upped its spending in the Quad Cities market, sources familiar with the purchase told POLITICO. His team has dropped a collection of mail pieces, both positive about Romney and negative about the perceived closest alternative — Newt Gingrich.

In another clear sign he’s playing to win, he has quietly moved a handful of staffers from his headquarters in Boston and in other states earlier this month to give his skeleton Iowa staff a needed boost. And he’s cycling in a platoon of high-profile surrogates to rally around him in the state at stump stops and on talk radio, including Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. John Thune, Rep. Aaron Schock and former Sens. Norm Coleman and Jim Talent.

Among Romney’s Iowa backers, there was a marked rise in confidence Tuesday.

“I think we’re going to do better than most people expect us to do,” said state Rep. Renee Schulte, a top Cedar Rapids Romney supporter.

Schulte hesitated about predicting an outright win because of the many variables — Paul’s turnout, Rick Santorum’s potential, the weather — still hanging over the race. But she noted the difference between this year and the 2008 caucuses.

“The only way we were going to lose was if the right coalesced, and that’s exactly what happened [with Mike Huckabee],” said Schulte. “But this time Bachmann, Santorum and Perry are still out campaigning aggressively, so if [conservatives] go three ways, we’re going to do better.”

Speaking on background, another Romney loyalist with close ties to the candidate dispensed with the expectation-setting.

“That is becoming more likely,” said the loyalist when asked if Romney could win the caucuses outright. “We’ve been lucky and good. The campaign plan was always to adjust activity based on what we were seeing on ground but keep expectations down. But between the positive news for us of late and negatives for our rivals, we’re finishing in a good place.”

According to cnn.com:

Twenty-five percent of people questioned say if the caucuses were held today, they’d most likely back Mitt Romney, with 22% saying they’d support Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Romney’s three point margin is within the poll’s sampling error.

In a column published just yesterday, conservative pundit Ann Coulter wrote that:

Running against an incumbent president in a make-or-break election, Republicans need a candidate with a track record of winning elections with voters similar to the entire American electorate.

And, after that statement, she went on to again endorse Romney.

For someone who is allegedly one of the sharpest conservative minds in the country, Ann couldn’t be more wrong if she tried.

1.  Romney is the favorite of both the GOP Beltway Elite and the Democratic Party Power Brokers.

2.  Romney will be lucky to carry the Northeast, much less the rest of the country.  Right now, he’s only polling 25% approval within the Republican Party!

3.  Romney is as faithful to Conservatism as Bill Clinton is faithful to Hillary.

Ann, you need to get out of the Beltway every now and then, ma’am.

C’mon down to Mississippi, Mizz Coulter.  We’ll have a barbeque pulled pork sammich and discuss Conservatism.  You’ll find that the Heartland’s definition is just like President Reagan’s and NOTHING like Mitt Romney’s.

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