Why should Americans believe in Mitt Romney when he reported his residential address as his son’s home in Massachusetts while taking the “residency” property tax deduction on his home in Utah?
Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger asserts that Romney gamed the political system when he switched his official residency to Park City, Utah, three years before running for office in Massachusetts. Karger claims that “after much wrangling, blaming others for the mistake and back taxes paid, Mr. Romney was allowed to run for Governor in spite of Massachusetts’ seven-year residency requirement.”
But residency isn’t Mitt Romney’s only problem. His presidential campaign website is sparse of details and offers sound-bites.
Take his present stance on health care. His website states:
“Our next president must repeal Obamacare and replace it with market-based reforms that empower states and individuals and reduce health care costs. States and private markets, not the federal government, hold the key to improving our health care system.”
The “Affordable Care Act” passed by Congress, which Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans now call “Obamacare” could also be called “Romneycare” because the health care plan was modeled after health insurance legislation implemented in Massachusetts when Romney was governor. In fact, the “Commonwealth Care Health Insurance Program” mandates that Massachusetts residents have health insurance coverage.
Mitt Romney offers no solutions on how individuals and states will be able to reduce health care costs. Without buying power or other cost containment provisions, the economics of “market” is always what the market will bear. There is no incentive to lower costs because people need medical care – it’s a commodity that must be purchased.
Mitt Romney’s campaign website also states that “Obamacare must be repealed and on his first day in office, he will issue an executive order paving the way for waivers from Obamacare for all 50 states.”
This statement shows his unfamiliarity or ignorance of federal law. There is no need to implement “waivers” for all 50 states by executive order on his first day in office because the “Affordable Care Act” already contains an “opt-out” provision which allows individual states to enact their own health care legislation.
In both campaigns, Romney’s failed U.S. Senate bid in 1994, and his successful run for governor in 2002, he portrayed himself as a pro-choice candidate, attractive to moderate Republicans, Democrats and Independents who are “swing voters.” He was even photographed attending a Planned Parenthood fundraiser. Romney also publicly said that abortion should be legal “regardless of one’s beliefs about choice.” He supported keeping abortion “safe and legal.”
That was the Massachusetts Mitt Romney – not the new conservative Mitt Romney for president. Fast-forward to his 2007-2008 presidential campaign. Appeasing the Republican party’s conservative base, Romney avowed that abortion should be illegal except in cases of rape and incest and only when the mother’s life is threatened.
This position varies from a majority of Americans. A recent Pew research survey reports that there is a strong majority who support a women’s constitutional right to an abortion under Roe v. Wade and who continue to want the landmark Supreme Court decision upheld.
Interestingly, on his 2012 presidential campaign website, Romney makes no mention of his extreme stance on this issue. Romney’s position on “choice” is important because as President he would nominate replacements for the U.S. Supreme Court who could change the law.
On gay rights, the Massachusetts Mitt Romney twice sought and received the endorsement of the Republican Log Cabin Club, a political campaign committee of gay and lesbian Republican activists. The Log Cabin Republicans recently achieved a national civil rights victory when a California federal court agreed with their legal challenge and found the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law unconstitutional.
The old Mitt Romney maintained that “all people should be allowed to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation.” While campaigning in Massachusetts, Romney’s campaign even distributed pro-gay rights literature during Boston’s “Gay Pride” events. However, his 2012 presidential website is now silent on where he stands on gay rights.
Mitt Romney’s website says America “must take decisive action to roll back the misguided policies of the last two years.” Romney has publicly said, “while differences in theology exist between the churches in America, we share a common creed of moral convictions.”
In 2004, Republicans nationally accused Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry of “flip-flop” politics. A Bush political advertisement rhetorically asked “’in which direction would John Kerry lead?”
Now is the time to ask the same question of presidential candidate Mitt Romney and hold him accountable for answers.