(David Mansdoerfer) – Is it just me, or does every GOP Presidential candidate have a skeleton in their free market closet? Mitt Romney, the supposed front runner, is tied to the prequel of Obamacare in Massachusetts. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appeared in a commercial with Rep. Nancy Pelosi toting global warming in an effort to push for cap and trade. Former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty pushed for cap and trade when they were both governors.
What gives? Doesn’t the basic platform of the Republican Party state an emphasis on the free market?
In the 2008 presidential election, President Obama won on the mantra of hope and change. He also enjoyed considerable advantages in the moderate vote. On top of this, he also trotted out a brand new voting bloc.
Now, with the President Obama’s approval rating hanging around 50%, far less than the 60%+ when he first took office, he is looking to come back into the center and win back the moderate vote as he begins his campaign for the 2012 presidency.
In order to nullify President Obama’s advantage over moderate voters, the Republican Party needs a candidate that can completely differentiate himself from President Obama and his economic polices – not a centrist.
For too long, Republicans have stood by and let government power expand. Now, however, under the leadership of Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget, a Republican President in 2012 would have a chance to rein in the government, truly reform entitlements and cut spending.
There is still plenty of time for these candidates to detail their economic plan for the United States and explain away the skeletons in their free market closet. Remember, even the great Ronald Reagan started out as a Democrat and toured the country advocating the need for unions.
If Republicans win the Whitehouse in 2012, it is conceivable that they will still enjoy a considerable advantage in the House and might even enjoy a small advantage or tie in the Senate. Then they can start to work on repealing Obamacare and reforming our entitlement programs.
For this to happen, someone will need to step up and lay out a clear economic plan. The only question is – who?
(David Mansdoerfer is the Director of Federal Affairs for Citizen Outreach)