ChrisWeigant.com

Romney The "Can't Decider"

[ Posted Monday, June 18th, 2012 – 17:17 PDT ]

Mitt Romney, candidate for president, seems not to be able to make up his mind. George W. Bush famously labeled himself the "Decider" when in office, but it seems Mitt is proving to be the "Can't Decider" this time around.

Romney has shown this trait on several issues in the campaign so far. Some important event or political policy problem gets into the news, the reporters covering his campaign flock to Mitt to find out his position, and it turns out to be: "we'll get back to you on that." Which never actually happens. Call Mitt a "Profile in Timidity" if you will.

To a certain extent, all politicians running for office try to play this game. Holding a strong position on any contentious issue will, after all, likely lose you the votes of those who don't agree with such a position. But Mitt seems to be taking this game to new levels. If they haven't already, the Obama team should really consider running one of those "it's 3:00 A.M." ads soon (to put it another way). Because there is being politically savvy, and then there is Mitt Romney's inability to take a stance on just about anything.

The case in point this week is, of course, immigration. Can any Romney supporter explain exactly what Mitt's position is on the Rubio/Obama "mini DREAM Act"? The man is all over the map on the issue, trying to have things about six ways at the same time. If the man actually had a position, it might be defensible from a certain point of view, but having no position (or every possible position) at the same time is simply indefensible, when you consider the job he's running for.

Back in December, during the primary race, Mitt said the following, when asked about the subject: "The question is, if I were elected and Congress were to pass the DREAM Act, would I veto it? And the answer is yes." He went on to say: "For those who come here illegally, the idea of giving them in-state tuition credits or other special benefits I find to be contrary to the idea of a nation of law. If I'm the president of the United States, I want to end illegal immigration so that we can protect legal immigration." At the same time, however, he seemed to support a part of Rubio's idea -- allowing people who serve in the military some sort of (unspecified) legal status.

Other past statements from Romney draw an equally hard line on immigration, stretching back to the 2008 campaign. His 2012 campaign website has plenty of such language on it, but contains nary a word on the DREAM Act.

Since then, Romney has said he would "consider" Marco Rubio's plan of allowing residency -- but not citizenship -- to the DREAM Act folks (or at least the military ones, it's hard to tell). Rubio conveniently never actually put his plan on paper, meaning that Rubio's plan itself was nebulous and undefined. On top of these shifting sands, Romney was rather vague on his support for any of it. Call it vagueness squared.

The goal was, of course, to "send a message" to Latino voters that perhaps, at some future date, Republicans might actually do something other than scapegoating immigration for political gain among nativists. But this "message" would not actually define what that future step would entail, of course.

Last Friday, President Obama decided that endlessly waiting for Marco Rubio to come up with some sort of magic bill which had any sort of prayer of passing the Republican House of Representatives was a fool's game, at best. So he acted -- to immediately implement the broad outlines of what Rubio had been suggesting (it's impossible to be any more precise than that, since Rubio's bill never actually existed). This threw a rather large cat among the GOP pigeons. With the stroke of a pen, Obama co-opted a Republican campaign strategy. What to do? Support the idea, in an intellectually-consistent fashion? Or denounce it because everything Obama is for is obviously not the right thing for Republicans to support?

Here is Romney, trying to thread this needle last Friday:

I believe the status of young people who come here through no fault their own is an important matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis so they know what their future would be in this country. I think the action of the president today makes it more difficult to reach that long-term solution because an executive order is of course, a short-term matter and can be reversed by subsequent presidents. I'd like to see legislation that deals with this issue, and I happen to agree with Marco Rubio. If I'm president, we'll do our very best to have that kind of solution.

Um... what? Mitt agrees with Rubio. He wants a long-term solution, at some unspecified future date. Obama's action "makes this more difficult" in some unexplained way (even though Obama would sign the Rubio bill tomorrow, obviously, if it passed). He warns that future unnamed presidents could reverse this decision, but then even though he is running to be a future president, he refuses to say whether he would do so or not. Even though Obama has just achieved a large portion of Rubio's goals, Mitt won't say whether he even supports those goals or not -- instead he believes "the status of young people who come here through no fault their own is an important matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis so they know what their future would be in this country" -- which, roughly translated, already exists, as: "your status and future is that you will be deported." The closest Mitt comes to even having an opinion on the matter is that it is "a matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis."

Once again, Mitt as "Profile in Timidity."

Two days later, Mitt still had no coherent answer to the basic question: "What would you do if you were president?" CBS' Bob Schieffer sat down with Romney, and asked him the question multiple times, to no avail:

BOB SCHIEFFER: The President said, Friday, the government will no longer seek to deport eight hundred thousand of these young illegal immigrants who were brought into this country by their parents. I think you said this is just a short-term solution to a long-term problem, but would you repeal this order if you became President?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, let's step back and-- and look at the issue. I mean, first of all, we have to secure the border. We need to have an employment verification system to make sure that those that are working here in this country are here legally and then with regards to these kids who were brought in by their parents through no fault of their own, there needs to be a long-term solution so they know what their status is. This is something Congress has been working on, and I thought we are about to see some proposals brought forward by Senator Marco Rubio and by Democrat [sic] senators, but the President jumped in and said I'm going to take this action. He called it a stopgap measure. I-- I don't know why he feels stopgap measures are the right way to go and he--

SCHIEFFER (voice overlapping): Well, what would you do about it?

ROMNEY: Well, as-- as you know, he was-- he was President for the last three and a half years, did nothing on immigration. Two years, he had a Democrats' House in Senate [sic], did nothing of permanent or-- or long-term basis. What I would do is I'd make sure that by coming into office I would work with Congress to put in place a long-term solution for the-- for the children of those that-- that have come here illegally--

SCHIEFFER (voice overlapping): Would you--

ROMNEY: --and I've said, for instance, that-- that those who served in the military, I would give permanent residents [sic], too.

SCHIEFFER: Sure, but would you repeal this?

ROMNEY: Well, it would be overtaken by events, if you will, by virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution with-- with legislation which creates law that relates to these individuals, such that they know what their-- their stat-- setting is going to be--

SCHIEFFER (voice overlapping): But would--

ROMNEY: --not just-- not-- not just for the term of the President, but on a permanent basis.

SCHIEFFER: I-- I won't keep on about this but just to-- to make sure I understand, would you leave this in place while you worked out a long-term solution or would you just repeal it?

ROMNEY: We'll-- we'll look at that-- we'll look at that setting as we-- as we reach that. But my anticipation is, I'd come into office and say we need to get this done on a long-term basis, not this kind of a stopgap measure. What-- what the President did, he-- he should have worked on this years ago. If he felt seriously about this, he should have taken action when he had a Democrat House and Senate, but he didn't. He saves these sort of things until four and a half months before the general election.

SCHIEFFER: Well, why did you think he did that?

ROMNEY: Well, I-- I think the timing is-- is pretty clear. If he-- if he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with the illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months.

SCHIEFFER: So he did it for politics?

ROMNEY: Well, that's certainly a big part of the equation.

Once again, can any Romney supporter actually answer the question of what Mitt Romney believes or what he would do if elected? I certainly can't figure out what the man stands for, other than that he'd prefer it if all of this happened at some future time after he was elected. He won't even specify what he wants done, just that it preferably happen at some future date.

There are plenty of people who disagree with Barack Obama's recent action on immigration. For the life of me, I can't even figure out if Mitt Romney is one of them or not. Does he support Rubio's goals? Don't know. Does he support Rubio's goals, but only if Rubio is the one who gets the credit? Maybe, but it's hard to tell. He seems to be keen on the idea of a "long-term" solution, but refuses to say what that solution should be. He doesn't like Obama's short-term solution, but he hasn't made up his mind whether he'd continue it or not before a long-term solution is in place. Or, perhaps, he has made these decisions, but just refuses to tell the American public what they are.

As I said, there are indeed people who disagree with Obama's action, and are out there fighting it on the merits and drawbacks. Mitt Romney is not one of them. I haven't heard a single critic of President Obama yet say anything remotely like: "Well, Obama is wrong, and Mitt Romney has the right idea on this subject." Nobody's defending Romney's position because he simply doesn't have one. Or, if he does, he won't say what it is.

Mitt Romney, to refresh your memory, is running for the office of President of the United States of America. As either the "Can't Decider" or the "Won't Decider." This does not bode well for that hypothetical 3:00 A.M. phone call, folks.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at Business Insider
Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

31 Comments on “Romney The "Can't Decider"”

  1. [1] 
    unitron wrote:

    It's 3 AM.Does Romney know what his position is?

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    unitron -

    Welcome to the site! Your first post was held for moderation, but you should be able to post now and see them appear instantly. Just don't post more than one link per article (these are held for moderation to cut down on comment spam).

    With that out of the way, your comment is hilarious and got me thinking....

    It's 3 AM. Does Romney know where the children of illegal immigrants are?

    Nah, too wordy. I like yours better.

    :-)

    -CW

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes, we can all cap on Romney... And most of it is actually deserved, no two ways about it..

    But, if you ask the average American that, if the vote was today, who would they vote for, guess what the answer would be???

    So, by all means. Get yer licks in.. Slap 'im around a little..

    Maybe it will toughen him up and bring him to the reality of the here and now...

    BUT in the here and now...

    Most Americans prefer Romney to Obama...

    ESPECIALLY in matters of the economy...

    Michale.....

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Unitron,

    For the record, that was a helluva comment. :D

    Kudos

    Michale....

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mitt Romney, to refresh your memory, is running for the office of President of the United States of America. As either the "Can't Decider" or the "Won't Decider." This does not bode well for that hypothetical 3:00 A.M. phone call, folks.

    It's rather ironic, isn't it?

    Ya'all used to ridicule Bush for calling himself "The Decider"...

    Now ya'all ridicule Romney because he is "The NOT Decider".

    Is there no pleasing the Left? :D

    Michale.....

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Here is what I was talking about, as far as the Electoral Race goes..

    http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/electoral-map

    Only 11 Electoral votes separate the candidates..

    Michale......

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh crap.. That should have been posted in the FTP thread..

    My bust....

    Michale.....

  8. [8] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    PA is not really a toss-up. it's leaning D, and if there's such an overall wave that PA does go R, its electoral votes will be academic anyway. not with quite the same level of certainty, but I'd call Florida leaning R at the moment. It's close, but like PA for romney, barring a major wave to the left i don't see how the votes here shake out obama's way. that makes it 237-235...

    leaving ohio, virginia, colorado, nevada, iowa... and perhaps wisconsin. wouldn't THAT be an interesting last state to decide the national election!

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    and perhaps wisconsin. wouldn't THAT be an interesting last state to decide the national election!

    Can't argue with the logic.. :D

    It would make things a nail-biter, wouldn't it?? :D

    Michale....

  10. [10] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Romney would never do anything that's ... goshdarnit ... political ... would he?

    Where's the wrath of Michale? (Heheh ... sorry Michale, couldn't resist.)

    -David

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Romney would never do anything that's ... goshdarnit ... political ... would he?

    He's a politician... Of course he would..

    What irks me about Obama is that he said he wasn't going to be a politician.. Yet he is...

    Like I have said before, I vote for a Jack Ryan. What I got was a Richard Nixon on steroids..

    Michale....

  12. [12] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Can you show me where Obama said that? He may very well have, I just don't recall.

    Romney is saying similar things. Ever hear him talk about his stint as governor of Massachusetts? Wonder why?

    Mitt Romney: "I've been in the private sector for 25 years, President Obama is a politician, and a community organizer."

    Oh no ... a community organizer ... the next step is Stalin!!!!

    I ummm .... seem to recall that the last job you had Mitt was as ... a politician. And what you seem to be doing now is ... running for political office.

    -David

  13. [13] 
    akadjian wrote:

    BTW- I understand that they're both politicians and this is what they do. So this doesn't bother me.

    But when someone tries to say that one politician somehow has the country's best interests in mind while another is playing political games, guess what? That's political spin & I don't buy it.

    Here's in essence what Romney is saying: "I'm not the politician, he is"

    If you hadn't noticed, it's a little like 2nd grade ... (I know you are, but what am I)

    :)

    -David

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Can you show me where Obama said that? He may very well have, I just don't recall.

    I probably could find those exact words, but I really don't need to..

    Obama's own campaign slogan, "Hope and *CHANGE*" indicates it. All of Obama's loft words about there being no Red states, no Blue states, just a UNITED States, etc etc... All gave credence to the notion that Obama was not a politician..

    Romney is saying similar things. Ever hear him talk about his stint as governor of Massachusetts? Wonder why?

    Don't see Dems talking about it much either. Oh they tried once or twice, but it all fell flat..

    So, if Dems ain't saying anything about Gov Romney and we KNOW they would be if there was some bad shit, it's logical to conclude that Gov Romney didn't do too bad...

    Oh no ... a community organizer ... the next step is Stalin!!!!

    Not really..

    But honestly.. What does being a community organizer prepare one for???

    I can tell you what it DOESN'T prepare one for. It doesn't prepare one for being a successful POTUS...

    As is apparent by the disaster this country is today...

    I ummm .... seem to recall that the last job you had Mitt was as ... a politician. And what you seem to be doing now is ... running for political office.

    But Mitt doesn't claim to be anything else..

    Give me a politician who is at least honest about who and what he is, over a smarmy con-man who blows smoke up my ass every chance he gets, any day of the week and twice on Sunday...

    But when someone tries to say that one politician somehow has the country's best interests in mind while another is playing political games, guess what? That's political spin & I don't buy it.

    Here's in essence what Romney is saying: "I'm not the politician, he is"

    If Romney HAS said that, then it's obviously nothing but politician/campaign rhetoric... He's pandering... That's what politicians do...

    Does that pandering piss me off??

    You betcha...

    But I am MORE pissed off by the politician who says he is NOT a politician, who says he is NOT pandering. And, somehow, has the backing of some really intelligent people who should know better.. :D

    Michale.....

  15. [15] 
    akadjian wrote:

    But I am MORE pissed off by the politician who says he is NOT a politician, who says he is NOT pandering.

    I don't see any difference.

    As you mentioned, you have no idea what Romney would do. Just this "smoke" about him being a businessman and somehow that is going to make everything better.

    Smoke ... up ass ... blown

    -David

    p.s. Again, I'm not saying Obama is not a politician. But it's the same situation ... and you're saying one makes you mad, one doesn't.

    I'm saying this sounds like you're falling for one side's "smoke"

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    As you mentioned, you have no idea what Romney would do. Just this "smoke" about him being a businessman and somehow that is going to make everything better.

    No, that is not "smoke" as Romney has the record to PROVE it... Even President Clinton said that Romney was "sterling"...

    Obama had no record in 2008.. That's why he was just blowing smoke..

    In 2012, Obama DOES have a record. And it's a horrible one that he can't run on..

    Again, I'm not saying Obama is not a politician. But it's the same situation ... and you're saying one makes you mad, one doesn't.

    As I explained.. One makes no bones or apologies about being a politician, even though he SHOULD (apologize, I mean)..

    The other tries to claim he is not a politician, but practically every action he has taken says he is..

    Obama is worse than a politician. For all intents and purposes, he is a dictator..

    On another note, just because it's kewl...

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/06/19/article-2161647-13B02240000005DC-949_634x431.jpg

    Other than being really awesome, it is indicative of the power of the Obama kool-aid. If something like these devices were being developed under a GOP President, the Left would go ballistic...

    Where's Code Pink?? Where's MoveOn??

    Oh yea.. That's right. They're in the bag for Obama...

    Michale.....

  17. [17] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The other tries to claim he is not a politician, but practically every action he has taken says he is.

    No. They both try to claim they're not politicians.

    Obama is worse than a politician. For all intents and purposes, he is a dictator.

    Ok ... now you're just back to ranting ... serenity now, my friend.

    -David

  18. [18] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And btw, even you admit they're both politicians.

    So if you're now saying that one has the record to prove he's not a politician then ...

    1. Not only are you drinking the Romn-Aid
    2. But you're also pouring it

    Doesn't that make you as bad as the people you rail against?

    -David

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ok ... now you're just back to ranting ... serenity now, my friend.

    Really??

    You are obviously not up on current events... Check the FTP Commentary

    So much for "transparency", eh???

    As I said, these actions of late are the actions of a dictator, not a President.

    So if you're now saying that one has the record to prove he's not a politician then ...

    No, one has the record to prove that he is the Politicians of Politicians, but the record also proves he doesn't know dick about leadership... Or competence for that matter...

    Michale....

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:
  21. [21] 
    akadjian wrote:

    No, one has the record to prove that he is the Politicians of Politicians, but the record also proves he doesn't know dick about leadership... Or competence for that matter.

    Rant rant rant rant rant ... rant rant rant rant rant ...

    http://www.bat-mania.co.uk/main/villains/images/penguin_01.jpg

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    I know... Like so many other people, you are getting tired of having to defend Obama..

    I understand.. It's OK...

    After 6 Nov, you won't have to worry about it any more...

    :D

    Michale......
    Michale.....

  23. [23] 
    akadjian wrote:
  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:


    http://www.toothpastefordinner.com/061910/the-crazy-neighbor.gif

    :)

    Now THAT was funny!! :D

    Rant rant rant rant rant ... rant rant rant rant rant ...

    http://www.bat-mania.co.uk/main/villains/images/penguin_01.jpg

    And so was that!! :D

    Michale.....

  25. [25] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Now THAT was funny!! :D

    Uhoh ... now I'm worried. Did the Supreme Court issue their verdict yet?

    I'm going to have to eat some crow on this one, aren't I? :)

    -David

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm going to have to eat some crow on this one, aren't I? :)

    "Most likely, sir. I'll bet it was something nice, though."
    -Ace, ACE VENTURA: Pet Detective

    :D

    Michale.....

  27. [27] 
    akadjian wrote:

    "Most likely, sir. I'll bet it was something nice, though."

    Hahahahah. Well played, sir ... well played

  28. [28] 
    akadjian wrote:
  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Btw, speaking of the Supremes, this is also pretty funny ...

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/06/guide-to-supreme-court-betting.html?mbid=gnep&google_editors_picks=true

    "Indeed."
    -T'ealc, STARGATE: SG1

    :D

    Michale.....

  30. [30] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [14] -

    You're putting words into Obama's mouth that he never spoke, I believe. At most, he may have said he would be "a different type" of politician, but that's it. Unless, of course, you can come up with a direct quote...

    Or else you can just stop claiming that Obama proclaimed himself "not to be a politican"... maybe it's the right-wing media that's blowing smoke up your ass, to put it another way...

    [19] -

    I've just finished reviewing the battle royale between Henry Clay and Andy Jackson over the Second Bank of the US veto. Calling the sitting president a "king" or "dictator" or "monarch" goes back to George Washington... nothin' new here, folks...

    -CW

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Michelle Bachman said, "I am not a politician"... Does that count?? :D

    hehehehehehehehe

    OK, I concede the point.. Obama didn't come right out and SAY it..

    But ALL of his actions, all of his claims as to what he WOULD do and WOULDN'T do indicated to me that he wasn't a politician..

    But, you are correct. He didn't explicitly say it with words.. But he DID say it with his claims and promises..

    Very hollow claims and very shallow promises, we have come to learn..

    Michale.....

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