Mitt Romney And Liberty: Friends Or Foes ?by Doug Mataconis
I’ve been fairly critical in many posts here at The Liberty Papers of both Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. But what of Mitt Romney, the other declared candidate considered to be among the top contenders for the Republican nomination ?
Unfortunately, he’s not much better than Rudy or John:
“Mitt Romney’s ignorance of the Constitution’s checks and balances and protections against government abuses would have alarmed the Founding Fathers and their conservative philosophy,” said Bruce Fein, one of the group’s co founders and a Reagan administration attorney, in a press release last month attacking Romney for not signing the pledge.
The American Freedom Agenda, which intends to put all candidates in both parties to the same test, is aiming to revive a strand of conservatism that they say has been drowned out since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The conservative principle of limited government, they say, means not just cutting the budget, but imposing checks and balances on those who wield power.
“Conservatives have to go back to the basics,” said co founder Richard Viguerie , a veteran direct-mail strategist and author of “Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause.” “We have to go back and re launch the conservative movement. And for traditional conservatives, it’s part of our nature to believe in the separation of powers.”
The other two co founders are Bob Barr, a former Republican congressman from Georgia, and David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union .
I’ve written before, favorably, about theÂ American Freedom Agenda, and that was way back in April when the only Presidential candidate who had signed on to their recommendations was Ron Paul. Two months later, it’s not much different:
One presidential candidate — Representative Ron Paul of Texas, the libertarian-minded Republican who trails far behind GOP front – runners Rudy Giuliani , John McCain , and Romney — has signed the pledge. Paul called up the American Freedom Agenda and signed its pledge after it announced its existence in March, Fein said.
The silence from the rest of the Republican field has been deafening.
But the focus here is Mitt Romney and whether anyone who believes in individual liberty should support him in his run for President.
So far, given his public record and his record as Governor of Massachusetts. the answer can only be no.