A quick look and the Brownback vs. Romney saga

Eye on 08′ has a great breakdown on everything going on between Mitt Romney and Sam the Man as of late:

The Romney attack on Brownback

I have been stunned by the attack on Sam Brownback over the last week by Mitt Romney partisans on abortion. The substance of the allegations is that Brownback was not a solid pro-lifer in 1994 and may have been pro-choice.

The Romney people have latched on to this as a way to defend themselves from attacks that they are flip-flopping on abortion. They claim that if Sam Brownback is allowed his conversion, then so should Mitt Romney.

There are several problems with this:

First, there is the issue of recency. As a recent Weekly Standard article (apparently the article was passed around at NR’s conservative gathering in Washington this weekend. Is this going to become a theme of grassroots assaults on Romney’s record?) has demonstrated, Romney was actively pro-choice much more recently. Indeed, Romney was even trying to get the support of NARAL with lines like:

“You need someone like me in Washington.” Moreover, those present recall that Romney argued that his election would make him credible in the Republican party nationally and thus help “sensible” Republicans like him overshadow more conservative elements in the GOP.

Romney was not just a moderate Republican, he wanted to be a leader of the moderate Republicans against the conservatives. And the level of activism continued into his administration.

Second, there’s the issue of genuineness and expediency. A pro-Romney blogger on Evangelicals for Mitt recently attacked Brownback, but also walked into an anti-Romney self-trap. Nathan Burd said:

Contrast that with Senator Brownback’s odd explanation for his 1994 views on life. He was pro-life, but he didn’t want to say he was pro-life? Huh?

However, Mitt Romney has the same problem. As has been noted, Romney claimed to be pro-choice in 1994 and again in 2002. But it is not well understood that be backed off this position when he was flirting with running for Governor of Utah in 2001. In fact, he wrote in a letter to the Salt Lake Tribune (full letter at end of post):

I do not wish to be labeled pro choice. I have never felt comfortable with the labels associated with the abortion issue. Because the Olympics is not about politics, I plan to keep my views on political issues to myself.

So, again, the problem for Romney is not that he went from pro-choice or “indifferent” to pro-life, which is the substance of their attack against Brownback. He went from pro-choice to somewhere between pro-life or indifferent to vociferously pro-choice to pro-life.

Then, there’s the issue of believability. One pro-life activist characterized his trouble with Romney’s conversion like this:

What I don’t understand about Romney’s “conversion” is how he contributes it to when he was studying the embryonic stem-cell research issue. I don’t understand how a tiny human embryo was able to “convert” him, but a visibly developing child in the womb wasn’t able to. Just does not make much sense to me.

Finally, the conservative movement has to ask itself a question: what price is too high. As another activist says (emphasis in the original):

We cannot give Mitt Romney a pass on this solely because he’s running against John McCain. To do so would be being dishonest to ourselves, the conservative movement, and any notions that honesty and integrity matter in politics.

This blogger continues by questioning Mitt Romney’s integrity in general. If the flip-flopper moniker (which now seems well settled in the press) moves into a problem with Romney’s integrity, he is toast.

Published in: on January 30, 2007 at 2:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Brownback recieves strong support at prolife rally, Romney’s position attacked

Yesterday supports of Sam Brown back came out in droves to show their support at a “march against abortion” in Washington.  Below is a great article on the event.

Meanwhile there was also some literature being passed around by grassroots activists attacking Mitt Romney’s position on pro-life issues.  GOPProgesses, Liz Mair, was the first to pick up on the news which was in turn futher spread around at Red State.

The Romney camp was quick to offer their clarificationon the days events when word of the flyers reached their camp.

Brownback finds plenty of supporters at march against abortion

By Matt Stearns
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON – Thousands of people marched against abortion here Monday. More than a few of them also marched for Sam Brownback.

Brownback, the conservative Kansas Republican senator, announced his bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination Saturday in his home state. Monday’s march was his first major public appearance since.

He was feeling the love.

Dozens of blue “Brownback for President” posters dotted the National Mall, where marchers gathered before proceeding to the Supreme Court. Well-wishers approached to urge him on. A gaggle of photographers recorded virtually his entire participation. (He was one of the few politicians to march the entire way; most others gave speeches beforehand and then split on this toe-numbingly cold, damp day.)

“God bless you, Sam! You are the next president, in the name of Jesus!” shouted a voice near the onstage microphone after Brownback’s speech.

A surprising response for an underfunded politician mired at 1 or 2 percent in national polls? Not in this crowd. To many marchers, Brownback isn’t an asterisk, he’s a hero. And that’s what gives Brownback hope that his grassroots-oriented campaign could take the establishment by surprise.

Brownback so far is the only Republican presidential hopeful who appeals strongly to the party’s social conservative wing, and his candidacy is a test of how influential that wing of the party remains.

Speaking to reporters at a Capitol Hill reception his campaign hosted (it had to rent an overflow room to handle the crowd), Brownback unleashed a volley of facts and figures: In Iowa, 70 percent of Republican caucus-goers describe themselves as “pro-life,” and 40 percent of them wouldn’t support a candidate who wasn’t opposed to abortion, Brownback said.

“This is where the heart of my base, and where the heart of the base of the Republican Party, lies,” Brownback said. “When a proper voter contact is made, I think we’ll be in great shape in this campaign.”


Published in: on January 23, 2007 at 11:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Brownback Is IN!!!!

TOPEKA, Kan. – Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., began a long-shot bid for president on Saturday, hoping his reputation as a favorite son of the religious right can help him outdistance better known rivals.

 Read the rest of the article

Check out this blog for some more great thoughts on the matter.

Published in: on January 20, 2007 at 10:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Flat Tax is Back

Sen. Brownback Brings Back the Flat Tax

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A proposal to impose a flat tax is making a comeback, it’s part of Kansas Senator Sam Brownback’s campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

Pushed by conservatives in the 1990s, a flat tax calls for earned income to be taxed at the same rate instead of the current system of using different tax brackets for different incomes.

Brownback calls the current tax code “dreadful and incomprehensible.” Best known for his conservative stances on social issues, Brownback also touts himself as the Republican presidential prospect with the truest conservative ideals on fiscal issues as well.

Flat-tax fans say the system is a simple way to reward hard work, treat everybody equally and save the economy billions in tax-preparation costs.

Published in: on January 16, 2007 at 2:26 am  Comments (3)