I cannot defend industrial policy or Mitt Romney

On January 16, 2008, in General, by Neil Stevens

In the Michigan primary runup, Mitt Romney made a pledge to Michigan voters: He would immediately bring the power of the Presidency to bear on manufacturers, working to revive the industry in that state. He also repeatedly said things that sounded a lot like code for state planned industrial policy. Here’s an example:

If I’m president of this country, I will roll up my sleeves in the first 100 days I’m in office, and I will personally bring together industry, labor, Congressional and state leaders and together we will develop a plan to rebuild America’s automotive leadership.

Message: All you Americans who work for Toyota, back of the line, maggots. Only UAW jobs count, no matter how much of your money we have to pour into it.

The result was that he got more votes in Michigan than any other Republican, which was his goal. But I’m sad to say he just lost me. I’ve now re-ordered my preferences for the Republican nomination, and Mitt Romney has now dropped a slot.

The new list:

  1. Fred Thompson
  2. John McCain
  3. Mitt Romney
  4. Rudy Giuliani
  5. Mike Huckabee

(List not to scale. Some gaps larger than others)

Sorry, Mitt. I backed you and defended you when you were saying the right things, regardless of your record. But you’ve now shifted your tune as soon as your Iowa/New Hampshire strategy failed. You’ve left conservatism behind, so now it’s time for me to leave you behind. I will no longer be defending you.


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