Mitt Romney was barely a blip on the radar in the 2008 Republican primaries. In 2012, however, his GOP star is burning bright, in large part due to his wife's insistence that he run again. The problem with many voters is, on the eve of Election Day, they still don't have a clue about what the man believes in, other than tax breaks for the wealthy.
Romney Flip Flops
During this campaign season, Romney has swerved to the Right, to the Left, and to the Center in attempts to appeal to all voters. During the first debate, he was in attack mode, going after Obama relentlessly. In the third debate, however, he practically agreed with the president on every issue. He waffled so much that comedienne Wanda Sykes remarked that such political swerves would get the man "breathalyzed" if he were driving.
- In the 2007 primaries, he said, "I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I've been a hunter pretty much all my life." That same year, he told reporters, "Any description of my being a hunter is an overstatement of capability."
- In June, 2011, he acknowledged the fact that the world is getting warmer at a New Hampshire town hall meeting, and said, "I believe that humans contribute to that." He then called for reducing green house emissions. Just a few months later in Pennsylvania, though, he denied the existence of global warming, giving his listeners this little gem: "...we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us."
- In 2007, he applauded health care mandates, and held up Romneycare as a model for the nation. In 2011, he denied ever having supported a mandate for accessible health care.
- His most recent flip flop occurred after Superstorm Sandy. Whereas previously he denigrated the need for FEMA, last week, he praised the agency and said he'd make sure the agency is well-funded should he be elected.
- Other issues he's flipped on include abortion, taxes, his love (or lack thereof) of Ronald Reagan's trickle down policies, and even the issue of his dog's carrier (was it air tight or not?) as he rode atop the family car during a road trip. The man seems to lie with ease, gauging his audience and giving them what they want, not what he believes.
Other issues that draw questions about Mitt Romney's fitness for the presidency include his shady ethical practices. In October numerous questions surrounding his business practices, investments, and possible ethical violations became front page news, with many of these stories going viral.
Romney's arrogance has driven those who would have otherwise voted for him. In September, a teacher described meeting with him during a round table discussion. The talk soon turned to private schools and vouchers. The teacher said, "I have an answer for that," to which he replied, "I didn't ask you a question." He completely shut her down, a teacher responsible for teaching the future leaders of this nation.
Some of his questionable ethics include:
- He used the Mormon church as a tax shelter to avoid paying taxes. This particular story has infuriated a lot of voters. The practice of using tax shelters was abolished in 1997, but Romney was grandfathered in.
- He failed to report his profits on the Candidate Disclosure Form when he applied to run for President. The United Auto Workers filed a formal ethics complaint on Friday, November 2, against him for not disclosing the fact that he made more than $15 million on the auto bailout. The complaint, which was sent to the Office of Government Ethics, alleges that the GOP candidate didn't even attempt to meet the requirements of a blind trust.
- He is not a job creator. He is a wealth creator. In fact, Ronald Reagan's budget director called out Romney as not a businessman, but as a speculator who "sold, stripped, and flipped businesses." During his leadership at Bain, he oversaw the destruction of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
- As an investor in Bain, he will directly profit from Illinois car part manufacturer Sensata's move to China.
- He is accused of violating Massachussetts ethics law by not divesting himself of his investments in a company that was awarded government contracts.