If I told you there was a presidential candidate who promised to essentially maintain Obamacare, never cut taxes on the wealthy, and not balance the budget until the economy recovered - you'd assume I was talking about President Obama, right? You'd be wrong.
There are basically four major substantive issues in this election: jobs/economy, taxes, the budget, and health care reform. You could add other issues (immigration, women's rights, or voting rights, for example) but these are the four issues most discussed by the media and the campaigns themselves. This morning, Mitt Romney spoke to "Meet the Press" - let's see where he stands on each issue:
TAXES: Mitt promised that the rich will not see a tax cut and the middle class will not see a tax hike. In fact, he said "I’m not going to increase the tax burden on middle-income families. It would absolutely be wrong to do that." Wow, not only is he willing to buck Grover Norquist and every anti-tax/small government group in the Republican coalition, he's nearly endorsed the Democrat view.
I should note, that Mitt claims he will somehow avoid raising taxes on the wealthy despite cutting tax rates. How could he do that, you ask? Oh, simple. He'll cut some loopholes and deductions, don't worry, it'll all add up. And don't listen to George Will, when asked what specific loopholes he'd cut, Mitt produced this gem:
"Well, the specifics are these which is those principles I described are the heart of my policy.”
George W would be proud.
BUDGET: Mitt would balance the budget, but only by the end of his second term as president. Doing so in the first term, would cause a “dramatic impact on the economy. Too dramatic.” Again, wow. We all know that the conservative Republican House made balancing the budget their top priority (after repeals of Obamacare and criminalizing abortion). It seems that Mitt has learned the lessons from their failure, and has come around to the Liberal perspective that balancing the budget before the economy recovers is a bad idea.
HEALTH CARE REFORM: Now, Romney's position was (before he was for universal coverage) was full repeal Obamacare. In fact, it was it would be the first item on his agenda. He has now re-reversed himself. Now he supports nearly all of it - it seems that he will repeal Obamacare, and then pass the exact same bill minus the individual mandate.
ECONOMY/JOBS: Here is the one area where Romney refuses to come to the liberal position. Only his real world business experience of bankrupting companies and firing their employees can grow the economy and create jobs.
Got that? On three of the four central issues for this campaign, Mitt has nearly endorsed the Obama positions. It must suck to be a Republican right now.