Wednesday, January 2, 2008



Your Mittiot has already spilled his guts on why I'm supporting Romney - 1. I like the guy, 2. I like his positions, and, 3. HE'S THE MOST QUALIFIED AND ELECTABLE. . . The National Review - following your Mittiot's lead, of course, - came to same conclusion. See Below:

COVER STORY: Romney for President. Our guiding principle has always been to select the most conservative viable candidate. In our judgment, that candidate is Mitt Romney. Unlike some other candidates in the race, Romney is a full-spectrum conservative: a supporter of free-market economics and limited government, moral causes such as the right to life and the preservation of marriage, and a foreign policy based on the national interest. By the Editors. . .

The Concorde Monitor, however, does not agree. In a REPUBLICAN primary race, I'll take the National Review over the Concorde Monitor any day. Let's not fool ourselves the Monitor is on a mission to get a democrat elected.

I have read that about 10-15% of the caucus goers are undecided (or holding their choice close to their chest), and I doubt anything your Mittiot pecks will have an impact upon that decision. So below, I offer the words from the Gov. himself, through the interview by Deacon Fournier of Catholic Online. (It shoud be noted: ONLY three candidates bothered to respond to Catholic Online's request - this fact absolutely perplexes your Mittiot).

As the important Iowa Caucus draws close, we are happy to present the responses sent to us from Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican candidate for President. Former Governor Romney was born on March 12, 1947 and has an extensive background in business and public service. He was the 70th Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Governor responded in writing to our questions. We present the questions and his answers below.

DEACON FOURNIER: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing America today?
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: The best ally peace has ever known is a strong America. The aim of our foreign and domestic policies must be to keep America strong, to remain the world’s economic and military leader. For our children to live safe and abundant lives, we must strengthen the family, the economy, and the military. First, we must strengthen the American family. I want our children to learn that before they have babies, they should get married because every child deserves a mother and a father. I want to protect marriage as the union of a man and a woman. I will work to improve our schools. I will help every American obtain health insurance, not through the government, but free-market insurance that is affordable and portable. Second, I will work to strengthen our economy to provide good jobs. I will keep taxes down by, in part, letting middle income families save tax free. We must finally end our dependence on foreign oil by investing in new energy sources and new levels of energy efficiency. We must open foreign markets to American goods. We must stop illegal immigration. Third, we must also strengthen our national security. I will add more troops to our military, with better equipment, armament and better care for our veterans. I will invest in intelligence capabilities, which is the most effective way to prevent terror in the homeland. And we must win the war in Iraq and Afghanistan to make sure that neither becomes a safe haven for Al Qaeda or other terror groups. Our country faces great challenges, but the people of this nation have such heart and passion, love of liberty, education, and willingness to risk all for their family, for their freedom, and for their future, that I am confident that our future will be even brighter than our past.
DEACON FOURNIER: What is your position on the dignity of every human life from conception to natural death and the fundamental right to life?
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: I am pro-life. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother. I wish the people of America agreed, and that the laws of our nation could reflect that view. But while the nation remains so divided over abortion, I believe that the states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.
DEACON FOURNIER: How have you lived that commitment personally, as well as in your years of public service as an elected official?
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: I wasn't always pro-life, but I follow a long line of converts on this issue – Ronald Reagan, Henry Hyde and George Herbert Walker Bush, to name a few. My experience has taught me that we need to create a culture of life that welcomes all children into this world and protects them under the law. I am encouraged that the Supreme Court upheld the Congressional ban on the practice of partial birth abortion. Further, every decision I made as governor in a very liberal state was on the side of favoring life.
DEACON FOURNIER: What have you done to build a new culture of life and defend the right to life against the encroachment of what the late Pope John Paul II rightly called a culture of death?
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: As Governor, I vetoed a bill that authorized embryonic cloning and embryo farming. I proposed a ban on these practices. I resisted efforts by the legislature to change the definition of human life from conception to implantation. I also vetoed an emergency contraception bill. During our administration, we implemented classroom teaching of abstinence education. Because of our obligation to respect the good of life and our obligation to hear the cry of the poor, what is your plan to help us as a Nation ensure the availability of health insurance coverage for all Americans, including the poor? I believe that we can put conservative principles to work to ensure that every American has access to quality, affordable health insurance. My plan to reform the American health care system brings down the cost of health care, helps the low-income uninsured, enhances the portability of private insurance, and slows the rate of inflation in health care spending. It accomplishes these goals by recognizing the importance of states in leading reform and the need for innovation in dealing with the parts of our system that are broken. I propose the following six steps to improve America's health care system:

1. Give states incentives to deregulate and reform their health insurance markets so market forces can work. Over-regulation is driving up the cost of insurance and limiting consumer choice, making it difficult for many Americans to afford coverage.

2. Redirect existing spending on "free care" to help the low-income uninsured purchase private insurance. Currently, taxpayers subsidize billions of dollars of "free care" for uninsured Americans who receive treatment when they need it. This money would be better spent helping the uninsured to acquire their own private insurance, expanding coverage without the need for new spending or taxes.

3. Improve Health Savings Accounts and make qualified medical expenses fully deductible. This change will help to bring down the cost of health care, end the discrimination against those who do not buy their health insurance through an employer, and curb the over-consumption of health care services.

4. Promote innovation in Medicaid by giving states a block grant of funding each year and allowing them to spend it as they choose. States have very little flexibility under current law to enact innovative changes to Medicaid that help more of their citizens while containing costs.

5. Implement medical liability reform, including caps on non-economic and punitive damage awards in malpractice cases. Our out-of-control medical liability system is forcing doctors to practice defensive medicine and driving up health care costs.

6. Bring market dynamics and modern technology to health care. Introducing the same free market principles present elsewhere in our economy will help to drive the same innovation, quality, and efficiency that we enjoy in our other products and services.

I believe that these steps, in concert with the meaningful state-level reforms that they enable, will increase the availability, affordability, and portability of private insurance, increase the quality of care, and slow the rate at which costs are growing.
DEACON FOURNIER: Many Catholics opposed the initial decision to enter Iraq, not believing it fit a "just war" analysis. However, most now agree that we have an obligation to do what is right for the struggling people of that Nation and to support our troops. What are your thoughts on the way forward in Iraq?
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: All Americans want U.S. troops to come home as soon as possible. But walking away now or dividing Iraq up into parts and later walking away would present grave risks to the United States and the world. Iran could seize the Shiite south, al Qaeda could dominate the Sunni west, and Kurdish nationalism could destabilize the border with Turkey. A regional conflict could ensue, perhaps even requiring the return of U.S. troops under far worse circumstances. The new strategy pursued by General David Petraeus is getting results and the stakes are too high and the potential fallout too great to deny our military leaders and troops on the ground the resources and the time they need.
DEACON FOURNIER: What would you do to protect and defend marriage and the family founded upon it as the first institution of society?
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: I support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Marriage is fundamentally an institution about the development and nurturing of children. Every child deserves a mom and a dad. We must recognize the traditional union of a man and a woman as the bedrock of the family in our society. If our courts are determined to undermine this principle, then we have no choice but to defend it through a constitutional amendment.
DEACON FOURNIER: How would you expand participation in the great promise, opportunity and bounty of America to those less fortunate?
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Fighting poverty starts with strengthening the American family. Unfortunately, too many kids grow up today in broken homes that are mired in poverty. Kids in single parent homes are four times more likely to live in poverty, and more likely to be poorer than their fathers. Strong families, by contrast, can teach our kids the values they need to succeed in America and lift themselves out of poverty. Second, we must improve our country's educational system. The achievement gap is the civil rights issue of our time, because kids are not getting the education they need to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. We can help to end the cycle of poverty by allowing parents to exercise choice in education so their kids don't have to be relegated to failing schools. Finally, we must strengthen and grow our economy to create the jobs and opportunities that will lift people out of poverty. Reasonable and sustainable entitlement spending that does not promote dependency is compassionate and just, but higher taxes and runaway spending slow the growth of our economy and leave everyone worse off in the long run. In my view, we must cut taxes and spending, eliminate excessive regulation, and promote policies that encourage innovation, entrepreneurship, and free trade. A strong economy with low unemployment, high wages, and expanding wealth is the only path to better opportunities for all Americans.
DEACON FOURNIER: Catholics believe that parents are the first teachers of their children and that they should be able to choose how to extend their own teaching office from among all of the available alternatives; public schools, charter schools, private and parochial schools and home schools. What is your position on parental choice in education?
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: I believe we need to let freedom ring in our educational system. That means giving all parents the opportunity to exercise a choice over where their child goes to school. When parents and kids are free to choose their school, everyone benefits. That’s because competition and choice in educational opportunities—whether it comes from private schools, charter schools, or home-schooling—makes traditional public schools better and improves the quality of education for all of America’s kids. I have a record of supporting school choice initiatives. As Governor of Massachusetts, I wanted school choice to be available to all parents, particularly those with children in low-performing districts. I also fought for charter schools and resisted attempts to derail their expansion. I believe that charter schools embrace innovative educational practices that encourage competition and hold teachers and administrators accountable for the academic achievement of their students. When I took office, I proposed an elimination of the statutory caps that the state had in place on the growth of charter schools. Furthermore, in 2004, I vetoed the Legislature’s moratorium on charter school expansion. Despite a Legislature that was largely hostile to charter schools and school choice, I led the fight to increase the number of charter schools and the number of students attending charter schools. In fiscal year 2003, there were 46 existing charter schools serving more than 15,000 students. When I left office, Massachusetts was on course to have 61 charter schools open in the fall of 2007, educating over 23,000 students. I am proud of the record I had as Governor on school choice. As President, I will fight for school choice and to ensure that existing provisions promoting choice in No Child Left Behind (NCLB) are properly enforced. I support, for example, the provision in NCLB that provides a public school choice option for parents of children in public schools that are designated as “In Need of Improvement.” There is no reason why our children should be forced to remain in failing schools. I believe that it is time for us to raise the bar in education. And I know that giving every parent and child in America the opportunity to choose the school that suits them best will move us toward this very important goal.
DEACON FOURNIER: What are your plans to improve the economy and expand participation in the market economy to more and more Americans?
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: All Americans enjoy a vastly improved standard of living thanks to the dynamic power of our economy. Most now have cell phones in their pockets and Internet-connected computers in their homes. Medical advances have provided drugs and procedures that save lives and allow for better treatment of chronic ailments. The American people do face challenges, but all benefit from an expanding economy. The best way to help the country is to implement pro-growth policies that will help the economy to grow faster. First, I will cut taxes. Keeping taxes low is crucial to the health of our economy, which is why I have pledged not to raise taxes. I will make the Bush tax cuts permanent, abolish the Death Tax, and bring down marginal tax rates. I will implement a middle class savings plan, which eliminates all taxes on interest, dividends, and capital gains for middle class Americans. People should be able to save their money tax-free. I also believe that we need to lower our corporate tax rate if American companies are to remain competitive in the global economy. Second, I will promote free trade. Protectionism might feel good for a few years, but it would virtually guarantee a decline to a second-tier economy in the near future, with a second-class standard of living. I will keep trade barriers low and insist that Congress give me the "Trade Promotion Authority" they are currently denying President Bush, so that I can work to establish new free trade agreements with our partners. I will also make sure that free trade is a two-way street, so that foreign markets remain open to our goods and services and respect the intellectual property rights of our companies. Third, I will make it easier for American companies to compete in the global economy. Above, I mentioned the need to bring corporate taxes in line with the rest of the world. We must reform the excessive regulatory burden on our companies – things like the Sarbanes-Oxley internal control requirements, which impose millions of dollars of costs on any company that wants to be publicly traded. I will reinstitute a regulatory relief board to cut back on the regulations that choke off growth. We need comprehensive federal tort reform to prevent frivolous and excessive tort claims which hurt our economy and drive up prices. And we must strengthen our own work force by giving our children a better education, especially in math and science, and by attracting the best and the brightest from around the world through legal immigration.
DEACON FOURNIER: What is your position on illegal immigration and legal immigration? How do you propose the United States move forward on this issue in a manner which protects its borders while respecting the fundamental human rights of all persons? Are you in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants?
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Legal immigration is a great source of strength for America; illegal immigration is not. Legal immigration has brought vitality, energy, and family values to communities throughout the country. Illegal immigration, on the other hand, presents numerous challenges for our communities. I support reforming our immigration system and enforcing current immigration laws. I will secure the border, implement a mandatory and enforceable employment verification system and turn off the magnets that encourage illegal immigration. I oppose giving amnesty or any special pathway to permanent residency or citizenship to those who are here illegally. Instead, I believe we should enforce and respect the rule of law. America will always welcome legal immigration, but as a nation we must reform our immigration laws and end illegal immigration.
DEACON FOURNIER: What will be your position with regard to the growing threat of extremist acts of terrorism at home and abroad?
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Less than six years after 9/11, Washington is as divided and conflicted over foreign policy as it has been at any point in the last 50 years. We face a new generation of challenges, led by the rise of radical Islam seen in current conflict in Iraq, the resurgent Taliban, Iran's destabilizing actions including threats to wipe Israel off the map, and terrorist networks made even more menacing by the threat of nuclear proliferation. This is the defining challenge of our generation, yet it is one of a range of challenges that include the rise of China, genocide in Darfur, AIDS across Africa, and authoritarian regimes such as Cuba's Castro and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez seeking to reverse the spread of freedom. To achieve national security in the face of these challenges, we must unite America and our allies around a shared vision to build a stronger America and a safer world. Second, we must strengthen America. We must reverse the Clinton Administration's cuts to our military by providing at least 100,000 more troops and devoting at least 4% of GDP to make long overdue investments to ensure they have the equipment, armament, weapon systems, and health care they need. We need to dramatically and fundamentally transform our civilian capabilities—in areas like intelligence, diplomacy and homeland security-- to promote peace, security, and freedom. For example, we need to build joint capabilities by unifying our regional civilian capabilities under single regional leaders equivalent to military commanders such as the CENTCOM commander who oversees the Middle East. To address America's vulnerability to foreign oil, energy independence efforts must move beyond rhetoric to become our generation's equivalent of the Manhattan Project or the mission to the moon. Finally, America should not go it alone. Our strength is amplified when it's combined with that of others. We must reinvigorate old partnerships and alliances, and inaugurate new ones to meet today's challenges. We should combine forces to defeat shared threats such as radical jihad and look to expand cooperation in NATO and elsewhere on issues such as counter-terrorism, nonproliferation and homeland security. As described above, we should unite the leading developed nations and our friends and allies in the Muslim world in a Partnership for Prosperity and Progress to mobilize resources like education, health, banking, and development to win the struggle against radical Islam.
Very specific answers from the best qualified candidate. . . and one wonders why I call myself "Thee Mittiot. . ."
~ so sayeth the Mittiot

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