Thursday, January 17, 2008

Las Vegas Review Journal - Endorses Mitt!

EDITORIAL: Romney best pick for state Republicans

GOP also caucusing on Saturday

You might not know it, but there's also a Republican caucus in Nevada on Saturday.

While the Democratic candidates have been showering attention on the Silver State in order to sway voters in preparation for their Saturday event, Republican hopefuls have been largely absent, preferring to campaign in Michigan and South Carolina.

Thus the GOP caucus here hasn't garnered nearly the attention of the Democratic one.

As it stands now, there is no clear Republican front-runner nationally. Mike Huckabee won Iowa, John McCain took New Hampshire and Mitt Romney picked up Michigan. The race in South Carolina looks to be close. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani is banking that he'll grab a big win in Florida and gain momentum for Super Tuesday, when 22 states will hold primaries.

The fight for the nomination "is going to be like the Bataan Death March," said Ron Kaufman, a top adviser to Mr. Romney.

Well then, perhaps even little old Nevada could provide a slight boost for the winning GOP candidate.

Republicans haven't had much national electoral success of late, and for that they have only themselves to blame. In the 14 years since the Gingrich revolution, too many Republicans have embraced the beltway culture and abandoned the very principles upon which their success with voters depended -- smaller government, low taxes, free markets and personal liberty.

Nevada Republicans on Saturday should examine their choices through precisely such a filter. Each GOP candidate can make -- and has made -- a reasonable case that he's best suited to ensure the party again embraces the ideas and concepts that made this nation a beacon of freedom and economic opportunity. But in our opinion, the viable candidate most likely to lead Republicans in such a direction is Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

Mr. Romney's economic agenda includes several pro-growth policies, including a plan to eliminate taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends for any household earning less than $200,000 a year. He backs a line-item veto, favors making the Bush tax cuts permanent and understands that imposing higher taxes as a means of fixing Social Security will only make the problem worse.

He's supportive of free trade, rejects protectionism, backs tort reform, supports school choice and accountability, and while governor was even able to successfully push a handful of spending reforms through Massachusetts' overwhelmingly Democratic legislature. Mr. Romney vows to exercise his veto power if Congress doesn't embrace spending restraint and understands the drag that excessive federal regulation imposes on the innovation and the economy.

Mr. Romney did push a measure to ensure universal health insurance in Massachusetts, but says as president he'd offer incentives for states to experiment with their own solutions, rather than embrace a top-down, national single-payer system. He also understands that a sensible energy policy will require developing more of America's domestic resources.

Mr. Romney has extensive experience in the private sector, which is unusual for far too many politicians. Before becoming governor of Massachusetts, he was the president and CEO of the Salt Lake City Olympic Organizing Committee. He is a former vice president and CEO of Bain & Company Inc., a Boston management consulting firm, and also a founder of Bain Capital, a private equity firm.

In a speech earlier this month to the Economic Club of Detroit, Mr. Romney articulated a concise understanding of what made this country great.

"The 20th century saw two economic systems pitted against each other," he said. "Ours, built on free enterprise and the primacy of the consumer. The Soviets', built on government command and control, and the primacy of the state.

"Ours produced the most powerful economy in the world that has given its citizens a standard of living our grandparents never dreamed possible; theirs produced a downward spiraling standard of living and eventual collapse.

"The 20th century history lesson is that America's economy is strong because we put our trust in the American people, and in the free enterprises they create."

We urge Nevada Republicans on Saturday to support Mitt Romney.

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