Mitt Romney announced for president today. Listening on C-Span, he sounded to me just like any other politician, with applause lines to appeal to every faction in the Republican party. Here is the transcript.
Like Bill Clinton or George W. Bush on the campaign trail, Romney combines throw-away lines about how government is too big with appeals to fix health care, education, and many other things. "We" need to fix society. "Our" schools and "our" children need help. Paragraphs like this reveal a Bush-style policy mish-mash:
We strengthen the American people by giving them more freedom, by letting them keep more of what they earn, by making sure our schools are providing the skills our children will need for tomorrow, and by keeping America at the leading edge of innovation and technology.
Does Romney think that freedom is something that government gives us? Isn't Romney hinting that he wants the government to spend even more on schools and technology schemes, while also claiming that people ought to keep more of their earnings?
Romney also said, "We must transform our government - to become a government that is smaller and less bureaucratic, one with fewer regulations and more freedom for our people." But how does he square that with his legislation that greatly increased health care regulation in Massachusetts and took away freedom from state residents as a result of his health insurance mandate?
Similarly, Romney said: "For some, healthcare is inadequate. Family expenses and government taxes take a larger and larger bite. America cannot continue to lead the family of nations if we fail the families at home."
Taxes are too high, but isn't Romney hinting that he wants to spend even more on health care? Isn't he saying that the government is failing families by not helping them enough?
I'm not looking forward to another 21 months of this.