The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Romney May Not Have the Nomination As Wrapped Up As Some Think

Here’s the Nonsense: Mitt Romney has the nomination in the bag.  The other candidates should pack up and go home.
Here’s the Horse Sense: This is politics and anything can happen. At this moment Romney has the best chance at the nomination because the establishment Republican Party want him to be the nominee.  But Rasmussen has just released a new South Carolina poll showing Gingrich at 33% and Romney at 31% and they also have a new national poll showing Romney at 30% and Gingrich at 27% which means Romney’s essentially in a dead heat to win.  In addition, voters are waking up to his inconsistent answers and those won’t sit well with many undecided and even some “already decideds” that are currently supporting him.
Voters who are paying attention should be starting to see the inconsistencies of Mitt Romney.  His flip-flopping history is beginning to show up with flip-flops in debates and on the campaign trail.  Those won’t settle well with people concerned about consistency and integrity from their candidates unless they can get some good answers.  After all, politicians have become known for constant lies and conservative voters are tired of it and want leaders with character, not ones who tickle their ears telling them what they think they want to hear.
A perfect example occurred in Monday night’s debate in South Carolina.  While making his claim to job creation, Mitt Romney changed the story he’s been telling about his time at Bain Capital.  In past debates he’s claimed responsibility for leading Bain to create 100,000 jobs and as recently as January 3rd on Fox and Friends he said, “We helped create over 100,000 new jobs.”  But in the South Carolina debate he talked about the fact that he didn’t create the jobs, he just was head of Bain and Bain invested in companies that created the jobs.  There’s a nuance of difference in the answer, but it’s a very significant difference.

Back in 1994 when Romney was running for Senate against Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts he ran ads that claimed that while at Bain he’d helped build more than 20 businesses and create more than 10,000 jobs.  The Boston newspapers confirmed his claim while Romney’s actual role in the job creation did raise some questions.  But since Bain is a privately held company information about them is private and limited compared to a publicly held company. 

Romney now says that Bain had invested in about 100 companies and the companies they invested in have created 100,000 jobs.  Granted he does claim he was at Bain an additional 5 years after his 1994 Senate run, but once again, there is no knowledge of what his role was in that job creation activity.  It also appears that the jobs he is counting today include those created in the decade after he left Bain.   

This isn’t to say that he is not a very successful businessman.  Bain thrived under his leadership and has an excellent reputation in their industry.  But that doesn’t mean he’s the job creation expert that people are claiming.  Those questions make one wonder what he really did do to create jobs. 

And there is another inconsistency when it comes to Bain.  A Super PAC that supports Newt Gingrich has run some tough ads against Romney.  Romney claims they are not accurate and some who have looked into it agree that there are problems with the claims they make.  Even Newt Gingrich has said he’d like the Super PAC to correct the ads.  However, the Super PAC has said they will not change anything until Romney answers some questions about his inconsistent message.  One of those questions is about when he actually did leave Bain.  They say that Romney has claimed he left in 1999, but SEC filings show he was in charge there into 2001.  They want to know why there’s a discrepancy.

If that’s not enough, there are other inconsistencies, too.  At a prior debate in New Hampshire the weekend of January 7-8, he and Newt Gingrich were going at it about the ads his Super PAC had run attacking Gingrich.  When confronted Romney immediately said he’d never seen the ads.  But just a few sentences later he mentioned having seen some of them.  Another inconsistency.
Where’s the truth?  He either created jobs or he didn’t.   During what time period did those companies that Bain held ownership in actually create the jobs?  What are the numbers of jobs created and lost?  When did he leave Bain?  Did he see the attack ads against Gingrich or didn’t he?  Why does the story change every time we turn around? 
Romney might end up being the nominee.  But if he is, he will definitely face these questions from the Obama campaign.  And if voters on the right want a man of character does it show integrity to change your story over and over again? 
People have said Romney is the best choice and rejected other candidates.  But we should think carefully about our choice.  Romney has shown himself to be moderate at best.  Do we want a person who can’t be consistent in their answers and won’t even admit failure with decisions like Romneycare?  
Voters need to realize that the GOP nominee will face the most vicious campaign in history.  A billion dollar campaign will be waged on behalf of Obama with the media pouring in everything they have to support him.  Voters on the right better be sure they have the best candidate because they only have one chance to win the general election.  This is bigger than David versus Goliath.  This is more like a gnat versus King Kong.