Ann McFeatters - Why Mitt Romney shouldn't be president

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What a dreary, dispiriting election conversation this has been.

I hoped for serious discussions of how to pay for Social Security and Medicare. I wanted real talk about rebuilding America's infrastructure and improving public education. I wanted ideas for restoring the middle class and motivating young people to realize their stake in the country's future.

Mitt Romney has been a disappointing candidate. He brought a brilliant resume to the race -- governor of Massachusetts, successful businessman, savior of the Salt Lake City Olympic Games. But he campaigned as someone completely different.

Desperate for the Republican nomination, he made ridiculous statements during the primaries (such as vowing to dismantle the Federal Emergency Management Agency).

Romney's campaign put out outright lies, such as repeatedly insisting Jeep plans to take Toledo, Ohio, jobs to China, forcing car-company executives to denounce Romney's ads as untrue.

Romney said nothing as GOP operatives tried to disenfranchise minority voters, raising the specter of nonexistent widespread voter fraud while ramming through state laws aimed at making voting more difficult.

Romney allied himself with buffoons such as Donald Trump, who repeatedly, without any merit, accused President Barack Obama of not having a legitimate birth certificate and of being named editor of the Harvard Law Review without credentials.

Romney never admonished people in his audiences who said vile things about Obama, unlike John McCain, who in 2008 firmly told a woman that Obama was no evil traitor but a fine man with whom he disagreed politically.

Romney failed to give us one new idea on creating jobs. He would hark back to a long-gone era by cutting taxes on the rich (who already pay record low rates), eliminating regulations that make business practices fairer, and cutting government safety nets for the poor. As for students struggling to pay soaring college tuition? Let them borrow from their parents.

Romney promised to reduce the deficit but refused to say how, except that he'd get rid of Big Bird.

Romney dismissed as irrelevant 47 percent of Americans who don't make enough to pay federal income taxes, are exempted while in combat or are elderly. Yet he said it's fair that, despite his vast wealth, he pays a far lower rate -- effectively, 14.1 percent in 2011 -- than most middle-income Americans.

He let the conversation focus on such absurd distractions as contraception, not bothering to contradict Rush Limbaugh, who trashed a young female law student for speaking out about medical uses for birth control pills.

He vowed to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalizes abortion, meaning he would nominate Supreme Court justices who would vote to abolish it. But he would not increase spending to care for a million more babies each year

Romney ridiculed President Obama to his face for worrying about climate change, which this year alone worsened both a terrible drought and a killer hurricane.

He promised Congress would repeal Obama's overhaul of health insurance, which was based on the plan Romney pushed through the Massachusetts legislature. But he never said how he'd insure 50 million Americans.

He vowed 12 million new jobs in the next four years. But economists say that will happen automatically if current policies are left in place.

Romney said he'd make China play fair on trade without saying how. He raised the idea of war with Iran, although military leaders say we are too extended. (Romney is the commander-in-chief wannabe who failed to mention service members as he accepted the GOP nomination.)

Romney has shown no respect for the current president. Romney's campaign has been neither dignified nor uplifting.

It was up to Romney, the challenger, to give us reasonable, workable alternatives to Obama's policies and philosophy of government. But Romney could not do that because he forfeited his backbone to win the nomination.

As a result, we have no idea what Romney really believes or what he would do as president or even why he wants to be president except that it is next on his to-do list.

(Scripps Howard columnist Ann McFeatters has covered the White House and national politics since 1986.)

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  • So many of your statements are false or half truths, taken out of context. So critical of Mr. Romney. Obama has proven his unfitness for the presidency. How about a list of 2008 promises that were not kept. My grandchildren will be paying for years because of Obama's promises of change. Mr.Romney deserves the same chance.

  • 8 years of mismanagement of the US economy requires 8 years of fixing. The people criticizing Obama for not fixing the economy in 4 years need to stop drinking the Kool-aid and use their common sense. When Obama took office, we were losing 600,000 jobs a MONTH! When Obama took office, banks were going BANKRUPT. When Obama took office, we were spending BILLIONS on a war in IRAQ. When Obama took office, Wall Street was losing BILLIONS of dollars. When Obama took office, the value of our houses were under the prices we BOUGHT them. When Obama took office, BIN LADEN was still threatening the US with MORE terrorism. And when OBAMA took office, the American CAR industry was going BANKRUPT. What did Obama achieve in 4 years? We are NO LONGER LOSING 600,000 jobs, but NOW we have growth in JOB CREATION bringing the UNEMPLOYMENT f rom 10 percent to 8 percent. He added FOUR MILLION JOBS during the 4 years which is a HUGE CHANGE from the 600,000 jobs we were LOSING in 2008. The Banks are PROFITABLE under his presidency. The AMERICAN CAR industry was SAVED by OBAMA , although ROMNEY said LET THE AMERICAN CAR INDUSTRY GO BANKRUPT. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html?_r=0 Obama ended the WAR IN IRAQ, AND KILLED OSAMA BIN LADEN. The Housing Market is going back to the way it was because of the OBAMA's presidency. And finally, the HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES CAN NO LONGER REFUSE YOU INSURANCE FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITION. And this is only in 4 YEARS. AS I SAID, 8 YEARS OF DAMAGE REQUIRES 8 YEARS OF FIXING.

  • ROMNEY THE JOB "CREATOR" WHO SAYS: Let Detroit Go Bankrupt By MITT ROMNEY http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html?_r=1&

  • ROMNEY THE JOB "CREATOR" WHO SAYS: Let Detroit Go Bankrupt By MITT ROMNEY http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html?_r=1&

  • Paul Ryan says RAPE IS ANOTHER FORM OF CONCEPTION!!! www.youtube.com/watch?v=cat5SyMBSpk

  • Romney on “Women's Rights And Choices Based On Religious Conscience” http://womeninbusiness.about.com/od/womenspolitics/a/Where-Does-Mitt-Romney-Stand-On-Womens-Issues_2.htm In the thick of the race to seek the Republican presidential race nomination, the GOP stands accused of engaging in a "war on women," something the GOP loudly protests at every turn. But as Shaw Kenawe points out, the GOP's "determination to make a legal medical procedure more and more difficult for women, and for the presumptive nominee, Willard [Mitt] Romney, to say that one of the first things he would do as president is withdraw all government funding from Planned Parenthood, an organization that serves the health needs of poor women who are under insured or who have no insurance at all." Jennifer Epstein (Politico.com) reminds us of Romney's public position on women's rights. " Romney's statement that he would 'get rid' of Planned Parenthood and his support for a congressional measure to give any employer the chance to opt out of covering any health expense for "moral reasons." Marie Diamond also shared insights about Romney's ambiguity on choice issues, "Although he claimed, 'I would like to see the Supreme Court return this right to the states,' he has recently pledged to push for federal abortion restrictions … Romney said he would expand a Bush-era rule that allows doctors to deny women access to contraceptives." Igor Volsky wrote an article (2011) about Romney's intentions if he became president. "In the final days of the Bush administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adopted a "conscience rule" permitting federally funded health care providers to opt out of health care services they found objectionable." President Obama reversed the rule that, "could allow practitioners to deny women access to commonly used methods of birth control like 'oral contraceptives, emergency contraception, and the IUD.'" Mitt Romney has pledged to restore and strengthen the conscience protection. "We have to allow people to practice their faith and when they have a matter of conscience that they can't participate in some form of activity which violates their faith, then they should be able to abide by their faith, particularly when there are plenty of opportunities for people to have a service provided."

  • Ms. McFeatters, why not look at the Southern border and the mess they have there. While you are at it, why are people in Canada, Mexico, and Italy drawing Social Security?

  • Apparently the floundering economy, numerous cover-ups and blatant lies to the ever loving main stream media. You have Fast & Furious, Gun Runner, the Libya debacle, multiple "green" companies going bankrupt and Obama remains the savior. My opinion is this writer needs a new career, maybe writing fairy tales that she still dreams about.

  • Wow, another cluesless lib spew the democrap mantra. obama is one and done , and there is nothing you can do about it. Why not go to benghazi