Club For Growth White Papers: Rudy vs. Mitt

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Y’all may remember a while back when the Club for Growth issued its white paper on Hizzoner.  It was not an unmitigated rave, but they were impressed not only with his pro-growth bona fides, but also his tenacity in getting them successfully enacted in a political environment inimical to any policy to the right of Che Guevara.

Well, they issued a Romney white paper recently, and it is a similar situation.  What they don’t like about Rudy pretty well matches up with what they don’t like about Romney.  Thing is, the overall tone of Romney’s review is much less laudatory, containing missives like “His landmark steps in the health care arena also exhibit a mixture of desirable pro-free market efforts combined with a regrettable willingness to accept, if not embrace, a massive new regulatory regime.”

It concludes with “…[W]e are reasonably optimistic that, as President, Mitt Romney would generally advocate a pro-growth agenda.”  Does that seem pretty tepid to everyone else?  “reasonably optimistic” and “generally advocate” sure seem like damning with faint praise.

Why the different tone, when the records are somewhat similar?  I mean, Rudy’s record is better.  Clearly.  But some could plausibly argue that’s a product of the fact that Hizzoner simply governed longer.

I think it comes down to believability.  On all the issues Giuliani strikes people, at worst, as merely attempting to massage potentially problematical policy positions so they are less heretical to GOP purists.  But he doesn’t try to sell a full-on conversion.  On abortion, for example, he’s not trying to emulate Ralph Reid.  On guns, he emphasizes Federalism rather than trying to channel the late Charleton Heston.

Romney, on the other hand, has never had a change of heart damaging to his ambition.  I guess God has blessed him with a politically timely conscience.  So in this particular case, for example, the Club for Growth knows Giuliani has a great pro-growth record, and will move forward with that, even if occasionally his administration differs on the details the the Club’s platform.

With Romney, though, who knows?  I guess it comes down to the flip-flop thing, but it’s more nuanced than that.  It’s just that Romney’s flips are so magnificently convenient, and have the stink of manipulative transparency about them.

Rudy will sometimes say “If you can’t handle my position on this issue, then you’re going to have to vote for someone else.”  Mitt seems like he would rather dance with a hungry crocodile than say something like that.

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