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Romney's words, actions make him unfit

Oct. 30, 2012 @ 12:29 AM

Begging to differ with the editorial assessment of this newspaper, I submit that former Massachusetts governor and former Bain Capital CEO Mitt Romney, based on his own words and actions, is unfit to be president of the United States

Whereas we may quarrel with this or that policy decision of President Barack Obama and his administration, the facts remain that:

On many large issues he has kept his promises: to pass comprehensive health care reform, kill or capture Osama bin Ladin, end the Iraq War, rescue the Big Three automakers and get unemployment below 8 percent (it is now 7.8).

Obama's record on jobs and immigration reform would have undeniably been far stronger had it not been for the full-bore resistance and obstruction of congressional Republicans to virtually everything his administration proposed. Ditto his effort to "work across party lines" and "bring the country together."

Turning to the challenger I must note the following:

His very first campaign ad was based on a bald-faced lie -- a lie he has not only not apologized for but has in fact even defended. The ad quotes Obama as saying "If we talk about the economy, we'll lose." In reality, on the stump, Obama was simply quoting a line spoken by Sen. John McCain about the Republican campaign.

Romney is a serial flip-flopper who literally has been all over the map on positions from taxes to job creation to abortion to whether and how to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The governor has refused to submit to the voters more than two tax returns (only the last two years). This stands in stark contrast to not only Obama's full disclosure but also the full disclosure of almost every other presidential contender, Democrat or Republican, since Romney's own father, George. The father, former Michigan governor, actually started the tradition of full disclosure in 1968.

Mitt Romney's record as CEO at Bain Capital and as Massachusetts governor have apparently been judged by his own campaign as not sufficiently positive to trumpet, as in recent months Romney has scarcely mentioned either role in his stump speeches and in debates.

When Romney ended his term as governor, Massachusetts ranked 47th in the nation in job creation. His end-term favorability rating had plummeted to 34 per cent, too low to try for a second term.

Romney's signal accomplishment, comprehensive health care reform for Massachusetts, became the model for the Obama Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

And Romney has vowed to overturn Obamacare from Day One of his term, if he is elected president. Nonpartisan economists agree that such an action would add quite substantially to the federal deficit, as Obamacare, long term, promises significant savings on the nation's health care bill.

Around the world's capitals, with very few exceptions, Obama has garnered esteem from leaders and applause from the crowds. Romney, on his single foray into the U.K. and Europe during his current campaign to win the White House, made so many gaffes that the British press dubbed him "Mitt the Twit" And there were no crowds to speak of anywhere except Poland.

A $7 trillion hike in our deficit would, it's been estimated, result from Romney's proposed 20 per cent across-the-board income tax cut, including for the upper 2 per cent -- and his proposed two trillion dollars in additional military spending beyond what the Pentagon has requested.

To pay for all that Romney talks about "closing loopholes" and deductions. Economists say if he shut down everything from home mortgage deductions to charitable deductions to subsidies to farmers and oil companies, he'd cover only one-seventh of the sum he would add to our $16 trillion deficit. Not a reassuring picture.

John Patrick Grace has been a Rome-based foreign correspondent for The Associated Press and health care and religion editor for The Greensboro (N.C.) News and Record. He currently is a book editor and publisher based in Huntington.

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