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The Case Against Mitt Romney

On Wednesday, The Fix made the case that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is an ideal vice presidential pick for John McCain.

VP Watch

Today, the opposite case.

Can't We All Just Get Along?

For all of the talk that Romney and McCain have buried their differences after the intense primary fight, sources in both camps insist that the relationship is far less warm that it is generally portrayed. There's absolutely no question that during the primary, McCain had a visceral dislike for Romney -- often using debates to take cheap shots at Romney, certain that none of the other candidates would jump to Romney's defense because they felt the same.

Even when Romney dropped out of the race in February, the chill between the two men was apparent:

Why did Romney rankle McCain so much? Those who know both men suggest that McCain sees himself as a principled politician, willing to take the lumps that sticking to his guns are sure to deliver. He viewed Romney (and the former governor's position changes on a number of issues) as a political panderer of the first sort; it galled McCain even more that Romney succeeded -- for a time -- despite his repeated flip flops.

Picking a friend as vice president isn't always the best move. But for a politician like McCain who wears his emotions on his sleeve and has trouble "faking" it even when he knows he should, it's hard to see how he would bring Romney into the fold. Even if McCain did bite the bullet, it's hard to know whether he would be able to convincingly show voters (and members of the media) that the duo's past squabbles are water under the bridge.

Mitt Romney
For McCain, picking Romney as his running-mate might be too risky. (AP file photo).

"The Mormon Thing"

One former Romney strategist, asked why the former governor would not be the best pick for McCain's running-mate, said simply: "The Mormon Thing."

Ask any Romney adviser what the biggest problem for the former governor in the Iowa caucuses -- a state where the GOP is dominated by social conservatives -- and, to a person, they cite the candidate's religion.

Polling bears this out. While more than nine-in-ten voters regularly say that a candidate's race or sex has no impact on whether or not they would vote for him (or her), people are far more willing to admit their hesitation about supporting a Mormon candidate. (Take a look at thisUSA Today/Gallup poll for evidence.)

Evangelical voters, who comprise a substantial portion of the Republican base, are the most dismissive about Mormonism -- often regarding it as a cult. Putting Romney on the ticket could well antagonize this crucial voting bloc, which is already not entirely enthusiastic about McCain's candidacy.

Aside from evangelicals, Romney's Mormonism could have a negative effect on the GOP ticket's appeal to secular swing voters as well, according to one senior party strategist. "The real problem with Mormonism may actually not be evangelicals but secular swing voters who are fine with Protestants and Catholics...but will simply find Mormonism to be really weird," said the source.

No matter how it's sliced, Romney's Mormonism represents a risk for McCain -- a risk he is in no position to take.

Too Much and Too Little

On the one hand, Romney as vice president has the potential to overshadow McCain on the ticket.

"Matinee Mitt" is straight out of central casting -- good looking, charismatic, successful ... and with a wife (and five sons) to round out the picture. He made millions in business, turned around the Salt Lake City Olympics and was elected governor of a state where Democrats dominate.

To put anyone with that profile on the ticket is a hard pill to swallow for a presidential candidate. Factor in the widely held view that McCain has no real love for Romney and it's hard to imagine him making such a pick.

On the other hand, Romney may well be less than advertised. He put together what was widely regarded as the best organized, best financed, most strategically sound campaign of the GOP primary season. On paper (and until the final month or so before the Iowa caucuses), Romney's operation was close to perfect.

But in those final 30 or so days, when Romney was campaigning day in and day out -- literally -- for the nomination, he struggled to close the deal with voters. Having seen Romney on the trail in Iowa and New Hampshire, it was clear that he had trouble relating to the man on the street. Romney came off as wooden and robotic when interacting with voters; every thing he saw was the "greatest thing ever" while every person he met was "terrific." As one Republican operative put it: "He looks like the kind of guy who was born in a suit."

So, it's hard to know what you would get by picking Romney. Would he emerge as the more dominant half of the ticket? Or would he struggle to connect with voters as he did in the final days before Iowa and New Hampshire? Neither scenario is a good one for McCain.

The Specter of Bain

Romney's success as a founding partner of Bain Capital made him rich, established his street cred in the business community and served as a pillar of his presidential campaign.

Romney repeatedly told the story of taking a chance on a small paper and office supplies company named Staples -- a relatively small investment that reaped millions for both Staples and Bain.

And yet, much of what Bain did -- leveraged buyouts -- was not fully revealed or examined during the primary process.

The Boston Globe, in its lengthy series on Romney's life, touched on the Bain factor: "Maximizing the financial return to investors can mean slashing jobs, closing plants, and moving production overseas," wrote the Globe's Robert Gavin and Sacha Pfeiffer in the summer of 2007. "While Bain Capital helped expand companies that created jobs, the firm also engaged in some of the business's harsher practices."

In early 2008, Gavin was back at it with a piece entitled: "As Bain slashed job, Romney stayed on the sidelines."

It's a certainty that Romney can explain away each and every case in which Bain was involved in laying off workers or outsourcing American jobs abroad, but in a race where Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are seen as the central battlegrounds, any association with moving jobs overseas could be deadly for McCain.

An Eye on 2012

In the moments after Romney dropped from the presidential race, his advisers made clear that his 2008 bid would not be the last time the former governor sought national office.

Romney's actions since then reaffirm that sentiment. Romney has formed the Free and Strong America PAC to dole out contributions (and good will) to aspiring candidates. He has staffed the PAC with veterans of the presidential race, including campaign manager Beth Myers. He has toured the country raising money for the Republican National Committee and is keeping up his relations with major donors.

Putting Romney on the ticket would force McCain to deal with a vice president at least as interested in burnishing his credentials for 2012 or 2016 as electing the Arizona senator president.

Recent presidential history shows the danger of that approach. When John Kerry picked John Edwards as his running-mate in 2004, there was a hope among Kerry allies that Edwards would be the ticket's attack dog. But Edwards seemed intent on keeping his good name intact in the event Kerry came up short and the Democratic nomination was up for grabs in 2008.

Even those who openly admit their distaste for Romney believe he would be a loyal footsoldier for McCain if tapped. But Romney would bring a large (and ambitious) political team with him into the vice presidency, a group of people loyal first and foremost to Romney. That may be a potential problem McCain would rather avoid entirely.

Agree? Disagree? What did we miss in making the case against Romney? Offer your thoughts in the comments section.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 3, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Veepstakes  
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Next: McCain Memo: Strengthening National Campaign

Comments

Remember - Romney had the highest negative ratings of any Republican candidate during the primaries. Overall, he was tied with Hillary for voters who absolutely would NOT vote for them regardless of the opponent. He still has high disapproval ratings in MA - about 70% last time I checked. Romney is not authentic, and voters know it. Middle-America simply will not vote for the man regardless of how much money he unwisely spends.

Posted by: hsmith | July 22, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: flow1800 | July 21, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Selecting Romney would guarantee defeat. He can deliver no state on election day, he turns away half of the base, and he turns away all of the independents. His mid-life, politically motivated, flip-flop on core value issues like abortion ("I am more pro-choice than Ted Kennedy") would make him a HUGE liability. Yes, this campaign will center on the economy..but not the economy of slick talking, millionaire CEOs...but rather the economy of the working Joe....the guy worried about how much it costs to fill up his F-150...not how much it costs to fill up his Cessna.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 16, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney is the only choice for McCain. I have read all of the comments and they make me laugh. Romney hair is toooo perfect. Romney has tooo nice of a family. Romney is a mormon. There should be only one good reason for the choice of VP. WILL HE MAKE A GOOD PRESIDENT? McCain will make this choice if he has the interest of the American people at heart. Can anyone actually see any of the other people mentioned for VP, in the previous comments as President. I think not. Mitt Romney for VP.

Posted by: floridagirl | July 12, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

jbuyer, the link I gave, http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,510-1-3067-1,00.html
was done by the Library of Congress, not the LDS church. It is featured on the Church website. Most of these are "Non-LDS" scholars. It is insulting to someones intelligence to go to a source other than the true source, to seek understanding. Look, you can learn what you wish to learn, but it doesn't mean it is true. You are seeing what you WANT to see. If it was in LDS nature, I would pick apart and ridicule your church, using the bible, but it is not very Christian to do so. You are insulting everyones intelligence who reads your post by "expecting" that they will believe your lies.

I wish you happiness, but also acknowledge that your views about Joseph Smith have more to do with YOU than they do with Joseph. "We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are"(Covey)

Posted by: SLI | July 8, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you forgot to mention one very important factor: They have very different campaign styles and tactics.

Romney used a lot of negative campaigning, much of it dirty and low.
McCain kept the debate somewhat elevated, and ran an almost completely positive primary campaign. And won!

This stark contrast in character and civic values makes these two men, I think, completely incompatable as running mates.

Relatedly, John McCain has always been relatively authentic, whereas Mitt Romney is COMPLETELY opposite. He is 100% phony, do-and-say-whatever-I-have-to-to-get-elected politician. Just like Hillary.

Too big of a clash to work.

And stop being so friendly to these pandering politicians like Mitt and Hillary.
I know you don't want to anger them as you might lose access, but you can be a little more assertive in your analysis.

Posted by: rickj | July 8, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

McCAIN & ROMNEY: This is the team - and the only one on either side of the aisle -with the expertise and experience to hit on all cylinders: National Security, Economy, Health Care, Governance, and Family Values. Together, they bring it all to the table. Both are fully vetted, Romney's age is just right -not too young or too old to match McCain, he is seriously smart -- the only candidate recognized with global economy credentials in the entire race, and he is a believable candidate for the position a heartbeat away from the Presidency. They are alike, yet different; they both convey competence and leadership; and, yes, Romney helps a McCain presidency "look" better.

Finally, Romney delivers Michigan and strengthens McCain in other key western states. As for the anti-Mormon Evangelicals who still refuse to believe Mormons are Christians, surveys showed that by the end of the primary season, Romney was carrying as many Evangelical votes as Huckabee. There's unquestionably a narrow strata of anti-Mormon Evangelicals but they don't want McCain either, surely won't vote for Obama, and will likely stay home. The majority of Evangelicals are driven by critical core values that will send them to the polls, if only to ensure that the next two Supreme Court Justices are not rabid pro-abortionists. Evangelicals understand that there's a lot at stake that will matter long after the next President or Vice President have come and gone.

Further, the hits Romney took from the liberal media while a primary candidate would now be emerging in a very different context and have much less punch. How can, say, a Chris Matthews, criticize Romney for "flip-flopping" after Matthew's guy, Obama, continues to flip by the day? Besides, Newsweek has now determined - once Obama started doing it - that flip-flopping is good. (see latest issue)

And given Obama's religious baggage (just why did he stay in that church for 20 years?), how do the Dems go after Romney on religion? (Interesting factoid: both Romney and Obama have polygamist ancestors!) In fact, McCain could use the occasion of selecting Romney as his running mate to take an aggressive and public stand against religious bigotry of any kind.

And then there's the economy: Romney's got bona fides. You can't refute his experience nor his success in the global economy. Obama has none. Zero. Even Clinton on his ticket wouldn't help. Neither, as Romney has said, has ever run a thing much less a country. At least McCain brings to the White House his major management experience in the military. As the Obama campaign is now learning, going after McCain on his military experience only begs the question (as Schieffer asked on Face the Nation): Well, what has Obama done? Going after Romney on his economic experience will beg a similar question: What has Obama ever done to merit voters' confidence in his grasp of global economic issues?

America is starting to feel desperate for leaders who can rebuild this nation's economic stability; a President who made his money writing books just doesn't instill confidence in me. I want the guy who turned Office Depot into a global giant and managed to relight the torch of a dying Olympics.

Yep, I like it a lot - and I think they can do it. McCain/Romney.

Posted by: American Citizen | July 8, 2008 3:20 AM | Report abuse

McCAIN & ROMNEY: This is the team - and the only one on either side of the aisle -with the expertise and experience to hit on all cylinders: National Security, Economy, Health Care, Governance, and Family Values. Together, they bring it all to the table. Both are fully vetted, Romney's age is just right -not too young or too old to match McCain, he is seriously smart -- the only candidate recognized with global economy credentials in the entire race, and he is a believable candidate for the position a heartbeat away from the Presidency. They are alike, yet different; they both convey competence and leadership; and, yes, Romney helps a McCain presidency "look" better.

Finally, Romney delivers Michigan and strengthens McCain in other key western states. As for the anti-Mormon Evangelicals who still refuse to believe Mormons are Christians, surveys showed that by the end of the primary season, Romney was carrying as many Evangelical votes as Huckabee. There's unquestionably a narrow strata of anti-Mormon Evangelicals but they don't want McCain either, surely won't vote for Obama, and will likely stay home. The majority of Evangelicals are driven by critical core values that will send them to the polls, if only to ensure that the next two Supreme Court Justices are not rabid pro-abortionists. Evangelicals understand that there's a lot at stake that will matter long after the next President or Vice President have come and gone.

Further, the hits Romney took from the liberal media while a primary candidate would now be emerging in a very different context and have much less punch. How can, say, a Chris Matthews, criticize Romney for "flip-flopping" after Matthew's guy, Obama, continues to flip by the day? Besides, Newsweek has now determined - once Obama started doing it - that flip-flopping is good. (see latest issue)

And given Obama's religious baggage (just why did he stay in that church for 20 years?), how do the Dems go after Romney on religion? (Interesting factoid: both Romney and Obama have polygamist ancestors!) In fact, McCain could use the occasion of selecting Romney as his running mate to take an aggressive and public stand against religious bigotry of any kind.

And then there's the economy: Romney's got bona fides. You can't refute his experience nor his success in the global economy. Obama has none. Zero. Even Clinton on his ticket wouldn't help. Neither, as Romney has said, has ever run a thing much less a country. At least McCain brings to the White House his major management experience in the military. As the Obama campaign is now learning, going after McCain on his military experience only begs the question (as Schieffer asked on Face the Nation): Well, what has Obama done? Going after Romney on his economic experience will beg a similar question: What has Obama ever done to merit voters' confidence in his grasp of global economic issues?

America is starting to feel desperate for leaders who can rebuild this nation's economic stability; a President who made his money writing books just doesn't instill confidence in me. I want the guy who turned Office Depot into a global giant and managed to relight the torch of a dying Olympics.

Yep, I like it a lot - and I think they can do it. McCain/Romney.

Posted by: American Citizen | July 8, 2008 3:20 AM | Report abuse

Romney made a great candidate running for the office of President, but didn't win and McCain won the nomination. Romney would not be a great candidate for vice-president. The McCain/Romney rift runs too deep, and Romney would be more interested in pursuing a future White House run for himself than in helping McCain get elected. He would try his best to help McCain get elected, but as a means to an end...someday being President himself.

McCain has the luxury of setting back to first see who Obama picks first as his VP. Tim Pawlenty or Sarah Palin look very, very good. Pawlenty has coined the Sam Club Republican & won 2 governor's elections in 02' & the GOP horrific year of 06'. Pawlenty has balanced a budget without raising taxes (has great love from the business community & the Club for Growth) and does well with moderates & independents. Pawlenty is also loved by social conservatives. Not to mention, on top of that, Pawlenty is a great fundraiser and has been a dear friend and loyal companion to the McCain campaign from day 1. Sarah Palin also looks very good. After beating a current governor in a crowded GOP primary & edging out a win the Alaska general in 06' to become a "reformer" governor to fight corruption. That looks great in today's political arena. She is also a woman which causes excitement, especially if Hillary Clinton or Kat Sebelius is Obama's VP candidate. Palin is also very loved by social conservatives, which covers sort of a weak spot for McCain. Charlie Crist would also be a good choice. With approval ratings of nearly 70% in Florida after winning the governorship in a 06', a tough GOP year. He is doing good things with flood/wind insurance and has shown to handle pressure well and do great in crisis. He is loved by law enforcement & business leaders. The rip on him is that he has a live & let live attitude on social issues, much like McCain. People also say he's a homosexual. Whether that's true remains to be seen, but it seems alot of people think it. Rob Portman would also be an interesting pick for McCain.

At the end of the day, I believe McCain will either pick Tim Pawlenty or Sarah Palin. Either one would be a great pick for McCain.

Posted by: reason | July 7, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Given the state of McCain's campaign, he needs Romney sooner than later. Romney's supreme organizational skills are sorely lacking in the McCain campaign and I think that every day that goes by that Romney is not INSIDE the campaign (instead of assisting from outside) is a day that the tremendous resource of his tremendous talents are being wasted.

Others who would be exciting are Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

Posted by: LoneStarRising | July 7, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: florist | July 7, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

There is NO Mormon thing! And to the extent that there are pundits who think there is, shame on them for elevating those who oppose an American candidate based on his American religion. Shame on those who apply a religious test to those our founding fathers said should not apply. Shame on those who denigrate a fellow American's religion. Shame on all the reporters who refuse to call out the bigots who are trying to create a "Mormon Thing". I repudiate all of them. I resent that in America the news is even focused on a person's religion. Let faith flourish. Praise God in your churches and let those of other faiths worship as they please. Let us separate religion from politics. Invoking religion into politics insults all those who do not follow the currently poplular faiths du jour. Let us pick a president for the content of his character, the measure of his life's experience, his vision for the future. Let us choose a moral and upstanding president. Romney more than suffices.

Posted by: Lori | July 6, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

While Marines in Afghanistan are having their tours extended in a continuation of the backdoor draft, what are Mitt Romney's 5 health draft-age sons doing to serve their country. NOTHING - unlike McCain's or Jim Webb's

Posted by: johnwdecatur@gmail.com | July 6, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

A Candidates with stronger family background.
A Candidate with stronger religious views.
A candidate with God-fearing character.
A Candidate being member of the LDS Church.
Who has the moral authority to speak about Family values?
That is MITT ROMNEY...

Why Americans are so blinded on religious views,or affiliation?
Mormon Church is young compared to the other churches. Search?
Some churches are combined to degrade mormonism. Why?
Ask or search how the LDS church government being handled compared to other religions?
You maybe convinced how a LDS leader like Mitt Romney molded in leadership skills and selfless service to God's children.

America will be best to have Mitt Romney. Than those candidates and supporters who hate Mormonism as defined by non-lds persons.
Other people pretend to know so much about MORMONISM from knowledge from those critics of the church.

Posted by: Ernie Riparip | July 6, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Although I think Mitt Romney is one of the most qualified presidential candidates in many years, I would prefer to see him wait until 2012 to run for national office.

I don't trust McCain on the illegal immigration issue. No matter what he says now, I believe it is just a matter of time before he repeats his backing of a "comprehensive immigration reform bill." Translation: "A comprehensive illegal immigration amnesty bill."

Mitt Romney as his VP running mate would then be forced to flip-flop on his own strong pro border law enforcement stance, playing right into the hands of his critics.

McCain is probably best served by picking a relative new comer who has immigration policies that are closer to his own. Then conservative Republicans will at least know what to expect and be ready to swat down any amnesty bills, just like we swatted down the last one in June of 2007.

Posted by: John Cronin | July 5, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris ,

I hope you mean the "anti-mormon bigotry thing" not the "mormon thing." Unless of course you happen to be an "anti-mormon thing" yourself. It would be like you saying, "Well with Obama there is the 'black thing'" or with Hillary "the whole women thing." In which case you would definitivly be a racist and a sexist, respectivly. It must feel good being male middle class and white. There are no "things" in that list are there?

Posted by: Daniel | July 4, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I would like to know how many of the respondents today are actually LDS?

Posted by: Sean | July 4, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

You're forgetting a couple of things, here, I'm afraid. I realize that this is supposed to be an article making a strong case against Romney, but that shouldn't cloud the facts. They are these:

Romney's already been on the attack for McCain for the last three months. I've watched some of his television appearances since he suspended his campaign, including his first one on Hannity and Colmes. He compared Clinton and Obama to a pair of Chihuahuas arguing over which was the bigger dog, while McCain was in fact "the big dog". His subsequent appearances have been at least as direct, and frankly, brilliant in his denunciations of the Democrats as woefully inadequate to lead this country.

Second, his reconciliation with McCain certainly seems genuine enough to me. Of course animosity such as they both displayed during the campaign is not erased overnight; the stiffness of the two men in the video is perfectly understandable. However, McCain did invite Romney to his home in Arizona over Memorial Day, possibly as a way to show that there are no hard feelings on his part, and by all accounts the meeting was amiable on both sides.

As for Romney, I doubt I've read about a more friendly and forgiving man in the press, let alone politician. If he harbors any ill will for McCain, then I seriously doubt that he would have made as good an advocate for McCain as he has. Like you said, he has political ambitions of his own, and they would be served much better by challenging McCain for the nomination in 2012 from outside the administration than from within. When was the last time a sitting vice president challenged a sitting president for the nomination? He'd have to have a lot more hatred for McCain than any of us have seen since this election season started.

Posted by: Stephen Monteith | July 4, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Great case you made against Mitt, Chris. You however omitted the most important. Mitt is a sleaze-bucket with same branding as Slick-Willie & Dumbya. They will lie, they will cheat, and they will obfuscate & prevaricate to attain power.

Posted by: Sgt. Lucifer | July 4, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats go nuts over a man, Obama, who just wants to eat waffles and dance with Ellen on teevee, who (eventually) landed admission to Harvard after several appeals for admission and on "lowered standards" at that (Obama claimed he had a mental limitation and merited admission on lowered standards).

He and wife have a life-long intimate relationship with terrorists and conartists and the Democrats just like his loud voice and teleprompter skills and that he eats waffles and dances with Ellen on teevee. Oh, and did he tell you he was Black?

And then they even TRY to ridicule Mitt Romney as to "his hair," his wealth, that he's successful, etc. -- Romney finished college and law school in exemplary standing and Romney didn't need or ask for a lowering of standards to excel (but Obama did).

I don't find Romney "stiff" or whatever else naysayers are saying about the man. To the contrary, I find him refreshingly intelligent, moral, well spoken, kind, well mannered, to have a wonderful family and appreciation of his wonderful family, to be immensely supportable in the V.P. job. AND, as V.P. to McCain, I'd feel a lot more secure as to our nation and nation's future knowing that Romney could assume the Presidency with talent and competentcy if ever needed.

Meanwhile, the press covers Obama's plans to redecorate the White House, saying that he doesn't think the Sports Channel should be watched "in there." Now we have a vision of an Obama future where he's telling people they can or cannot watch the Sports Channel in their own private hours. People are fools to support Obama.

Back to Mitt Romney: it'd be immensely refreshing to hear and read intelligent, conscienciable statements from a decent human being in this Election. Thus, it'd be refreshing to have Romney as V.P.

Posted by: B&B | July 4, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Another thing: most of the people who continue to perpetuate these vain criticisms of Mitt Romney -- "his hair," "his looks," "his money," his success" "he's not appealign to women," "he's not appealing to Liberals" etc. -- are predominantly Liberals, certainly not reasonable among the Right.

Romney's ASSETS on a vanity scale are his hair, his looks, his wealth, his success, his cosmetic appeal to women, his family (more appeal to women), etc. Rather than be liabilities, these aspects about him are attractive, in the best possible sense.

Beware the internet fraught with "Obama's Army" all naysaying Mitt Romney and eager to see a weak V.P. candidate named to McCain.

Another thing and that is that as a Conservative, I don't find a problem with Romney's religious denomination. On the other hand, I DO find demonstrable problems with Obama's quasi, dubious "religion." I find Romney's declarations of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord to be credible, respectable, and believable, while, with Obama, he persists in showing all the signs of lying in just about every aspect to whatever he may or may not "believe."

So, Romney's denomination is not a problem to reasonable, thinking Evangelicals and Conservatives. I think most of us can separate "Church and State" sufficiently to maintain our individual denominations among Christians and to respect the options of others.

MY most concern is as to allegedly Catholics who are supporting Obama. He's pro-abortion (a decided mortal sin), he's gleeful and happy to support and advocate for so many borderline if not plain old wrong Liberal social "values" that I cannot respect some as Catholics, sincerely, who support the man (or the Democratic Party, for that matter).

As to Romney from the Right, he'd be my first choice for the V.P. job. I can't see throwing talent and capability aside.

Posted by: B&B | July 4, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The Left's "interests" are to oppose successful capitalism, and that includes maligning "corporate interests" (so they call them) when they "take jobs overseas" and are successful, especially in hard or difficult times. As an American, I'm not keen on jobs going elsewhere, BUT, that does result in many good things (other nation's populations improve and profit, companies survive for future developments in the U.S., etc.). SO, criticising Romney for Bain's successful operations on these terms (they profit, they maintain, they expand, they get maligned accordingly) seems entirely a Left behavior. Coming from the (allegedly) Right, the maligning seems indecent. I could understand these criticisms of Romney (including the "Mormon thing") IF the GOP was a Democratic Party arm or operation but it's indecent to read these criticisms from the (allegedly) Right about a successful candidate (both in the public and private sectors).

If McCain's objective is to feel good about himself and not "be threatened" by a strong organization surrounding a V.P., then I can, also, understand the rest of the remarks in this article. But, the goal is to win the election, not to ensure certain candidates feel good about themselves. The GOP has to organize and knock-off these Leftist meme-critiques of candidates, or, otherwise, I'll assume the GOP is working to ensure an Obama win.

Posted by: B&B | July 4, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: 1800 | July 4, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

All the comments here are well taken. At least most of you have done some homework on the issues. Others are just making comments based on their own personal prejudices which is not unusual.
I'm not here to slander anybody, nor take sides of whatever political bent I may have. But, let's all be honest and put our petty differences aside and take a HARD honest look as where we are today as a nation. We have NEVER been in a worst place. Some of you are old enough to know that is true.
We are disliked around the World and mistrusted. We have a leader who has no credibility among his peers. Our economy has tanked and most of our neighbors are struggling to survive, literally. And, what are we doing? We have an election coming up and rather face these contenders for the highest office and ask SERIOUS questions, we pondificate on issues that have no bases of truth. Look at the comments made here. Who is telling the truth? And, where are you finding the information to make your statements?
There is no doubt that Romney may be a good choice based on his business experience, and, yes, he did well for himself in the private sector. But, as a Massachusetts Governor, he was horrible. My MA reader who commented was right. Romney did not care about our state, he was too busy running for President. Remember, he was in office only one year, and spent half that time running around the country making unkind remarks about the state he was governing. What kind of man is this that does that? A vice president nominee? I think not.
Talk about flip-flops, like they ALL do, I must remind you, he has changed his direction politically more than once to fit the mold, whatever that may be.
Sure, Obama is a new face, and some of you may be hiding behind a shield that hides your racism. So be it. But, Obama or any other Democrat running would at least bring another focus to the debate. More of the same in this messy war, killing our young people day after day (still happening, folks), tanking enconomy (tell me YOU are not feeling the pain), untrusted Congress, and God how much more stories do you need to tell you that this administration didn't screw us over?
McCain? Yes, a maverick in Congress, but what is he offering us
now that he is running? MORE Bush policies?
Do your homework folks. Vote anyway you want and can. But, make sure when you do, you have the TRUE Facts, be it Romney, McCain, Obama or whoever he chooses. The next four years will tell us if OUR vote (YOUR vote) was the right one.

Posted by: rg | July 4, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

It is a bit sad that a choise of a president for US is not only based on the person and what he stands for and can deliver.

The mormon faith is known for doing good where ever it is operating. Bigottery can not change that fact.

The negative thing about Joseph Smith is not based on facts. He was a great American who started a religion which has spread to almost all nations.

Look eg. at his recognition for town planning. For some years ago he received honor from the American Townplanners for his vision for building sustaineble towns.

Posted by: Kim Torben | July 4, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I want to commend Chris for excellent summaries of the strengths and weaknesses of having Mitt Romney as a running mate. I am saddened by some of the comments, and by some of what happened during the election, concerning Romney's religious beliefs. I dream of the day when we, as Americans, do not indulge in such prejudice. I know enough of Romney's religion to say that much of what has been written about it, by some evangelicals and others, is simply untrue. When I once challenged such a person with the facts, his only response was, "when their is poison in the birthday cake, one must do anything possible to get it out, even if that means being dishonest." I cannot understand one who believes in a God who would condone such things. I had an opportunity to meet Romney on the campaign trail, and I was very impressed -- more impressed than I was with McCain. That may be the biggest negative -- Romney may prove to be the stronger candidate and that would require some humility on McCain's part, a humility that has not been one of his strong suits. I will add a final point on flip-flopping, and this applies as much to Obama's latest efforts to clarify his views as it does to Romney or anyone else -- I think there is virtue in admitting that one is teachable and perhaps even fallible. I would like just such a President.

Posted by: knightsupporter | July 4, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

jhbuyer.... Your summation of Joseph Smith could not be any further off the mark... He may have appeared "radical" in his time... he would be so far from that today that your suppositions are just plain laughable.... and while I would love to debate you and blow away your accusations as either totally untrue are badly distorted.... this is not the forum on which to do that....

Just a couple of quick factual errors.... The Mormons were not on a "Land Grab" in Missouri (by the way, how much land do Native Americans have today in Missouri? LOL). He was jailed in Liberty for months before he went back to Illinois (If he was soooo Bad, why didn't they try him at that point? (Cuz they didn't have anything on him.... The Governor simply didn't like the "odd" beliefs of the Mormons)... and ":Extermination Order??? Please... Sounds like a logicl thing to do when you want someone out of your state, simply authorize the murder of men, women and children.... And finally, when they went back to Illinois, they took a worthless piece of land that no one wanted as it was swampy and unusable and figured out how to get the water out of it and use it as a place to settle....They call the place Nauvoo and anyone can see and read a nonmormon account on this settlement by simply looking it up on line.... It was the Mormons who had their property and belongings taken from them and pushed out of the state....

Oh,and BTW Joseph Smith and his Brother voluntarily went to a "holding house" in Carthage where they were killed by several Mobsters who simply didn't like their religion. They actually went to face charges that were brought against them as community leaders in Nauvoo because the Town Council voted to close down a local Newspaper.... Again, another good reason to slaughter someone....

So Jhbuyer... get your facts straight and do everyone a favor on here and stick to the subject instead of going off on mormon "hate tirades"...... If nothing else it's bad form.... Oh, and btw, I'm not a mormon.... Just someone interested in Politic and History...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 4, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

What I wrote about Joseph Smith is part of the public record, documented by the law enforcement agencies of the time, and entered into 19th century records. To be told that "all we need to know about the LDS" can be found at its website is an insult to our intelligence. I had no idea members of the LDS were so committed to whitewashing the undisputed truth about Joseph Smith, who was NOT a good American, but a convicted criminal (for fraud) on the lam who died young at the hands of angry Illinois citizens. Romney is a great American, who would have made a fine president, precisely because he's no Joseph Smith.

LDS is not the only religion with a shameful beginning, but its attempt to bury its past is unique among Western religions.

I'm sorry to have stepped on toes. I marveled that anyone could imagine there were no bad apples in LDS only in the Church of Christ - not that Rev. Wright is guilty of anything more than being a verbal hot head.

The fact is Rev. Jeremiah Wright has been honored by our govt for his public service, unlike Joseph Smith.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 4, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

The comments made by jhbyer are not only crazy, but they are misinformed, malignant, erronious, personal, agenda driven, etc...

I have read many historical facts from major history professors regarding the nature of Joseph Smith, who aren't Mormon, and none of them have ever come close to making the false assertions you have. Take for Example the tribute that was help to Joseph Smith at the Library of Congress called "The worlds of Joseph Smith." Lets get our information from true, non- corrupt, and obviously bigoted sources. I feel for the people who will believe EVERYTHING they here. The intelligent thing to do is to not believe EVERYTHING you here until you have learned the TRUTH for yourself.

Everything you want to know about Joseph Smith you can find by going to this link: http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,510-1-3067-1,00.html

This is "The worlds of Joseph Smith" done by Library of Congress

Posted by: SLI | July 4, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

jbuyer.... your facts on Joseph Smith are so far off that they are laughable.... I would be happy to correct them for you but this really isn't the forum for that kind of discussion....

We should be here to talk about whether a veep candidate has the credentials to effectively fill the office of VPOTUS.

Truth is, if we can look at Romney in an objective light there is no one in the Republican field that could touch his credentials... He is proven in Business (like it or not, he made his companies profitable and increased shareholder wealth), He Governed a Liberal State with Conservative principles and most importantly he was true to his country, true to his family and true to his moral belief system... Okay, so he became prolife while serving as Governor (and his actions as Governor were "pro-life" oriented) get over it... He guided MA through a period of deep debt into a position of budget his run surplus (maybe you didn't like some of the fees that he increased but they were good, tough decisions that he made in order to get the state into the black) so, again, get over it. He is a gifted debater and speaker and most importantly, he is on the right side of the issues... His skill set is the perfect fit for McCain.... However, not sure it matters...

As you can see from the crazy postings, some people would vote for Obama if the Devil himself was his running mate (regardless of who McCain picks).... It seems that many folks are not interested in Logic or else they don't have the ability to deduce that if the Mesiah wins the country will have less tax revenue than they now get with higher tax rates because Corporate America will simply move, refocus their business abroad, or scale back operations in total because the juice won't be worth the squeeze.... Our country will have greater debt and a weaker military because we will have to cover insurance premiums and additional education costs for those who can't or won't work or be productive.... not to mention the large increase in Terrorism that we will face most likely on our own soil.... and lastly, the Habiius Corpus Decision on Club Gitmo will become common place with his SCOTUS appointees...

You won't see jobs leave this country any faster than you'll see them go over the next four years.... Good luck and get yourself a hand gun for protection for you and your family and get your food storage in, I predict you are going to need it....

Posted by: poyman | July 4, 2008 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Joseph Smith comment was weird and inaccurate. Joseph Smith was an incredible American whether you like his religious views or not. Do some real history research rather than mud slinging.

Posted by: Jon Reeves | July 4, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Joseph Smith comment was weird and inaccurate. Joseph Smith was an incredible American whether you like his religious views or not. Do some real history research whether than mud slinging.

Posted by: Jon Reeves | July 4, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney excites me. He is like a breath of fresh air. Super charismatic, brilliant and presidential.

Posted by: Caroline | July 4, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

one thing Iam very confident of--if Mitt was on the ticket he would slice up his opponent in the vp debates...no matter who it is!

Posted by: gene | July 4, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

one thing Iam very confident of--if Mitt was on the ticket he would slice up his opponent in the vp debates...no matter who it is!

Posted by: gene | July 4, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

one thing Iam very confident of--if Mitt was on the ticket he would slice up his opponent in the vp debates...no matter who it is!

Posted by: gene | July 4, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

one thing Iam very confident of--if Mitt was on the ticket he would slice up his opponent in the vp debates...no matter who it is!

Posted by: gene | July 4, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

one thing Iam very confident of--if Mitt was on the ticket he would slice up his opponent in the vp debates...no matter who it is!

Posted by: gene | July 4, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

one thing Iam very confident of--if Mitt was on the ticket he would slice up his opponent in the vp debates...no matter who it is!

Posted by: gene | July 4, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

one thing Iam very confident of--if Mitt was on the ticket he would slice up his opponent in the vp debates...no matter who it is!

Posted by: gene | July 4, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

one thing Iam very confident of--if Mitt was on the ticket he would slice up his opponent in the vp debates...no matter who it is!

Posted by: gene | July 4, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

one thing Iam very confident of--if Mitt was on the ticket he would slice up his opponent in the vp debates...no matter who it is!

Posted by: gene | July 4, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Hi, Julian, according to church biographers, Joseph Smith, earlier convicted of fraud in NY state, responded to a warrant for his arrest for bank fraud in Ohio, by fleeing with his band to Missouri, where he and his followers tried to seize lands owned by Native Americans. The Governor of Missouri sent in the state militia to remove the Mormons. Joseph Smith responded by THREATENING TO "BURN DOWN" THE TOWNS OF LIBERTY AND RICHMOND, after which the Governor declared Smith and his band ENEMIES OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI and issued an "extermination order" which caused Smith to flee to Illinois, where he and his followers again tried to seize land through mob violence, causing the governor of Illinois to charge him with TREASON. Smith was arrested, but before he could be tried, a mob broke into the jail and killed him. He was 38.

By that age, Rev. Wright was a decorated US Marine Corps veteran. As a civilian he's been honored for his community work by several Mayors of Chicago and the Governor of Illinois as well as by the President of the United States, Bill Clinton, who invited him to the White House where he received an award.

Did you know Pres. Lincoln told Americans, in one of his speeches that the rivers of blood that flowed in the Civil War was God's punishment of America for its grave sin of slavery?

Thanks for asking your interesting question.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 3, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

ROMNEY WILL HURT WITH THE WOMEN VOTERS!!??
YEAH,SURE! BECAUSE HE'S BEEN FAITHFUL TO HIS WIFE THROUGH SICKNESS AND HEALTH?!
BECAUSE HE'S TOO HOMELY!? YEAH,SURE!
SOME OF THESE COMMENTS MAKE AS MUCH SENSE AS JUMPING INTO A LAKE OF "QICKSAND"!

Posted by: GENE | July 3, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney would make a very good VP. He would be a great asset to McCain & to this country.

Posted by: Ann | July 3, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

What precisely did Joseph Smith say against the United States? I'd like to know.

Posted by: Julian | July 3, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the information on Joseph Smith, Miss Byer. I appreciate it.

Posted by: Julian | July 3, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Julian wants the LDS equivalent of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Okay, Joseph Smith, the founder.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 3, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

My last word should be 'ours' not 'outs'. Sotty.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 3, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Sean makes a valid point that prejudice against Mitt's religion is every bit as unfair as prejudice against race and gender, and yet the media seems accepting of it. A couple of excuses for that. One, religion, is, in theory, a choice. However, in practice, asking Mitt to give up the religion his family has followed for generations would be as unconscionably cruel, imo, as asking Hillary to have a sex change. Second and foremost, the media accepts that Republicans will be Republicans. The GOP not only reserves its right to its prejudices but banks on them. Prejudice is what has "informed" their platform since JFK, which is to say their positions rely on emotion not evidence. That this is a winning formula is not their problem but outs.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 3, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone give me the name of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's equivalent from the Church of Latter Day Saints who came out and spoke (more like screamed) with ferocious hatred the most vile statements against the United States of America? How about someone equal to Michael Pfleger from LDS? Anybody got a name?

And when did anyone hear Romney say, "Oh, and have I told you I'm a Mormon" in the same vein as Obama when he said, "Oh, and I'm Black"?

Romney is only interested in helping our country, while Obama is only interested in feeding his ego. As for McCain's ego: it speaks for itself, and with Romney in second chair McCain would have to behave "Presidential."

Posted by: Julian | July 3, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I think there is no doubt Romney will overshadow McCain on the ticket, to some degree, but to McCain's benefit.

Romney knows how to lead and he also knows how to follow.

As for most of your "case" against Romney, it is mostly based on false opinions, and is not a true portrait of one of the strongest candidates the United States has ever seen seek the presidency.

As for his Mormonism, what is interesting to me is how it affects Romney's character as a governor and a leader. Romney seems focused on governing through service to as many as possible, not for the sake of power or money. (He refused payment for his work in the Olympics and as Governor of Massachusetts, and presumably would do the same as President.) That is almost certainly a result of his Mormon/Christian beliefs, which, far from being a cult, make those who follow them stronger, more capable, and more confident, both in their relationship with mankind and with God.

There may come a day when we wish all of our politicians were Mormons.

For now, I hope McCain sets aside his pride and does what is in the best interest of this country (and himself, I believe) and choose Romney as VP.

He would not be the first to pick a Mormon for a top position. Spielberg, for years, had two of his top three positions filled by Mormons, because he trusts them.

The Board of Deloitte and Touche, which consults many of America's biggest companies, picked a Mormon for its CEO. BYU, which is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) is the most recruited from Accounting program in the country. Why? Because Mormons, on the whole, are trustworthy, industrious people.

Put Romney's energy to work for this country, Mr. McCain. Mitt Romney for VP, and eventually, President!

Posted by: Jed Merrill | July 3, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

The President of the United States & his Vice President should be an example the American people look up to. Mitt Romney has a number of things going for him:

-Married once & strong relationship with his wife & children.
-Very successful in business & a multi-millionaire
-Well educated
-Good track record as Governor
-Believes in God
-Dedicated a lot of his time to Church service (for free)!

All the above are FACTS and if John McCain wants to beat Obama he needs a strong running-mate. A lot of the debates will be about the economy & that is Romney's speaciality after all he's is a multi-millionaire.

I think if Obama chooses Hillary as his running-mate he will be easier to beat. If he chooses a white guy that is young and knows the economy he will be difficult to beat.

Posted by: Fabrizio | July 3, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Mitt is a very bad choice. We need someone exciting to bring to the ticket. Look at him on the vidio, he's so boring to listen to and looks at he's notes way to often. McCain boring to so we need someone energetic. Plus he would scare away alot of votes, and I don't like what he did as governor. I say no to Mitt Romney!!

Posted by: Dustin | July 3, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Aw, c'mon, Chris, why can't you say outright that Mitt makes John look bad, not just physically but morally and intellectually. Mitt's family values are impeccable and his awesome success as an executive is undeniable. In theory, he balances John, but in reality, he makes John look like the dilettante he, frankly, is. Had he not suffered as a POW, which earns everybody's unthinking respect, he'd be a retired pilot, one notch above Bush in that respect and several below him in all others.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 3, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Those who disparage Romney seem to be ignorant of many FACTS. Romney is by far the best educated of all the candidates, (has degrees in law and economics from great schools), is the only one with economic acumen, (far superior to Obama or McCain), has had success in business, the Winter Olympics, and talk to residents of Massachusetts who saw the state's economics improve. The complaints against Romney seem so obtuse or stupid--he's a Mormon, (No one whines about Harry Reid being a Mormon) or he has flip-flopped, (If you have never changed your mind you have never increased in knowledge or wisdom!), he has perfect hair, etc. The accusation that he is not authentic is laughable as he has a great family and lasting marriage that unauthentic people just can't attain or maintain. Obama said he had a great family growing up. How many Americans think the ideal family has no father head? Obama is the one who is a joke!! He is the one who has flip-flopped on public financing, gun control, welfare reform, etc. and etc. He is only a freshman senator with NO administative experience, NO economic training, or responsibility. (Sadly, he has very little experience to even note) He was a pulic activist--hmm--is that expertise in organizing marches and rousing discontent? He voted against cutting moving welfare numbers but lies and says the opposite in his ads. His ads say he cut taxes but the facts and his voting record reveal that is NOT true!!
How could any American thinking rationally vote for such a poorly prepared person as Obama to be president?
However, no one I know is enthusiastic about McCain. Many people I have talked with will only vote for McCain if he choses a man as well qualified as Romney. Those who can't recognize Romney's qualifications need to study the facts and not react emotionally. Nothing is more sickening to me than hearing those who said they voted for Clinton in the past, or will vote for Obama this year because they are handsome. What has looks got to do with ability to make wise decisions, or in any way govern well?

Posted by: A Louis | July 3, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

You know, the way people react negatively to Romney's religion is every bit as despicable as the sexism endured by Hillary Clinton and the racism Obama has been subjected to (not that either of those was rampant). Generally affronts against the Dems have not been so blatant, something of an undercurrent. But the media seems less sensitive to the religious prejudice than they were to Obama's or Clinton's respecive -isms. Maybe that's because Romney himself tried to downplay his religion, and certainly no Republican would ever play identity politics. But the Constitution explicitly states that no religious test shall ever be required. You'd think we'd try to live up to that ideal by at least reminding people that it should be irrelevant.

Posted by: Sean | July 3, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

They're both - McCain and Romney - such pandering flip-floppers, it sounds like a match made in heaven. I honestly don't see what Romney brings to the table. I'll always remember him most for his deer in the headlights look. All in all I think they're a pretty weak pairing, but then again I think mccain is a weak candidate and am surprised that he was the best the gop could do.

Posted by: JDB | July 3, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

n2DVXN fjosahfjk hajkfhs jkahfshafuksahfuas f8syaifa765978thsgjknd sjkgdjksbgjkds

Posted by: 1800 | July 3, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Cillizza doesn't even mention the most compelling reason why picking Romney could be a disaster for McCain: McCain is running on his character, as a straight talker who's willing to tell unpopular truths. So he picks as his running mate a guy who's most famous for being a disingenuous flip-flopper??? What sense does that make? It would run completely counter to McCain's narrative.

Mystery Politico
http://politicalduel.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Mystery Politico | July 3, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

My two comments are first the experience Mitt Romney had at Bain Capital turning around companies (even if it meant eliminating jobs) is exactly what is needed in Washington DC. Our National government is expensive and inefficient. We would all be better off financially and the economy would prosper too!

Second, the American people won't be as intolerant of Mitt Romney's religion as you fear. Americans are smarter than to discriminate against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members. Almost all Americans know someone of this faith who is neighborly, patriotic, and honest despite what the Church's enemies say! Most evangelicals won't vote for Obama if Mitt Romney is on the ticket as Vice President! Why would they be so short sighted?

The United States would be well served to have the war hero John McCain as President and the economic hero Mitt Romney as Vice President! Neither man is perfect but both are better than the alternative!

Posted by: David | July 3, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Roosevelt didn't care or know Truman, but wanted Missouri
Eisenhower didn't like Nixon, but needed California
Kennedy didn't like Johnson, but needed Texas
Reagan didn't care for Bush, but needed Texas.

The end justifys the means, you got to think OBJECTIVE! Not Subjective. It's not Obama or Mc Cain, It's the Democrat party rules, or the Republican party rules the Masses!

Posted by: jdlaughead | July 3, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Good analysis. Gov. Romney would be a bad pick for Sen. McCain, which is exactly why I hope Mitt's the one tapped for the job.

Like Bush, McCain isn't strong on economic knowledge and prefers a military focus for his administration.

Picking Romney means a landslide for Obama in November and no war with Iran next year.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 3, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Romney is the most plastic, inauthetnic politicans I've ever come across. I can't believe people believe a word he says.

Posted by: Russell | July 3, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Ref comments by frluke July 3, 11:57 -it's obvious YOU know nothing about gospel doctrine of the LDS church. Now... onto for or against Romney as VP. Recognizing that for most humans "perception is reality," sadly it probably won't work for the GOP to have Mitt run with McCain - GOP will no doubt lose the race in Nov. Why? Because it's all about religion, despite the fact that this country was founded on freedom of religion. It appears the majority of American citizens have forgotten their elementary school lessons. So we have the Perception is that the LDS religion is a cult and not Christian. But if any of you who lay claim to that thought had the manners to calmly engage in a polite conversation and ask one of the 12 million + you would find out they are Christians. They pray to God the Father in the name of His son, Jesus Christ. And just because the LDS people believe that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are 3 separate individuals and not one indivual who changes into 3 beings at the drop of a hat like a changling, does not constitute a cult. Secondly, what does Romney's perfect hair have to DO WITH ANYTHING?? I would say we have several million jealous men out there in America. Back to "perception is reality": Due to the religious prejudices of too many millions here in America it will not be a good idea for the GOP/McCain to choose Romney as a VP -- but I would vote for them to run this country because I know they would - with God's guidance - get us out of the mess we are in.

Posted by: travelingDGS | July 3, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

McCain is a dour, sour, difficult,
uncomfortable, small and graceless
little man..what kind of person would spew
vulgarities at his lovely wife..
He was a snarling animal during the debates. Appalling !
Mitt Romney.. vitality
McCain.. mortality..

Posted by: J. Gregg | July 3, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The characteristics of Romney which you claim McCain dislikes,are very similar to the issues that I have with McCain. He is willing to change any opinion to get a vote & pandering to the relgious right was an easy step for him. His talk is straight only until he is caught in a flip flop or lie & then he makes a slight detour & continues his dishonest trip towards the White House.

Posted by: Sam | July 3, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

If McCain wants to win this thing, he needs to swing for the fences and pick an outside-the-box choice for running mate.

Romney would be a totally unexciting running mate choice.

McCain desperately needs some excitement....I say he should pick somebody like Carly Fiorina or Bobby Jindal

Posted by: MBW | July 3, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The characteristics of Romney which you claim McCain dislikes,are very similar to the issues that I have with McCain. He is willing to change any opinion to get a vote & pandering to the relgious right was an easy step for him. His talk is straight only until he is caught in a flip flop or lie & then he makes a slight detour & continues his dishonest trip towards the White House.

Posted by: Sam | July 3, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

As an Obama supporter,I say PLEASE pick Romney!

Romney would be joke. He would drive away independent voters and rattle the Mormon-hating right wingers too!

On the upside for McCain, Romney will say anything to win, so I guess it wouldn't be hard to keep him on message.

It would be so humorous to watch them campaign together: The Stiff Old White Guys Tour.

Posted by: MBW | July 3, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"I was raised my whole life believing that "anyone" who believed in Jesus Christ was a Christian."

"Mitt Romney is a "Christian" who am I to judge otherwise."

Anyone who belives that Romney a mormon, has the same belief about Jesus, as the Son of God, part of the Trinity, know's abolutely nothing about Moromnism.


Posted by: frluke | July 3, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I resent the fact that in this nation of freedom loving voters who venerate their constitution that there is a group who denigrate a fellow American's religion and find him unfit to hold office. McCain not the type to pander to the fringes probably is not bothered by their distaste for Mormonism and would be just the sort of guy to stick it to them by selecting Romney and say "get over it". Its unamerican to consider such a thing! I would not care if he worshipped at the church of the holy donut---I just want someone of Romney's calibre, his ability, running this country. A twist on Carville: Its competence, stupid!

Posted by: Lori | July 3, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Romney is shady. I think he lies and will say whatever he thinks will get him elected. He is a shameless liar. His apologists are a bunch of corrupt lobbyists. I would rather see McCain pick Obama's wife for VP than Romney.

Posted by: Jan | July 3, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Another reader from Massachusetts here: as for Romney's loss in NH, I think it was a case of familiarity breeding contempt. Lots of NH folks read the Boston Globe, and the Globe did an excellent job of tracking down and publicizing Romney's flip flops, as well as his days and weeks away from MA (and bad-mouthing MA while he was still MA governor, positioning himself to run for president).

Chris and an earlier poster hit on something critically important that received way too little attention in the primaries: while Mitt was trotting out his business credentials to laid-off factory workers, no one seemed to notice that *this is the guy who lays you off, shutters your factory, and sends your job overseas!* He did not make his millions by inventing a better widget; he made millions by buying up struggling companies, stripping them of expensive baubles - like workers and benefits - then selling them for huge profits. I think that little secret would come out during the campaign, and hurt a McCain/Romney ticket in the industrial midwestern states.

Finally, Boston Globe columnist Dan Payne has a great column today on McCain flip flops (original vs. crispy). The campaign ads are writing themselves . . .

Posted by: Mme_Libn | July 3, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

We all know McCain is fighting an uphill battle in this election and he needs to make a bold choice to energize the electorate. Most of the names floated as alternatives generate no excitement at all - just no name Governors from Midwestern states. He needs a shot in the arm. Someone who can raise some serious money. Someone who has been in the national scene and who is a tough campaigner. Someone who has some credibility on the economy, which is a huge black hole for McCain. VPs are more important for what they can do behind the scenes and Romney is a master at that. He's the only choice that gives McCain a chance. It will actually show that McCain is able to let go of a grudge - another one of McCain's negatives. He's an immature kid when it comes to grudges. Show some leadership and pick your main rival. Romney is by far the best choice.

Posted by: david | July 3, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Its a open and shut case against Romney. he wasn't authentic in the Republican primary so he was rejected. http://www.enewsreference.com

Posted by: eNews Reference | July 3, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

when it comes to Mitt Romney, I believe that John McCain is a good judge of character.

McCain got it spot on -- Romney is a political panderer of the 1st order as you say, CC.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | July 3, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Take it from us in Massachusetts, Romney basically wears on you over time. He lacks the courage of his convictions, if he has any. And he whines. And he would look like he is just in the job waiting for McCain to expire. For image alone, McCain needs someone who appears to be a partner, not someone who will be sent to funerals as soon as possible to get him out of the way. Finally the VP should create some excitement and excitement is not what you think of when you think of MITT

Posted by: nclwtk | July 3, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Romney would be a bad choice. I read on te Internet that he's really a Muslim and hates America. Isn't it nice when bigotry comes back to bite the political party that has whipped up racial and religious animosities for 40 years? In any event, Romney hates America and loves terrorists, I have the e-mails to prove it.

Posted by: Vincent F | July 3, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

But seriously, folks ... Romney has already had his bell rung by a so-called ultra-lib, when Ted Kennedy humiliated him in a Senate race. What would he think his presidential chances in 2012 would be after getting his clock cleaned in November?

Romney would be wise to sit this one out. He's one election away from being typecast as a loser.

Posted by: bondjedi | July 3, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"We know that Mitt will deliver New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Michigan to McCain"
Huh? Mitt has no appeal whatsoever in New Mexico. Romney LOST New Hampshire. He may help in Nevad and Colorado, but I think Obama will win both. Obama is comfortably ahead in Michigan and I don't see Romney overcoming that either. McCain won't pick him because he doesn't like him or trust him. End of story.

Posted by: NM Moderate | July 3, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

When McDukakis gets to ride around in a tank for a photo-op, he can borrow Mitt's hair to use as a helmet.

Posted by: bondjedi | July 3, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

God Romney would be simply awful. He comes off as such a used - well no, actually new - car salesman. Everything you want, "sure, yep, we can give you that!". Just smarmy to the core. As a Democrat I would love to see him chosen as it would sink McCain's last hopes.

Personally I think Pawlenty, who can fake that "working class, man of the people" thing that the Republicans need to fool the flyover country masses with to win, is his best choice. Photogenic family, wife who's tight with the evangelicals (in a stealthy enough way to not turn off the secular crowd), measured with his words, and basically moderate-seeming. He's probably the one.

Posted by: Mark | July 3, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Not all Evangelicals or Conservatives are Mormon haters. The press will try everything they can to bring in the religion question with Romney. But the country knows better!! Mormons have strong family values and are very loyal to the country and Christian beliefs. The formal name of the Mormon faith is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. American is a stronger nation because of its religious tolerance. McCain/Romney is a perfect match.

Posted by: mike | July 3, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

While Romney is a fine candidate; I just don't think he fully fits the bill as well as others. One, he comes off to some voters as inauthentic, even McCain thinks he panders. McCain's VP ideally needs to have some across the aisle appeal and some . Romney has the background, but perception of Romney doesn't help his case. Two, what constituencies/states does Romney bring that would benefit McCain? Romney would help McCain out West (CO, NV) but where else? McCain is getting hammered in the South (VA, NC, GA) and one would assume being a Senator from Arizona McCain could hold his own out West.

I have nothing against Romney, I just don't think he is the top choice for McCain.

Posted by: JNoel002 | July 3, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

John McCain whose life has parallels to George W. Bush is a mediocre man who graduated from Annapolis after a legacy admission with a class rank of 894 of 899. I believe McCain to be a petty litle jealous man who doesn't wish to be contrasted to men who are taller, smarter or more accomplished.

Posted by: somnamblst | July 3, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney would be a gift and disaster. To the Democrats he would be a gift and to the Republicans he would be a disaster.

Most voters polled in this presidenital election cycle cited Mitt Romney as running the most negative and devisive campaign. There is even video footage of McCain at a Republican debate repeating this public feeling.

Let's not forget that Mitt feels without a doubt that he is vastly more qualified than McCain to be president. Mitt would follow McCain (and be the attack dog for McCain) in the general election campaign. But if McCain/Romney were to win the general election, Romney would start to position himself to run for President in 2012 knowing a 76 yr old McCain (in 2012)would probably not run again.

Conservative media, like Limbaugh, Hannity, Ingram, and others would love to see Romney on the ticket and give them the opportunity to enthusiatically support the Republican presidential ticket (in which they don't now)!

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 3, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Yes, McCain should really pick Romney, for the good of the country.

Posted by: Beth in VA | July 3, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

PLEASE pick Romney!

It would once and for all expose the lie that Christian conservatives will show up in numbers to support any conservative candidate at the polls in November.

I'm PRAYING that McCain will pick Romney~!

Posted by: HillRat | July 3, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Please pick Romney. Besides him McOld looks like he is already dead. Then their is his flip flopping from his days as a pro-gay, pro-choice moderate MA fraud. Anything to drive another nail in his coffin is fine with me.

Posted by: patrick NYC | July 3, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

It's clips like this that make me long for a Romney VP candidacy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFMdK0TWtks

Posted by: Doug in NYC | July 3, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

"Those who know both men suggest that McCain sees himself as a principled politician, willing to take the lumps that sticking to his guns are sure to deliver."

Well, ok, so long as we're only conceding that McCain sees himself as principled. Because let's face it; no reasonable person could agree with that at this point in his pandering campaign. Except maybe Chris Mathews, of course.

Posted by: Mike | July 3, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Being from Massachusetts I can tell you that McCain's right when he claims Romney is just an opportunist. He's considered a carpetbagger here that used the govenership only to advance himself and build a name nationally- he probally spent more time outside of MA than in. Lastly, I remember the debates with Ted Kennedy when Mitt challanged his senator's spot- talk about a deer in the headlights- he's an empty suit that folds under the littlest of pressure.

Posted by: Bst | July 3, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I will only vote for McCain if he picks Romney or Huckabee.

I am a conservative republican, and will not vote for a liberal, whether he has a D next to his name or an R next to his name.

Posted by: George | July 3, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

McCain would be a fool to not choose Romney.From all of the other choices, has any of them spead their credintals on the table for us to see what they have accomplished? There is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into managing the olympics. I can't believe Romney waved a wand to make his company be as successful as it is. It takes working at it everyday,and 25 years of it! I guess no one likes an honest, clean politician these days. The slandering remarks about Romney only tells me that either people can't read, or is jealous of someone that has stayed on track through his life career. Their even slandering him for being married to one wife for 40 years. What does that have anything to do with the problems of our country. Can't anyone think of anything better to critize Romney on than his personal life. Why can't People say anything good when someone has done as good as job with their life as Romney. I think there is an uncurrent going on to still support Huckie. Sorry, hes just a wanta be. McCain would be really studpid to not choose Romney. This isn't a contest between us to see which one will be choosen, its a decision that only McCain can make for himself. Go McCain!

Posted by: sandy | July 3, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Romney is wrong for the VP spot.
1) He looks too perfect, especially his hair.
2) He is too rich. The wealth of McCain's wife and the Romneys is just too much for one ticket.
3) He is a mormon.

The "folks" do not relate to his persona.

I would go with someone like Charlie Crist who is charismatic and "folksy" at the same time and could help McCain carry Florida.

Posted by: mehuwss | July 3, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Romney's got the same problem as Rudy.
The more he campaigns (and the better people know him), the less they like him.

Witness:
IA - Granted, being Mormon was a hindrance...but with his org. & $$, he should NOT have lost.
Then came NH; a neighbor state of MA.
Again, with $$ & org., he should not have lost.
Like Rudy, once he started campaigning, his poll numbers never advanced.

I hope McCain picks him. But I'm all in with Obama.

Posted by: Aynsley | July 3, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Chris want a bunch of "weak" agruments against Mitt.

First the "hearsay" that McCain doesn't like Romeny, actually he does.

And as an Evangelical myself I have no issues with Mitt being a Mormon.

I was raised my whole life believing that "anyone" who believed in Jesus Christ was a Christian.

Mitt Romney is a "Christian" who am I to judge otherwise.

Our mostly corrupt liberal MSM wolfpack press "knows" that Mitt would be the best fit and addition to a McCain tickett.

"That's why" they continue to poo poo the idea.

We know that Mitt will deliver New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Michigan to McCain.

Chris..........it all comes down to "electoral votes" I don't think I have to remind you or anyone else of that FACT.

An M & M ticket is unbeatable.........

Posted by: Allen Ridge | July 3, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Romney is McCain's ultimate choice. Schmidt will make sure of that.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | July 3, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Choosing Romney would be the nail in the McCain campaign's coffin. Romney looks good on paper-sure, he always did-and the punditocracy always thinks he'll do well with the public. But other than the conservative bloggingheads and radio nuts, who know Romney can be bent to their will, nobody likes him. He comes off as smarmy, treacly and inauthentic to the max.

If Romney has any political principles at all, we would all be happy to hear what they are. Charles Manson would be a better running mate- at least he has a belief system.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | July 3, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

The case against Romney is weak compared to the case for.

First, Romney has already showed what a campaigner he would be without even being tapped. There is no one out their supporting McCain more than Romney.

Second, While it true there are many evangelist who will not vote for McCain if Romney is on the ticket, there are many conservative voters who may not for McCain unless Romney is on the Ticket. However, the ones who would not vote for McCain if he was on the ticket are in safer states, while those who would only vote for McCain if Romney was on the ticket are in many important swing states.

As for his business ties, that swings both ways.

Finally, with Romney on the ticket, McCain can get above the fray.

Posted by: Conservative Libertarian | July 3, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Romney would really hurt with many women voters, too -- a constituency McCain can win with 55% or more, if he plays his cards right. Kay Bailey Hutchinson or Olympia Snowe would be ideal.

Posted by: Jeannie | July 3, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

I would say Romney overall is the best choice.

Ed Rendell looks like the losing vice presidential candidate this year.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | July 3, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Whether you think it's justified or not, McCain's calling card is a reputation for authenticity. Choosing the arch-panderer as his potential successor would hurt.

Posted by: aleks | July 3, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

How about doing one on Cong Peter King from Nassau/Suffolk County NY He could be the sleeper candidate.


VJ Machiavelli
http://www.vjmachiavelli.blogspot.com
ps.This election is all about shoes, yes shoes do we keep them on or do we take them off and never put them on again when we board a plane. it's that simple. On shoes or off shoes

Posted by: Vj Machiavelli | July 3, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

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