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Mitt Romney

1) We should continue in this war until Iraq is a stable democracy


"We are a unique nation, and there is no substitute for our leadership. The difficulties we face in Iraq should neither cause us to lose faith in the United States' strength and role in the world nor blind us to the new challenges we face. Our future and that of generations to come depend on our resolve to move beyond the divisiveness in Washington today and unite America and our allies to confront a new generation of global challenges." —Gov. Mitt Romney, "Rising To A New Generation Of Global Challenges," Foreign Affairs, (July/August 2007)

Romney supports the war and has urged "Congress to follow the lead of the commanders in the field and the commander in chief." He does not emphasize the achievement of democracy in Iraq, however, as an objective. Rather he sees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a necessary part of a broader, international effort to defeat the radical and violent factions of Islam and to bring about "the rejection of violence by moderate, modern, mainstream Muslims." This would involve both military and diplomatic actions to support modern Muslim nations and to promote "secular education, modern financial and economic policies, international trade, and human rights." He recommends adding major expenditures annually over the next several years to modernize our military and ease the strain on National Guard and reserves, and support the wounded soldiers. "The next president," he says, "should commit to spending a minimum of four percent of GDP on national defense."

"Defeating the Jihadists," Mitt Romney

Romney, Mitt, "Rising To A New Generation Of Global Challenges,” Foreign Affairs, (July/August 2007)

McManus, Doyle and Janet Hook "Presidential Candidates Divided on Iraq Exit," Los Angeles Times (05/15/07)

"Research Briefing: A New Generation of Global Challenges - The Romney Vision Vs. The Obama Vision," Press Release, Mitt Romney (05/31/07)

2) Efforts to combat global warming should be increased


"We need to initiate a bold, far-reaching research initiative - an energy revolution - that will be our generation's equivalent of the Manhattan Project or the mission to the moon. It will be a mission to create new, economical sources of clean energy and clean ways to use the sources we have now. ... It will be good for our national defense, it will be good for our foreign policy, and it will be good for our economy."

Romney, Gov. Mitt, "Rising To A New Generation Of Global Challenges," Foreign Affairs (July/August 2007)

In years past, Romney has acknowledged the dangers of global warming but prefers to stress the importance America's energy independence and conservation.

He advocates developing alternative sources of energy such as nuclear, biodiesel, ethanol, and coal gasification, and stepped up efforts to drill for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

Romney dismisses CAFÉ standards or the idea of a carbon tax as a stand alone measure. In a recent CNN interview he said, "global warming is something the scientists haven't entirely resolved." Nevertheless, he has been accelerating his call for clean, independent energy research and calling for an energy revolution.

Romney, Gov. Mitt, "Rising To A New Generation Of Global Challenges," Foreign Affairs (July/August 2007)

"Achieving Energy Independence," Mitt Romney

"Current Position of Presidential Candidates on Climate Policies," Heat is On 2008 (website of the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund)

Smith, Garry " Heat is on for presidential candidates," The Kansas City Star (03/22/07)

3) The federal government should provide a universal health care system


Romney, who patched together a universal health care system for Massachusetts when governor of that state, says "The health of our nation can be improved by extending health insurance to all Americans, not through a government program or new taxes, but through market reforms." In Massachusetts, his legislation required everyone to buy health insurance, provided assistance for those who could not afford to do so, and insisted on tax penalties for those who did not purchase any. His plan makes use of insurance pools and existing services like Medicaid. As a presidential candidate, he is expected to encourage other states to develop their own plans rather than to develop a national plan.

Appleby, Julia "Mass. Gov. Romney's health care plan says everyone pays," USA Today (07/04/05)

Bacon Jr., Perry "Romney Plays Down Role in Health Law," Washington Post

"Extending Health Insurance To All Americans," Mitt Romney

4) Same-sex marriage should be banned


On June 25, 2006 Mitt Romney stated that same-sex marriage ought to be banned and has been advocating a federal constitutional amendment to do just that.

Atkins, Kimberly "Mitt: Gay marriage `wrong,' voters should get their say," Boston Herald (06/26/06)

Romney, Mitt "One Man, One Woman: A Citizen's Guide to Protecting Marriage," Opinion Journal from the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page (02/05/04)

Distaso, John "Romney: 1 Man 1 Woman," New Hampshire Union Leader (04/04/07)

5) The civil law should be reformed so that lawsuits are less common and damage verdicts against individuals and businesses are lower


Romney advocates national "tort reform" to control suits and damages. He says that state reforms are ineffectual because it means "that as long as there is one lawsuit-friendly state, they can sue almost any major, deep-pocketed company in America." Romney feels that lawsuits have become a major problem for business and maintains that corporations are now spending more money on tort claims than Research and Development.

"Excerpts from Governor Mitt Romney's Remarks at the Detroit Economic Club," Mitt Romney (campaign webpage) (02/07/07)

"Governor Romney's Remarks at the Club for Growth," Press Release, Mitt Romney (03/29/07)

6) The US should increase foreign aid


Mitt Romney espouses the idea of a "Second Marshall Plan" involving "all the civilized nations of the world" who, together with volunteers, businesses, and non-governmental organizations, would support "moderate Muslim nations and peoples" by providing public schools, property rights, the rule of law, modern banking and agriculture and pro-growth economic policies. He sees foreign aid as a diplomatic and strategic tool as well as a means of aiding those who stand with the United States.

Romney has also suggested consolidating all the agencies that deliver foreign aid into one organization.

"Governor Romney's Remarks at the Miami-Dade Lincoln Day Dinner, " Speech, Mitt Romney, (03/09/07)

Boak, Joshua "Military needs to be expanded, Romney tells Hillsdale grads," Toledo Blade (05/13/07)

7) Murderers should face the death penalty


Romney tried, as Governor of Massachusetts, to reinstate the death penalty for particularly heinous criminals such as cop-killers, terrorists, and those who engage in multiple killings. His plan also called for strong defense attorneys, scientific evidence to corroborate guilt, monitoring against error in crime-labs, and a review of death-penalty cases.

Bazelon, Emily "The Foolproof Death Penalty," The New York Times Magazine (12/12/04)

"The Candidates on the Death Penalty," Religions & Politics, The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

8) The government should stop subsidizing farmers


Although Romney has not recently discussed this, farm subsidies are not in accord with his philosophical commitment to limited government. In a Boston Globe review of campaign issues (Mar. 21 2002), Romney is said to favor cuts in farm subsidies as part of a government reform package. Earlier, in 1994, he expressed opposition to farm subsidies and urged cuts to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"Mitt Romney on Government Reform," On the Issues

"Romney's Ag statements reminiscent of Kerry," The Caucus Cooler (02/12/07)

9) Before the social security system runs out of money, we should increase social security taxes to maintain benefits


Romney favors honoring the expectations of those who have or are about to receive social security but seeks bipartisan negotiating "behind closed doors" to ensure the system will be solvent in the future. Presumably any solution will involve a revamped dues structure, the possible removal of caps on the amount of earned income on which dues must be paid, and either deferred eligibility or reduced benefits. "It's really not possible for us to remain an economic and military super power without rethinking and restructuring our entitlements programs," he says.

Henderson, O. Kay "Romney: Reform Social Security," Radio Iowa (08/25/06)

"Mitt Romney on Social Security," On The Issues

"Retirement Security," Working Families Vote 2008

10) The federal government should be able to hold a suspected terrorist indefinitely without charging them with a crime


Romney said, in a debate of GOP presidential candidates (05/15/07) that the U.S. ought to double Guantanamo and that he doesn’t want its prisoners, classified as enemy combatants, to have access to lawyers. When asked at an earlier Club for Growth meeting if the President should be able to arrest U.S. citizens with no review, Romney entertained the possibility by saying "he would want to hear the pros and cons from smart lawyers before he made up his mind."

"Restore Habeas Corpus Updated," Taylor Marsh (05/09/07)

Liss, Sharon Kehnemui "GOP Candidates, Supporters Bask in Own Glory Following Feisty Debate," Fox News (05/16/07)

11) The War on Drugs is a failure and should be curtailed.


Romney has not yet issued an issue paper on drugs but in a speech (04/08/07) he said he'd "like to keep drugs off the streets." Referring to an article by Peggy Noonan that described "the ocean in which our children swim" as a "cesspool of violence, sex, drugs, indolence, and perversion," Romney said "he'd like to clean up the water in which our kids are swimming."

"Governor Mitt Romney's Remarks at the Frontiers Of Freedom Ronald Reagan Gala," Mitt Romney (4/18/07)

12) America should take stronger and more consistent measures against the presence of illegal immigrants in the United States


Romney has been a fierce critic of the recent compromise immigration bill offering a form of amnesty for illegal immigrants. Romney, as governor, authorized the Massachusetts state police to arrest illegal immigrants. He calls for more strenuous efforts to prevent illegal immigration to America while increasing legal immigration, especially for those with skills and education. Secure borders, a workplace verification system, a temporary worker program, and a path for undocumented workers to earn legal status are some of the remedies Romney proposes. He would allow students attending U.S. colleges and universities the right to stay legally upon graduation. "Our immigration laws are upside-down," Romney says. "It makes no sense at all that we have concrete borders with people who have skills and education, but we're wide open to people who have neither."

Stinebacker, Joel "McCain, Romney Talk Immigration in Texas" (AP), My Way (05/22/07)

Mitt Romney: Immigration Mitt Romney Encyclopedia (wiki)

"Romney: Reform immigration, allow students to stay," Mitt Romney


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