The Romney Difference; A Strong, Principled Leader for America

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Byline: Paul M. Weyrich, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Why did I endorse Gov. Mitt Romney for president of the United States? Let me count the ways. But first let me comment on the Mormon question. Nearly every critical message against my endorsement used the governor's Mormon religion as the reason I should not have done so. If we were endorsing Mr. Romney for head of the Southern Baptist Convention, or in my case as head of the synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, the objections of these Evangelical Christians would be wholly appropriate. But we are not.

The issue here is simply this: Is Mr. Romney competent to be president of this great country? Indeed he is. Mr. Romney has the experience, vision and values to be president. He has spent most of his career in the private sector turning around companies and the 2002 Winter Olympics. He has actually met payrolls. How many of the other candidates running can match that? And, he successfully ran a very liberal state for four years by governing as a conservative.

And while I very much disagree with the theology of the Mormon Church, its principles have given him the ethical standards needed for an American president. Can anyone point to scandals connected with the governor?

Now, to my reasons for endorsing the governor: First, the winning coalition for conservatives consists of defense and economic and social principles. The governor holds all of these principles dear. In the defense arena, Mr. Romney is a strong supporter of missile defense. I believe he would make President Reagan's vision of a strategic defense initiative come true. I also believe he would be far more cautious than the current administration when it comes to nation-building. He is much more realistic than those who believe in making nations safe for democracy.

Second, he is a strong believer in the free enterprise system. Mr. Romney understands that Americans are taxed too much. Mr. Romney, just as John F. Kennedy, Mr. …