Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

What Romney Wanted to Say 'Now That I've Been Nominated, I Can Stop Talking Crazy'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

What Romney Wanted to Say 'Now That I've Been Nominated, I Can Stop Talking Crazy'

Article excerpt

Though the analogy isn't precise, Mitt Romney still feels like the Manchurian candidate in this race, the Massachusetts moderate disguised as a staunch conservative who wins the GOP nomination before he is revealed. I'm just speculating -- at this point, no one can have any idea what Mr. Romney really thinks about anything -- but it's possible that what follows is the acceptance speech in Mitt's head that he obviously couldn't deliver last night.

My fellow Republicans -- boy, you sure make it tough on a guy! I knew it would be hard to run the gantlet of a Republican primary process. But knowing you'll have to twist yourself into a pretzel and actually doing it are two very different things.

Not so long ago I was a "pro-choice progressive" who supported indexing the minimum wage to inflation -- something even Ted Kennedy didn't endorse. I said that smart regulation was essential to make markets work. I believed in public investment in critical research and development and infrastructure.

And then there's health care. I've been bursting all year to say this, and now that the delegates have voted, I feel we can speak freely. I'm incredibly proud of what we did in Massachusetts! I'm the only governor who passed a universal health care law -- heck, when the dust clears, Obamacare will still leave out 20 million to 30 million people! My reform brought health security to hundreds of thousands and did so in a market-based way that turned out to be a model for the country.

In other words, through my leadership of a small state, I've already had a major influence on national policy that will make every American's life more secure. In a sane world, this bipartisan accomplishment would have been my major credential for the presidency.

Then I had to deal with you people. And I'll be honest -- you're crazy! You've made me pretend all year that making sure every Massachusetts resident had secure access to health insurance was somehow bad, and that Barack Obama's desire to do this for the country is worse. You made me stand up and say that a deficit- cutting deal with $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in taxes wasn't good enough! And don't get me started on gays, guns or God. …

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