Then there were four. The GOP is down to the final four candidates for the republican nomination. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are the four remaining after Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman have dropped out of the race.
This presidential primary has proven to be anyone’s game. The more conservative candidates who had taken the lead early on (being the favorite among tea partiers and other conservatives) had a brief but glorious run for the GOP nominee. Only one true conservative is left in the field of potential nominees, and that is Rick Santorum.
The campaign for the GOP nomination has turned into an all out brawl between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, with well-known republicans taking sides. John McCain, the loser in the 2008 presidential election against Obama, is stumping for Romney, who actually lost to McCain in the primaries. I wonder what Romney was thinking having McCain publicly endorse him? Chris Christy, a favorite amongst republicans, has endorsed Romney as well as. While Romney has the most Washington elected officials endorsing him, this could actually work against him. Romney could be seen as a Washington insider and part of the Republican establishment.
In my opinion, Romney is at best a moderate with liberal tendencies. His healthcare plan, dubbed ‘RomneyCare,’ is a mandated healthcare policy that was enacted when he was the Massachusetts governor. According to NBC news reporter Michael Isikoff, the White House visitor logs revealed that senior White House officials, in 2009, had met with three health-care advisers and experts who helped shape the health care reform law signed by Romney in 2006. Romney’s healthcare plan has been the basis for the now unpopular Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Universal Healthcare or affectionately named by many as ‘ObamaCare.’ Romney has been promising that if elected he would repeal ‘ObamaCare,’ however this could cost him the election against Obama.
Obama has been boasting that his single greatest achievement since his election was enacting Universal Health Care. An article in the Wall Street Journal by Paul A. Gigot stated that he and others believed that Romney’s healthcare policy would hurt him in the primaries. However, because Romney promised he would repeal the Obama universal health care policy, it kept him a front runner in the primaries. Gigot went on to state that he felt it may not hurt him in the nomination, but felt that it could in the general election.
It was Rick Santorum who confronted Romney on his health care policy in a recent debate, exposing his policy for what it was. Santorum stated, “What’s happened in Massachusetts is that people payed the fine because health insurance is so expensive. They have a pre-existing condition clause, just like Barack Obama’s health care policy. So what’s happening in Massachusetts? — The people that Governor Romney said he wanted to go after (the people that were free-riding) have now gone up fivefold in Massachusetts. Five times the rate it was before. Why? Because people are ready to pay a cheaper fine than they are able to sign up for insurance, which you’re now guaranteed under ‘RomneyCare,’ than pay high-cost insurance, which is what has happened as a result of ‘Romney Care.’ Gigot went on to state in his article that “Romney, all but conceded Mr. Santorum’s point that the two plans are so similar, voters will be hard-pressed to tell the difference come November.
Then there is Newt Gingrich who believes he is the only one that can beat Obama. However, polling data has Newt as a guaranteed win for Obama.
Many remember Gingrich for his famous march on Washington with the freshmen republican congressmen in 1994, or for his “Contract with America.” He was also Speaker of the House when Clinton was in office. Yes, he did have some conservative moments. However, they do not make up for his left leaning tendencies or the numerous scandals he was a part of, such as the disgrace of leaving office due to an ethics violation or the involvement with Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, which had been the cause of the housing collapse that had sent the economy on a downward slope.
Gingrich has been viciously attacking his opponents and has shown that he has a nasty temper; something that may not be the best quality for a president. However, in exit polling interviews, people were stating that they had liked Rick Santorum, but voted for Gingrich when it came down to pulling the lever. Why? Many stated that Gingrich was the only one who was tough enough to go after Obama. Others had said that he had tapped into the anger that they feel because of the destruction of America. Is this what it has come down to?
Perhaps not. There is still the one true conservative left and that is Rick Santorum. He won Iowa and can go on to take the remaining primaries if he can get his message to the people. He has been strong in the debates and if Newt vs. Romney continues, they may destroy each other and Santorum could become the winner.