Friday, March 10, 2006

Rave Reviews for Romney at SRLC

VOLuntarily Conservative, a Tennessee blogger covering the SRLC, gives the Governor big points for his message today at SRLC:
"The next address was by the first of the prospective 2008 Presidential candidates, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Due to my previous criticisms of Governor Romney, my skepticism was quite high. I was actually worried that I might be a bit too hard on Romney. However, Governor Romney showed fantastic oratory skills and delivered an interesting, impassioned message to the delegates. Out of the first round of speakers, he was the best of the bunch.

Romney, who, I am told, is trumpeting a slogan this weekend of "Yankee Governor, Southern Values," immediately got the crowd on his side by singing the old theme song of "Davey Crockett" - with a little addition of Bill Frist in the final wording. Romney spoke of the important lessons he had learned regarding reaching across the aisle to help the people of Massachusetts, something that he had to do in "the bluest of blue states." One of the best tales Romney told was of balancing the budget by cutting wasteful programs and increasing government efficiency. Specifically, Romney spoke of cutting $20 million from a homeless program for wasteful hotel expenditures that encouraged the homeless to bilk the system. Romney also spoke of the ridiculous notion of bi-lingual education and how it hurts a significant segment of the population in their attempts to better their lives.

Romney also laid forth the 4 major challenges facing America today. First, we must deal with the jihadists and their determination to unify the nations of Islam. On this front, Romney offered praise for President Bush's actions and the sacrifices of our military. Second, Romney identified the lack of understanding in the Congress that we are spending too much money. He cited the 49% growth in discretionary spending. Romney emphatically called for a presidential line-item veto to help in this regard. Third, Romney pointed out our need for an educated workforce. In particular, Romney pointed to the few engineers and PhD-level scientists that we produce compared to nations such as China and India. He said that America risks becoming irrelevant without improvements in these fields. "We must not become the France of the 21st Century," Romney stated strongly. Continuing on educational issues, Romney called for better pay for the better teachers and minimizing the teachers' unions. Interestingly, he called for educational immigration reform, referring to how our best foreign graduates have to leave the country upon receiving their doctorates while those with limited skills and virtually no education are allowed to stay. On this front, Romney appeared quite at odds with President Bush, much to his credit. Finally, Romney spoke of the need to embrace American culture, for his feels that is what has made America great. He quoted David Landis' "The Wealth & Poverty of Nations," which this blogger found impressive.

Overall, Romney's foray into the South had to be considered a success. His charisma is infectious, and his message will play well here. Can he explain away his previous record of compromising in Massachusetts? That will be crucial if he is to secure the nomination in 2008."

Also, Chris Matthews interviewed some SRLC attendees at the end of his 5 ET hour, and while all of them either said they were for Frist or Condi, they all had positive things to say about Mitt.