I just finished reading the book that Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, published in 2010: No Apology; The Case for American Greatness. Instead of providing an interpretation on whether Mitt Romney is suitable to be president, I wanted to give an opportunity to hear the candidate in his own voice.
What follows is a collection of some of the more interesting paragraphs from Mitt’s book -- republished word for word as Romney originally wrote them.
These are the five things about Romney that haven’t been told by the mainstream media:
1. Mitt Romney Has Fresh New Ideas (Half-Wide Cars):
“I shared my own dream for a super-efficient commuter vehicle. It would be a lightweight, two-passenger car in which the occupants rode tandem – one behind the other instead of side by side. These much narrower vehicles would allow for the addition of more highway lanes at very little cost, reducing traffic and commuting times. I tried out my idea on Brian Schweitzer, Montana’s no-nonsense governor. “Mitt, you’d be real smart not to ever mention that again,” he said to me with a slight smile. “People will think you’ve lost it.” (Page 235)
2. Mitt Romney Believes in Peak Oil, and Government Intervention in Energy Markets:
“In recent years, there’s been a view in Washington that we should simply “let the market work” by taking a hands-off approach, rather than adopt a proactive and comprehensive set of energy policies. That prescription is exactly the right one in most economic sectors, but it falls short when it comes to energy. And it ignores the fact that we have policies in place right now that distort how the energy markets function.”
“Our own policies interfere with free-market mechanisms. We subsidize domestic oil and gas production with generous tax breaks, penalize sugar-based ethanol from Brazil, and block investment in nuclear energy. Our navy assumes the prime responsibility for securing the oil routes from the Middle East, effectively subsidizing its cost. Thus, we don’t pay the full cost of Middle East oil, either at the oil-company level or at the pump.” (232)
“Market economists also identify a number of externalities – real costs that aren’t captured in the price of fuel – the most frequently cited of which are the health-care costs of pollution and the climate costs of greenhouse gases. There is a further externality: potentially leaving the next generation in the lurch by using so much oil and energy ourselves – domestic and imported – that our children face severe oil shortages, prohibitively expensive fuel, a crippled economy, and dominion of energy by Russia and other oil-rich states. No matter how you price it, oil is expensive to use; we should be encouraging our citizens to use less of it, our scientists to find alternatives for it, and our producers to find more of it here at home.”
“Many analysts predict that the world’s production of oil will peak in the next ten to twenty years, but oil expert Matt Simmons, author of Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy, presents a compelling case that Middle Eastern oil production may have already reached its peak. Simmons bases his contention on his investigation into the highly secretive matter of the level of reserves in the Saudi oil fields. But whether the peak is already past or will be reached within a few years, world oil supply will decline at some point, and no one predicts a corresponding decline in demand. If we want America to remain strong and wish to ensure that future generations have secure and prosperous lives, we must consider our current energy policies in the light of how these policies will affect our grandchildren.” (233)
3. Mitt Romney Talks a lot About Freedom, But he is Not a Libertarian:
“We also need to increase our defense spending to at least 4% of GDP per year, including substantial and increasing support for missile defense... We are engaged in two hot wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and facing growing threats in almost every region of the world. Weakness invites challenges, acts of intimidation, acts of aggression, and sometimes war. Right now America is, based on its defense spending, well on the road to weakness.” (32)
“Some of the battles of the sixties still linger, however, as with the current push to legalize marijuana, which reflects the passion and zeal of those members of the pleasure-seeking generation that never grew up. Their arguments are elaborate but empty – a great nation has never been built on hedonism.” (261)
“The multiculturalism movement must be unmasked for the fraud that it is. There are superior cultures and ours is one of them. As David Landes observed, “Culture makes all the difference.” (262)
4. Mitt Romney Believes Human Activity is Contributing to Climate Change:
“It’s impossible not to take a look at our current energy policies without considering the question of climate change. I believe that climate change is occurring – the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor.” (227)
Romney hedges this statement in the next paragraph by saying he is “uncertain how much of the warming is attributable to man and how much is attributable to factors out of our control.” Three pages later, Mitt concludes his discussion of climate change saying that “Internationally, we should work to limit the increase in emissions in global green house gases, but in doing so, we shouldn’t put ourselves in a disadvantageous economic position that penalizes American jobs and economic growth.” (330)
5. Mitt Romney has Made Come Valiant Attempts to Understand Average Americans:
“During my campaign for governor, I decided to spend a day every few weeks doing the jobs of other people in Massachusetts. Among other jobs, I cooked sausages at Fenway Park, worked on asphalt paving crew, stacked bales of hay on a farm, volunteered in an emergency room, served food at a nursing home, and worked as a child-care assistant. I’m often asked which was the hardest job – it’s child care, by a mile.”
“One day I gathered trash as a garbage collector. I stood on that little platform at the back of the truck, holding on as the driver navigated his way through the narrow streets of Boston. As we pulled up to traffic lights, I noticed that the shoppers and businesspeople who were standing only a few feet from me didn’t even see me. It was as if I was invisible. Perhaps it was because a lot of us don’t think garbage men are worthy of notice; I disagree – anyone who works that hard deserves our respect. - I wasn’t a particularly good garbage collector: at one point, after filling the trough at the back of the truck, I pulled the wrong hydraulic lever. Instead of pushing the load into the truck, I dumped it onto the street. Maybe the suits didn’t notice me, but the guys at the construction site sure did…” (251)
Bonus: Ann Romney Calls the Shots:
A recent Newsweek article pointed out that Ann Romney drove their jet ski while Mitt was riding behind “like a helpless papoose.” According to Mitt, the whole painstakingly detailed epilogue of his book was added upon the insistence of his wife, proving once and for all who wears the pants in the Romney family. Of course, does anyone really believe that Michelle Obama isn’t currently calling the shots at the White House? Good luck deciding whom to elect as First Lady this November.