I will not be endorsing any time soon. I have made clear my reasons here.I am, however, continually surprised that anyone in the GOP thinks Mitt Romney is a really viable candidate. Should he be the nominee, the American public will be treated to interviews and commercials with every person ever fired or laid off because of Bain Capital, an organization from which MItt Romney still draws money.The Romney camp response is, in effect, “Sure, but look at all the people laid off because of Barack Obama.”Okay. Sure. In other words, in a race about job creation, we’ll have a fight over who caused the fewest people to lose their jobs.That’s a real winner of an argument to have.Meanwhile, yesterday, a number of bloggers across the conservative side of the internet rolled out endorsements for Rick Perry, including a number of front page writers here. While I realize Perry’s initial debate performances were weak and, should Perry make it out of Iowa he must absolutely and decisively remove Ray Sullivan from being in charge of communications, left people yearning for what might have been, the man is the three term governor of the second largest state in the nation under whose administration close to 50% of all jobs in the nation were created in the past decade, and who has never lost an election.And there is also the fact that Rick Perry is both a farmer and a veteran. In fact, Perry is the only veteran running for President who has a shot at actually winning. Republicans used to value military service in a candidate and they still should.I think Rick Perry has a vastly better shot against Barack Obama than Mitt Romney. Of all the candidates running, I think he has one of the best shots, though his internal campaign situation has badly served him and he never should have left Ray Sullivan in his position and I question whether he should have brought on Cousin Eddie . . . er . . . Joe Allbaugh, a Bushie whose presence will just cause more comparisons to Bush.I highlight Perry not to endorse him, but to point out that his qualifications and experience are a far better match against Barack Obama than Mitt Romney’s, whose claim to fame is his private sector experience, which he is forced to highlight because in the 22 contests on which MItt Romney has placed his name for public office, he has only won 5.While I think Perry has one of the best shots of beating Barack Obama, he is not the only one.
I think Newt Gingrich has a better shot at beating Barack Obama too. The former Speaker of the House is more a wild card than any of the other candidates, but he excites the base in a way that few do.A Gingrich – Obama debate would be substantive, on policy, and would be a rhetorical knock out against Barack Obama. Consider that Rick Perry has been so badly served by a big staff and Newt Gingrich has now been so well served by a small staff. He has run a nimble, positive campaign on the issues and, unlike Mitt Romney, has not spent time in the private sector firing people wholesale not can he be accused of being a scion of Wall Street.Jon Huntsman too could beat Barack Obama. In fact, pretty much every independent voter I encounter and moderate Democrat I encounter is baffled why we are not considering the guy they actually prefer right now. Part of it is because moderate Democrats prefer him and part of it is because Huntsman campaign made a conscious decision to start the campaign giving conservatives the middle finger.But Huntsman’s policy proposals are deeply conservative. He is more pro-life than Mitt Romney, more consistent than either Romney or Gingrich, and actually seems refreshingly unwilling to play in the kabuki theater we expect the candidates to go through.MIchele Bachmann too is an outstanding candidate. At a time when our tax code is out of whack, she is a tax attorney with deep knowledge on how to fix the system and how the present system works. In Congress, even people who don’t like her tell me she is one of the quickest, sharpest studies in the House Republican Conference. She, like Perry, shares my values and has an unapologetic believe in the greatness of this country.Mitt Romney is not a bad guy. I am sure he is imminently likable. But he cannot beat Barack Obama. he cannot beat Barack Obama because we are in an election cycle when everyone hates Wall Street. Even the GOP is campaigning against Wall Street. And Mitt Romney is the candidate of Wall Street. He is the candidate who laid off scores of people and made a huge profit doing it. We on the right, as capitalists, may say there is nothing wrong with that, but swing voters are who still tuned out are not going to like it.Oh, and it seems clear Mitt Romney is hell bent on winning this thing without conservative support, which should be a serious warning sign right now.