“Republicans need a candidate who represents conservative values, builds bipartisan support and signals change for a restless electorate.
“Romney is that candidate.”
Romney is GOP’s best candidate
RENO GAZETTE JOURNAL
Nevada Republicans who want to participate in their party’s choice of a presidential nominee have a problem: The party and the candidates have shown little interest in them in the run-up to Saturday’s GOP caucuses.
State Republican officials made a mess of the process, including erroneous information on caucus locations on their Web site. So it’s no surprise that the candidates have largely ignored Nevada. Republican voters have had little chance to get to know the candidates, and those who find their way to precinct meetings might well be shooting in the dark.
The only candidate who has spent a significant amount of time in Nevada is U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, the Texas libertarian who has campaigned on an anti-war, anti-tax and return-to-the-Constitution platform. His message is an important one for those who are tired of politics as usual. His defense of the Bill of Rights is refreshing amid “patriot” initiatives that infringe on free speech, privacy and gun ownership. But he doesn’t represent a large part of the Republican Party, which casts doubt on his electability.
The best candidate — and the one who would give the party its strongest chance in the fall — is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Romney is a successful businessman who showed his ability to get voters to cross party lines when he won the governor’s office in Massachusetts, home of the Kennedys, Michael Dukakis and John Kerry. He left that office with his reputation and his relationships intact.
Romney’s most remarkable feat, however, was his stewardship of the Salt Lake City Olympics. He showed that he could bring disparate groups together, clean up a mess left by his predecessor, and to put on possibly the most successful games ever.
Romney’s No. 1 opponent since the New Hampshire primary is Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCain. McCain is a genuine war hero. But he’s also a government insider who has outlived scandal. But McCain is no friend to Nevada. In 2000, he joined with the NCAA to scapegoat Nevada sportsbooks for a point-shaving scandal in Arizona and was chief sponsor of a bill that would have banned betting on college sports, a business legal in Nevada. He also is a supporter of the Yucca Mountain project.
The other top candidate is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, winner in Iowa. His campaign has been slow to catch fire, and Nevadans know little of him.
He does not appear to offer the party much new, however. Neither do the other candidates remaining in the race, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who became a hero by his response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks but was not a successful mayor to that point; the sometimes actor and sometimes former Tennessee U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson; and U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter from California.
Republicans need a candidate who represents conservative values, builds bipartisan support and signals change for a restless electorate.
Romney is that candidate.