Correction: In 2003 Romney Channels Obama
Update: My bad. I should have linked the shorter clip at RCP, too. The video below is from 2003. Change!
You have to break down what Romney is actually saying here to fully grasp it. Video below. What it demonstrates is Romney's Progressivism. I'd wager he's trying to spin away his business past, given that it was 1993 2003. He claims he disagrees with the classical Republican view of getting out of the way of corporations to allow them to thrive. The only thing that can mean is regulation and taxation.
He defines the Democrats as believing in investing in government. He then pivots to claim that in contrast to those two views, he believes in "people." But that's where the spin unravels, as he doesn't stop there. He goes on to say that in his view we must invest in people and to give them more freedom. At this point, he's merely spouting gobbledygook. Government doesn't bestow freedom when it acts, it always curtails it for some, if not all.
If he really believed in liberty, he'd say government should get out of their way. Instead, he says government should invest in them. Hello, that is precisely the progressive Democrat view he had just disavowed. It's a lot of fancy words to say that he is, in fact, a progressive, if not a Democrat. Government can't "invest" in people unless it taxes some to give to others – that's wealth distribution in one form, or another.
In reality, he is saying precisely what Obama would say on the stump today. Liberty is not his focus, his focus is using government to give people "freedom" via education, or what have you. It's a mash if you break it down but in the end it is pure Obama. Government must help people, left to their own device, they are incapable of succeeding. To paraphrase Reagan, Mitt Romney is from the government and he's here to help you. In the end, this is the Mitt we'd see in a general election, as he pivots back and tries to out Obama Obama in one fashion, or another. That will depend on what the polls tell him to say, I imagine.
Given that the Constitution grants Americans all the liberty required, what greater liberty is it Romney believes had been bestowed upon the people in previous decades through government? It makes no sense, except as an acknowledgement of previous decades of progressive government, upon which one must assume, Romney would seek to build.
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