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Mitt Romney Will Tell You What He’s Going To Do After You Elect Him

Would you like to know what kind of Federal Budget cuts Mitt Romney would look for if he was elected President? Well, you’re going to have to elect him President in order to find that out:

Mitt Romney wants to eliminate government programs and shutter cabinet agencies. Doing so, he says, is “the critical thing” that needs to be done in order to bring government books back into balance and to begin restoring the promise of America. “Actually eliminating programs is the most important way to keep Congress from stuffing the money back into them,” he told me in a 30-minute interview on March 21. It’s a smart answer and a deeply conservative one.

But Romney, ever cautious, is reluctant to get specific about the programs he would like to kill. He did this in his bid for the Senate 18 years ago and remembers the political ramifications.

“One of the things I found in a short campaign against Ted Kennedy was that when I said, for instance, that I wanted to eliminate the Department of Education, that was used to suggest I don’t care about education,” Romney recalled. “So I think it’s important for me to point out that I anticipate that there will be departments and agencies that will either be eliminated or combined with other agencies. So for instance, I anticipate that housing vouchers will be turned over to the states rather than be administered at the federal level, and so at this point I think of the programs to be eliminated or to be returned to the states, and we’ll see what consolidation opportunities exist as a result of those program eliminations. So will there be some that get eliminated or combined? The answer is yes, but I’m not going to give you a list right now.”

(…)

“You know, I don’t know that I’m the pundit that can make that analysis for you,” he says with the laugh that often accompanies his answers to difficult questions. “I describe what my positions are on issues and lay out my policy and people will either warm to it or not, depending upon how they connect with it. So as to all of the factors that are associated with those that support me and those that support me less—well, I’m going to let you do that work.”

Yea, that’s gonna work.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Now this is the sort of gaffe that could make him look silly in the fall. It’s on a par with “we have to pass it to know what it’s in it.”

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  2. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    It reminds me of something one of my friends says to describe the trend in elections over his lifetime–“an endless parade of doofuses, each one more hapless than the one before.”

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  3. Hey Norm says:

    Paul Ryan has taken the same position on his budget. He’s going to eliminate deductions but won’t say which ones.
    If these guys were honest they wouldn’t get elected.

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  4. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Sorry, Chief, but I think this is mountain out of molehill territory. Since when do we expect presidential candidates — Democrat or Republican — to provide all of the nitty gritty details of their policies before the actual election?

    Did Clinton say in the spring of 1992 that he wanted to RIF the entire military, expand public-money funding for abortions and raise taxes to boot? Did Obama say in the spring of 2008 that he wanted to empower the NLRB to prevent companies from opening new factories, or that he wanted the EPA to have the power to shut down all coal-burning power plants, or that he wanted to take over GM and hand majority ownership to the UAW, or that he was going to keep Gitmo open no matter what the loopy left said or did, or that he was going to put the kibbosh on missile defense for Eastern Europe, or that he wanted to shut down offshore drilling in the Gulf, or that he was going to spend a trillion dollars to fix potholes in Democrat districts, or that his Justice Department was going to ship assault rifles over the Mexican border and not track them nor arrest anybody involved with their movement?

    Besides, this whole “elect me and you’ll find out” thing can and has been a winning strategy. Remember Nixon’s “secret plan” for ending the Vietnam War?

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  5. An Interested Party says:

    Of course Romney can’t tell anyone what government programs he would eliminate and which cabinet departments he would shudder…I mean, it isn’t like Republican presidents actually do either of those two things…

    Remember Nixon’s “secret plan” for ending the Vietnam War?

    Ahh. now there is someone to emulate…

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  6. PJ says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II:

    Besides, this whole “elect me and you’ll find out” thing can and has been a winning strategy. Remember Nixon’s “secret plan” for ending the Vietnam War?

    And yet it took him four and a half years to end it.

    And who can forget McCain’s secret plan to capture Bin Laden?

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  7. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II:

    Since when do we expect presidential candidates — Democrat or Republican — to provide all of the nitty gritty details of their policies before the actual election?

    This is not all the nitty gritty it’s NO NITTY GRITTY. Romney is going to be laughed out of court if he tries this strategy in the general. According to Quinnipiac he’s behind in PA, OH and FL (in FL by about 8 points the same as those polls from VA last week. Meawhile there’s a new ABC poll which has his fave/unfave gap at 18 points. There’s no one more of a sceptic than me when it comes to these early polls but the unfaves and the size of the gaps in VA and FL are very considerable and the Obama campaign hasn’t really gone into action yet. Against this background a platform of Elect me president and then I’ll tell you what I’m going to do, aint going to cut it. Other than with kool aiders like Nick of course.

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  8. @Tsar Nicholas II:

    Did Clinton say in the spring of 1992 that he wanted to RIF the entire military

    Ah yes, I remember the dark age when the US went eight years with no military forces whatsoever.

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  9. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: And Bill Clinton’s severly reduced force won the only war he fought. Then when Rumsfeld went to war with the ‘military you have, not the military you want’ beat Saddam handily in a few weeks. (We still don’t seem to know why Rumsfeld and company wanted to conquer Iraq, but Clinton’s RIFed military sure did a nice job of it.)

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