Nathan Burd is the director of Americans for Mitt, a group supporting the candidacy of Mitt Romney for President.
Burd answered these questions for the Conservative President 2008.
1. Why should Mitt Romney become President?
As voters become familiar with Governor Romney, they’ll see that he’s far and away the most accomplished candidate in the field. In fact, he may just be the best candidate from either party in a long, long time.
As governor, Romney has erased a $3 billion budget deficit by reducing waste and cutting taxes. Massachusetts can no longer be called “Taxachusetts” due to Romney’s bold leadership. The principles of fiscal discipline that he has shown in Massachusetts are sorely needed in Washington, D.C.
Romney has also earned praise for applying conservative principles to his landmark plan to provide universal health care coverage to every citizen in Massachusetts.
On education, Romney created the John and Abigail Adams scholarship program that allows high-achieving students to attend state colleges tuition-free for four years. The result of this incentive? Students in Massachusetts rank at the top of nearly academic category.
And on the vital social issues of the day, Romney has been a champion for traditional marriage and for protecting the unborn. By vetoing efforts to expand embryonic stem-cell research and emergency contraception, Romney has made defending human life a top priority. No leader has been as outspoken as Romney on the need to protect traditional marriage. By openly criticizing the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage and by vocally supporting the Federal Marriage Amendment, Romney has been the strongest voice for the traditional values movement in America.
Prior to becoming governor, Romney ran the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. These games were held just months after 9/11 and Romney oversaw the massive security effort to keep the games safe. He has also recently traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan to encourage our troops and to get a first-hand look at the challenges we face. He has spoken clearly on the need to defeat the radical Jihadists who aim to destroy our way of life.
Mitt Romney should be our next president because he’s taken action on all of the major issues of our time and he has the leadership ability to ensure that America remains the world’s economic and military superpower.
2. What makes Romney a better candidate over other possible candidates?
Many of the likely candidates are Senators. History has shown that Senators have a hard time becoming presidents. Sadly, the current leadership in D.C. has failed to take action on the major issues facing the country. Governors (Carter, Reagan, Clinton, G.W. Bush) have the executive experience that voters appreciate and expect in presidential candidates.
Mitt Romney is the most accomplished candidate in the field. In fact, it’s not even close. If you stack Romney’s record of accomplishment up against the other likely candidates, there is no question that he’s the best candidate in the Republican field. He’s the complete package; a candidate who appeals to fiscal and social conservatives, but who has also proven capable of working with members of the other party for the common good. This country desperately needs Mitt Romney.
3. Do you think that Romney can win the Republican and if so could he win the general election?
Yes. Romney has already solidified himself as a top-tier candidate in the Republican field. Most polls show the race shaping up to be a Romney/Rudy/McCain contest. While Rudy and McCain still enjoy a considerable advantage in terms of name identification, each has significant weaknesses in the eyes of prominent factions of the Republican Party. Mitt Romney has no weaknesses. His message will appeal to a broad-range of Republican voters and once they get to know him, they’ll like him.
In March, Romney finished in second place in the Southern Republican Leadership Conference Straw Poll. The event was held in Tennessee and Bill Frist won the poll simply for that reason. However, Romney was the real winner by finishing well ahead of the rest of the field.
After winning the Republican nomination, independent voters and sensible Democrats will flock to his campaign. The Democrats in the race are all beatable by the right Republican candidate. Mitt Romney is that candidate.
4. Do you think that Romney being a Mormon will effect his chances at winning the Republican nomination?
The media will bring up “the Mormon issue” continually, but Republican voters will not reject Mitt Romney because of his religion. Republicans are looking for a candidate who shares their values. Mitt Romney has been proven that he shares the moral and political values that Republican voters appreciate.
Prominent religious leaders, including Ted Haggard, Jerry Falwell, Richard Land, Marvin Olasky, Chuck Colson, and more, have already said that they could vote for a Mormon who shares their values. The media will insist on making this an issue, but among Republicans and various religious leaders, it’s just not relevant.
The website I run, Americans for Mitt, has members from a wide variety of faith backgrounds. I’m an evangelical Christian and this issue poses no problem for me. As Cal Thomas recently said, “it troubles me not that a Mormon might become president.”
There is also a great website for “Evangelicals for Mitt” (http://www.evangelicalsformitt.org/). As we’ve said from the beginning, the election is for president, not pastor.
5. If Romney loses the Republican nomination, would you like to see him run as a third party candidate?
No. Mitt Romney is a Republican. He’ll get to the White House by winning the Republican nomination and the general election.