Texas Governor Rick Perry released a new ad attacking Governor Romney’s pilot version of Obamacare
. The Romney campaign quickly swiped back, claiming Romney is a federalist and would not impose a solution that worked for his state on the whole nation. Perry has used the same kind of response under withering attacks from competitors about his open borders policies and his controversial decision to grant in-state tuition rate to illegals.
Neither side can have it both ways. If Texas has the right to become an amnesty sanctuary and candy store for illegals under the Tenth Amendment, then Romney’s Massachusetts certainly has a right to impose universal mandated health care on its citizens under the same states’ right philosophy. These are not offsetting penalties; to most voters, they are disqualifying windows into the true philosophy of the respective candidates. The Tenth Amendment was not intended as an immunity from bad policy… it was a protection against federally imposed policy that infringed on each state’s ability to govern itself. To the extent that Perry and Romney both proved soft on illegals, the ball goes to Romney, who has also promoted gay marriage, open borders and his own state’s version of Obamacare. While he may have had an epiphany on the day he decided back in 2007 that everything he stood for up to that point was wrong, the fact remains that all we have to measure him by is how he has run as a candidate and governed as an elected leader. The same goes for Rick Perry.
The problem with both men is simply that they opted to run in the wrong party. Romney has some experience at turning around businesses — and salvaging the Olympics — but he remains flawed on every other measure by which a conservative leaning GOP base chooses its candidates. Perry, favoring Democrats and ultra-liberal GOP candidates throughout his career cements the impression that his switch to the GOP may have been an expedient to succeed in Texas politics. Does he truly believe the conservative views he now espouses any more than Romney believes his? This demonstrates that we, the electorate cannot have it both ways either. If we assume Romney is still a liberal, disguising himself as a new conservative for the sake of winning over the GOP base, then we have to consider that Perry, who is an Al Gore devotee and an adherent to open borders philosophy may also have been less than sincere in his flips on issues and flops on party affiliation.
For conservatives in the GOP considering a candidate, there are plenty of alternatives who have remained consistent in their views throughout their public lives. Even Michele Bachmann, a former Carter Democrat did not change her conservative views — like many of us, she supported Carter for the wrong reasons. He was not who he represented himself to be. Ron Paul has not wavered from his Libertarian roots. While his “expedient” was to join the GOP because Libertarians do not win elections, he remains philosophically true to his own past. Ditto Rick Santorum and the current frontrunner, Herman Cain.
While Rick Perry and Mitt Romney duke it out in the name of the Tenth Amendment, the message for us is that neither is an acceptable candidate if we cannot trust them to be consistent. As we found with George W. Bush, politicians with a “moderate” bent tend to “grow” in office. Starting as a seemingly true conservative, Bush deteriorated into just another spendthrift pragmatist, pouring the foundation for the mess Obama would make. The next president cannot be a guy who wants it both ways. We need a federalist candidate who has been consistent throughout — and one who wants it our way.