Romney: My Conservative Record Is Unequivocal

Friday, 17 Feb 2012 04:21 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Continuing to face charges that he is not a true conservative, presidential contender Mitt Romney says his record on social and economic issues speaks for itself and he is willing to match it with the man who has quickly become his main opponent for the Republican nomination — former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Romney also told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Thursday that he could not have become a successful businessman if he was not a fiscal conservative.
 
“I was a conservative governor — I described some of the ways I have done that, and how I fought for conservative social values, conservative economic values,” Romney said. “Let me contrast that with the other guy who’s sort of up in the polls right now ... Rick Santorum voted five times to raise the debt ceiling without compensating cuts in federal costs.

“He also voted and continues to defend earmarks — and I'm in favor of stopping earmarks — banning earmarks. During Rick Santorum’s term in office, the government in Washington grew by 80 percent,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “Look, when it comes to economic conservatism, I’ve got the record that he does not have. And I believe that when it comes to that economic conservatism, people are going to have a hard time finding someone more conservative than myself.”

Romney stressed what has become his repeated theme in battling those who say he does not enthrall the Republican Party’s conservative base — the fact that he does not just talk the talk.

“I have lived conservatism — some people study it and come to know conservatism by their readings — I have actually lived conservatism in my life, in my home, in my family, in my faith and also in business,” Romney said. “You know, if you are not a fiscal conservative in business, you know, you will go out of business. And of course, I was able to demonstrate my conservatism as the governor of my state.

“We balanced the budget every year for four years; we have put in place a rainy day fund; cut taxes 19 times,” he continued. “And some big social issues came to the fore in my state, like same-sex marriage and embryo farming. These are battles [where] I led the charge for conservative values. So, my record is pretty solid and strong — and that's why I think I won with a record amount of support in New Hampshire, among conservatives; in Florida, among conservatives; and Nevada.

“And I think, I have got the most delegates at this point. So, we’ll keep on battling. And I think, I'll get some good support.”

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