Matt Kibbe: Romney’s Debate Challenge: Stay Principled

Tuesday, 02 Oct 2012 09:36 PM

By Matt Kibbe

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Matt Kibbe’s Perspective: While surrogates from both campaigns are encouraging viewers to “lower their expectations,” grassroots conservatives are sending a clear message to Mitt Romney: be bold.

Wednesday’s presidential debate in Denver provides Mitt Romney with the opportunity to highlight the failures of the Obama Administration — namely the staggering unemployment rates and the growing $16 trillion in national debt — and to realign himself with the principled wing of the GOP by doubling down on his commitment to economic freedom and constitutionally-limited government.

Starting tonight, Romney must own who he is: a pragmatic leader whose career was built on cleaning up the messes other people made. He should proudly highlight his work at Bain Capital, where he made smart — and sometimes difficult — decisions to cut waste where it needed to be cut, and to grow the companies with sustainable business models.

Urgent Poll: Romney Vs. Obama – VOTE NOW!

Bain guided companies that had lost their focus on a core mission, helped them re-identify what that core mission was, and set them on a path of reform toward prosperity.

Romney should apply the Bain model of reform to his presidential agenda, committing himself and his future administration to the guiding values of a constitutionally-limited government, and pledging without hesitation to cut the waste and government overreach necessary to return our country to strength and prosperity.

Smart, principled leadership is exactly what the American electorate is looking for, not another four years of political doublespeak and blame-gaming. Some of Mitt Romney’s strongest weeks of the campaign were following his bold announcement of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate — a clear sign to grassroots conservatives that Mitt Romney is willing to tackle the real economic issues facing America today.

Putting principle over politics has been the driving force behind the tea party’s rise to influence and its success at the ballot box, but this is no new phenomenon. History shows that Republicans win elections when they stand on principle. Republicans lose when they are wishy-washy on principle and policy.

Boldly committing to sound policy over political games is what elected and re-elected Ronald Reagan. It’s also what inspired the “Contract with America” in the 90’s, which led to Republicans gaining a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Republicans took back the House in 2010 after renewing their commitment to free markets and limited government in the crowd-sourced “Contract from America,” and gained seats in the Senate with principled conservative candidates like Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida winning out over establishment Republicans whose principles had eroded after years of Washington deal-making.

Urgent Poll: Romney Vs. Obama – VOTE NOW!

Americans reward conviction, and they reward politicians who tell the truth and stand for something — even when it’s not an easy thing to hear.

If Mitt Romney takes the podium and confidently makes the case for individual freedom and sustainable economic policy, and champions his years of experience in finding solutions to tough problems rather than minimizing them, we will have a new president on Jan. 20, 2013.

Matt Kibbe is the president and CEO of FreedomWorks, and author of “Hostile Takeover: Resisting Centralized Government’s Stranglehold on America.”

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