Two prominent Republicans squared off Sunday in a debate representative of their party as to whether two-time presidential candidate Mitt Romney should make a third attempt.
Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union,"
Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah said Romney has the needed experience, while Senate Conservatives Fund President Ken Cuccinelli countered that the former Massachusetts governor did little more than outspend his opponents to win the GOP nod in 2012.
Chaffetz said he believes Romney is serious about another possible run, noting that he spoke at last week's Republican National Committee
winter meeting in San Diego.
"You don't do that if you're just putting your ballcap down and going to SeaWorld for the afternoon," Chaffetz said.
He said Romney already is vetted and has been proved right on several issues, including warning about the threat of Russia and terrorism. And, Chaffetz argued, Romney is the only candidate who can raise enough money to beat Hillary Clinton, the expected Democrat nominee.
Cuccinelli said that any Republican would have been right on foreign policy compared to President Barack Obama.
"He didn't get the nomination in 2012 until he'd essentially outlasted, with money, all of the other choices," Cuccinelli said.
Romney wasn't inspirational in 2012, he said, and doesn't bring a philosophy he can articulate well. Except for his previous runs for president, he brings nothing more than what a lot of others do, Cuccinelli said.
While Romney is trying to portray himself as candidate of the middle class, that is something he should have done last time, Cuccinelli said, "but he shied away from it. He cowered from it."
And while Romney has had great success in business, he didn't make the moral case for capitalism in 2012, "and I think Republicans have concluded that he can't."
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