COMMENTARY | As I write this on the night of April 3, Fox News has projected Mitt Romney will win all three races in the Republican nomination held today in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Romney has increased his big delegate lead and he is on pace to win the nomination before the convention. It is interesting we again have the call from the Republican leaders for everyone to get out of Romney’s way. I remember John McCain saying this as early as the night of the New Hampshire primary, Jan. 10, that the race should be short. It is interesting that John McCain, the 2008 Republican loser to Barack Obama, would say that. I remember my 2008 candidate, Mike Huckabee, stayed in the race until McCain mathematically clinched the nomination. There was similar pressure for Huckabee (and Ron Paul) to get out early like Romney did in 2008. Romney only has a little over half of the delegates he needs to win the nomination. Why is there the rush for Santorum (and Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul) to get out?
Republicans are more afraid of a fight than they are of winning the White House back with a good candidate. Republicans, once again, are on the verge of nominating a weak moderate to be sacrificed to the Democratic “gods” in November. Except for Ronald Reagan beating Jimmy Carter in 1980, the Republicans have lost every election against a Democratic incumbent since Benjamin Harrison beat Grover Cleveland in 1888. They have lost the other seven times. Except for Barry Goldwater in 1964, the Republicans have served us with moderates to be slaughtered by the incumbent Democrats since World War II. These losers were Thomas Dewey in 1944 and 1948, Bob Dole in 1996 and John McCain in 2008.
Many people in the conservative movement like George Will in the Washington Post have given up on winning the White House this year for Republicans. They are focused on the Republicans keeping the House and winning the Senate back. However, these moderate candidates at the top of the ticker give the party no excitement and no coattails for the Congressional elections. These moderates lose not only the White House, but Congress for the Republicans as well. Distinguish this from 1980 when Reagan’s landslide over Carter also netted the Republicans 33 House seats and 12 Senate seats and the majority in the Senate for the first time in 1954 per reagansheritage.org.
A strong primary challenge or a contested convention does not doom the candidate. Just look back to 2008 when Hillary Clinton and Obama fought until the last primary in June. It worked out well for Obama. As reagansheritage.org also reminded me, Reagan challenged Richard Nixon at the 1968 convention, but Nixon still won in November. Republicans seem to be afraid of success and fighting for conservative principles. Let the primary season go on until Romney gets 1,144 delegates and not before. Party unity is for the convention in Tampa in August, not now.