He is a flip-flopper. He is untrustworthy. And he’s out of touch with mainstream America.
That’s not just what I’m saying about Mitt Romney.
That’s what some of the Republican Party’s biggest stars – including some of the very ones who have been lauding Romney for the past three days in Tampa – have said about the newly minted Republican nominee for president.
As we listen to Romney’s well-rehearsed speech on the closing night of Republican National Convention tonight, we will still be left wondering:
What’s the real Mitt Romney like?
Romney’s record of flip-flopping on the environment and energy give some clues.
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney enacted the landmark Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan to reduce carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions. At the time, he agreed with 97 percent of active climate scientists and most Americans who say humans are causing global warming and climate change.
That was before he began kowtowing to the tea party and courting the campaign contributions of Big Coal to win the Republican nomination. Today, Romney says he doesn’t think carbon pollution threatens human health or the planet and would seek to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting Americans from carbon pollution. He also now denies that humans are causing global warming.
While campaigning recently in Iowa, where clean wind power now provides 20 percent of the state’s electricity, Romney proclaimed – as he has in the past – that he supports all energy sources, including renewables like wind and solar.
But right after that, he declared he would eliminate the production tax credit (PTC) that has helped create 75,000 wind energy jobs in America and other renewable programs that have created tens of thousands more jobs while cutting harmful carbon emissions.
The energy plan Romney drafted with Big Oil donors after they gave him $10 million in donations calls for more drilling, more mining and more fracking with fewer environmental standards, and more fossil fuel subsidies. It barely mentions clean, renewable energy that the majority of Americans (who aren’t in the oil business) say they want.
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney was once a big supporter of energy efficiency standards, proposing tax breaks for energy-efficient cars, implementing energy-efficiency requirements for buildings and creating a prize system to reward consumers who used energy-efficient equipment.
But now, Romney says he not only opposes historic new fuel efficiency standards reached by automakers and President Obama that will give us vehicles that get almost 55 miles per gallon by 2025, but he will even seek to undo current mileage standards.
Believe in America, says Romney’s campaign slogan.
But the America that Romney believes in would suffer from dirtier air and water.
It would go backward on energy.
It would sacrifice its national parks, its federal lands and its wildlife for more profits for the fossil fuel industry and for so Romney could satisfy his political ambitious.
The theater of the Republican convention is now coming to a close. That reality about Romney is setting in.
“He has consistently flip-flopped on every issue.” That’s what the last Republican nominee for president, Sen. John McCain, once said about Romney.
“I’ve never seen a guy change his position on so many things so fast.” That’s from former New York mayor Giuliani.
“People would rather elect a president who reminds them of the guy they work with, not the guy that laid them off.” That was Mike Huckabee, another GOP contender in the last presidential election.
Mitt Romney may believe in America.
But can America believe Mitt Romney?