Mitt Romney won the Iowa caucuses Tuesday night. Technically, he tied for victory with Rick Santorum. But Romney is the one who comes out of Iowa in the lead for the nomination. He entered with a massive lead over Santorum in fundraising, organization and polling numbers in New Hampshire, which votes next. The most recent poll in New Hampshire, released Monday, shows Romney in first with 41 percent and Santorum in fifth with 3 percent. While Santorum held over 300 town hall meetings in Iowa, Romney largely avoided the state, skipping out as recently as Friday to campaign in New Hampshire. Romney roughly equaled his last performance in Iowa without investing nearly as much campaign resources into it.
By devoting far more time to New Hampshire than Iowa, Romney managed the expectations game perfectly. It was also assumed in this cycle that Iowa would go to a socially conservative anti-Romney. After going through every other option, Iowans settled on Santorum. The real test will come in South Carolina, which much more reliably picks the Republican nominee than Iowa. If Romney can build his momentum to win there after picking up New Hampshire, he is poised to turn the nomination battle into a swift coronation.
But before Romney takes the GOP mantle, here are ten questions he should answer about his often nonsensical and contradictory policy proposals.
• In a Friday op-ed in The State, you declared your intention to “rebuild our military with more ships, a modern air force, more troops and better care for our veterans.” Why exactly do you think we need more naval ships? What attack has there been on US soil or the US military that would have been prevented by more naval ships? Given that more ships and more troops will cost more money, and we already wildly outspend every other country’s military, and you say you want to balance the budget, why do you want to spend even more on the Department of Defense? Why did you suggest privatizing the health insurance for veterans, who currently enjoy the best care of any population in the US, and then reverse yourself?
• In the same op-ed, you wrote, “President Obama wants to change America from an opportunity society to an entitlement society, in which government takes from some to redistribute to others. His aim to create equality of outcomes rather than equality of opportunity.” What, exactly is your evidence for this claim? Has President Obama proposed to tax the wealthy so heavily that they will end up with the same after-tax income as the poor? Are you no longer able to live comfortably due to Obama’s economic policies?
• In a speech in Merrimack, New Hampshire, on Friday you said the United States “should have active efforts to aid [dissidents] in Iran,” and that President Obama “should have spoken out” in support of protests in Iran in 2009. Given that most Iran experts agree that such actions would make it easier for the Iranian government to paint the opposition as a foreign puppet, why do you say this? Wouldn’t it be counterproductive? Are you just indulging your own moral vanity instead of actually trying to bring about change in Iran? Why did you sneer at President Obama saying he doesn’t to get involved in other countries’ internal affairs? Do you think foreign governments should encourage anti-government protests in the United States?