FACT CHECK: Romney Won’t Discuss His Policy Details Because It Would Be Politically “Suicidal”

FACT CHECK: Romney Won’t Discuss His Policy Details Because It Would Be Politically “Suicidal”

In his speech tonight, Chris Christie talked about needing leaders who will be straight with the American people when it comes to the hard choices we face. But Mitt Romney has refused to reveal details of his policies because it would be politically “suicidal.” That’s not the leadership Christie said we need. 



Politico: “[Romney] Advisers Say The Campaign Has No Plans To Pivot From Its Previous View That Diving Into Details During A General-Election Race Would Be Suicidal.” [Politico, 8/17/12]

Romney Adviser: “Campaigns That Are About Specifics, Particularly In Today’s Environment, Get Tripped Up.” [Politico, 8/17/12]

Romney Adviser: The Romney Campaign Will Not Have A “Ryan-Budget Level Of Detail” Because It Would Be “Politically Unwise.” “Still, if you hoped that Romney’s selection of Ryan was going to touch off an epic war of ideas — maybe even with Ross-Perot-style charts and graphs — you’ll be badly disappointed. ‘What you’re going to see is a campaign that has clear direction, but not a Simpson-Bowles or Ryan-budget level of detail,’ the Romney adviser said. ‘It’s not only politically unwise to do that, but it’s not how the voters engage in a presidential campaign.’” [Politico, 8/17/12]

Huffington Post Headline: “Romney Adviser: It's 'Politically Unwise' To Campaign In Specifics.” [Huffington Post, 8/17/12]


Romney “Is Reluctant To Get Specific About The Programs He Would Like To Kill” Because “He Did This In His Bid For The Senate 18 Years Ago And Remembers The Political Ramifications.”  “But Romney, ever cautious, is reluctant to get specific about the programs he would like to kill. He did this in his bid for the Senate 18 years ago and remembers the political ramifications. ‘One of the things I found in a short campaign against Ted Kennedy was that when I said, for instance, that I wanted to eliminate the Department of Education, that was used to suggest I don’t care about education,’ Romney recalled. ‘So I think it’s important for me to point out that I anticipate that there will be departments and agencies that will either be eliminated or combined with other agencies. So for instance, I anticipate that housing vouchers will be turned over to the states rather than be administered at the federal level, and so at this point I think of the programs to be eliminated or to be returned to the states, and we’ll see what consolidation opportunities exist as a result of those program eliminations. So will there be some that get eliminated or combined? The answer is yes, but I’m not going to give you a list right now.’” [Stephen Hayes, Weekly Standard, 4/2/12]

Romney: “One Of The Things I Found In A Short Campaign Against Ted Kennedy Was That When I Said, For Instance, That I Wanted To Eliminate The Department Of Education, That Was Used To Suggest I Don’t Care About Education.” [Stephen Hayes, Weekly Standard, 4/2/12]


Eric Fehrnstrom – When Asked About Romney Moving “So Far To The Right” In The Republican Primary – Said: “I Think You Hit A Reset Button For The Fall Campaign. Everything Changes. It’s Almost Like An Etch-A-Sketch. You Can Kind Of Shake It Up And We Start All Over Again.”  FUGELSANG: “It's fair to say that John McCain was considerably a more moderate candidate than the ones that Governor Romney faces now. Is there a concern that the pressure from Santorum and Gingrich might force the Governor to tack so far to right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election?” FEHRNSTROM: “Well I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It's almost like an etch-a-sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.”  [Starting Point, CNN, 3/21/12]

Gov. Bob Ehrlich Said Once Romney Hits The General Election Americans Will Be Reminded Of His “Real Views.”  MORGAN: “Obviously Governor Romney has got a problem in the polling with women. Not entirely surprising given that the social issue debates that have been raging in the Republican Party have been pretty negatively received. How does he rebuild trust in the female vote?”  EHRLICH:  “I think that's more a function of the Santorum campaign, quite frankly, and the Democrats using some of Senator Santorum's verbiage to their electoral advantage, to their partisan advantage.  I think when the general election -- again, when you have one on one general election and they see, again are reminded of Governor Romney's real views, that gender gap will dissipate rather quickly.”  [Piers Morgan, CNN, 4/3/12]


Los Angeles Times: “Some Republicans Have Urged Romney To Offer More Specifics On His Policies.” [Los Angeles Times, 8/27/12]

New York Times: “Several Republican Leaders Said They Are Not Hearing Enough Of Mr. Romney’s Own Plans For Fixing What’s Broken.” [New York Times, 4/25/12]

Karl Rove: Romney Needs To “Become Bolder In His Prescriptions, Presenting A Confident Agenda For Economic Growth And Renewed Prosperity Through Reforms Of Tax, Regulatory And Energy Policies.” “Mr. Romney showed he knows how to take an opponent down; now he needs to show the ability to build himself and the rationale for his candidacy up. He should become bolder in his prescriptions, presenting a confident agenda for economic growth and renewed prosperity through reforms of tax, regulatory and energy policies. ” [Karl Rove Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal, 2/1/12]

Karl Rove: “The Romney Campaign Is Tilted Too Heavily Toward Biography And Not Nearly Enough Toward Ideas.” “The Romney campaign is tilted too heavily toward biography and not nearly enough toward ideas. It should make its mantra a line from President Ronald Reagan's final address to the nation: ‘I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: It was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things.’” [Karl Rove Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal, 2/1/12]

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Urged Mitt Romney To Develop A More Cogent Economic Message Warning That An Election Based On A Referendum On President Obama Would Be A Risky Bet.  “Gov. Scott Walker urged Mitt Romney to develop a more cogent economic message Thursday in order to win over the fickle swing voters needed to carry Wisconsin and win the presidency. The Republican governor’s advice was more a critique of style than substance, but he warned Romney that framing the fall election solely as a referendum on President Barack Obama would be a risky bet.”  [Politico, 6/14/12]

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Warned Romney That Being A Republican Is “Not Enough To Win Wisconsin” Adding That Voters Need To See Him As A Reformer. “[Wisconsin Gov. Scott] Walker did not offer any specific suggestions to Romney and said that he believed the presumptive nominee would be competitive in the Badger State, but only if he expanded his brand beyond a party label. ‘If Gov. Romney looks at Wisconsin and thinks that he can win just because I have an ‘R’ next to my name or he has an ‘R’ next to his name, I think voters see that as being just about being Republican, it’s not enough to win Wisconsin. The way he wins is if voters, instead of just seeing that ‘R’ [as] Republican, think of reformer. They think, ‘Here is a candidate for president who has a clear, bold plan to take on both the economic and fiscal crisis our country faces,’’ Walker said.” [Politico, 6/14/12]

Gov. Mitch Daniels On Romney Campaign: “You Have To Campaign To Govern, Not Just To Win.”  [Matthew Tully, Indianapolis Star, 4/19/12]

Gov. Mitch Daniels: Romney Should Express “Positive, Constructive Remedies” For Debt And Economic Growth “More Often From The Standpoint Of The Young, The Poor.” WALLACE: “You finally endorsed Mitt Romney this week. But here's what you said in an interview with the ‘Indianapolis Star.’ We're going to put it on the screen. ‘You have to campaign to govern, not just to win. Look at everything through the lens of folks who have yet to achieve. Romney doesn't talk that way.’ … If I may, though, sir, what did you mean when you said Romney doesn't talk that way?” DANIELS: “I'm just saying that he's got the right prescription for America, he is meeting the objective that I hoped our party would meet of offering specific, positive, constructive remedies for our debt problem and our slow growth problems. As things go along, I just want to encourage him to express these very same principles more often from the standpoint of the young, the poor, those that have yet to start up the ladder of life. It's the very same principles, but aimed in a slightly different way. I know he'll do that.” [Fox News Sunday, Fox News, 4/22/12]