COMMENTARY | As the race for the 2012 presidential campaign heats up, one notable candidate in the race is Mitt Romney. Romney was thought to be a front runner in the Republican Party but there are several disadvantages the former Massachusetts governor has to overcome in a crowded GOP race.
One aspect of Romney that will be a fairly large disadvantage for him is his religion: Mormonism. USA Today reports Romney was raised as a Mormon and attended various Mormon missionaries as a young man and has defended his religious views throughout his entire life.
The reason this is such a big deal is because America is largely a Christian nation, and Romney might have a hard time gaining support from Catholic people or deeply Christian groups. Although I do not have a problem with his religion, it seems that when an election is upcoming people like to hear about nominees being Christian; a lot of other faiths are not as easily accepted.
Romney also had a failed healthcare reform law in Massachusetts which is similar to the plan that President Barack Obama has enacted. This healthcare overhaul within the state was a complete failure because it forced those within the state to have health insurance; if they did not, then they would get a penalty tax. This disaster of a healthcare reform has haunted him since he began implementing it in 2006, the Washington Post reports.
Another aspect of this was that Romney has stood up against the healthcare reform Obama passed into law, calling it an abuse of power, but basically it was the same thing he did in his state as governor. Romney then clarified his remarks to mean that healthcare reform should be a state decision, not a federal mandate. Romney still stands behind his healthcare reform although it has not worked out the way he had hoped. This is something he will regret as the presidential election gets closer.
The Boston Globe reports Romney has also flip-flopped on many issues over the years, including his stance on abortion. As a conservative or Republican, it is usually thought that you would be against abortion, but for a long time in his life Romney was for abortion. Romney believed in abortion and gay rights but then began seeing the backlash from the more conservative Republicans and changed his stance during his time as governor.
In 2005, Romney changed to a pro-life stance while doing research about stem cells, creating controversy for a while. Romney changed his stance to align himself more with the conservative stance on abortion but it is the flip-flopping that will become a disadvantage. Romney will have trouble with more moderate Republican voters who are fiscally conservative but more socially liberal, pro-choice voters.
Jill Lawrence, “Will Mormon Faith Hurt Bid For White House?”, USA Today
Chris Cillizza, “Mitt Romney’s Healthcare ‘‹Å”Problem'”, The Washington Post
Brian C. Mooney, Stephanie Ebbert, and Scott Helman, “Ambitious goals; shifting stances”, Boston Globe Staff