The EFM Feature

Over the last several weeks, Mitt Romney has been attacked from the right by at least one rather vitriolic conservative group and one conservative presidential candidate.

Unfortunately–and despite the Governor’s considerable record defending conservative values in Massachusetts and the nation–these attacks have caused some individuals to question the Governor’s conservative credentials. In part, these questions have persisted because the Governor’s supporters have not issued a comprehensive response to the challenge mounted by MassResistance (the conservative group) and Sam Brownback (the conservative candidate). That response starts today.

This morning, EFM releases two important documents. The first is an “open letter” from the absolute top tier of pro-life and pro-family leaders in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including Mary Ann Glendon from Harvard Law School, Kris Mineau from the Massachusetts Family Institute, Joseph Reilly from Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Thomas A. Shields from the Coalition for Family and Marriage, and many others. These signatories decisively answer those who mistakenly believe that leading Massachusetts social conservatives do not admire and respect the Governor’s defense of life, marriage, and religious liberty in Massachusetts. The letter begins:

Dear conservative friends,

We hail from a broad spectrum of organizations dedicated to fighting for the pro-family agenda in Massachusetts. As you know, Mitt Romney became the governor of our state in 2003. Since that time, we have worked closely with him and his excellent staff on that agenda.

Some press accounts and bloggers have described Governor Romney in terms we neither have observed nor can we accept. To the contrary, we, who have been fighting here for the values you also hold, are indebted to him and his responsive staff in demonstrating solid social conservative credentials by undertaking the following actions here in Massachusetts:

Read the whole thing. Better yet, download the PDF file, and e-mail it to interested friends, family, bloggers, and members of the media. This letter deserves a wide distribution.
Our second document is EFM’s direct response to MassResistance’s efforts to paint Governor Romney as a liberal falsely posing as a conservative. Longer than the letter from Massachusetts leaders, this document, entitled “Mitt Romney: The Real Truth,” not only details the Governor’s considerable conservative track record but rebuts the substance and philosophy of MassResistance’s arguments. It begins:

No American governor has faced more critical cultural issues than Mitt Romney, Massachusetts’ chief executive from 2003 to 2007. In the midst of Governor Romney’s efforts to rescue his state from a fiscal crisis and create lasting and innovative health care solutions, activist judges and a far-left legislature forced issues of same-sex “marriage,” abortion, religious liberty, stem cell research, and gay rights into the forefront. Each time he was challenged, the Governor not only made the conservative choice, but also did so with an optimistic, unifying message. In doing so, he became a national leader on these vital cultural issues without squandering his ability to govern the Commonwealth.

In four years, Governor Romney turned a deficit into a surplus without raising taxes, created a health coverage plan that is applauded by experts on both sides of the aisle and is designed to reduce costs while preserving personal choices, and effectively responded to the deadly collapse of one of the most expensive construction projects in American history. He did all these things in one of America’s most liberal states at the same time that he vetoed expansive stem cell legislation, vetoed the expansion of abortion rights in Massachusetts, defended the religious liberties of Catholic Charities from an assault by homosexual activists, and launched a multi-year (and multi-state) campaign to preserve traditional marriage after Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

In spite of this impressive conservative record, a group called “MassResistance” has been circulating a lengthy document called “The Mitt Romney Deception.” Combining old statements, half-truths, and some completely misreported stories, the document has gained some traction in the conservative community, with anti-Romney activists forwarding the document dozens of times (apparently without any independent verification of its facts). In much the way as urban legends gain traction through repeated e-mail “forwards,” the seriously-flawed MassResistance piece has led a few individuals to question the Governor’s commitment to conservative principles. MassResistance’s document, however, suffers from at least five fundamental errors.

Like the Massachusetts leaders’ letter highlighted first, “Mitt Romney: The Real Truth” is downloadable as a PDF and should be forwarded to anyone who has questions about the Governor’s record in Massachusetts.

Now is the time to push back against unfair and unfortunately misguided attacks against a man who stood–with real integrity–against some of the worst excesses of the cultural left. Not one of us at EFM would be supporting the Governor if we doubted for a moment his commitment to advancing our core cultural values. With these documents, we hope that our readers will come to know the man as we know him–a conservative leader with an optimistic, unifying, and compelling vision.

CHARLES adds: “MassResistance,” meet the Mass. leaders. For purposes of easier identification, the open letter has been updated to include the signers’ titles.

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