Enough about kissing and such. Let’s talk economics.
As Nancy knows, I used to live in Pennsylvania. And up in the Keystone State, we had a barnburner of a Senate primary in 2004. Pat Toomey, then a congressman from Allentown (yes, Billy Joel fans–that Allentown) challenged incumbent Senator Arlen Specter for the GOP nomination. In Specter’s corner was the entire GOP establishment, led by President Bush and, yes, then-Senator Rick Santorum. In Toomey’s camp were the true believers–many of us young. From that groundswell was birthed the organization Young Conservatives of Pennsylvania, which still exists today and is fighting hard for conservative principles.
Congressman Toomey ended up nearly toppling Senator Specter–he got more than 49 percent of the vote on Primary Day. But it took guts to run the race he did. All the big shots, from the President of the United States to the defeated senator who allegedly never found a right-winger or extreme cause he didn’t like, wanted him out. Pat Toomey stood then, and stands now, on principle. In fact, he runs an organization–the Club for Growth–whose purpose is to move the GOP to the right on economic issues by making sure the most “growth-minded” candidates win primaries. They do that even, in some cases, when there are incumbents in the way, like the Specter-Toomey race.
It was with this penchant of Toomey’s for standing on principle in mind that I read today his reaction to Governor Romney’s economic proposals in Michigan:
Washington – As part of the Club for Growth’s ongoing analysis of presidential candidates and their economic policies, the Club for Growth commends Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for promoting a pro-growth, limited government agenda in his speech before the Detroit Economic Club today.
The Club’s President, Pat Toomey, highlighted Governor Romney’s call for permanent tax cuts, tax reform, spending discipline, regulatory relief starting with the reform of Sarbanes-Oxley, and tort reform as “solidly pro-growth.”
“Governor Romney outlined today an economic platform that is, generally speaking, very pro-growth despite the surprising limit he suggests for tax-free savings,” Toomey said. “As the governor develops the specifics of his economic policies, we hope he will boldly build upon the limited government, free-market policies he discussed today.”
“The other presidential candidates should follow Governor Romney’s lead and propose similar, if not more extensive, measures to protect American taxpayers and promote continued economic expansion.”
From a man who doesn’t issue praise lightly–and isn’t afraid to take on the biggest names in Republicanism–that’s really something.