Conservative Unease is Growing with the Romney VP List

August 9, 2012 05:54

Romney needs a running mate who is a small government constitutional conservative, not an establishment insider.



By Richard A. Viguerie


There is growing unease among conservatives that the ‘short list’ of vice presidential candidates Mitt Romney has under consideration has too many establishment-type Republicans and few, if any, principled small government constitutional conservatives.


Conservatives want Governor Romney to win, but there are millions of independent and right-of-center voters who are disillusioned with business-as-usual in Washington. To attract their votes, Romney needs a running mate who is a small government constitutional conservative, not an establishment insider.


As the names of establishment Republican personalities like Ohio Senator Rob Portman, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Congressman Paul Ryan, or ‘outside the box’ choices like General David Petraeus (whose political views are largely unknown) have surfaced, the names of small government constitutional conservatives, such as Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker have faded into the background.


From critiques of the conservative bona fides of Pawlenty, Portman, Rice, Christie, Ryan, and Petraeus in recent articles on


Tim Pawlenty: Prairie State Michael Bloomberg. “Far from being a conservative, when it comes to the nanny state versus individual liberty, Tim Pawlenty is more of a Prairie State Michael Bloomberg than a Reagan Republican.”


Has Romney Already Chosen Portman for VP? “He [Portman] may be unknown to many Republicans across the country, but in Washington — where he worked in both Bush administrations — he is the ultimate insider. He’s also the ultimate Bush Republican.”


Rice for VP a Slap in the Face to Conservatives “Given her association with some of the worst neo-con inspired policies of the Bush era, putting Condoleeza Rice at the top of the VP short list is an insult to the conservatives, Tea Partiers, and independents who are looking for a break with the old establishment Republican Washington that Rice represents.”


Chris Christie: “He’s a Brawler, But He is No Conservative “This cycle it is more important than ever that we make sure Republicans nominate a reliable conservative, not just another business-as-usual Republican politician. Chris Christie may be a brawler, but there is no record showing he can be relied upon to put his formidable talents behind many key elements of the conservative agenda.”


Paul Ryan for Vice President? Not So Fast. “Many in the conservative movement admire Ryan’s gumption in proposing a plan to return the federal government to fiscal sanity. The problem is the Ryan plan uses the Washington, DC version of sanity.”


General David Petraeus for VP — Patriot Yes, Conservative? “General Petraeus is a much-admired man who has ably, and sometimes brilliantly, served our country in the best tradition of the American armed forces. However, if Governor Romney is seriously considering David Petraeus for Vice President, he cannot and must not be given a pass on a thorough examination of Petraeus’ commitment to the small government constitutional conservative agenda.”


Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of, pioneered political direct mail and has been called “one of the creators of the modern conservative movement” (The Nation) and one of the “conservatives of the century” (Washington Times). He is the author of Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause.

Help Make A Difference By Sharing These Articles On Facebook, Twitter And Elsewhere: