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Romney Touts Ability to Find Common Ground With Democrats

By Doug Powers  •  June 28, 2011 01:12 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

I’m still not feelin’ it, Mitt.

From the LA Times:

As Democratic and Republican leaders in Washington struggled to find agreement on spending cuts and extending the debt limit, Mitt Romney struck a conciliatory note in New Hampshire on Monday by lamenting partisan feuding while touting his record of working with Democrats — even the Senate’s onetime liberal lion Edward M. Kennedy.
At both stops, Romney pointed to the warmth between former President Reagan and former Democratic House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill as an example of what is needed in the Capitol.

“I worked with [former Massachusetts Sen.] Ted Kennedy, for Pete’s sakes,” Romney said in Concord, noting that they disagreed on “almost everything.”

One issue that Kennedy and Romney worked closely on was legislation expanding healthcare coverage in Massachusetts. He recalled, to laughter, that at the ceremonial signing of the Massachusetts healthcare law, the Democrat had joked that when he and Romney agreed on a piece of legislation “it proves only one thing – one of us didn’t read it.”

“The truth was we had both read it and we’d found some common ground,” Romney said, “and I think that has to happen in Washington.”

Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill were cordial in an “agree to disagree” kind of way and were tolerant of each others’ views — they didn’t have babies together. Too many “bipartisan Republicans” in Washington can’t tell the difference between “let’s meet for a drink and a few laughs” and a booty call.

Part of the reason Romney lost the 1994 Massachusetts Senate race is because he tried to out-Kennedy Ted Kennedy, and people voted for the genuine article over the knock-off, which is generally the case.

The “virtues of bipartisanship” sales pitch never fails to crack me up: “When a politician with an idea that’s 20% lousy gets together with another politician whose idea is 100% lousy to produce a compromise that’s only 60% lousy, America wins!”

In the 2012 election, if voters want a president in the White House who can find common ground with Democrats, they’ll vote for Barack Obama. Will Republican voters keep this in mind in the primaries?

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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