I went to a Mitt Romney breakfast this morning...lots of heavy hitters in the room. I asked Romney the following:
Our tax code is a job-killing monster, and less well understood is that it is an enormous source of political corruption. I read you policy PDF, and while you make some tweaks to the system, you seem to leave the monster in place. Would you comment?
Romney's response was an very skillful dodge, a wink and a nod. He said he'll do a few things on day one, like lower the corporate rate to 25%, and that "longer term" he'd work towards a "flatter, fairer system."
Here are my problems with this approach:
- Presidents don't have a mandate to do something unless they actually say they're going to do it (Obama has learned this).
- As a new president, you have maybe 18 months to do the big things. If the real fix isn't part of the initial policy push, you miss the window.
But also, as I've written before, Republicans only win when their base is fired up. "Trust me, I'll take care of it once I'm elected" - does this fire you up?
Having said all this, Romney is markedly better on the stump than four years ago. He speaks asperationally about America in a way that is very Reaganesque. You end up wanting to like him, which wasn't the case last time.
We'll see how this all develops. I have a crush on Herman Cain at the moment.