Millions of Americans are asking that question.
Who is he? What does he stand for?
Many critics have sccused him of being a flip-flopper - one position one day on a key issue, later a complete turnaround, a flip-flop.
I ask, and so do millions of Americans, "Does this indicate that Mitt Romney has any firm principles at all?"
For example, in 1994, when running for Massachusetts governor against Ted Kennedy, Romney projected himself as a pro-choice candidate. Late in 2002, Gov. Romney continued as an ardent supporter of women's rights. However, afterwards Romney changed and today he supports doing away with Roe v. Wade, which protects a women's right to abortion until a fetus is viable.
This summer he did a similar flip-flop in reversing his progressive views for gay liberties. After declaring himself a strong supporter of equal liberties for gays in 1994, which he retained up to 2002, he suddenly changed his stance and announced that marriage for gay partners was not admissible.
Another example - federal funding for stem cell analysis. In 2005, Romney held the position that favored state-sponsored stem cell analysis, saying "I believe [stem cell] analysis is significant for our state as well as for our country." Subsequently he changed, opposing funds funds for such analysis.
Romney is a capable executive with the ability to get things done. However, his seemingly compulsive flip-flopping may indicate that he lacks the
In trying to be just one of the boys, Romney has turned to humor to make his point. Sadly, most of his humor is almost embarrassing.
"Corporations are people, my friends, of course they are."
"I like being able to fire people who provide services to me."
"I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net for them"
"I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed," - He was speaking in 2011 to unemployed people in Florida at the time his net worth was over $200 million.
"There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip."
"I get speaker fees from time to time, but not very much," - during 2010 he received $374,000 in speaking fees.
"I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that millions of Americans believe in. That's the America I love." What did he say? What does he mean to say?
Regarding the safety net, does Romney know that about 45 million Americans are living below the poverty line? Millions more are without health care insurance? Does he know how many millions of Americans live strictly by their wits and by any means to keep their families alive.
I ask Mr. Romney and many others of the wealthy 1 percent: Have you ever been hungry, really hungry, with hunger pains that cannot be relieved? Were you ever given one pair of shoes in September for school that had to last until June? If holes appeared your mother put a heavy piece of cardboard where the hole were? Have you never had any dental care because your family was struggling to pay for medical costs?
Never had a house? Ever homeless? Never owned a car? Never had money for medicines or hand-me-down clothes? Ever come home to an empty house because both parents were working?
No one should discount the potential destructiveness of a victory for Romney. Such a victory could be accompanied by GOP control of all branches of government, with the party's extreme right wing majority in the house driving the agenda.
As Grover Norquist argues, "We are not auditioning for a fearless leader. We just need a president to sign this stuff." This stuff, already endorsed by Romney, includes repeal of modest reforms enacted to control the machinations of the bank after the financial disaster. Repeal of health care reform, stripping some 30 million of coverage, budget cuts that would gut almost all domestic functions of government, from education to child nutrition to safeguarding clean air and water and to Medicare and Medicaid as we know them.
These drastic measures would be used to pay for increases in military spending and the tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. A Romney victory would encourage the right wing idealogues eager to roll back social programs, constrict voting rights, and increase racial divides in an era of continuing middle class decline, increase the offensive against labor and working rights, would escalate and run a bellicose foreign policy that would make George Bush Junior blush.
Hal DeBona lives in Manchester.