Campaign Finance Reform
In 2002, Romney proposed installing 10 percent tax on private donations to political campaigns.
Romney praised McCain at campaign rally shortly before 2002 election, saying he shared McCain’s “values”
Romney once proposed capping spending on elections, abolishing PACs and “tightening regulations.”
National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru said Romney once held campaign finance positions “to the left of McCain-Feingold.”
In November 2005, Romney said McCain immigration plan was “quite different” from amnesty and called plan “reasonable.”
Romney in 2005: “I think an amnesty program is what – which is all the illegal immigrants who are here are now citizens, and walk up and get your citizenship. What the president has proposed, and what Senator McCain and Cornyn have proposed, are quite different than that.”
In March 2006, Romney supported “path toward citizenship” for illegal immigrants.
Romney in 2006: “Those that are here paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship.”
Romney in 2006: “The 11 million or so that are here are not going to be rounded up and box-carted out of America.”
Romney’s current immigration stance is at odds with top FL Republicans like Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist and Mel Martinez as he places emphasis on Florida in quest for GOP nomination.
Romney mischaracterized former Gov. Jeb Bush’s immigration position, comparing his own initiative to let state police arrest illegal immigrants to a more limited, terrorism-focused program initiated by Bush in wake of 9/11 attacks.
Romney has failed to clearly articulate any plan for dealing with the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.
For more than a decade, Romney used services of company heavily reliant on illegal immigrant labor to perform landscaping duties at his home.
While Romney was governor, state of Massachusetts approved government contract for New Bedford firm raided in early 2007 for massive immigration law violations.
Environment and Energy
In 2003, Romney said, “I think the global warming debate is now pretty much over.”
As governor, Romney was open to “regional cap and trade” system to address global warming – saying “now is the time to take action” – but later pulled Massachusetts out of regional agreement on same day he announced he would not seek reelection.
In 2004, a Romney press event announcing new state policy to combat global warming was marred by his refusal to admit global warming is actually happening.
As candidate for governor, Romney proposed increasing excise taxes on vehicles with high gas mileage – otherwise known as an “SUV tax.”
Romney has been open to raising the federal gas tax in the past and has not ruled it out in the future.
In 2007 television appearance, Romney refused to rule out a carbon tax or carbon caps if elected president.
Romney teamed with Sen. Ted Kennedy to oppose renewable energy project on Cape Cod known as “Cape Wind.”
Romney changed positions on importing cheaper prescription drugs from Canada – first supporting it, now opposing it.
Romney called rate of growth of prescription drug costs “outrageous” and said Medicare drug benefit passed in 2003 was too expensive and criticized the Bush Administration for failing to enact broader reforms.
Romney’s health insurance reform plan has been assailed by conservative health care experts as “a gourmet recipe for runaway spending” and praised by Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.
Romney once called his state’s health insurance law a “once in a generation” achievement.
Wall Street Journal said Romney oversold virtues of healthcare plan, imposed government mandate and now distances himself from own policy.
Plan is encountering higher costs and more bureaucracy than Romney promised, as officials warn costs must be controlled or the program will be unsustainable.
Plan will cost millions more than anticipated while exempting 20% of uninsured from coverage mandate.
Romney health plan expanded access to abortion, required Planned Parenthood representative on state policy panel.