Former Republican Governor (MA); presidential nominee-apparent
Romney side-by-side against Gingrich, Paul & Santorum
Q: Is there any issue where Romney differs from all three other GOP frontrunners?
A: Yes, on gun control--Mitt is the odd man out from Gingrich, Paul, and Santorum calling for Second Amendment rights. Mitt does toe the conservative line on most
crime issues, including capital punishment and mandatory sentencing--and on "Three Strikes", he's more of a hard-line conservative than Gingrich and Santorum! See the details on crime, gun control, and numerous other related issues in a side-by-side
Romney/Paul/Santorum/Gingrich side-by-side on Domestic Issues
In June 1981, Romney went to Lake Cochituate, about half an hour west of Boston, intending to do some boating with their families. A park ranger told him he couldn't put his boat into the lake because the license number was too difficult to read,
Romney would later say. Romney then asked what the fine was, and the ranger told him: fifty bucks. To Romney, it was a no-brainer--he'd easily pay that in exchange for a day of fun.
But when he began to lower his boat into the water, the ranger became incensed, "The ranger took it as a personal attack." The ranger pulled out a pair of handcuffs and took Romney, dripping wet in his bathing suit, into custody for disorderly conduct.
The case was soon dismissed after Romney and his lawyer pushed back hard. But that day, the lake outing was over before it had begun.
2002: Supported death penalty although it was long abolished
In an echo of his 1994 platform, Romney positioned himself as an agent of change, vowing to "clean up the mess on Beacon Hill," the seat of state government. And there was plenty to clean up: government was still rife with patronage and waste.
Romney debuted a sophisticated "microtargeting" program to drill deep into voter behavior, seeking to identify supporters through their coting history and other personal information.
He pitched himself squarely to independents, who made up half the Massachusetts electorate.
Unlike O'Brien, he supported the death penalty, which had long been abolished, and an initiative petition on that year's ballot to replace bilingual education with English immersion.
Hire private companies to manage our state prisons
When I was serving as the governor of Massachusetts, I suggested that we look into the possible benefits of hiring a private company to manage our state prisons. But almost uniformly, I was met with a very negative reaction. People invariably presumed
that if we did, the state's cost would rise because a private company "would have to make a profit." It was hard to convince people that the private companies that manage prisons have learned how to safely do so with fewer workers than state-operated
prisons--and the money they save through productivity innovations more than makes up for what they earn in profit. In fact, it's the profit motive that led them to find ways to improve their productivity. The tax dollars we would save could either be
returned to the people who paid them or be spent on additional government priorities. Either way, productivity would increase. Organized labor made sure that private sector productivity would never disrupt government jobs in Massachusetts prisons.
To reduce black on black crime, get more moms and dads
Q: What are you going to do about black on black crime; the war in the inner city?
A: Number one is to get more moms and dads. Number two, we’ve got to have better education in our schools.
And number three, we have to do a better job with our policing. And I was very proud that I added one state police class after another.
Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida
, Nov 28, 2007
One Strike, You’re Ours: lifetime GPS tracking
Governor Romney announced that he would propose a “One Strike, You’re Ours” law for those convicted of preying on children using the Internet. Massachusetts Republican District Attorneys and Sheriffs support Governor
Romney’s proposal for stiff mandatory jail time to be followed by lifetime tracking by Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) for first-time offenders: “As Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney was a strong defender of children.
He led the effort to put photos of the state’s most dangerous sex offenders on the Internet and made it easier to extend civil commitments for sex offenders. As a candidate for president, Governor Romney is once-again demonstrating strong leadership in
protecting our children. His ‘One Strike, You’re Ours’ law is an important initiative to strengthen law enforcement and protect America’s sons and daughters. We are proud to stand alongside Governor Romney in his campaign for our nation’s highest office.
Romney and Healey pledged to enact strong sentencing guidelines, especially for sex crimes, and vowed to level the playing field for prosecutors by giving them the right to appeal lenient sentences imposed on criminals.
Source: Campaign web site, www.romney2002.com, “Issues”
, Sep 17, 2002
Supports death penalty in heinous murders
Romney pushes for a death penalty law for murderers convicted of heinous first-degree homicides. “The ultimate penalty should be available in Massachusetts for criminals who commit the most egregious murders,” Romney said.
Source: Campaign web site, www.romney2002.com, “Issues”
, Sep 17, 2002
Favored mandatory sentencing and three strikes
Supported death penalty
Wanted to abolish parole, limit probation, and end furloughs and release programs for violent or repeat offenders
Favored mandatory sentencing and three strikes and you’re out
Supported restrictions on plea bargaining
His crime prevention efforts also focused on instilling family values.
Source: Boston Globe review of 1994 campaign issues
, Mar 21, 2002
Safe streets will be a campaign theme
“There have been too many left behind,” Romney said after his announcement speech. “Our schools aren’t solid enough; our environment has not been cleaned the way it could be. Our streets are not as safe as they could be.
All these things could be made better in my view with the application of new leadership and sound management principles.”
Source: Stephanie Ebbert, Boston Globe, p. B6
, Mar 20, 2002
Will bring new businesses to urban areas
Romney says, “We never think of going to Roxbury or Dorchester. Why do we never think about it? Crime. Let’s also look at the truth. You have businesses leaving our urban areas.” Romney said he would locate a business in Roxbury and Dorchester
if the right opportunities were available. But the GOP candidate and venture capitalist, who has based his campaign on his job creation experience, said government has to provide the public safety and infrastructure in urban areas to attract businesses.
Source: Frank Phillips in Boston Globe
, Nov 4, 1994
Supports death penalty and “three strikes” sentencing
Romney’s crime platform contains little that is radical or new - pro-death penalty, tough sentencing for violent offenders, support for “three strikes,” and support for judges who are tough on crime.
Source: Anthony Flint in Boston Globe
, Oct 24, 1994
Click here for 1 older quotations from Mitt Romney on Crime.