- - Monday, April 23, 2012

Mitt Romney will win in November, and the reason is simple: because of President Obama’s record. Before my friends in the conservative movement spend the summer gnashing their teeth over the supposed ideological impurities of a Republican who governed one of the nation’s most liberal states, let’s all remember who we are running against: the greatest presidential failure since Jimmy Carter.

Mr. Obama took over in the throes of a reeling economy. He made it worse. His stimulus plan was taken hostage by Democrats in Congress, who loaded it up with pork and precious few sources of actual economic stimulus. Then, $787 billion later, our deficit reached record heights while our economy listed. Sure, the Obama administration says we are in recovery, but it’s the kind of recovery no one can believe in. Americans don’t feel it, jobs have not increased at nearly the pace that was promised, and sluggish growth speaks of the added weight of debt and an unpredictable business climate as investors worry about what burdens will be heaped upon them next by a bureaucracy modeled after a Western European social democracy. Nearly $2 trillion in investment sits on the sidelines awaiting the outcome of this election.

No president in the modern era has been re-elected with unemployment above 8 percent. Add to this the fact that our president has displayed absolutely no seriousness about addressing the debt, which led to the first downgrade of our credit in history, and you have economic conditions that give voters great worry, not encouragement. While the Obama forces certainly will villainize Mr. Romney’s business record, at least he has one. I predict the answer to the most important question, “Whom do you trust to run the economy?” will clearly show the American people trust a successful businessman like Mr. Romney over a president who has few economic accomplishments to claim and nothing in his previous experience that indicates he knows what it takes to create opportunity.

In fact, what we see is a college professor, like many of his tenured colleagues, who learned the wrong lessons from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s handling of the Great Depression. Government intervention didn’t end the Depression - it prolonged it. Only a world war brought us out of it. The Keynesian model of throwing money at the problem failed then and is failing us now.

Americans have lost faith in a president who refuses to take on the deficit in a serious manner, who rammed government-run health care down their throats and has failed to revitalize the economy. On these issues and many more, Mr. Romney offers a better contrast: a thoughtful, deliberate leader versus an ideological interventionist, and an effective executive who has experience as a turnaround artist versus an inexperienced manager overwhelmed by the morass of the bureaucracy.

Americans will not wonder whether Mr. Romney is up to the job - he has the track record and demeanor for the job, regardless of whether he meets the definition of the kind of guy someone would want to knock down a couple beers with. Americans also have little doubt as to whether Mr. Obama is up to the job. He isn’t. And this time we have his record to prove it instead of slogans of hope and change to decipher.

To my friends in the conservative movement, I say simply this: Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Mitt Romney is a good man who will make a good president. The real opposition is the liberal ideologue in the White House. The mission is to defeat him for the sake of our country.

Joe M. Allbaugh is the president and CEO of the Allbaugh International Group LLC. He is a former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and managed George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign for president.