Romney Hits Rivals For Succeeding Where He Failed: Reaching D.C.

Mitt Romney in Atlanta, Feb. 8, 2012. i i

Mitt Romney in Atlanta, Feb. 8, 2012. Gerald Herbert/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Gerald Herbert/AP
Mitt Romney in Atlanta, Feb. 8, 2012.

Mitt Romney in Atlanta, Feb. 8, 2012.

Gerald Herbert/AP

Mitt Romney has on the campaign trail used a hoary tactic in an effort to appeal to voters who are jaded by Washington politicians. I'm not one of "them," he has said, pitching himself as an outside-the-Beltway reformer who will bring change to the nation's capital.

He struck that note again in his concession speech in Colorado Tuesday evening after congratulating fellow Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum for winning the three statewide voter-preference contests that took place that day — Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. Romney said:

"This is a clear choice. I'm the only person in this race who hasn't served a day of time in Washington. In the world I come from leadership is about starting a business, not trying to get a bill out of committee."

But, as some have noted, it isn't for lack of trying that Romney wasn't in Washington. He, of course, tried to get to Washington in 1994 but lost a Senate race to Ted Kennedy. He also tried to get to Washington four years ago.

On CNN Santorum could barely contain his glee when Soledad O'Brien gave him the chance to react to Romney's attempted attack:

"Well, it's funny because I ran for the United States Senate the same year Mitt Romney ran for the United States Senate. We both ran in 1994. I won and he lost. It's not that Gov. Romney didn't want to be Sen. Romney. He tried to be Sen. Romney. But he ran as a very liberal Republican in Massachusetts who had just become a Republican and he he lost. He lost badly in a year when Republicans had one of the biggest election sweeps in history."

Also, why be dismissive of lawmakers trying to get bills out of committee? That's how legislation happens in America's representative democracy.

That's how the laws that protect businesses from the anti-competitive practices of monopolies or protect investors like Romney from securities fraud all got enacted, with lawmakers first getting their legislative proposals out of committee.

It was curious that Romney would take such a shot at a venerable and key part of the legislative process, especially since he once spent millions of his own money in an unsuccessful attempt to be a part of it.

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