Moderate? Romney Makes Bush Look Liberal
GOP has moved to the right since 2000, and Romney has, too: Ezra Klein
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2012 12:45 PM CST
Mitt Romney campaigns at the Florence Civic Center in Florence, S.C., Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, Pool)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – He may get tagged as a "Massachusetts moderate" by his rivals, but Mitt Romney's polices are more conservative than George W. Bush's and other recent GOP nominees, writes Ezra Klein in the Washington Post. He looks at Bush's policy speeches in 2000 on everything from education to entitlements to, yes, taxes, and concludes that Bush comes off like a "Kenyan socialist in comparison" to Romney.

Take taxes. Yes, Bush put his namesake tax cuts into play, but he argued that the conditions were right for them, not that tax cuts were always right. ("Our times allow a substantial tax cut," was his rationale.) "If any time does not allow a substantial, permanent tax cut, this is it," writes Klein. But Romney doesn't just want to extend Bush's cuts, he wants to make cuts that are "far, far larger" and "far more regressive." And he's the moderate. "The Republican Party has moved far to the right since 2000, and Romney has moved with it," writes Klein. "In today’s GOP, even the most moderate presidential candidate is far to George W. Bush’s right." Full column here.