Attention Republican voters: We have a Mitt Romney problem!
I was talking to a fellow Conservative at the CPAC convention in Washington in February.
We both agreed that Mitt Romney was leading the field in the 2012 nomination race because of his performance in the 2008 GOP primaries and his continual fundraising and bridge-building with other heavy hitters in the party.
However, we both agreed that this made us nervous.
I said to him, "He looks like a President, and he acts like a President, but something about him makes me uncomfortable about having him as our nominee."
He replied to me "Let's be honest... it's the Mormonism thing".
We had a spirited discussion where I agreed with his assertion that Evangelical voters have a strong distrust of Mormons and view that branch of Christianity, basically, as a cult. "I'm from the South," he said, "and that stuff just don't fly down there."
I countered by stating that I didn't think the Mormonism argument was the only one. I felt Romneys weakness was his moral "squishiness" where he had been kind of liberal as Governor of Massachusetts and had flip-flopped on some issues. I said his stances on "Romneycare" and abortion were troubling to Conservatives.
One of my good friends derisively calls Romney "Mr $50 Abortion" because he supported a provision of Romneycare that, indeed, did allow women to obtain an abortion for the cost of $50.
This lack of respect for life offends Conservatives.
Even though Mitt Romney has changed his tune on this subject, Conservatives are leery of him and will probably back a different candidate.
Mike Huckabee has a much better chance with Conservatives. But we are still many months from announcements, and many things could change the playing field.
But my fellow CPAC conventioneer and I agreed on one thing:
We don't want Romney in 2012.