Former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) has won a majority of available delegates for the Republican presidential nomination and is now the presumptive Republican nominee. He will face incumbent President Barack Obama (D), who became the presumptive Democratic nominee in April, in the November general election.
This ends an especially contentious and volatile Republican primary battle. Tracking polls have showed Romney, Governor Rick Perry (R-TX), Herman Cain (R), former Representative Newt Gingrich (R-GA 6th), and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) in the lead at different times. But with a solid win in today’s Texas Republican primary, Romney is now all-but certain to receive his party’s formal nomination at the Republican National Convention in August.
Romney is generally regarded as a ‘moderate’ or even ‘liberal’ Republican. He served one term as Governor of Massachusetts and plotted a very centrist, bipartisan course in nearly all of his policy initiatives there. He presided over the implementation of a sweeping health care reform law now colloquially referred to as ‘RomneyCare,’ elements of which (including the controversial individual mandate) were later implemented at the federal level as part of Obama’s health care reform efforts, now similarly christened ‘ObamaCare.’ ‘RomneyCare’ received the full support of then Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and other prominent Democrats, and passed with strong bipartisan support in the Massachusetts legislature.
Although the ‘ObamaCare’ itself is very similar to ‘RomneyCare,’ Romney has opposed the federal version because the Constitution does not grant the federal government the same breadth of authority that it does to the states (cf., the Tenth Amendment). Writing in March, Romney said, “When I was governor of Massachusetts, we instituted a plan that got our citizens insured without raising taxes and without a government takeover. Other states will choose to go in different directions. It is the genius of federalism that it encourages experimentation, with each state pursuing what works best for them. ObamaCare’s disregard for this core aspect of U.S. tradition is one of its most egregious failings.”