Mitt Romney says he could have done better than President Obama on the sequester. But leadership depends on the balance of power as much as knocking heads.
If Mitt Romney had won the presidency, would he have headed off the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts commonly known as the “sequester”?
Mr. Romney himself implies that his answer to that question is “yes.” In his big interview Sunday with Chris Wallace on Fox News, Mr. Romney expressed regret at his relegation to the national sideline and said that, if elected, he’d have focused his executive skills on fixing the sequester problem.
“It kills me not to be there, not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done,” he said.
Jeb Bush echoed that sentiment on Tuesday morning, saying in an interview on MSNBC that “I wish Mitt Romney was president right now because I think we’d have someone who would be in the midst of trying to forge consensus,” Bush said. “It breaks my heart that he’s not there, he’s a good man.”
We’re not so sure that President Romney would have succeeded where President Obama has so far failed. But let’s run through his discussion points on the subject, shall we? Maybe you’ll be convinced where we weren’t.
LEADERNESS. In his Fox interview, Romney expressed the common idea that the US chief executive is a lead sled dog pulling the nation in his wake. In the context of an issue of legislative gridlock, such as the sequester, that means the president needs to impose his will on lawmakers, maybe by locking them all in a room until they reach consensus.