Douglas MacKinnon

Anyone who has met Mitt Romney knows he is an incredibly decent person who loves his country.

That has never been in question. What is in question — is Romney the McCain of 2012? Shouldn't Republican primary voters really drill down deeper to understand why so many in the liberal media believe Mr. Romney — as they said about McCain in 2008 — will appeal to independents and Democrats?

While Governor Perry may not quite be ready for prime time — lack of real debate time and over-cramming surely contributing — there is no doubt that he is the more conservative between himself and Mr. Romney.

In the future, he might do well to ignore hypothetical questions, ignore Mr. Romney, and simply speak to his vision for the nation.

No matter. For the moment, as the front-runners, Perry and Romney do represent that political fork in the road for GOP primary voters.

As such, if come election day, principled conservatives don't believe the GOP nominee speaks to their hopes and fears, there is no doubt a percentage will choose not to vote.

As we witnessed in 2008, nominees, numbers, and results matter.

Douglas MacKinnon

Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of The Secessionist States of America. (Skyhorse Publishing, 2014)

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