Editor's Note: Peter Heck returns to the studio and to the Liberty Tree on June 18.
Mitt Romney may think he can win in November sans conservatives. If he does, it could be a perilous mistake. There is little doubt in my mind that a cardboard cut-out could beat Obama in November if that cut-out avoids any disastrous faux pas.
And in case you are wondering what qualifies as a faux pas that could actually help the disastrous presidency of Barack Obama limp into a second term, just consider what presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney may be preparing to do:
Conventional wisdom among Mitt Romney VP-watchers is that the presumptive GOP nominee should pick a running mate who is experienced and rather boring, someone who would neither embarrass him nor outshine him.
Just two years into his first term as Nevada governor, Brian Sandoval doesn’t exactly fit that bill. But a source familiar with the proceedings said not to count Sandoval out.
Sandoval is an incredibly popular governor, sporting a 62 percent approval rating, according to a Rasmussen poll at the end of February. He is also Hispanic, and could potentially help draw out the Latino vote. Equally important, Nevada is a swing state where President Obama is considered to have an edge.
What’s so bad about that, you ask? After all, everyone is up on Rubio – a very popular political newcomer (to the national scene, anyway) whose distinct cultural heritage will play well with Latinos, Cubans and all non-whites. And certainly Florida is an important “swing state” by some estimations. So why is Rubio a seemingly good pick (though there would be concern of the young Rubio outshining Romney), but Sandoval would be disastrous? An important distinction between the two: Rubio is conservative, Sandoval, not so much.
But Sandoval also has his problems: Along with being relatively new and unvetted, he is pro-choice; and he has raised taxes twice during his short time as governor. Those are deal breakers, according to several Republican strategists.
“I just don’t see with his rumored pro-choice stance how he fits into the equation,” Republican strategist Chuck Warren told The Daily Caller. “Great governor, superb future, but I think that one policy position makes him untenable for [the Republican] evangelical base.”
And before anyone says, “See, how terrible is it that the Republicans have what amounts to a litmus test for potential candidates on the issue of abortion?” stop and consider what that question actually proves. Disqualifying someone because they do not support the Declaration of Independence and an unalienable right to life for all Americans is not something that’s embarrassing. It’s refreshing.
And don’t forget that liberal Democrats have their own litmus test on the issue for national candidates of this magnitude, except on the opposite side. You either support the right to kill kids or you don’t make the cut. Which one is worse? Exactly.
If Romney makes this choice, it will confirm the worst fears of conservatives in the primary and I predict would cause a serious third party challenge that would all but assure a second term of “The One.”