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The media and Republican political establishment have sold the lie that Mitt Romney is the GOP’s best hope for beating Barack Obama in November.

Truthfully, Romney doesn’t stand a chance of defeating Obama. In fact, he’s the only Republican candidate for president who will practically ensure Obama’s re-election.

Let me explain this simply.

If Romney is the Republican nominee, we will see something of a replay of the 2008 presidential election. What happened in that contest, for those who still have not figured it out, is that many Republican and independent voters chose to stay home rather than vote for John McCain.

Romney enthusiastically supported McCain. McCain enthusiastically supports Romney. And no wonder. They are cut from the same cloth – pretenders to the conservative cause whose lifelong political track records in politics betray the rhetoric they employed in quests to secure the Republican nomination.

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Some might argue that Obama is more vulnerable today than he was in 2008 because he, too, has a dismal track record in office, with 50 percent disapproval numbers. That’s true. But what is not being factored into the equation is that Romney has baggage even the very unlikable McCain did not have.

Obama and the Democratic machine will have a field day attacking the billionaire Wall Street tycoon and his flip-flopping record. Romney can’t attack Obama on his biggest boondoggle, Obamacare, because he pioneered a nearly identical plan of individual health mandates in Massachusetts. Romney will have no credibility on this issue at all.

In addition, Obama’s surrogates, like Bill Maher, are already softening up Romney with vicious assaults on his Mormon faith.

Further, despite McCain’s many weaknesses as a candidate, he actually had strengths Romney doesn’t have – like his military service and background and his prisoner-of-war saga. Romney is simply going to be portrayed as a privileged elitist taking on the man of the people, Barack Obama.

This is not the matchup opponents of Obama want to see. It’s tailor-made for Obama’s politics of envy and class-warfare strategy. Quite simply, Republicans and independents and Reagan Democrats ought to be praying that anyone but Romney gets the nomination.

Whenever you hear the anointed pundits of the media class telling Republicans whom they should nominate, understand why they are doing it. They do not want to see any Republican victory in 2012. They want to see the status quo preserved. They like Obama. For them, he can do no wrong. So why would people who understand the threat Obama represents to the future of America listen to any of those voices?

We still have a chance to stop Obama in 2012. But nominating Mitt Romney is not the way.

One Republican candidate has emerged as a real alternative to Romney – and that is Rick Santorum. I have known this good man for many years. I did not quickly jump on his bandwagon because I doubted his ability to get this far. He did not have the money. He’s not flashy. He was not a household name nationwide.

But he has defied the odds.

I am convinced Santorum will run much more strongly against Obama than Romney will.

I don’t think I’m alone when I tell you that I could vote enthusiastically for Santorum in a race against Obama. I could not do that if Romney is the nominee. I had the same problem in 2008. It takes someone to beat someone. No matter how dismal Obama’s approval ratings are, he will have $1 billion to spend on campaign ads to reinvent himself and his record.

It’s vital that we deprive Romney delegate votes he needs to secure a first-ballot nomination. I believe that is very doable. If we do that, we might just get a nominee who can provide the nation with a clear contrast between himself and Barack Obama.

Don’t let the media establishment tell you it can’t be done.

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