The Club for Growth has started issuing white papers on the 2012 Republican presidential candidates. So far, the assesments have been mixed. The anti-tax group’s report card on Mitt Romney praises his commitment to spending restraint as governor of Massachusetts, but gives him lower grades on taxes. Romney is dinged for his fee hikes as governor, the temporary nature of his federal tax cut proposals, and inconsistencies on the 2003 Bush tax cuts, among other things.
The Club also hits Romneycare, saying the Massachusetts health care law “has failed to control health care costs, increased the size of government, and by its very nature introduced more government and less freedom into health care markets.”
Tim Pawlenty doesn’t come up all roses either. The Club says Pawlenty “supports free trade, just not all the time.” His record on regulations is described as “deeply troubling,” on spending it is “good and bad.” Even on taxes, the Club says Pawlenty started out stronger than he ended up. Rick Santorum gets generally good marks, except for his Bush-era deviations. And Newt Gingrich looks better in the 1990s than subsequently. Herman Cain might have come out the best, but he also has the thinnest record.