Romney happier having moved to the center, Frum tells crowd at UF

Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 7:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 7:47 p.m.

Conservative commentator David Frum said Tuesday that he's surprised it took so long for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to move to the center.

The image that Romney presented in last week's debate "is probably the man that Romney wished to be, the candidate that Romney wished to be," Frum told a University of Florida audience.

"I think if he loses, he will have a bad feeling (that) this is not the way I wanted to lose, this is not the candidate I wanted to be," he said.

Frum spoke to a crowd of more than 100 at UF's Bob Graham Center for Public Service. A former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, Frum is an author, a CNN contributor and a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

He said that he didn't agree with everything that Bush did when he worked in the White House but found him to be a conscientious and decent person. The things that were said about Bush were so over the top that they did damage to the country's institutions, Frum said.

"Stop thinking so much about presidents and think more about the presidency," he said.

Strum offered his diagnosis of what ails the political system, including changes in the national media culture. The old saying that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts, is no longer true, he said.

"We've pushed back the frontiers of human rights in the United States and now you're all entitled to your own facts," he said.

The congressional gridlock of today is happening despite the fact the institution has more educated members than in the past, he said. Congress was full of corrupt, drunken philanderers in past decades, he said, but they were able to get things done.

"They managed year after year to balance budgets, build and fund the interstate highway system, and to run the government of the United States in an effective way," he said.

Washington has been largely unaffected, he said, as the country has now gone through its greatest economic crisis in decades. Chronic unemployment is essentially invisible in the nation's capital, Frum said.

"It's like people are living through a flood, but we have built our houses on the highest hill in the territory," he said.

Contact staff reporter Nathan Crabbe at 338-3176 or Visit for more stories on the University of Florida.

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