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Gov. Sandoval’s Moment on the National Stage

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval took the national stage Tuesday night in Tampa, Florida at the Republican National Convention and delivered some 7 minutes worth of remarks that were, shall we say, less than scintillating. Here’s the review by Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post:

“In the run-up to tonight’s slate of speakers, a number of Republican strategists flagged the Nevada governor’s address for us as one to pay attention to. Sandoval, after all, is a Hispanic Republican with a terrific resume (former state Attorney general, former federal judge). But his speech felt thin and he was clearly quite nervous. It was decidedly forgettable for someone who is seen as a future face of the party.”

No, the speech surely didn’t send a tingle up Chris Matthews’ leg, but what struck me was the governor’s claim in his remarks that, “like Republican governors all across this nation, I chose to make the tough decisions.”

Really?

While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich made the tough decisions to stand up and go toe to toe with the government employee unions that were bankrupting their states, Gov. Sandoval ducked any such fight in Nevada.

And while so many other Republican governors such as Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Gov. Rick Scott of Florida have made the tough decisions to fight the implementation of ObamaCare in their states, especially the expansion of Medicaid, Gov. Sandoval has been quietly and incrementally laying track for it here in Nevada.

And while Republican governors such as Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana have made the tough decisions to take on the teachers unions and fight for vouchers to break up the public school monopoly over education, Gov. Sandoval has given parental school choice mere lip service. He didn’t even fight for a HEARING on his own voucher bill last session.

But worst of all, of course, is the fact that Gov. Sandoval is the ONLY Republican governor in the country who resorted to raising taxes rather than making the tough decisions to dramatically cut government spending in 2011…and promises to do it again next year!

I guess it all depends on your definition of “tough decisions.”

And while I didn’t notice it, political pundit Jon Ralston caught another reference in Gov. Sandoval’s speech that doesn’t appear to comport with the historical record. Here’s what the governor said about his decision to step down as a federal judge and run for governor in 2010:

“Like so many, I looked around for help. And what did I find? A president who promised change, but turned instead to the same tired strategy of ever larger government. A president who abandoned hope and embraced only blame. So I stepped down from a lifetime appointment to make a difference.”

To which Mr. Ralston wrote:

“Really? Not once when he left the bench in 2009 did Sandoval mention he did so out of disgust with the (Obama) administration’s policies. And I doubt it had anything to do with that at all. It was a fairly silly stretch for the man who left a lifetime appointment to help the GOP oust Jim Gibbons and preserve a Republican in the governorship. That is it. Period.”

Ralston concluded, seconding Cillizza’s emotion: “The speech will not be long remembered.”

The problem with delivering a speech 2,766 miles away from home in this day of the Internet is that folks back home who know and remember the facts can watch a speech and correct the record even if the speech isn’t carried by the TV networks.

Why can’t politicians, from both parties, simply tell the truth about their records instead of trying to embellish them and change history when it’s inevitable that they’re going to get caught and called on it?