Top House conservative Jordan says Romney is not abandoning his principles

The head of the conservative House Republican Study Committee said Friday that presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) are not abandoning their conservative principles in order to get elected.

“I don’t necessarily think they moved from standard conservative positions,” said. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), speaking in a C-SPAN interview to be broadcast on Sunday.

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He said Romney and Ryan remain committed to the four principles that in Jordan’s view constitute the modern GOP: supporting a strong defense, reducing other spending, lowering taxes and upholding traditional values.

“I don’t see them deviating from that in the least,” Jordan said.

In recent weeks, Romney and Ryan have explained their positions in noticeably more centrist terms than they have previously.

For example, Romney has said that his proposal to cut taxes by 20 percent will not in any way allow wealthy individuals to pay a lower share of taxes — a new stipulation meant to counter Obama campaign charges that he would shift the tax burden onto the middle class by closing loopholes to benefit the wealthy.

He said in Ohio that he is not aware of any anti-abortion legislation that he would seek to enact as president. The Romney campaign has reassured conservatives that Romney remains pro-life despite that comment.

Ryan in the Thursday night debate partially disavowed his earlier support for a partially privatized Social Security by saying the Romney ticket is not pursuing that. 

Jordan in the interview said Congress must work in the lame-duck session to replace the looming cuts to defense coming on Jan. 1, if Obama is reelected. But he said big decisions should be postponed if Romney wins until the new administration gets into power.

He said that simply turning off the sequester of defense funds is not a good idea.

“If there is a move just to suspend the sequester, I think that’s a mistake,” he said. “The only thing worse than cutting national defense is not letting any cuts take place.”

Jordan said he is not seeking a position in a Romney administration.


Correction: Due to a typographical error, an earlier version of this story said Jordan was seeking a Romney cabinet position.