Castle favors Romney as
while expecting a close election race
Former Congressman Mike Castle endorsed Mitt Romney for the
Republican presidential nomination.
"Romney is, by far, the most qualified," he told an audience at
the University of Delaware Institute of Lifelong Learning,
adding that he has "serious doubts" about the ability of Newt
Gingrich, Rick Santorum or Ron Paul to effectively handle the
myriad responsibilities -- domestic and international -- that
fall to the President of the United States. Castle served with
all three of them during the 18 years that he was in Congress.
It is "too early to call" the outcome of the presidential
election, he said. "I have no doubt it's going to be close. ...
It all depends on the economy."
He did indicate that he sees a possibility that Republicans can
take complete control of Congress. With mostly Democrats facing
election in the upper chamber, they may win a majority of the
100 seats in the Senate, but neither they nor the Democrats will
be able to muster the 60 votes required to break a fillibuster,
he predicted. Republicans probably will be able to add a few
seats to their lead in the House of Representatives aided by
reapportionment of congressional districts in key states which
have Republican governors and legislatures.
In a wide ranging talk to the audience of seniors on Feb. 8,
Castle, a Republicam, said the tone of the campaign for his
party's nomination could reverberate on the candidate who
eventually gets the nomination. "There has been some pretty
nasty stuff. It's hurting the Republicans in many respects. I'm
not sure the harm can be repaired," he said.
So far, he continued, "Republicans are not putting forth any
good ideas. They're more interested in attacking [President]
The so-called 'Super Pacs' are already playing a major role as a
result of the Supreme Court decision permitting companies,
unions and others with deep pockets to make unlimited
contributions to campaigns through political action committees.
"While you send $50 to your favorite candidate some company is
sending $1 million to a 'super pac'," he said.
"I believe the Supreme Court made a huge error in that
The mainstream news media, meanwhile, has become "openly biased"
in support of their chosen political ideology, Castle said. That
bias is magnified in talk-show hosts and political bloggers.
He said the influence of the ultra-conservative Tea Party "has
begun to wane somewhat" but cautioned that it would not be wise
"to underestimate what they can do."
Castle was upset in 2010 by Tea Party-backed Christine O'Donnell
in a primary election when he sought the Republican nomination
to run for the Senate seat vacated by Vice President Joe Biden.
O'Donnell subsequently lost the election to Democrat Chris
Coons. Elsewhere in the nation, however, several Republicans who
received Tea Party support won election, mainly to the House of
Representatives. The resultant Tea Party caucus has been blamed
for what many consider a deadlocked Congress.
The caucus "has made it difficult for [Speaker of the House
John] Boehner to get anything done," Castle said. Congress
members "are elected to serve their constituents and the country
and that's not being done."
On the other hand, he said, Tea Party advocates have brought
about a "focus on major fiscal problems." Those problems "simply
With regard to spending, he said, "I don't think there's a
single department of our government that cannot stand a [budget]
reduction." He added that he was including the Department of
Defense in that comment. On the revenue side of the ledger, he
said that "we may see a serious effort to revamp the tax code"
after the election. Specifically, he called for rationalizing
tax credits and 'loopholes' while producing a code that "some of
us can understand."
In any event, he added, "Something has to be done; it just can't
be talked about."