It's a hard case to make but I think America is in need of a combination of Romney and Ron Paul. Romney's Big Government past doesn't bother me in 2012 -- most Republicans could never have accomplished what Romney did in Massachusetts with a radically liberal state government. Romney made it possible for Scott Brown to win, although the jury is out on Brown. I think I understand Mitt Romney more than Santorum and Gingrich. Santorum and Gingrich are political animals through and through. Ron Paul has been in congress a long time, but he did have a life before congress, and he's resisted the political games in DC.
I don't understand Romney's background, because I grew up in poverty. I understand Romney on a more basic level. I think Romney truly wanted to work his way out from under his father and become his own man. I also don't understand Romney from a religious perspective, because I'm not a Christian -- I adhere to no religious dogma. My spirituality is secular, human, disconnected from a particular conception of God. Romney has never proposed libertarian ideas, explicitly, although he's now proposing classical liberal ideas. I relate to Romney as someone who understands the private sector, business and the underlying potential among the public if government gets out of the economy.
I think that for political reasons in the primary Romney has to position himself as strong on national defense, but I believe Romney is more interested in maintaining a strong military no other nation will challenge rather than a military to be used as the global police force. I believe Ron Paul has had an influence on Romney, and will continue to move Romney toward full acceptance of classical liberal values and principles. If Republicans could free themselves from the out-dated conservative label, they'd see that classical liberalism decribes what Republicans should be fighting for, defending and using as opposition to statism. There's a confusion of labels in the political realm right now.
I don't know how Romney and Paul can work together, but I believe they'll be pushed toward one another as Gingrich and Santorum use a phony-conservative act in an attempt to fool the Tea Party groups. It's okay by me, though, if Romney calls himself a "severe" conservative for political purposes and to avoid confusion -- Paul calls himself a conservative -- but it needs to be tied, like he tied it today, to economic growth and a concerted effort to remove government from the economy.