Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Mitt Romney’s Real Flip-Flop Problem

Posted by Mike on August 23, 2007

I’ve complained for months that liberals and certain Republicans tend to exaggerate when portraying Mitt Romney as a serial flip-flopper because the former Massachusetts Governor is not as guilty as his opponents would have us believe. Unfortunately, these exaggerations usually carry a badge of credibility. For that, Romney has no one to blame but himself.

Although he has not waffled on nearly as many issues as his opponents claim, it is undeniable that Romney has been on both sides of the abortion issue. To make matters worse, his position du jour always happens to coincide with the constituency he needs to win over. When he ran for Governor in pro-abortion Massachusetts, he supported Roe v. Wade. Now he claims to be pro-life at the precise moment he is running for the Republican Presidential nomination. Who can blame his opponents for accusing him of having a “Road to Des Moines” conversion?

Romney’s most recent gaffe is emblematic of his problem. In describing his new pro-life perspective, Romney explained that he supports a constitutional amendment protecting the unborn. A few weeks earlier however, he explained that the issue of abortion should be decided on a state-by-state basis. Although these statements seem contradictory, a consistent pro-life politician could credibly and easily explain away this poorly-worded statement. When Roe is eventually overturned, the abortion issue will become a state issue by default. Some states will protect the unborn and others will not. Although not the ideal situation, it would nevertheless be an improvement because more unborn children will protected than under current “law.” At that point, a Constitutional amendment would be the next step in the process. A consistently pro-life politician could credibly offer this explanation.

For Romney this is not so easy. The subtle consistency in Romney’s two statements will appear to many as opportunistic. When the seeming inconsistency of Romney’s recent statements is coupled with Romney’s past vacillation, it becomes increasingly clear that the Governor still has a problem.

I appreciate that Romney has taken a Reagan and George H.W. Bush-style conversion on this issue. He even seems to understand that respecting embryonic stem cells is an essential component of a pro-life position. However, given Romney’s past, it is all too easy for his opponents to jump on statements like these. This is important for Republican voters to keep in mind.


4 Responses to “Mitt Romney’s Real Flip-Flop Problem”

  1. Need to Know 8.24.2007 – Mitt Romney, Iraq, VA Hospitals, PSYOP, Castro, Chavez, and the Muslim Brotherhood

    Need to Know is a short roundup of key stories that shouldn’t be missed on your cruise through the blogosphere. The number of links in the roundup may vary but if you find it here you can trust that it’s must-read material.
    Axis of Right

  2. Mike said

    It’s not only his Non Position on Abortion that concerns me, It’s his other flipping and flopping as well! Although I consider myself a conservative, Just to the right of “Atilla The Hun,” I am not a ONE Issue Person! Romney is from the NE and he catered to the Libruls with ease!

    I do not Trust the Man!? We’ve got one as President Now that Betrayed the conservatives of this country, I’m not voting for another ONE!

    I like a lot of what he says, Butt! He’s got some convincing to do as far as I’m concerned, and as it stands now, I would never vote for the Man!

    I’m done with “The Lesser of Two Evil” thing! If I cannot support the nominee, then I’ll Write in a Candidate!

  3. Ryan said

    The other problem is, who’s there to write in? What’s worse, Mitt Romney or any Democrat? The lesser of two evils agrument rears its head once again. While I’m quite conservative as well, I don’t think Romney’s bad at all. He’s not Ronald Reagan, but who is? He’s certainly better on abortion and other social issues than Giuliani. I’m not a one issue guy either, that’s why, on par, I like Romney amongst the declared crew right now. Sure, Newt would be a superb (and superbly unelectable) candidate and if Fred Thompson lives up to 1/4 of his hype, he’d get my vote, but right now, Romney’s the guy– articulate, strong, actually sounds like Reagan by citing philosophy on top of his wonkishness, got Taxachuestts to be more shopper and business-friendly than any other state in New England in just four years, and at least changed his mind on abortion in the right direction.

  4. Mike said

    Just for the record, comment no. 2 is not mine.

    The comment does illustrate my point though. Because Romney has been all over the map on abortion, people can cite “other flip flops” that are nothing of the sort. The gay rights “flip flop” is a perfect example.

    Although his critics unfairly accuse him of flip flopping on every issue, Romney himself allowed that perception because he is guilty of flipping, albeit in the right direction, on the abortion issue.

    I’m with you on not being convinced yet but I will take a candidate who will agree with me 80 percent of the time rather over a Democrat who will set us back for years on every issue The time for the purity test is in the primary, not the general.

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