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Multiple Choice Mitt Won’t Get Free Pass on Flip-Flopping in the General Election

Clearly Mitt Romney benefitted greatly by the weakness of his competition for the GOP nomination.  How else could a flip-flopping flim flam salesman who takes these decidedly liberal positions be the odds on favorite to win the nomination:

In a post a few days ago, I discussed two reasons Mandate Mitt can’t beat Obama. To wit, he’ll have no credibility in attacking the President on his two greatest vulnerabilities: ObamaCare and unemployment.  In a piece today at the Washington Examiner, Phillip Klein provides another:

During a primary, there’s a certain political balancing act to flip-flopping. On the one hand, changing positions makes a candidate seem inauthentic, but on the other hand, people like it when you agree with them. As it applies to Romney and conservatives, the debate has been between those who see his numerous reversals as evidence that he isn’t truly a conservative, and his supporters, who tout the fact that his current rhetoric is conservative. During the primary season, for instance, some pro-life conservatives have remained suspicious that he’s really one of them, whereas others have argued that opponents of abortion should welcome converts.

Klein makes a great point. In the run-up to the primaries, Romney and his army of surrogates in the GOP Establishment and mainstream media, paid and unpaid, have continuously been telling us that the Mittster may not have been a conservative in the past but that’s all changed; that somehow, incredibly, Romney has suddenly seen the error of his ways and has had a conservative epiphany, and that his long history of liberalism was just a youthful indiscretion, never mind he was in his late 50s when he designed RomneyCare.

The most tortured logic I’ve seen with this unbelievable narrative came from Ann Coulter, who essentially claims that Say Anything Mitt fooled Massachusetts voters into electing him by pretending he was a liberal and, therefore, he’s really a conservative or something.  In other words, according to Coulter, the fact that Mitt lied to voters in Massachusetts in an effort to get elected is evidence that he’s not lying to voters now in an effort to get elected.  Get it?

Klein next explains why this kind of calumny from Mitt and his apologists, although it may well succeed in getting him the nomination, won’t work in the general election:

But should he be become the nominee, Romney will have to earn the votes of a lot of people who don’t necessarily agree with him. So he’ll essentially get all of the political downside of being a flip-flopper with none of the offsetting benefits. Pro-choice independents, will not only be turned off by his flip flops, but they won’t be happy that he’s now pro-life. So it kind of becomes a double whammy.

Bingo.  Flip-floppers are inherently untrustworthy, and those who do have core convictions, regardless of which side they’re on, can never be confident as to what said flip-flopper really believes.  Klein’s next point is particularly salient in Mitt’s case:

On top of this, he’ll have less leeway to shift positions during the general election than typical nominees, because even the slightest change would reinforce the charge.

Heh. Mitt losing his ability to flip-flop is akin to an NFL quarterback losing his ability to throw the football.  Flip-flopping is all the Mittens has.  Can anyone imagine Mitt Romney taking a position and sticking to it?  He’s undoubtedly having nightmares over this prospect.  How will he remember what his latest position was?

Should he be the nominee, Mitt will be in an untenable position.  The textbook paradigm for running a successful presidential campaign is to way to win the nomination by appealing to and locking down your base, then make a subtle shift to the center in the general election to pick off a sufficient number those moderates over which the campaign consultants drool.  Mitt’s long career of incessant flip-flopping precludes him from following this electoral strategy.

Romney’s path to the nomination has been to win over the 25% of GOP moderates and establishment types while a gang of laughably inept, not-ready-for-prime-time candidates splinters the remaining 75%.  Mitt is not appealing to his base, and certainly hasn’t locked them down.  Sure, many of them are planning to vote for him in the general, but only grudgingly so. At best, it will be a "lesser of two evils" proposition.

Conservatives remain deeply suspicious of the Mittster, and the video above reminds us why.  Any attempt by Romney to make that subtle shift to the center about which I wrote above will only confirm conservative suspicion that Romney is what he is: A serial panderer with no core convictions other than his desire to be president.  In summary, Romney will have to spend the general election campaign shoring up his base, giving Obama free reign to go after the moderates and independents.  Haven’t we seen this act before?


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  • BostonBruin

    "Romney will have to spend the general election campaign shoring up his base."

    In addition to RomneyCare and unemployment, this is Romney’s third huge problem and I think perhaps the one the GOP needs to be the most concerned about. He’ll be waging war on two fronts – Obama/DNC on one front and trying to win-over conservatives on the other front.

    And it’s worse for the GOP. Without the enthusiastic support of the base, the GOP will suffer in down-ticket elections.


      I don’t know BB, I think most conservatives will turn out and vote for Mitt if they have to. We have got to get Obama out of office…..underlined, exclamation point.
      I think one of the main things that will bring those voters in ARE the "down-ticket" candidates. Plus, whomever the VP pick is might be the stimulant….like in 2008.

      • John_Frank

        IMHO if Romney is the nominee, he will not win unless he picks Sarah Palin as his VP.

        • friskyness

          He won’t, and she won’t say "yes!"  Never again will she be second.

    • friskyness

      Here’s the problem. If republicans don’t like Romney, why are they voting for him? He should not be receiving one vote. If he becomes the nominee, are republicans not going to vote?  If they don’t vote for him, Obama gets a second term and Obamacare and liberal judges will be on the Supreme Court! This is the time for republicans NOT to vote for Romney!

  • Norcalo

    Romney won’t get my Independent vote no matter what.

    Memo the the RNC:  If you want my vote, nominate Sarah.

    Memo to both main parties:  I loath you both.


    I don’t know Doug…when it comes down to Flip/Flop Mitt or Obama…..I’ll have to hold my nose, and while kicking and screaming profanities… for Mitt.
    I think a lot of people feel the same.

    Hopefully, it won’t be Mitt running against Obama, but that prospect is looking pretty grim.  :(

    • carmtom13

      Only 2 states have voted don’t think this is over, Willard only has 12 delagates so there is a long way to go.

      • friskyness

        Problem is republicans vote "to stay in line!"  Boy, I thought dems were sheep, but republicans are the same.  Stop voting for Romney!

        • carmtom13

          I am not a Willard supporter, and am not one of the sheep.

          • friskyness

            Good! But too many are!  The fact:  Romney is winning!

            • carmtom13

              It is NOT over yet! The libs want Willard to be the candidate because they know BHO will win.

              • friskyness

                OK, so why are the establishment Republicans pushing for Romney?  They want Obama to win too?

                • carmtom13

                  They want Willard because if by chance he gets elected Willard will play ball with them. That is why they are pushing him. They did not want Governor Palin in this race and are glad she decided not to run, because she might have won and they know she is not 4 sale and would not play ball with them.

  • helensimon

    I was mad while ago seeing foxnews report that Demint’s ADVISORS were supporting romney, so I called his office, and NO, he is NOT endorsing romney…his staff told me emphatically.

    foxnews is pushing romneycare down our throats like Congress pushed obamacare down our throats…this is all too disgustingly familiar, and we WILL throw it up on them.

    Call your Congressman or Senator today & tell them that lib won’t do, that dog don’t hunt!!!

    Did you hear about the huge Conservative secret meeting at a TX ranch this weekend? THEY aren’t satisfied with romney either. Think Sarah’s invited? Hope so.?

    • mark1955

      Demint was on MITTEN’S exploratory commitee in 2007 and was named one of his co-chairman in 2008.In the spring of 2011,Demint said,"i have no problem with romneycare". He is a full-on MITTbott! He can’t endorse him untill if/when MITTEN’S becomes inevitable,because,contrary to all the ‘push polls’, MITTEN’S is loathed down south and Demint would lose all his conservative street cred.

    • friskyness

      Republicans like Obamacare.  Health care is one less thing they have to worry about.

  • Freempg

    Thanks Doug.

    I have posted this before and loathe the source, which is Barney Frank, but he pegged Mittens:

    "The real Romney is clearly an extraordinarily ambitious man with no perceivable political principle whatsoever. He is the most intellectually dishonest human being in the history of politics."?

    • angeleno

      I guess you never heard of two presidents named Obama and Clinton, who retired that trophy long ago. Nope, guess you didn’t, and that’s what Obama is counting on. I’m not a Romney fan, but instead of Republicans lynching him, I’d like to hear what’s so good about Gingrich and Santorum,  Do you have anything positive to say about anyone, like maybe there’s a choice we can discuss?  I liked the idea of a smart, articulate Gingrich taking it to Obama but all I hear from him lately is whining and the same hate-Romney, hate-capitalism blah-blah that we get from Obama.
      If that’s all you have to say, it’s worthless. Let’s save our grandchildren a few bucks, cancel the primaries conventions and November elections and declare Obama our Communist Czar for life.
      Otherwise, fill every cruise ship available, go to Alaska and "occupy" Sarah until she agrees to run. Do something useful like that.
      Or else, go ahead and nominate Gingrich, Santorum etc. See how easy Obama is on them. Obama, who really controls all the money (plus the fake trillions he printed) in America, not Romney..
      See how easy Obama will be on Gingrich the lobbyist, the guy who shut down the government, the flip-flopper who flip-flops dying wives like John Edwards. See how easy Obama will be on Santorum whose only jobs besides elected office-holder  were lobbyist and a lawyer for the
      World Wrestling Federation.
      See how easy it’s going to be to defet Obama when you spend all your time bashing Republicans. I don’t care for any of these candidates but I’m not going to help Obama. I’m going to vote "Republican" for President in November.
      Go get Sarah to run, instead of lynching Romney. Then you’ll be doing something worthwhile.

      • Freempg

        You can read my posts on disqus if you like. I favor Newt as a secondary choice to the Governor, as does Todd Palin if you haven’t noticed.

        I have been open and honest about my support of Newt, but I will be satisfied with Santorum if worse comes to worse. Just don’t come crying to me when Axelrod crucifies him (pardon the expression) as the American Ayatollah. Newt has been turned inside out for a couple decades now with your boy Romney trying to finish him off.

        To save you the trouble of going through my posts, let me repeat my mantra: I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR ROMNEY. I often quote our resident historian, Hyman Roth, on the subject: "not even if V.I. Lenin were his opponent."

        Regarding Clinton and Obama (and now the others you named), they are open Democrats, such behavior is expected of them. Romney is a Democrat in Republican clothing, which makes him even more loathsome.

        • Freempg

          PS — I would suggest you take a look at this to see what kind of a guy Romney really is, how he tried to destroy our girl before the election of 2008 was even concluded:

 (scroll down about halfway to "Romney Anti-Palin")


          • carmtom13

            I don’t think Governor Palin will not forget what Willard did to her with the help of McCain’s staff and this started 2 weeks before the 2008 election. I would like to know where McCain was when this was going on? He never said a word to defend her, while his former staff members were defaming her. It seems to me they all are very jealous of Governor Palin.
            There is not a single politician who can come close to her political knowledge and they are afraid of her. I herd the chairperson of the Tea Party Express say that Sarah Palin is the female Ronald Reagan of our time. I agree!

        • palinpatriot2012

          I agree 100% with you.

        • rdman_VietVet

          There’s something "robotic" about Romney that really turns me off in addition to other unanswered issues including using shadowy surrogates to do his dirty work (like he did against Palin in 2008).

          If Bain was so successful, why isn’t Romney talking it up and providing specifics and proof?? There is a stink around Romney… just doesn’t smell right.

          On the other hand, Gingrich is attacking Romney like an "Alinsky Lefty" when he could very easily and effectively challenge Romney from a Conservative point-of-view. Newty really doesn’t sound much like a Reagan Conservative as he claims to be. That’s a big problem for me.

          I too hope Santorum  catches fire… if Sarah doesn’t jump in, there’s no one else… so far!!!

          • rdman_VietVet

            Correction… Romney did, in fact, talk specifically about Bain. He said that Bain did the same thing as Obama did when Obama bailed out GM…

            There it is, folks!!!! 

      • angeleno

        P.S.–Actually, Barney Frank (housemate of pedophiles) pegged himself, not Romney..He pegged Frank, Obama, Biden, Clinton, Schumer, Sharpton, Pelosi, Reid, Durbin , Kerry and all the thousands of Democrat elected-crooks destroying our country.

  • Guest

    How can the race be over…(?) when Romney has won a total of 12 delegates in the first 2 primaries (actually  Iowa Caucuses don’t award delegates)  and the total required to win the nomination is 1,144 delegates?  

    • wodiej

      it’s over when the Rove establishment people want it to be over. 

      • rdman_VietVet

        What????? I will never cave-in to the snake-pit that the Rove Establishment has created in "our" government.

        You go ahead and pray as I will, but I will never stop trying to expose the DC Establishment Cabal for what it is, and will continue promoting and endorsing American Constitutional Patriots like Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, Colonel West, Mark Rubio, et al!!.

  • PalinRepublican

    Really???? Iowa, really? NH, really? what the heck are you thinking? I guess these 2 states wants obama. Sickening!

    Sarah? Where are you?

    • wodiej

      those two states are liberal leaning and have open primaries.  Democrats can go in and vote and vote they did.

  • wodiej

    Personally, I don’t know what else to do but pray.  It’s the only way I can deal w the fear of the days ahead.

    • palinpatriot2012

      Praying is the best thing we can do. Prayer changes everything. I pray every night that He opens the door to Sarah and I believe I am being listened to, but if WE ALL pray, it will change or alter course.
      Remember Horton Hears a Who?  It wasn’t until they all shouted together that they were able to save themselves by being heard. It’s time for all of us Whos in Whoville to start praying TOGETHER!!

  • tomlyn

    Get after them Sarah the Rino’s are winning !

  • goldenprez

    Doug … I must say I like the tone and analysis of this post.

    I especially like the line, " … while a gang of laughably inept, not-ready-for-prime-time candidates splinters the remaining 75%."

    I wholeheartedly agree that not one of that "gang" should be excluded from your description.

    Sarah Palin said to Mr. Hannity that she is ready, willing, and able to work to unite conservatives, independents, and Reagan Democ-rats. On this score, I take her at her word.

    She also said in that interview that she would work for the GOP nominee. On this, I do not take her at her word. I believe that this is an expedient position for her to take in the current political climate. This keeps the "establishment" GOP from launching any attack on her, and thereby obscuring the shortcomings of their "chosen" standard bearer. This keeps the pressure on the "candidates" without causing any type of diversion.

    I believe if the nominee was Gingrich, or even Santorum, she "might" be tempted to back either one. I doubt she would feel the same temptation about Ron Paul.

    It will take 1,144 delegates for Willard Romney, or anyone else, to win the "establishment" GOP nomination outright. With the lack of winner-take-all primaries, I have sincere doubts that Mr. Romney, or anyone else, including Mrs. Palin, can do it. As Rush pointed out, even granting the Iowa Caucuses the voted delegates (which, of course, is not the case in reality), Mr. Romney has 12 delegates so far. Ron Paul has 10.

    To put numbers to your statement about the 25-75 split, if these numbers were to hold up, or even be close to the final delegate count, that means that Mr. Romney would end with 286 delegates of the needed 1,144. As long as the not-ready-for-prime-time players remain in the game, the "establishment" GOP is going to have to jury-rig his nomination.

    If that happens, it opens the door for Mrs. Palin to disavow supporting a nominee who has not been "picked" by the voters.

    Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.

    Illegitimi non carborundum.

    Barracudas Maximus.

  • angeleno

    I don’t care who you vote for, my friend. That’s your privilege. I don’t know whom I’ll vote for in the GOP primary, could be anybody…even write-in Sarah if that’s allowed. But I’ll vote Republican in November and if you withhold your vote becaue Romney’s the candidate, you are effectively giving Obama another  vote. 
    People have switched parties, from both sides, and they don’t get one percent of the grief Romney does because you think he’s a Democrat. By the way, if he’s a "Democrat" in the old sense, then he’s a wonder because he’s the only patriotic Democrat in existence.
    I disagree with you 100 percent  in calling Obama and Clinton "open Democrats." They are open communists and America-haters, don’t have a shred of love or respect for America, and  are cultists of third-world culture, economy and despotism that they’d love to see installed in the USA. You’ll get that for sure with Obama, continuing in November if we keep bashing Republicans because we suddenly don’t like "capitalism."   If Clinton got control again, we might be able to distract him from his garbage philosophy  occasionally by sending hin a steady stream of hookers.

    • colint

      I don’t think the Clintons are communists; perhaps socialists and certainly NOT American haters. Obama is an American hater for several reasons. He had a foreign father. His mother prefered to live abroad. When others of his age, born in the USA, in their formative years went to schools where they said the pledge of allegiance daily, For 20 years he attended a "church" where the pastor preached hatred of America. Obama with an adoptive parent went to a school where they heard daily the Muslim call to prayers. We can assume that had some exposure to Islam teaching which indoctrinates some hatred of non Muslims.This why the founding fathers put in the Constitution that The President had to be born on US territory to US citizen parents so that he would only have acquired loyalty to the US. The founding fathers did not anticipate that people would be able to move 10,000 miles in a day at little cost.

      • angeleno

        Clinton gave the commencement address at a large university in the Midwest in the summer of 2000, and told the graduates that henceforth Americans would have to "accommodate their culture" to the culture of new immigrants. In plain English, that means to me that he hated America. Why the hell should we accommodate the American culture, which accepts all people from everywhere, to the crappy intolerant cultures of others. That’s why many immigrants come here, because they’re escaping absolutely horrible cultures. But Clinton wants us to change into that crap. He most certainly is an America hater.  And I didn’t read his quotes on a "right-wing" website. I read them on my own big city’s left-wing, disloyal newspaper which probably thought it was a wonderful speech.

        A year later,  just a week after the 9-11 horror, Clinton gave a speech about 9-11 at his own alma mater, Georgetown U., and blamed 9-11 on the Christian Crusades a thousand years earlier!
        Never once did Clinton mention that the Crusades were in retaliation for the conquests and genocides carried out continuously by Islam from the very iunception of that religion, or that they have continued to this very day, 1500 years after Mohammed was born..

        I don’t know what those atrocious performances by Clinton mean to you but I know what they mean to me. Right in line with his low-life, draft-dodging, woman-forcing character.

  • Pete Petretich

    Romney is suffering from some special form of rabies that makes him desperately seek the presidency, no matter what he has to say, no matter how much damage he does to the GOP and the USA.

    • Freempg

      Pete, I’ve said it before, and it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth to say it again, but I believe it to be true: Willard "Mitt" Romney is a sociopath. The mere fact that he inflicts the stress of a presidential campaign (the second one) on his MS-afflicted wife is prima facie evidence of this to any husband that cares about his wife, especially that the two of them could otherwise spend her later years in comfort and living nearly stress free with all of their millions in their bi-coastal mansions. Something is wrong with a man that is so driven, so hollowed out inside that he cares for nothing but to satiate a desire to achieve power for its own ends, which is all it must be, for surely he has demonstated no core principles. Where are our psychiatrists? Why are we not seeing profiles? Who is Mitt Romney?

      • Pete Petretich

        This is one of the issues that clearly contrasts him with our servant leader who is reluctant to step forward. Sarah’s modesty must become a strong suit against ObamaRomney’s ambition..

      • rdman_VietVet

        This is Romney and the Establishment Cabal ilk:

        After decades of progressive incrementalism, the United States Government has finally surfaced to reveal a culture of ungodly and soulless tyrants, thugs and bullies. Cynically disguised as distinguished, articulate, self-appointed elitists, these despotic, vacuous, narcissistic, image-oriented hypocrites emphasize symbols over substance and reality. The pursuit of excellence is being replaced by the celebration of the artificial. Politicians are more concerned with the display of personalities and pursuit of personal power than with principles or the use of power for the common good.

        This generation of politicians has become experts at deceitful duplicity, selling their calculated positions to the public to the point that voters can no longer tell the fabricated image from a real person. The voters are so seduced by the slick package that they often do not realize that there is nothing in it… the slick package is the message.

        The shallow values and beguiling oratorical skills have become the norms by which everything is measured. The only guideline is the ability to gain attention… what is noticed has value. Calculated images successfully masquerade as reality. Exhibitionism and self-promotion is now acceptable as Government Class factions compete to be the winner… to be famous and celebrated.

        Once elected into government, the politician embarks on an unbridled and unprincipled pursuit for power and control, incrementally eroding the private free market sector, our Constitution, and our freedoms and liberty. They launch vicious, personal attacks to destroy any person or any organization demonstrating genuine leadership and patriotism that strives to protect our magnificent Constitution and our magnificent Country.

  • n4cerinc

    It is sad that the GOP has now rightfully earn the name of the defenders of WallStreet greed by holding up Bain as the symbol of capitalism in their attempt to protect Romney. 

    So what has the real party of the jackass done? They pushed the man who gave his state the prototype for Obamacare, thus taking any legitimate attacks on this monstrosity that was shoved down our throats, off the table. 

    Next the party of the real jackasses pushed a man who fits the OWS 1%’er. The left will parade victims of his "capitalism" work at Bain and turn people’s frustration away from gov’t to big money corporations and Wallstreet.  

    Obama will run against Congress, which is for the likes of Bain and their poster-boy Romney, and tack into that stinky wind of class warfare that comes from the OWS. 

    Just brilliant GOP. Simply brilliant. You have been backed into a corner and will now be the party who is for the rich getting richer at the expense of thousands of laid off worker. Many on the right are not prepared to defend Bain all election cycle. You own this one. 

    Keep yelling capitalism and see if you can overcome the mood of the people. 

  • Mary Beth House

    "Palin also asked for more proof of Romney’s claim that he added "over 100,000 jobs"at Bain Capital. "I think what Gov. Perry is getting at is that Gov. Romney has claimed to create 100,000 jobs at Bain, and people are wanting to know, is there proof of that claim, and was it U.S. jobs created for U.S. citizens?" she said.

    Romney’s campaign says the figure comes from three companies Bain invested in: The Sports Authority, Staples and Domino’s. The figure does not include jobs lost at other companies Bain invested in. But more critically, it’s difficult to know what role Romney personally played in creating jobs, as opposed to the the role companies played themselves since the Bain investment."


    Translation.  The 100k number was made up out of thin air.

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