The HyperTexts

Republican Criticism of Mitt Romney

Here's what Bishop Willard Mitt Romney's conservative allies have to say about "Multiple Choice Mitt's" serial flip-flopping, lack of honesty, and general money-grubbing madness ...

Peggy Noonan, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and longtime scribe for The Wall Street Journal, has been "relentless in her criticism of Romney." She recently said that an "intervention is needed" to save Romney's "incompetent" campaign. The nominee is "too small and pinched and narrow," and some voters are "starting to think Romney's a loser." Later she doubled down on her criticisms, saying she had called his campaign incompetent "only because I was being polite. I really meant 'rolling calamity.'"

Michael Gerson, the former speechwriter for George W. Bush, said that Romney's comments on the 47 percent reflect an empty ideology that is both "simplistic and callous." By "appealing to a common Republican belief that the expansion of government has produced a class of citizens who live off the sweat of others," Romney unwisely joined a battle that less mature conservatives have wanted "ever since they read Atlas Shrugged as pimply adolescents." This is an obvious dig at Paul Ryan, who  has described Atlas Shrugged as his favorite book and intellectual touchstone.

David Brooks, the "reliable gauge of center-right opinion in America" brought down the hammer on Romney, saying the candidate is "running a depressingly inept presidential campaign," and wondering aloud, "When will the incompetence stop?" Brooks said Romney's comments were a "country-club fantasy," the type of thing only "self-satisfied millionaires say to each other." And in dissing the military veterans, students, and Social Security recipients who compose the 47 percent, Romney revealed that "he really doesn't know much about the country he inhabits."

Mark McKinnon, a former Bush aide, said Romney's remark reveal  him to be a "deeply cynical man, who sees the country as completely divided, as two completely different sets of people." McKinnon said Romney "would likely govern in a way that would only further divide us." He also declared the race all but over, saying, "I honestly don't know what Romney can do to win support from voters he needs to gain a majority… How can anyone support a candidate with this kind of a vision of the country?"

William Kristol, the editor-in-chief of The Weekly Standard, a conservative stalwart, described Romney's remarks about the 47 perecent as "arrogant and stupid." 

Republican senator and former presidential nominee John McCain: "Gov. Romney has taken two positions on every issue."

Reacting to Romney's constant gaffes and misrepresentations, McCain invoked his record as a Navy pilot when he told Fox News, "I'm familiar with tailspins and I think he's in one."

McCain also said: "The best indicator that I am doing very well is when [I'm] attacked by Mitt Romney."

Another widely respected Republican presidential candidate, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, said: "We just call him a serial flip-flopper."

Former New York mayor and hero of 911, Rudy Giuliani: "I have run a lot of elections, supported a lot of people, [and] I have never seen a guy change his position on so many things, so fast, on a dime."

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum: "This is someone who doesn’t have a core. He’s been on both sides of every single issue in the past ten years. This is someone who will say anything to get elected. People want the genuine article. If Romney is an economic heavyweight, we’re in trouble, because he was 47th out of 50 in job creation in his state of Massachusetts when he was governor."

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told CNN: "I think he's certainly being dishonest about his own record. When he said that he had the endorsement of the NRA, he did not. When he says that he didn't raise taxes, in fact there were $500 million in fees that were raised during his time [as governor of Massachusetts] ... He's making up stuff ... It's just incredible ... It's not true ... Maybe you have another word for it, but in Arkansas we kept it simple: we called it dishonest ..."

Another Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, in a campaign ad said: "Mitt Romney will do and say anything to become President. Anything."

Asked directly by CBS News chief White House correspondent Norah O’Donnell if he thought Romney was a liar, Gingrich said bluntly, "Yes." Her question was: "You said of Mitt Romney, 'Someone who will lie to you to get to be president will lie to you when they are president. I have to ask you, are you calling Mitt Romney a liar?'  "Yes," Gingrich replied. She repeated the question, "You're calling Mitt Romney a liar?" He replied, 'Well, you seem shocked by it! This is a man whose staff created the PAC, his millionaire friends fund the PAC, he pretends he has nothing to do with the PAC ... it's baloney. He's not telling the American people the truth."

Brit Hume on FOX News Sunday: "You're only allowed a certain number of flips before people start to doubt your character. And I think Romney exhausted his quota sometime back. And these fresh ones, I think are over the limit, and I think they hurt, and I don't think the fact that he's flipping in the direct that the Republicans would like will help very much because I think they don't trust him."

Another Republican presidential candidate, Jon Huntsman, told CNN: "You can’t be a perfectly lubricated weather vane on the important issues of the day, whether it’s Libya, whether it’s the debt ceiling, whether it’s the discussion around the Kasich bill in Ohio, where Gov. Romney has been missing in action in terms of showing any kind of leadership."

Rand Paul told National Review: "I do not yet know if I will find a Romney presidency more acceptable on foreign policy. But I do know that I must oppose the most recent statements made by Mitt Romney in which he says he, as president, could take us to war unilaterally with Iran, without any approval from Congress."

"I think it’s that program, just updated."
—RNC spokesman Alexandra Franceschi, admitting that Romney’s economic plan is the Bush give-more-money-to-the-super-rich plan on steroids, The Fernando Espuelas Show, April 2012

"They (voters) want to know what’s the truth. They’re not interested in a chameleon."
—Michele Bachmann, criticizing Mitt Romney’s flip flopping, speech in Florida, December 2011

"Gov. Romney has claimed to have created 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 United States citizens?"
—Sarah Palin, Hannity, January 2012

"Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable; he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate … Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis …"
—George Will, blasting Romney’s flip flopping, Washington Post, October 2011

"Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again."
—Romney Communications Director Eric Fehrnstrom, describing his boss's flip-flopping as part of his campaign tactics, CNN, March 21, 2012

"Mitt Romney is running a very desperate and, frankly, very dishonest campaign."
—Mike Huckabee

"I don't know how to respond [to Romney] because his position may change tomorrow."
—John McCain

"If a man's dishonest to get a job, he'll be dishonest on the job."
—Mike Huckabee

"What you have with Governor Romney is someone who is simply not the genuine article."
—Rick Santorum, quoted by Reuters, March 5, 2012

"Someone who will lie to you to get to be president will lie to you when he is president."
—Newt Gingrich, quoted in the Washington Times, January 2, 2012

Mitt Romney is "someone who will lie to you."
—Newt Gingrich, during an interview with Norah O'Donnell of the CBS Early Show, January 3, 2012

Donald Trump told Daily Beast columnist Meghan McCain that Romney is going to lose because he can’t connect with voters: "No, he’s going to lose. He doesn’t resonate, you know? Or he would have won last time, in all fairness to your father! He was scheduled to win last time, and he didn’t because your father outdid him. You understand. I watched [Romney] make a speech, and it was all these little trivial statements."

Trump told CNN that Romney killed jobs at Bain Capital: "Mitt Romney is basically a small business guy. He walked away with some money from a very good company that he didn’t create. He worked there, he didn’t create. He would buy companies, he’d close companies, he’d get rid of jobs."

Trump slammed Romney’s record as governor on ABC: "If you look at his record as governor, it wasn’t totally stellar. His job production was not great at all. In fact, it was the third worst in the nation. There are some pretty negative things with respect to Mitt Romney, which frankly he’s going to have to overcome."

Trump chided Romney’s $10,000 bet: "I don’t talk about how rich I am. Other people do. I don’t want to talk about how rich I am."

Here's an example of Romney's immature use of hyperbole. In his 2008 concession speech, he said, "If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senators Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror." But obviously President Obama did not "surrender to terror."

If Romney has been making up stuff about his Republican allies, just imagine what he's been making up about President Obama. Romney's wild lies about the Obama administration not supporting Israel are a good example. Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, a right wing war hawk, recently praised Obama in a speech to his General Assembly, saying, "I very much appreciate the president’s position, as does everyone in my country." Israeli Defense Ehud Barak told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that when it comes to his nation’s security and the Obama administration, "I think that from my point of view as defense minister they are extremely good, extremely deep and profound ...  I should tell you honestly that this administration under President Obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that I can remember in the past."

"He spent more time on the road to Damascus than a Syrian camel driver. And we thought nobody could fill John Kerry’s flip-flops!
—Mike Huckabee in his book Do The Right Thing, 2008

As the saying goes, it takes one to know one. Here is what serial flip-flopper John Kerry said about his Republican doppelganger, Mitt Romney:

"He was against setting a date for withdrawal—then he said it was right—and then he left the impression that maybe it was wrong to leave this soon. He said it was 'tragic' to leave Iraq, and then he said it was fine. He said we should’ve intervened in Libya sooner. Then he ran down a hallway to duck reporters’ questions. Then he said the intervention was too aggressive. Then he said the world was a 'better place' because the intervention succeeded. Talk about being for it before you were against it! Mr. Romney—here’s a little advice: Before you debate Barack Obama on foreign policy, you better finish the debate with yourself!"

Romney's record was "anything but conservative until he changed all the light bulbs in his chandelier in time to run for President."
—Mike Huckabee in his book Do The Right Thing, 2008

"I believe most Americans want their next President to remind them of the guy they work with, not the guy who laid them off."
—Mike Huckabee, describing Mitt Romney in a 2008 campaign ad

"We’re not going to beat Barack Obama with some guy who has Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Island accounts, owns shares of Goldman Sachs while it forecloses on Florida, and is himself a stockholder in Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac while he tries to think the rest of us are too stupid to put the dots together to understand what this is all about."
—Newt Gingrich, Mt. Dora, Florida. January 26, 2012

"I don’t think that Mitt Romney can legitimately say that he learned anything about how to create jobs in the LBO (leveraged buyout) business. The LBO business is about how to strip cash out of old, long-in-the-tooth companies and how to make short-term profits. All the jobs that he talks about came from Staples. That was a very early venture stage deal. That, you know they got out of long before it got to its current size."
—Former Reagan OMB Director David Stockman, on Romney’s job creation experience, Fox News, May 2012

"Now you have to ask a question ... is capitalism really about the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of other people and walk off with the money? Or is that in fact somehow a little bit of a flawed system? And so I do draw distinction between looting a company, leaving behind broken families and broken neighborhoods and then leaving a factory that should be there."
—Newt Gingrich, Manchester, NH, January 9, 2012

"Maybe Governor Romney in the spirit of openness should tell us how much money he’s made off of how many households that have been foreclosed by his investments."
—Newt Gingrich, CNN debate, January 26, 2012

"There’s a real difference between venture capitalism and vulture capitalism. Venture capitalism we like. Vulture capitalism, no. And the fact of the matter is that he’s going to have to face up to this at some time or another ... That’s not what we’re looking for in a president of the United States. We’re looking for someone that knows how to build jobs, create jobs ... So there’s no use trying to paper this over. That is a problem for Mitt, and he’s going to have to face it."
—Rick Perry, Hannity, January 2012

"If you’re not sure about whether to support Mitt Romney, whether you’re liberal, or whether you’re very conservative, you ought to be excited, because he’s been on your side at one time or another. So I’m not completely misunderstood: I’m not as excited as I am desperate."
—Louie Gohmert, Republican conference, April 2012

"Pick any other Republican in the country. He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama."
—Rick Santorum, calling Mitt Romney the worse Republican candidate imaginable, Racine, Wisconsin, March 2012

"He glosses over and doesn’t even tell the truth. … Here is a guy who is the ultimate flip-flopper running for president, and he’s attacking me for not being principled? That doesn’t wash."
—Rick Santorum, campaign event in Tennessee, February 2012

"He changed his position on virtually everything. I’m a moderate Republican, that’s what I am, so I’d be inclined to support someone like Mitt Romney. But all those changes give me pause."
—Rudy Giuliani, February 2012

"He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It’s crazy. You’ve got to release six, eight, ten years of back tax returns."
—Bill Kristol, criticizing Romney’s refusal to release tax returns on Fox News, July 15, 2012

"He’s not a bold decision maker like Newt Gingrich is. Every time I talk to him, he says, ‘Well, let me think about it.’"
—Sheldon Adelson, describing Romney as an indecisive vacillator, Jewish Journal, March 28, 2012

"There are a lot of other people out there that some of us wish had run for President, but they didn’t."
—Republican Senator Marco Rubio, "endorsing" Romney while wishing there were other candidates to pick from, The Daily Caller, March 2012

"If you have things to hide, then maybe you’re doing things wrong. I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people."
—Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, calling for Romney to release more tax returns, AP, July 14, 2012

"He has a number of problems. It’s hard for blue collar families like mine to identify with him. It’s hard for economic conservatives to identify with him. He needs to do more to reach out to Latinos…"
—Former Republican NY Governor George Pataki, "endorsing" Romney while explaining his deficiencies, MSNBC, April 2012

"Santorum connects with some people. Unfortunately, my guy has a hard time doing that."
—Former AZ Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen, "endorsing" Romney, CNN, February 2012

"I do know that all of the Michigan delegation worked very hard as related to the revival of the auto industry. There was really a choice between bankruptcy and liquidation. There was no one that was willing to come up not only with the cash to keep them afloat but also to serve the warranties of everyone, you and I that drive all these cars. There was no one that could have picked up those pieces other than the federal government. [The auto bailout was] ⁠bipartisan from the get-go. [Without it,] Michigan would have hit 40 percent unemployment rates."
—Republican Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, endorsing Romney while disagreeing with him about the auto bailout which Romney opposed, WMUK Radio, February 2012

"Mitt Romney and I don’t agree on every issue and certainly housing is one of them. When you look at what is going on here in Southern Nevada, you can’t say you got to let the housing market hit bottom. We have been bouncing along the bottom for years. And the fact is we have to do everything possible to: (1) keep people in their homes and (2) get people who are out of their homes back into their homes."
—Republican Nevada Rep. Joe Heck, endorsing Romney, then blasting Romney’s call to let home foreclosures hit the bottom, Las Vegas Sun, February 2012

"Gone are the days when the Republican Party used to put forward big bold visionary stuff …We’re gonna have problems politically until we get some sort of third party movement or some alternate voice out there that can put forward new ideas."
—Jon Huntsman, saying that we need a third party not long after endorsing Romney, while implying that Romney is not a bold, visionary leader, "Morning Joe," MSNBC, February 2012

 "He may not be Mr. Personality, uh, you know, this is a guy who gives a fireside chat and the fire goes out."
Former GOP Virginia Rep. Tom Davis, endorsing Romney and then announcing how bland and boring Mitt is, News Channel 8 interview, March 2012

"Self-deport? What the heck does that mean? I have no doubt Hispanics have been alienated during this campaign. But now there’s an opportunity for Gov. Romney to have a sincere conversation about what we can do and why. I absolutely advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. Republicans want to be tough and say, ‘Illegals, you’re gone.’ But the answer is a lot more complex than that."
—New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, slamming Romney’s stance on immigration, Newsweek, May 2012

"Mitt Romney’s losing at this point in a big way. If something’s going to come out, get it out in a hurry. I do not know why — given that Mr. Romney knew the day that [Sen. John] McCain lost in 2008 that he was going to run for president again — that he didn’t get all of this out and tidy up some of his offshore accounts and all the rest."
—George Will, criticizing Romney for not releasing more tax returns, ABC, July 15, 2012

"We can’t nominate such a weak candidate. I’d love to be able to get one-on-one with Gov. Romney and expose the record that would be the weakest record we could possibly put up against Barack Obama."
—Rick Santorum, ABC, March 2012

"I heard Governor Romney here called me an economic lightweight because I wasn’t a Wall Street financier like he was. Do you really believe this country wants to elect a Wall Street financier as the president of the United States? Do you think that’s the experience that we need? Someone who’s going to take and look after as he did his friends on Wall Street and bail them out at the expense of Main Street America."
—Rick Santorum, Rockford, Illinois, March 2012

"Running a business is not the same as being president of the United States."
—Rick Santorum, CNN, March 2012

"Governor Romney supported the bailout of Wall Street and decided not to support the bailout of Detroit."
—Rick Santorum, Detroit, Michigan, February 2012

"At some point he has to show that he has a vision of a better way. He can’t just say ‘The future is bleak, follow me.’ Because no one will."
—Republican strategist Mark McKinnon, according to Politico

"This is the free enterprise system. The only place in the world that I can recall where companies never failed was the old Soviet Union. This is what investors do in the free enterprise and capitalism system. And, yes, the free enterprise system can be cruel. But the problem with this administration is that small businesses have been the ones that have suffered the most, the kind that need investors, the kind that don’t need the hundreds of pages, the thousands of pages of regulations that continue to plague them and have them continue to hold back on hiring and investment."
—John McCain, calling Romney’s tenure at Bain ‘cruel,’ Fox News, May 2012

"If Mitt Romney can be pushed around, intimidated, coerced, co-opted by a conservative radio talk show host in Middle America, then how is he going to stand up to the Chinese? How is he going to stand up to Putin? How is he going to stand up to North Korea if he can be pushed around by a yokel like me? I don’t think Romney is realizing the doubts that this begins to raise about his leadership."
—American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer during his radio program, May 2012

"Don’t just talk about Hispanics and say immediately we must have controlled borders. It’s kind of insulting when you think about it. Change the tone would be the first thing. Second, on immigration, I think we need to have a broader approach."
—Jeb Bush, criticizing Romney’s stance on immigration and his attitude toward Hispanics, Q&A session, June 2012

"[Mitt Romney is a] Massachusetts moderate who, in fact, is pretty good at managing the decay." He’s "given no evidence in his years in Massachusetts of any ability to change the culture or change the political structure."
—Newt Gingrich, Des Moines, Iowa, January 4, 2012

"You can talk about the other back and forth, and flip-flopping and the other things. … If you’ve wrapped yourself up in too many pledges, that diminishes your ability to do what needs to be done in the final stretch to some extent."
—Jon Huntsman, MSNBC, April 2012

"Can we drop a little bit of the pious baloney? The fact is, you ran in ’94 and lost. That’s why you weren’t serving in the Senate with Rick Santorum. The fact is, you had a very bad re-election rating, you dropped out of office, you had been out of state for something like 200 days preparing to run for president. You didn’t have this interlude of citizenship while you thought about what you do. You were running for president while you were governor."
—Newt Gingrich, NBC News/ Facebook debate, January 8, 2012

"I would just have a different policy than what he has espoused … We need to recognize we are not going to deport 12 million people, and … we shouldn’t."
—Haley Barbour, criticizing Romney’s ‘self-deportation’ immigration stance, Christian Science Monitor breakfast, June 2012

"Clearly while the president is overseas, he’s at a conference and while the president is overseas I think it’s appropriate that people not be critical of him or our country."
—John Boehner, in response to a question by NBC News on whether Mitt Romney’s criticism of President Obama is inappropriate since Obama was in Russia at the time, March 2012

"Now, for Romney to believe that somebody’s grandmother is going to be so cut off she is going to self deport … He certainly shows no concern for the humanity of people who are already here … I think you have to live in worlds of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts and automatic $20 million a year income with no work to have some fantasy this far from reality."
—Newt Gingrich, Univision, January 25, 2012

"This is a man whose staff created the PAC, his millionaire friends fund the PAC, he pretends he has nothing to do with the PAC – it’s baloney. He’s not telling the American people the truth … I just think he ought to be honest with the American people and try to win as the real Mitt Romney, not try to invent a poll-driven, consultant-guided version that goes around with talking points, and I think he ought to be candid. I don’t think he’s being candid and that will be a major issue. From here on out from the rest of this campaign, the country has to decide: Do you really want a Massachusetts moderate who won’t level with you to run against Barack Obama who, frankly, will just tear him apart? He will not survive against the Obama machine."
—Newt Gingrich, CBS’ "The Early Show," January 3, 2012

"Now I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out because his company Bain Capital with all the jobs that they killed, I’m sure he was worried that he’d run out of pink slips. There is something inherently wrong when getting rich off failure and sticking it to someone else is how you do your business and I happen to think that’s indefensible. If you’re a victim of Bain Capital’s downsizing, it’s the ultimate insult for Mitt Romney to come to South Carolina and tell you he feels your pain, because he caused it."
—Rick Perry, South Carolina, January 9, 2012

"I think that it has to be a very humane approach to this issue, and we have to come up with solutions to it. But we also have to do something about the drugs that are coming across our southern border that are killing our kids… I think there are some people who want to leave this country and return to the country they came from, but obviously it requires a broader solution that that, and we all know that."
—John McCain, slamming Romney’s ‘self deportation’ immigration plan as an inhumane idea, Univision, February 2012

"I know the difference between venture capital[ism] and vulture capitalism. Venture capitalism is a good thing, comes in, gives that gap funding to help these companies get off and get started creating jobs, and work. But Mitt Romney and Bain Capital were involved with what I call vulture capitalism. And they walked into Gaffney and took over that photo album company for no other reason than to basically pick the bones clean. And those people lost their jobs."
—Rick Perry, referring to a local photo-album manufacturer in Gaffney where 150 jobs were cut when Bain assumed control, January 10, 2012

"There’s one [presidential candidate] in particular who’s created jobs all around the world [for non-Americans]. While he was the governor of Massachusetts he didn’t create many jobs."
—Rick Perry, attacking Romney’s record of outsourcing and job creation, September 2011

"Bless his heart, I have respect for Mitt Romney, but I do not have respect for what he has done through this debt increase debate. He waited until it was a done deal that we would increase the debt ceiling and more money would be spent, more money would be borrowed and spent on bigger government, and then he came out and made a statement that he didn’t like the deal after all. You can’t defer an issue and assume that the problem is then going to be avoided."
—Sarah Palin, ripping Romney for avoiding taking a position on the debt ceiling debate until after Congress voted to raise it, Hannity, August 2011

"The fact is, there are a couple of years he may not have paid any taxes. Maybe he’s concerned about that. But if it’s going to come out, he needs to get it out now so he has a couple of months to explain it."
—Former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough, "Morning Joe," MSNBC, July 16, 2012

"I still believe that the Romney campaign said things that weren't true."
—Newt Gingrich, to Wolf Blitzer on CNN's The Situation Room, May, 2012

"All we have to do is replace Obama. We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate. Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become President of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared."
—Grover Norquist, calling for conservatives to elect a weak President they can use as a puppet, CPAC, February 2012. NOTE: While Norquist did not specifically mention Romney, other Republicans on this list have noted Romney’s weak leadership skills and his lack of spine in standing for what he believes in. Bryan Fischer stated in an earlier quote that Romney would be a pushover as President, which is exactly the kind of President that Norquist wants.

These Republicans have hammered Romney because they know who he is, and what he represents. Conservatives know that Romney is not a conservative, but an opportunist who adopted a more conservative stance in order to get votes and campaign contributions. Moderates don't know what to believe anymore about Romney. I think it basically boils down to two essential questions:

(1) Does the integrity and character of an American president matter?
(2) Do American citizens have the right to know a presidential candidate's real positions, and can they expect him to live up to his campaign promises, or at least try?

The Republicans who know Mitt Romney best, because they've worked with him and campaigned against him, seem to doubt his character and integrity. And they seem to be telling us in no uncertain terms that they don't understand or trust his real political positions, if he has any. In my personal opinion, Mitt Romney is a narcissist who thinks his past success as an "investor" will somehow magically translate into success as a president. He seems to be ready to make things up as he goes, waving his magic wand. So there is no need to explain exactly what he intends to do to the American public, beforehand. Magicians never reveal the source of their magic, because they are only creating illusions. I think Romney is an illusionist, but not a very good one.

Multiple Choice Mitt is America's first ultra-liberal conservative!

"I’m a strong believer in stating your position and not wavering." — Mitt Romney's assertion to NARAL Pro Choice, Massachusetts, 2002

But as we will see, Romney changes his positions more frequently than even the most adventurous porn stars. (Romney's onetime presidential rival John Hunstman called him a "perfectly lubricated weathervane.") Here are a numerous examples of why Romney has earned nicknames like Flip Flopney, Mitt the Flopple and Multiple Choice Mitt ...

"It's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person." ... [but] ... "Of course I would have ordered taking out Osama bin Laden." So it seems Mitt Romney would only have taken out Osama bin Laden if the task was easy and inexpensive.

Romney has accused President Obama and even his conservative rivals of being Washington insiders guilty of pork barrel spending. But here is what Romney told people about himself, when he wanted to impress them with his ability to get money out of the federal government:

"I am a big believer in getting money where the money is. The money is in Washington."
When Romney addressed the New Bedford Industrial Foundation, his advice in a Power Point presentation was to "boost federal involvement."
Romney also said, "I've learned from my Olympic experience [that] if you have people that really understand how Washington works and have personal associations there you can get money to help build economic development opportunities ... We actually received over $410 million from the federal government for the Olympic games. That is a huge increase over anything ever done before and we did that by going after every agency of government."
Romney also cited more than $1 million that one his colleagues managed to get for the Olympics from the Department of Education, concluding: "That kind of creativity I want to bring to everything we do."

Romney has also flip-flopped repeatedly on women's reproductive rights:

"I respect and will protect a woman's right to choose."
"I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country."
"I sustain and support that law [Roe v. Wade] and the right of a woman to make that choice [abortion]."
"I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard."
"I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it." ... [but] ... "Roe v. Wade has gone too far."
His position was clear and he gave his word to NARAL Pro Choice ... [but] ... "I never really called myself pro-choice."

He has also done a U-turn on mandated health insurance:

"I like [compulsory health insurance] mandates. The mandates work." ... [but] ... "I think it's unconstitutional on the 10th Amendment front."
"Being called 'the grandfather of Obamacare' is 'a compliment.'" ... [but] ...  "I would repeal Obamacare" ... because it's a "costly disaster."

Romney likes mandates when he's the one doing the mandating. And according to Mitt the Flopple, it is a compliment for him to be called the grandfather of a costly disaster that he would repeal. Does that make any sense whatsoever? Here are more u-turns on healthcare:

"I'm proud of what we've done. If Massachusetts succeeds in implementing [Romneycare], then that will be a model for the nation."
"At the time I crafted the plan in the last campaign I was asked is [Romneycare] something that you would have the whole nation do, and I said no. This is something that was crafted for Massachusetts. It would be wrong to adopt this as a nation."
In a Fox News interview, Bret Baier noted: "Governor, you did say on camera and in other places, at times you thought [Romneycare] would be a model for the nation." only to be told by Romney: "You're wrong, Bret."

Here are more about-faces by Flip Flopney:

"I saw my father march with Martin Luther King." ... [but] ... "I did not see it with my own eyes." [Because they never marched together.]
"I think the minimum wage ought to keep pace with inflation." ... [but] ... "There's no question raising the minimum wage excessively causes a loss of jobs."
• "I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there." ... [but] ... "It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam."
• "I will work and fight for stem cell research." ... [but] ... "The stem-cell debate was grounded in a false premise."
• "Ronald Reagan is ... my hero/" ... [but] ... "I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush."
• "This is a completely airtight kennel mounted on the top of our car." ... [but] ... "[Animal lovers] are not happy that my dog loves fresh air."
His favorite novel was Battlefield Earth ... [but] ... after people pointed out the book's mountainous flaws, he switched to Huckleberry Finn.
"I don’t line up with the NRA." ... [but] ... "I’m a member of the [NRA]."
"I believe the tax on capital gains should be zero." ... [but] ... "It’s a tax cut for fat cats."
"I’m going to take burdens off the back of the auto industry." ... [but] ... He wrote an essay titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."

In a 1994 letter to the Log Cabin Republicans, Romney wrote that he was in favor of  "gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly" in the military. But during the 2007 presidential debates, he insisted that they should continue to serve secretly and dishonestly, under "Don't Ask Don't Tell," which he wanted to keep. 

"I've been a hunter pretty much all my life." ... [but] ... I have hunted varmints since then. More than two times." After his staff corrected the first statement above by saying that Romney had only been hunting twice in his life, he issued the second statement as a "clarification." The only "varmint" hunter I can think of is Elmer Fudd, so it seems obvious that Romney is utterly out of his element when talking about hunting.

"Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts." ... [but] ... "I don’t support any gun control legislation, the effort for a new assault weapons ban, with a ban on semi-automatic weapons, is something I would oppose."

"I believe the world’s getting warmer. I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. ... And so I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you're seeing."  ... [but] ... "My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us."

"These carbon emission limits will provide real and immediate progress." ... [but] ... "Republicans should never abandon pro-growth conservative principles in an effort to embrace the ideas of Al Gore."

"The TARP program … was necessary to keep banks from collapsing in a cascade of failures." ... [but] ... "When government is… bailing out banks… we have every good reason to be alarmed."

"I would like to have campaign spending limits." ... [but] ... "The American people should be free to advocate for their candidates and their positions without burdensome limitations."

"Those… paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process toward application for citizenship." ... [but] ... "Amnesty only led to more people coming into the country."

"I’m not in favor of privatizing Social Security or making cuts." ... [but] ... "Social Security’s the easiest and that’s because you can give people a personal account."

"Based on the numbers of American Muslims… I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified." ... [but] ... "A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith."

"I'm not intending to, at this stage, sign a document [pledge not to increase taxes] which would prevent me from being able to look specifically at the revenue needs of the commonwealth. " ... [but] ... "Signing the pledge now sends a very clear message to those in Washington who have voted against tax relief and for tax hikes that such actions will never grow our regional and national economies."

Shortly before the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was attacked over an inflammatory anti-Islam film, it issued a press release which said that the U.S. "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions." The embassy's press release concluded: "We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others." Romney jumped on the statement, claiming that the Obama administration’s "first response" was to "sympathize with those who waged the attacks." Romney was wildly off base for multiple reasons. First, the embassy issued the statement hours before the attack. Second, it came from diplomatic personnel in the field, far from the White House. Third it included no "apology" for American values or sympathy for the extremists, as Romney claimed. Then Romney did an interview with "Good Morning America" and embraced embassy's position, saying: "And the idea of using something that some people consider sacred and then parading that out in a negative way is simply inappropriate and wrong. And I wish people wouldn’t do it. Of course, we have a 1st Amendment. And under the 1st Amendment, people are allowed to do what they feel they want to do. They have the right to do that, but it’s not right to do things that are of the nature of what was done by, apparently this film."

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