BREAKING: Mitt Romney Flips AND Flops!
Of course it isn’t news to anyone that Mitt Romney has at one time or another held just about every position there is to be held. From pro-choice to gay rights, throughout his political career, it seems the only things Mitt won’t flip on are that 1) gosh-darn-it, that dog loved the roof of that car! and 2) we desperately have to stop blaming rich people for their success (whatever that means.)
I would submit that decades-old positions are not all that relevant to today’s debate. People change, sometimes grow – certainly they get older, at any rate – and the positions they hold naturally change, too. Not that the political media or opportunistic partisans will cut you any slack. (Just ask Van Jones.) But more importantly, it’s simply not necessary to go back decades to catch Romney flippin’ and floppin’.
Sample Case #1:
In 2008, Mitt Romney wrote an op-ed in the New York Times called “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” in which the genius businessman extraordinaire wrote:
IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.
As we all know now, Mitt was wrong. But guess what! Turns out, the whole plan to rescue the auto industry was Mitt’s idea to begin with. Wow. Who knew? Campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom (Mr. Etch-a-Sketch) apparently:
[Romney's] position on the bailout was exactly what President Obama followed. I know it infuriates them to hear that… The only economic success that President Obama has had is because he followed Mitt Romney’s advice. … The fact that the auto companies today are profitable is because they’ve shed costs. The reason they shed those costs and have got their employee labor contracts less expensive is because they went through that managed bankruptcy process. It is exactly what Mitt Romney told them to do. (Think Progress)
First off, even were this true, it would be a positive thing for Obama to heed sound advice – even if it comes from political rivals, no? But moreover, there’s a huge difference between the rescue plan the Obama administration put together and the “managed bankruptcy” Romney championed.
We should also remember what the political climate was like at the time of the auto bailout. Obama took a hugely unpopular position. The public was more than willing to see Detroit go down in flames, having been soured by the bank bailouts. Romney, on the other hand, took the least controversial position – and lost the bet. Now he wants to claim credit? I don’t think so, Mittens.
Sample Case #2:
In 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama made the statement that if he, as President, had actionable intelligence about the whereabouts of high-value terrorist targets (such as Osama Bin Laden) and the Pakistanis either would not or could not act – he would. Back in 2007, Mitt Romney thought this sounded like a terrible idea:
“I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours… I don’t think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort,” Romney told reporters on the campaign trail. (Reuters)
Say what you will about Romney, that’s a pretty reasonable and principled position to take. Hate to say it, but I agree.
The problem is that in 2012 the Obama/Biden team has used this against Romney – suggesting Bin Laden would still be at large if Romney had been in the White House last year. Naturally, then, Romney has changed his tune.
Asked by a reporter during an appearance here whether he would have gone after the al-Qaida leader, Romney responded: “Of course.” He was then asked if he would have given the specific order to kill bin Laden.
“Of course,” he said. “Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.” (CBS News)
Sigh…. So much for principle and reason.