Recognize that formulation? He’s borrowing a phrase from Howard Dean. Really. I thought it was odious in 2004 when Dean-o coined it as an expression of his own alleged authenticity and ideological purity and I think it’s odious now, but Dobson et al. are practically begging for this sort of rhetoric vis-a-vis Giuliani and Mitt needs them to win. So, it’s come to this:

The former Massachusetts governor, who espoused moderate views in his 1994 bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, said that when Republicans act like Democrats, the nation loses.

“I believe conservatives across the nation and particularly in states where I have been able to take my message, like Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and Michigan and Florida and Nevada, that conservatives that have heard me time and again recognize that I do speak for the Republican wing of the Republican Party,” Romney said…

“When Republicans act like Democrats, America loses,” he said. “It’s time for Republicans to act like Republicans again.”

Asked later whether he thought Giuliani was a Democrat in Republican clothes, Romney declined to answer.

This is an awfully strange time in American history to be trying to make the Republican tent smaller. Go read what McCain had to say about Mitt’s qualifications as the “real Republican” in the race in response.

Update: The Romney camp parries McCain’s thrust by posting this video from 2002.