“When Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, became a presidential candidate in 2008, his views on those issues had shifted dramatically to the right. Raw politics at work: A moderate record suited Romney’s needs in Democratic-leaning Massachusetts and conservative views are a necessity in national GOP primaries.
“Romney’s only hope of dodging the flip-flopping label is that journalists and their readers decide to give him a pass because his position shifts are old news. But they are not old news: That fact that Romney has an odds-on chance to become president in 2013 makes doubts about his core values more relevant than ever.”
“‘There are other programs I like and I don’t want to cut but, yet, I ask myself: Do we have to have that program? Is it essential for America? Is it so essential that its worth borrowing the money to pay for it from China knowing that we’ll never pay it back in my generation but instead pass it on to my kids and then their kids? And, by that test, there are a number of things I say [it is] time for us to stop spending money on,’ he said.
“‘I like Amtrak, but $1.6 billion borrowed from China isn’t a good idea [so] I’ll cut it out,’ said Romney.
“On today’s USA Today opinion page, Romney offered even more specifics on the types of programs he would cut. He wrote that he would enact ‘reductions in the subsidies for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcast and the Legal Services Corporation.’
“Eliminating Title X family planning programs that benefit ‘abortion groups like Planned Parenthood,’ would also be on his agenda, wrote Romney.”
“‘There are lingering concerns about whether he’s really committed to the pro-life cause,’ Richard Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told POLITICO on Thursday. ‘I’m not questioning it because I’ve had the opportunity to hear him personally explain it.’…
“‘That’s what’s ironic about Romney … they know who they’re voting for,’ Land said. ‘In large part, they feel he’s not Mormon enough. If he had the same position on life and on marriage the Mormon faith has, there wouldn’t be a question.’
“‘The fact is that he’s so far off the reservation that there are lingering concerns about whether he’s really committed to the pro-life cause,’ he said.”
“The White House certainly seems to buy into this scenario. For months now, virtually every conversation I’ve had with one of those increasingly chatty ‘senior administration officials,’ on any subject, has included at least a swipe or two at Romney. It’s clear that he’s the opponent the Obama machine is gearing up to face.
“But I’m less and less convinced. It’s hard for me to see how any of the other candidates can win the nomination — but it’s hard for me to see how Romney wins it, either…
“[T]he whole Herman Cain infatuation is much worse, from Romney’s point of view. Here’s a man with no experience in public office, no knowledge of international affairs and, from the evidence of his “9-9-9” tax plan, bizarre ideas about how arithmetic works. Yet before allegations of sexual harassment threatened to derail the Cain Train, he was leading in many polls.
“It is safe to conclude that most Republicans are looking for an alternative. Clearly, they don’t see Romney as the inevitable nominee — and they’re the deciders.”
“Mitt Romney, under fire from all sides on the strength of his political convictions, said Thursday he has been as consistent as a person can be during his political career.
“‘I’ve been as consistent as human beings can be,’ the presidential candidate said in a meeting with the editorial board of New Hampshire’s Seacoast Media Group. ‘I cannot state every single issue in exactly the same words every single time, and so there are some folks who, obviously, for various political and campaign purposes will try and find some change and try to draw great attention to something which looks like a change which in fact is entirely consistent.'”