Via the Right Scoop, I encourage you to watch the interview if you missed it last night or read the transcript. Here’s the sort of “uncalled for,” out-of-left-field word grenade that Bret Baier was lobbing at poor defenseless Mitt Romney:
BAIER: About your book, you talk about Massachusetts healthcare. We’ve heard you many times, in the debates and interviews, talk about how it is different in your mind than the president’s healthcare law, Obamacare. The question is, do you still support the idea of a mandate? Do you believe that that was the right thing for Massachusetts? Do you think a mandate, mandating people to buy insurance is the right tool?
Romney’s reply: “Bret, I don’t know how many hundred times I’ve said this, too. This is an unusual interview.” Actually, if there’s any criticism to be made of Baier’s questioning, I think that’s it — not that the questions were “uncalled for” but that they were a little too called for because they cut right to the heart of conservatives’ concerns about Romney. He’s been asked this stuff a thousand times on the trail. But the repetition is inevitable and even necessary when he’s stuck at 25 percent in the polls with Iowa 34 days away. There’s a reason for that, and Baier’s giving him a chance to address it. Another example:
BAIER: Like the “Union Leader,” your critics charge that you make decisions based on political expediency and not core conviction. You have been on the both sides of some issues, and there’s videotape of you going back years, speaking about different issues, climate change, abortion, immigration, gay rights.
How can voters trust what they hear from you today is what you will believe if you win the White House?
That’s a perfect distillation of the right’s objection to Romney. How is he not supposed to ask about it? How is Romney not expecting it? What was he expecting from this interview?