Frightened by his own shadow, Romney runs from the fight...


In the all-important battleground state of Ohio, Mitt Romney has proven again that he's not up for a tough fight:

June 2011: Mitt casts a shadow...
My friends in Ohio are fighting to defend crucial reforms that the state has put in place to limit the power of union bosses and keep taxes low. I stand with John R. Kasich and Ohio’s leaders as they take on this important fight to get control of government spending. Please visit www.BetterOhio.org for more information.

October 2011: Mitt runs from his shadow...
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stepped into the middle of the charged battle over organized labor in Ohio on Tuesday ... but he would not say whether he supports or opposes the specific measures.

"I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues," Romney said, only after repeated questions from reporters. "Those are up to the people of Ohio. But I certainly support the efforts of the governor to reign in the scale of government. I am not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives. But I am certainly supportive of the Republican Party's efforts here."
Conservatives react:
  • Right Scoop: "This is EXACTLY why I refuse to support Romney for the nomination. He is nothing more than a political opportunist..."
  • Red State: "Typically, when a politician stands for nothing except his own election, he winds up not getting elected."
  • Drew at Ace: "Why would Republicans in Ohio who are working their butts fighting the good fight here come out and work for a guy who won’t support them?"

Where's the ever-impartial Karl Rove when a front-runner needs some tough love?








Update: Romney's link to BetterOhio.org takes you to the mother lode of information on union reforms (Issue 2). Romney now says he's sorry for all the "confusion" he created. Does this count as a gaffe? Or does a gaffe only count if it comes from a "not Romney" candidate?



Update II:

Ace tries to explain:
1, he didn't do his homework here, and really the one thing I like about Romney is that he does his homework, so when he doesn't, it leaves me wondering what good he is at all.

2, not sure of what his previous statements were, he was cautious and disciplined and tried to offer a lukewarm response that he calculated, quite incorrectly, would get no press at all and would not cause him any consternation.

3, the Trouble with Romney. This last point illustrates why a lot of people are having trouble rallying to Romney. I am not going to knock caution and discipline per se...

But there's a point at which caution, which is defensible, becomes pure timidity, which is not. And it's worrying that, having forgotten his programmed strategy/position points, his natural inclination wasn't simply to say "Of course I support these reforms!"

I would add this:

4. Romney probably had done his homework, but was seeking to distance himself from good reforms (reforms that he had publicly supported only four months ago) because those reforms are now down in the polls.

Update III: Linked at The Scratching Post. Thanks!

24 comments:

  1. From Powerline:

    “What makes this whole situation even more bizarre,” Senik comments, is that at the time “Romney was at a GOP phone bank where volunteers were making calls about the collective bargaining measures when he refused his support.”

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  2. ...and in GOP primary season, this is as loyal and conservative as Romney will ever be. Imagine general election Romney.

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  3. I don't think Romney is the organizational / capitalist genius people say he is. A link describing this is on the way.

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  4. Romney is simply showing his true face. A GOP puppet, conveniently susceptible to the manipulations of Rove and the rest of the GOP beltway ruling elite. It is all about smiles, handshakes, and photo ops, isn't it? Indeed.

    Enough politics. Look at the America we live in. It is the direct result of either psycho crazy liberal politicians who are Socialists, or knee-jerk GOP sycophants who just want to make sure the Dems don't take over. Nowhere in either mindset has the concept of actually serving the American public come in.

    Cain/Paul 2012

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  5. Well said HermanFreakingPaul!

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  6. Anyone smell pragmatism? Cause that's what Romney is folks.

    Paul/another libertarian like him of his choosing 2012!

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  7. How is a ballot issue in Ohio anyone's business outside of Ohio? Seems Romney answered the question the way one would expect a president to. It's not a Federal issue. As such it's none of a Federal politicians business outside of generic support.

    Maybe there's something here I'm misunderstanding.

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  8. What craps me about this is that this is the most significant issue on the ballot in the whole of the United States. We also have Issue 3 but Issue 2 is a matter of survival for the state.

    You've got people crabbing about Perry and Cain being uninformed and backtracking and then THIS. We've have $6 million pour into the state from DC unions, ad after ad of STOP ISSUE 2 on tv and mail, and almost NO support Issue 2 ads. Only a few Tea Party (paid directly by us) commercials have been on.

    Where the heck is the Republican Party in Ohio?

    Gone missin.

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  9. @Chuck

    It wasn't a federal issue when Romney was giving his support as recently as June. And it's still not a federal issue now that he's flipping back under pressure.

    Romney supported the reforms before they became unpopular. This was worse than a flip-flop, it was defection.

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  10. Having Mitt in the White House will make the Democrats' job easy. The New York Times and the Washington Times will trot out a few polls that create an impression of disapproval of Republican proposals, and Mitt will run away with his tail between his legs.

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  11. "
    It wasn't a federal issue when Romney was giving his support as recently as June. "


    There was a specific ballot measure Romney was telling Ohioans to vote for? Do tell.

    This whole "story" stinks like pure bullshit. What the hell are you people going to do when Romney wins the nomination? Will you continue to sabotage his candidacy? Are you people really accusing Romney of being on the government union side of this?

    Hate blinds.

    "Those are up to the people of Ohio. But I certainly support the efforts of the governor to reign in the scale of government. I am not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives. But I am certainly supportive of the Republican Party's efforts here."

    In what retarded universe is THAT a "defection"?

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  12. OK, so Romney is guilty of political pragmatism. He wants to win both the primary and general election, he's probably leading in both votes and money right now.

    Two questions:
    1. So what?
    2. When did a matter of state law become something that a president or presidential candidate should concern himself with?

    I'm having a hard time distinguishing the die-hard principled Romney haters from people who still believe in an Imperial President reigning over the land.

    What would Ronald Reagan have to say about the zoning regulations for restaurants in Tucumcari?

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  13. @Chuck

    Are you people really accusing Romney of being on the government union side of this?

    How can we know where Mitt stands? He put up a conspicuous link to a "vote yes on 2" site for his "friends in Ohio", but Romney's supporters tell us we shouldn't assume that meant anything.


    In what retarded universe is THAT a "defection"?

    In the span of 4 short months, Romney went from:

    "My friends in Ohio are fighting to defend crucial reforms that the state has put in place to limit the power of union bosses and keep taxes low. I stand with John R. Kasich and Ohio's leaders as they take on this important fight"

    all the way to:

    "I am not terribly familiar"

    And Romney made his "not terribly familiar" comment while he was at a call center where Republican volunteers were working on the issue.

    What changed in the past 4 months?

    The polls.

    That looks like defection to me. It's a remarkable gaffe, at best.

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  14. @Nick

    All politicians are "guilty of political pragmatism" as you euphemistically put it. The question with Mitt is: How far will his political pragmatism take him from his current positions? So far, it's been a wild ride.

    When people vote, they like to know what they're voting for. With Mitt, I don't know how anyone can be confident.

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  15. "How can we know where Mitt stands?"

    How can you not? You guys are basically calling the guy some kind of activist democrat. I'm sorry, dude, but that just seems irrational to me. (Ron Paul called Reagan a "tax and spend liberal", by the way)

    As far as the link thing goes, I'll take your word for it, but it looks to me like some of you guys are creating an impossible standard. If you're waiting for someone to come along who'll scream to the heavens, "I'll kill every man in Lago!!!", you're waiting in vain. Meanwhile, you're putting bullets in Obama's gun.

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  16. Someone should tell him to quit dressing like a dickwad, though. Lately he looks like he robbed the costume department at the set of Revenge Of The Nerds IV.

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  17. "All politicians are "guilty of political pragmatism" as you euphemistically put it."

    Political pragmatism isn't a euphemism. It's a reality. Calling it a euphemism exposes the person using the term as a spoiled brat who calls anything short of their personal wishes an injustice. An outrage, in fact.

    This stripe that says all things are equal except that one single thing they personally desire is worse than a mere exercise in intellectual masturbation. It is destructive. It's destructive to the point of suicide...for the sake of nothing more noble than spite.

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  18. As far as the link thing goes, I'll take your word for it

    You don't have to take my work for it. It's still on Mitt's Facebook page. I've linked to that, and I have a screen cap above.

    you're putting bullets in Obama's gun.

    Not really. Obama & Co. will make stuff up if they have to. But if you're really worried about "friendly" fire on the GOP side, you should have a little talk with Karl Rove.

    Political pragmatism isn't a euphemism.

    I don't have a problem with pragmatism. What bothers me is when the "pragmatism" label is affixed to what would more accurately be described as duplicity or cowardice.

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  19. Pragmatism

    [The Pragmatists] declared that philosophy must be practical and that practicality consists of dispensing with all absolute principles and standards—that there is no such thing as objective reality or permanent truth—that truth is that which works, and its validity can be judged only by its consequences—that no facts can be known with certainty in advance, and anything may be tried by rule-of-thumb—that reality is not firm, but fluid and “indeterminate,” that there is no such thing as a distinction between an external world and a consciousness (between the perceived and the perceiver), there is only an undifferentiated package-deal labeled “experience,” and whatever one wishes to be true, is true, whatever one wishes to exist, does exist, provided it works or makes one feel better.

    A later school of more Kantian Pragmatists amended this philosophy as follows. If there is no such thing as an objective reality, men’s metaphysical choice is whether the selfish, dictatorial whims of an individual or the democratic whims of a collective are to shape that plastic goo which the ignorant call “reality,” therefore this school decided that objectivity consists of collective subjectivism—that knowledge is to be gained by means of public polls among special elites of “competent investigators” who can “predict and control” reality—that whatever people wish to be true, is true, whatever people wish to exist, does exist, and anyone who holds any firm convictions of his own is an arbitrary, mystic dogmatist, since reality is indeterminate and people determine its actual nature.

    For the New Intellectual

    Ayn Rand - “For the New Intellectual,” PG. 34

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  20. Simply said, He wants to straddle the proverbial fence and be swayed by the political winds to which side he leans to at that point in time!
    AKA "Politician"...
    This is why I stand behind Ron Paul. He has been consistent!

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  21. Good for you John. Ron Paul is the only candidate that brings real ideas of substance to the party.

    Ron Paul 2012!!

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  22. "I don't have a problem with pragmatism. What bothers me is when the "pragmatism" label is affixed to what would more accurately be described as duplicity or cowardice. "

    Duplicity? What would an example of Romney's duplicity be? I read all these inferences that the guy is dishonest. No substance, though. Just generic acrimony.

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  23. Let's just forget that losing Ohio loses the election.

    The winning strategy in Ohio is to be disliked the least by the fewest voters.

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  24. @Chick:

    http://www.rightklik.net/2011/10/romneycare-big-lie.html

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