Wednesday, October 26, 2011

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 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 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.

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