Aug 21, 2007

Mitt Romney's heart is worn from changing

And you thought John Kerry was a flip-flopper. Romney's switched sides on abortion, gay rights, and gun control, and now he's flipping between theory and practice on immigration.
In recent days, Mitt Romney has assailed Rudy Giuliani for maintaining a "sanctuary" city for illegal immigrants in New York and has pledged that as president he would reduce federal funding to "sanctuary" cities. But as governor of Massachusetts, Romney led a state that had several sanctuary cities and he took no action to cut their funding in order to pressure them into changing their policies toward illegal immigrants.
I anticipate Romney's coming out as a Southern Baptist in a month or two, claiming his time as a Mormon was "just a phase."

Update 8/22: In response, my brother writes,
Jim contends Mitt’s another Kerry. It’s not clear, though, that the case is the same at all. After all, when it comes to pro life issues at least, Mitt has been consistent in the bills he signed.
No mention of Romney's two-time change of heart: once to the "safe and legal" camp, after a relative died from an illegal abortion, and once back to a strict pro-life position, after being convinced through a debate on cloning. If that were his only flop, I'd be inclined to give Romney the benefit, but there's a pattern--a pattern that otherwise goes unaddressed. Call me heartless and cynical, but Romney's double switcheroo has all the appearances of political gamesmanship. (Added: My misreading of the link made it seem that Romney initially switched to the pro-choice camp sometime in the early 90s--but as Romney describes in the video linked below, up until his recent conversion, his support for "safe and legal" abortions had been consistent since at least the 1960s.)

I'll grant one thing, though: his words defending his gubernatorial record don't bring to mind John Kerry.
"As governor, I indicated that I would not change the law as it related to abortion. I would keep it the same. I have had roughly four provisions that have reached my desk which would have changed the laws as they relate to abortion, all of which would have expanded abortion rights. I vetoed each of those. My record as governor has been very clearly a pro-life record."
Instead, they're positively Clintonian.

Update II: In this YouTube video of the 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial debate, Romney defends his pro-choice cred. He is smooth.

Update III: My brother responds, but doesn't exactly inspire::
...personally, Mitt has always held conservative opinions but has thought that his political position needs to represent the will of the people that elect him.
Now that's integrity.


Prufrock said...

I cannot stand Mitt Romney's utter lack of integrity but his appearance is surely Presidential. He just looks the part and, unfortunately, that goes a long way with the generally-uninformed American public.

TorchofLiberty said...

Lack of integrity and flip-flopping are two different things. Mitt Romney is a man of integrity and surely isn't a flip flopper in the John Kerry sense. Look at his record in MA, and you will see solid accomplishments.

Everyone politician is going to have inconsistencies. It's impossible to be 100 percent consistent. But for the most part, Romney has proven himself to be pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-2nd Amendment.

Jim Anderson said...

Torch, I've provided links to sources that say otherwise. At least you could point us to some hard evidence.

TheTachyix said...

Bet he's a small business owner by next month.

Prufrock said...

I'm not sure what "a flip flopper in the John Kerry sense" means exactly but I would say that a candidate whose issue positions have changed as dramatically as Romney's is not a person of integrity.

If anything, a flip-flopper in the Mitt Romney sense is worse because he has abandoned ostensibly long-espoused issue positions just for political expediency. Kerry's so-called "flip-flops" were insignificant in comparison.

Regarding the 2nd Amendment, there is no Constitutional right to own a gun. Are you a member of a militia?

Matthew Anderson said...

So smooth he might actually be telling the truth.

I didn't mean to address the entire pattern of "flip-flops"--only to point out that I don't think the comparison to Kerry is accurate.

Notice, in the video he's not really defending his "pro-choice cred." He's defending his commitment to the separation of church and state and to his upholding of the laws as they are currently on the books. He explicitly says that he doesn't want the pro-choice label affixed to him. How has he been inconsistent again when it comes to life issues?

Prufrock said...

Although Romney states toward the end of that clip of the gubernatorial debate that he does not want to be labeled either pro-choice or pro-life, he explicitly affirms his commitment to a women's right to choose and he makes that statement without any reference to any law on the books. Also, he says that his commitment goes back to 1970, when his mother ran for Senate as a pro-choice candidate.

And we all know how influential the beliefs of parents are on their children. Or not.

Jim Anderson said...

Look at the way Romney tries to play both sides: by standing up to "defend and preserve and protect" Roe v. Wade, he gains votes of suspicious Massachusetts liberals. Yet since he governs in a liberal state, it's easy for him to veto legislation that would expand abortion rights, and say, "See? I didn't change anything. Ergo, I'm pro-life."

But it goes from slick to silly: why should a governor have a commitment to uphold laws "currently on the books?" That's a fine thing for a judge to say--after all, nobody likes a "judicial activist"--but for a governor, it's a dodge. To sum it up: Never let your principles get in the way of your politics.

Besides, I'm not the only one saying that Romney has had a recent change of heart. Romney is, trying to explain that he saw the light after the stem cell / cloning debate. And right now, given the evidence, Romney's conversion has zero credibility.