If Mitt Romney the man was even half as flexible as Mitt Romney the politician, he very well might be over in London with Team USA preparing for the men’s gymnastics competition.
Rarely has America seen a politician with as many different positions as Romney.
The funny thing about Mitt Romney and his flip-flopping problem is that, although it is incredibly well documented, it’s almost as though no one with the Obama campaign is interested in talking about it.
John Kerry lost the presidential election in 2004, in part, because of two things: his “flip-flop” on the war in Iraq and the disingenuous and disgusting “Swift Boating” of his time in Vietnam by a group associated with President Bush’s adviser, Karl Rove.
The Swift Boat ads were dirty, untruthful and offensive, but that’s what politics today consists of. Negative ads sell and that was about as negative as an ad can get.
The accusation of a flip-flop against Kerry was a little dirty, but at least it was, in a sense, truthful. Kerry did vote to for military action in Iraq and Kerry did campaign for president by speaking out against it. Those are the facts. What made the charge dirty is that Kerry voted for a war based on what turned out to be lies and fabricated intelligence. He wasn’t the only one to do so either.
Kerry wrote in a blog piece for the Huffington Post in 2006, “There’s nothing -- nothing -- in my life in public service I regret more, nothing even close. We should all be willing to say: I was wrong, I should not have voted for the Iraq War Resolution.”
The fact of that matter is that John Kerry’s misguided vote on the war was exactly that: misguided. When Kerry saw what was happening in Iraq and when he saw that there were no weapons of mass destruction, he spoke out against it and admitted he was wrong. People are allowed to have their opinions evolve.
People’s views and opinions change, it’s only natural. What isn’t natural, though, is for those views to ebb and flow based almost solely on where, when or to whom someone is speaking. It’s quite clear that Romney does this. Perhaps the only person in America who doesn’t acknowledge this fact is Romney himself. Based on his campaign speeches so far, it appears that Romney may have amnesia.
Romney’s flip-flopping is essentially George H. W. Bush’s famous 1988 Republican National Convention line, “Read my lips: no new taxes.” Despite his pledge, Bush raised taxes during his presidency. The difference is that Romney has essentially pledged no new taxes on nearly every conceivable issue and then gone on to raise them.
If Kerry is to be labeled a flip-flopper for the rest of his political career for changing just one of his views (that was based on a lie in the first place), what label do you get for changing your view on 10, 15 or 20 different issues? Liar? Phony? Flake? Wishy-washy? Weak?
BusinessInsider.com compiled a list of just 14 of Mitt Romney’s flip-flops. Some of the issues he’s changed his opinion on (at least twice) are: immigration, gun control laws, global warming, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, gay marriage, embryonic stem cell research, “RomneyCare” health care, taxes, money in politics and abortion (he’s had at least four different opinions).
Luckily for Romney, many voters tend not to care about facts and only about what they’re assaulted with over the radio and on their televisions. That’s why it’s so surprising that the Obama campaign hasn’t been more forceful about all of Romney’s various viewpoints on the issues.
The election will be a close one, but the Obama campaign has almost 20 years of Mitt Romney flip-flops to call him out on. Romney’s history of indecision, lies and harmful business tactics has all but handed Obama re-election if they choose to use that history. There are many reasons that John McCain passed over Romney as his vice presidential pick in 2008 and the documents highlighting all those reasons were released just a few weeks ago. It’s up to the Obama campaign to exploit those reasons to their advantage.
Politics are a dirty game and the winner is usually the one who digs the deepest and gets the dirtiest. The nice thing for President Obama is that he and his advisers don’t have to dig too far down to find the best dirt.