Republican Party

The Candidate Without Pants

Last updated on April 6th, 2012 at 05:28 pm

Just don't expect an honest answer

Now that Mitt Romney has swept Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia and prepares to challenge Santorum in Pennsylvania on April 24, we can see the Republican contest winding down. We are beginning to focus on Romney’s possible choices for vice president and Obama and Romney have focused on each other like a couple of alpha males determined to lead the pack. Romney calls Obama “out of touch” while Obama identifies Romney as an elitist. With 658 delegates, Romney is halfway to the 1144, more than twice Santorum’s 281, so there is little point in Obama worrying himself over what Santorum, or Gingrich with his 135 delegates or Ron Paul with his 51, have to say.

Mitt Romney has, like most Republican candidates these days, become his own worst enemy. But his problem is not the problem of somebody like Rick Perry, who didn’t seem to understand the issues, or Newt Gingrich, who could not rise above his own bombast, or Rick Santorum, who cannot rise above his religious zealotry. Romney’s shortcoming is that he can’t seem to decide where he stands on any issues, or perhaps more likely, that his stance on those issues is determined by what he thinks people want to hear. His Etch-a-Sketch fiasco seems to be an accurate representation of how he views his views- that they are something that can be endlessly reset as needed.

Mitt Romney has exposed himself to the American people; the question heading toward Election Day is have the American people noticed? And yes I am talking about Mitt’s “inadequacies.”

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His approach probably worked fine in the era before modern communications. You could tell a crowd in Southern Illinois one thing and a crowd in Northern Illinois another and never the twain would meet. Not so these days, when we can all watch YouTube and read each other’s local newspapers on the Internet. Politicians cannot hide from themselves in the twenty-first century; even if the mainstream media treats them with kid gloves bloggers will not; word spreads, videos appear on You Tube. But Republicans are slow to figure this out, like Bachmann resorting to claiming that recordings of her saying something about an issue were “urban legends” or like Romney, simply pretending he never said any such thing, even as we watch him say it, again and again and again.

Modern technology has not proven to be the GOP’s friend. Look at some of Romney’s most egregious about-faces:

“Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years…I sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice.”
Boston Herald-Boston Globe, 10/25/94 – Mitt Romney


“As a pro-life Republican, I am in favor of having the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade.” Hannity And Colmes, Fox, 9/5/07– Mitt Romney

Watch the video from

“[I] was able to put in place a plan that helped get health insurance premiums down, and gets all of our citizens insured. If we can do that nationally, we help the entire nation.” CNN, 1/14/08– Mitt Romney


“One thing I’d never do is impose a state’s plan on the entire nation, that makes no sense. I’ll repeal Obamacare.” Andover NH, 7/4/11– Mitt Romney

Watch the video from

“… there is need for economic stimulus. Americans have lost about $11 trillion in net worth… And government can help make that up in a very difficult time.” CNN, Late Edition, 1/4/09– Mitt Romney


“I have never supported the President’s Recovery Act… No time, no where, no how have I supported the President’s stimulus.”Romney Town Hall, Goffstown NH, 9/28/11– Mitt Romney

Watch the video from

Romney may never live down his New York Times op-ed, Let Detroit Go Bankrupt, of November 18, 2008.

“I’m not willing to sit back and say, ‘Too bad for Michigan, too bad—too bad for the car industry, too bad for the people who’ve lost their jobs. They’re gone forever.”New York Times, 1/14/08– Mitt Romney


“Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”New York Times, 11/18/08– Mitt Romney

Watch the video from

(For the Washington Post fact checker on the automotive industry bailout click here)

It is hard not to fall over laughing when you hear Mitt say things like this:

“I’ve been as consistent as human beings can be.”, 11/3/11– Mitt Romney

But he has not been; not on individual issues and not even on where he stands on the political spectrum, as the DNC demonstrates on

Mitt Romney desperately needs Tea Party support to win the GOP nomination this year. That’s why he insists he’s “just as conservative as I was four years ago. Maybe more so.” But in 2002, Romney needed independents’ support—and what did he say then? “I think people recognize that I’m not a partisan Republican, that I’m someone who is moderate, and that my views are progressive.” If you can’t trust Mitt Romney to say what he stands for, you can’t trust him to stand for you. Watch this video and share it with friends.

Watch the video and enjoy Romney’s chameleon-like qualities:

The frightening thing is that he seems utterly sincere each time he is asked, no matter which answer he is giving, and even seems to believe people will find, if they just bother to investigate, that he is telling the truth even though he is lying through his teeth.

Surprisingly, Romney’s reputation does not precede him: The New York Times reports,

The Democrats have conducted extensive research on Mr. Romney, his positions and the early perceptions that voters may have of him. A key finding of polling and other surveys, advisers say, is that Mr. Romney remains undefined to a wide universe of people, a void that the Obama campaign is eager to fill while Mr. Romney is still trying to secure the nomination.

Romney should not long remain undefined. The Democrats can fill volumes with Romneyisms. But Obama has a plan:

Mr. Obama, as he spoke about income disparity in America on Tuesday, outlined what his campaign hopes to make a central question of the presidential race: Should voters trust Mr. Romney, one of the wealthiest candidates in modern times, to be fair to them?

I think a better question would be: Should people trust Romney at all? From the evidence, no. Because there is no means by which we can discern what Mitt Romney actually thinks about any of a hundred subjects relevant to America’s future, and we cannot risk all on a candidate who says one thing one day and something else the next. That Romney is not going to change tactics now seems a safe bet since as the Washington Post reports, he “repeated versions of a number of claims that we have previously called into question” when he addressed the American Society of Newspaper Editors yesterday, claiming among other things that “The president’s attention was elsewhere — like a government takeover of health care and apologizing for America abroad.”

The response of the Washington Post fact checker ought to be the response of all Americans:

Eek, a “government takeover of health care” — from the man who as governor of Massachusetts imposed an individual health-care mandate as part of his health-care overhaul?

Romney ought to stand in front of a mirror when he attacks liberals like Obama for being “ought of touch” because he is clearly out of touch with reality if he thinks we don’t know, and won’t remember, who is the architect of Massachusetts’ health-care plan. It is a point Obama needs to hammer home again and again as we approach Election Day, making each debate an opportunity to visit Romney’s flip-flops. The candidate clearly forgot to wear pants, and Obama must do all in his power to draw attention to the fact. If Election Day 2012 isn’t one of those “I forgot to wear clothes to school” nightmares for Romney then none of us liberals have done their jobs.

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