Changing His Mind: Romney Concedes Smooth Talking Ways, Says DNC
WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Democratic National Committee: On his way to South Carolina, Mitt Romney finally conceded the obvious yesterday. After months of trying to smooth talk conservative voters into ignoring his real record, Romney told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that he sees "no problem ... with someone who changes their view on an issue, because I certainly have." [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/22/07] Of course, Romney hasn't changed his mind on an issue, he's changed it on just about every issue in this campaign, including immigration, gun control, abortion, gay rights, campaign finance reform, tax cuts, health care, stem cell research -- even his own political heroes. In fact, Romney's views have been so consistently inconsistent that a growing chorus of commentators and activists are rejecting Romney's smooth talking ways. Just this week, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen said, "to watch Romney on the show was to see a thoroughly counterfeit man." [Washington Post, 2/20/07] Columnist Ruth Marcus said listening to Romney is like "watching a chameleon in the fleeting moment that its color changes to suit its environment." [Washington Post, 2/21/07] Conservative syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock called Romney an actor who "has lost himself so thoroughly ... that no one really knows where the performer ends and the characters begin." [Union Leader, 2/16/07] "Smooth talking Mitt Romney's admission that he sees no problem with candidates shifting their views for political gain pretty much sums up his campaign," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera. "Romney may not see a problem with changing his views, but for voters looking for strong leadership and consistent values, Romney's smooth talking ways are a serious problem. Voters don't want political opportunists who will say whatever he thinks the voters want to hear, they want real leaders who offer real plans for America's future." What Hasn't Romney Changed His Mind On? "There's no problem, in my view, with someone who changes their view on an issue, because I certainly have." -- Mitt Romney, Atlanta Journal- Constitution, 2/22/07 On Immigration Reform: -- Old Mitt: Supported A "Path to Citizenship" For Undocumented Workers. "Gov. Mitt Romney expressed support yesterday for an immigration program that places large numbers of illegal residents on the path toward citizenship. 'I don't believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country,' Romney said. '[T]hose that are here paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship, as they would from their home country.'" [Lowell Sun, 3/30/06] -- New Mitt: Opposes Path to Citizenship, Talks Tough on Immigration. "[T]hose people who are here illegally should not get any benefit by being here. Those that have committed crimes should be taken out of the country. Those that are in our jails should be taken out of the country. Those who are on welfare, require government assistance, should leave the country. Those of the 12 million or so that are here, first, I want to find out who they are, how many are there." [ABC "This Week," 2/18/07] Romney has also called for penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants, supporting construction of a 700-mile fence along the more than 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border, and calling for National Guard troops to be stationed at the border until the wall is finished. In fact, Governor Romney has been so vocal on the issue that Fox News host Bill O'Reilly dubbed a border fence "the Mitt Romney Memorial wall." [Boston Globe, 12/1/06] On Guns: -- Old Mitt: Bragged That His Views on Gun Control Were "Not Going to Make Me the Hero of the NRA." In 1994 and 2002, Romney supported the Brady Bill and the assault weapons ban, even bragging that his positions were "not going to make me the hero of the NRA." As governor, Romney signed a 2004 law making Massachusetts the first state to pass a permanent assault weapons ban. [Boston Globe, 1/14/06] -- New Mitt: Sports New NRA Card, Emphasizes New Pro-Gun Stances, and Misleads Voters About Whether He Owns A Gun. Romney finally admitted that he had just joined the National Rifle Association last August. [Boston Globe, 2/19/07] This follows his efforts in January to highlight his newfound support for gun owners by heading to Orlando to tour one of the country's largest gun shows with Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association. On Wednesday he told the online The Glenn and Helen Show that states should "continue to ease regulations on gun owners" and claimed "I have a gun of my own." Later, Romney was forced to admit to reporters in Orlando that he in fact did not personally own any guns. [Boston Globe, 1/14/06] On Gays in the Military -- Old Mitt: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" a First Step Toward Full Service. "When [Romney] ran for Senator in 1994, [he] supported the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy on gays in the military as what [he] called a first step that will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation's military." [ABC News "This Week," 2/18/07] -- New Mitt: Ten Years Later, No Need For Change. "It's now been in place for well over a decade. We're in the middle of a conflict. Now is not the time for a change in that regard and I don't have a policy posture as to allowing gays in the military to serve there openly. On Campaign Finance Reform: -- Old Mitt: Proposed "Taxing Political Contributions," "Publicly Funded Campaigns," "Spending Limits" And "Abolishing" PACS. During his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Romney "proposed taxing political contributions to finance publicly funded campaigns," while during his 1994 Senate campaign Romney "publicly advocated placing spending limits on congressional campaigns and abolishing political action committees (PACs)." [The Hill, 2/8/07] -- New Mitt: Campaign Finance Reform "One Of The Worst Things In My Lifetime." "While several Republicans who attended the Republican Study Committee (RSC) retreat greeted Romney's remarks on abortion with skepticism, his condemnation of changes to campaign-finance rules struck a positive chord with the entire audience. Romney specifically criticized the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act sponsored by his rival for the GOP presidential nomination, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). 'Referring to the bill, [Romney] called it "one of the worst things in my lifetime,"' one conservative Republican said. Romney also has criticized McCain on campaign finance while stumping in South Carolina, where President Bush turned the tide against McCain in the 2000 GOP presidential primary." [The Hill, 2/8/07] On Taxes: -- Old Mitt: Romney Refused To Sign "No New Tax" Pledge, Called It "Government By Gimmickry." When he thought he needed to look more moderate to get elected governor in 2002, Romney's campaign mocked the pledge as "government by gimmickry." [Boston Globe, 1/5/07] As governor, Romney drastically raised fees and taxes. -- New Mitt: Signs Pledge to Hide Tax Raising Record. This month, Romney signed the same "no new tax" pledge he refused to sign in 2002 to hide the fact that under his failed leadership, Bay Staters saw their tax burden increase by more than 5 percent, and Romney's cuts to local communities sent Massachusetts property taxes to their highest level in 25 years. [Massachusetts State-Local Tax Burden Compared to National Average (1970-2006), The Tax Foundation; Quincy Patriot Ledger, 12/16/05] On the Bush Tax Cuts: -- Old Mitt: Refuses to Publicly Endorse Bush Tax Cuts. Romney refused to endorse tax cuts at the heart of President Bush's economic program in 2003. Romney's spokesperson said that it's "just not a state matter." [Boston Globe, 4/11/03] -- New Mitt: Brags About Support for Bush Tax Cuts. During a November 13, 2006 press conference held in Arizona, Romney outlined differences between himself and McCain. Romney said "he was quicker than McCain to endorse President Bush's tax cuts." [East Valley Sun, 11/14/06] On His Own Health Care Plan: -- Old Mitt: Champions Plan as "Conservative Victory." The plan was once considered "the centerpiece of Romney's administration" and "a key part of his presidential resume." [Boston Globe, 2/3/07] Romney even championed the plan "as a conservative victory that leads residents to take responsibility for their own health insurance." [Business Week, 4/4/06] -- New Mitt: "Distancing Himself" From Plan After Conservative Backlash. Romney "has begun to distance himself" from the plan in the face of conservative skepticism of the plan, skyrocketing costs for consumers, and new reports that the plan will force some 200,000 Bay Staters who already have health insurance to buy more. [Boston Globe, 2/3/07] "many conservatives view the concept of requiring individuals to purchase health insurance -- and penalizing some businesses that don't offer it -- as anathema to their principles." [Boston Globe, 2/3/07] On Stem Cell Research -- Old Mitt: Supported Stem Cell Research in "Broad Terms,' Pledged to Lobby Bush. "When he ran for governor in 2002, he endorsed embryonic stem cell research in broad terms, saying at one campaign stop that he would lobby Bush to embrace it." [Boston Globe, 2/11/07] -- New Mitt: Now Opposes Expanded Funding, Tries to Have it Both Ways on Federal Spending. "In February 2005, as the state Legislature was considering a bill to promote embryonic stem cell research," Romney decided "he would fight efforts to clone human embryos for research," though he "believed it was ethical to experiment on embryos left over from fertility treatments." Romney also now opposes the Castle-DeGette bill now before Congress, which would lift President Bush's ban on additional federal funding for stem cell research, because "in part because he objects to any expansion of taxpayer-funded human embryonic stem cell research." [Boston Globe, 2/11/07] On Abortion: -- Old Mitt: Courted Endorsement From Pro-Choice Groups in 2002. During his 2002 campaign for governor, Romney reached out to Republican Majority for Choice to ask for its endorsement and later issued a press release highlighting that endorsement. Romney also completed a Planned Parenthood questionnaire in Apr '02, saying "yes" to a question about whether he supported "the substance of" Roe v. Wade, "yes" to "state funding of abortion services through Medicaid for low-income women" and "yes" to supporting "efforts to increase access to emergency contraception." Romney said on a NARAL questionnaire, "I respect and will protect a woman's right to choose." [Weekly Standard, 2/5/07]. -- New Mitt: Views Have "Evolved." "Romney says his anti-abortion views have 'evolved and deepened' since he took office, colored in part by the debate over embryonic stem cell research. 'In considering the issue of embryo cloning and embryo farming, I saw where the harsh logic of abortion can lead -- to the view of innocent new life as nothing more than research material or a commodity to be exploited,' Romney wrote in an opinion piece in Tuesday's Boston Globe. He also said he believes each state should decide whether to allow abortion, rather than having the 'one size fits all' precedent of Roe v. Wade." [newsmax.com, 7/27/05] On Gay Marriage: -- Old Mitt: Opposed Federal Marriage Amendment, Promised to be Stronger Leader on Gay Rights Than Senator Ted Kennedy. Romney once opposed a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage and pledged to provide "more effective leadership" on establishing "full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens" than Senator Ted Kennedy. [Boston Globe, 10/17/94] -- New Mitt: Supports Constitutional Amendment, Even Worked to Block Same- Sex Couples From Adopting. Romney told the National Review Institute's Conservative Summit that he "was unequivocal" on gay marriage, saying: "I opposed then, and do now, gay marriage and civil unions." [Newyorktimes.com, 1/28/07] Romney also now supports a constitutional amendment on marriage and tried to allow religious agencies to block adoptions to same-sex households. ["Transcript of Romney Address to Liberty Sunday," EvangelicalsforMitt.com, 10/16/06; Boston Globe, 3/16/06] On His Own Political Heroes: -- Old Mitt: Distanced Himself from Reagan in 1994 & 2002. Romney once claimed to be "an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush" who was "not trying to return to Reagan-Bush." [Boston Globe, 1/19/07] -- New Mitt: Takes Every Opportunity to Call Himself a Reagan Republican Romney now calls President Reagan his "hero" and praises "Ronald Reagan's brand of visionary and courageous leadership." [Boston Globe, 1/19/07] Romney even cited President Reagan in explaining his decision to flip-flop on abortion during a speech to the National Review Institute's Conservative Summit, saying: "On abortion, I wasn't always a Ronald Reagan conservative. Neither was Ronald Reagan, by the way." [Newyorktimes.com, 1/28/07] Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee, http://www.democrats.org. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
SOURCE Democratic National Committee
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