The AP reports that Mitt Romney said Hillary Clinton is wrong to say “it takes a village to raise a child,” but in 1998 he said “Hillary Clinton is very right, it does take a village…”
The Romney camp defense is that in 1998, he was in the private sector, and was talking about economic development, not raising a family. I think that’s fair enough. But I found this part of the story worth noting:
“To be safe, you might want to wait and ask him again tomorrow. He tends to change his positions pretty often,” spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said.
One of the reasons that I’m so critical of Romney’s candidacy is that Republicans successfully won the last two elections in part by convincing Americans that Gore told tall tales and thus couldn’t be trusted, and that Kerry changed his positions with the wind, so he couldn’t be an effective and decisive commander in chief. I was naive enough to actually believe those arguments were rooted in principle, but evidently, to some conservatives, they were just a political tactic. Between his reversals on numerous issues, and his exaggeration of his hunting record, Romney has managed to combine the traits of both Kerry and Gore. Regardless of whether Romney is able to convince conservatives that his evolution on a lot of issues is genuine, his nomination would present problems because it would provide Democrats with a treasure trove of video to portray him as a teller of tall tales and a flip flopper–essentially they’d be able to take the Republican playbook from 2000 and 2004 and use it against him. While conservatives may tolerate Romney’s flip-flopping as long as he’s evolving to positions they agree with (and indeed a lot of Romney defenders have argued that all that matters is what he believes now), swing voters, who may or may not agree with his current stances, will not be so forgiving. One of the reasons Hillary Clinton has such high negatives is that people perceive her as a phony, calculating political opportunist who will say whatever she needs to to get elected. But in a Romney-Clinton showdown, it would be very easy for team Hillary to neutralize that issue.
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