It’s also worth noting the absurd standard that Romney introduced in the debate that the best way to learn about somebody’s positions “is not to ask their opponent, it’s to ask them.” He used it when defending himself against Brownback, and when backing off his statement that Giuliani was “pro-choice, and pro-gay marriage, and anti-gun.” I say it’s absurd because there’s no way he can ever stick by that standard, and when he starts running attack ads, his opponents (whether Republican or, if he makes it that far, Democrat) can use his comments in this debate against him. It’s no surprise that, in typical Romney fashion, he’s already flip-flopped on this. Jonathan Martin reports that at a campaign rally yesterday afternoon, Romney added a time element to his standard: “I think we’re best, certainly at this stage in the campaign, this is very early on, to describe our own views,” That makes no sense. Letting the candidate describe his own views is either an accurate way to understand their positions, or it isn’t. If you believe in that standard, the timing should be completely irrelevant.
UPDATE: Liz Mair has some additional thoughts.