Mitt Romney, more than anybody, would stand to gain from portraying Thompson as having evolved. The more that Romney can point to other candidates changing their positions, the easier it will be for him to fend off the flip-flopper charges by claiming, “Hey, everybody else does it!” Also, if this becomes a contest about who can best pander to conservatives (regardless of prior positions), that would seem to favor Romney, who has shown that he has no qualms about saying whatever he needs to.
But keep in mind that while Thompson’s views may have evolved on a number of issues, he’s been solid on gun rights in a field where you have Giuliani who supported gun control measures as mayor of New York City and Romney, who signed an assault weapons ban in Massachusetts. As the campaign progresses, took for Team Fred to hammer home the gun issue, because gun owners are a significant, and very politically active, constituency that currently has no major candidate to rally behind.
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