Romney Etch A Sketch

March 22, 2012 by staff 

Romney Etch A Sketch, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses an audience during a campaign stop at an American Legion post in Arbutus, Md., Wednesday.
Has Mitt Romney’s campaign inadvertently provided opponents the perfect phrase with which to attack the former Massachusetts governor? That’s the question in the wake of the “Etch A Sketch” comment by senior Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom on CNN.
Asked whether Mr. Romney had moved too far to the right for the general election, Mr. Fehrnstrom said that the GOP hopeful would hit a reset button for the fall campaign. “It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch,” he said. “You can kind of shake it up and restart it all over again.”

For Romney, Sketch-gate has overshadowed what should have been the triumphant aftermath of an Illinois primary victory. Romney’s primary opponents immediately seized upon the image of an erasable toy to project their doubts about the depths of Romney’s conservatism. Both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich held up Etch A Sketches at rallies on Wednesday.

“Team Romney says if Mitt is GOP nominee, he’ll hit reset button for gen election. Where does that leave conservatives?” tweeted Mr. Santorum on Thursday.

Conservative activists who have long resisted Romney’s likely nomination bemoaned the fact that it is only now, so late in the game, that they have found ananlogy that perfectly expresses their doubts about his beliefs.

“We’ve been at a loss to encapsulate our opposition into a one-liner; a bumper sticker,” wrote Daniel Horowitz on the conservative RedState blog on Thursday. “After all, it takes copious pages of ink to explain the extent of Romney’s hypocrisy on the issue of healthcare alone. Yet, late in the 11th hour of the campaign, when it’s probably too late to make a difference, we have finally discovered our symbol that exemplifies Romney.”

If nothing else, perhaps now the Romney team will stop demanding that the right get on board their train and provide some reasons to believe that Romney’s conservative positions won’t get shaken off like a kid’s drawing in September, Mr. Horowitz said.

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