Saturday, October 22, 2011

Romney's Core Principle: To Get Elected

A main reason Republicans have been in "flavor-of-the-month" mode regarding presidential candidates is that they just can't warm up to front runner Mitt Romney. Many regard him as not a "true conservative," the theme of a Perry ad, and a flip-flopper. The conservative blogosphere reveals the disquiet. A headline in the National Review asks, "Romney Developing New Flip Flop Response?" Townhall carried an article mentioning Romney's "changing his positions on abortion and gay rights and equivocating on other issues, including immigration and gun control." Redstate featured a commentary, "Romney Never Met a Flip He Couldn't Flop." The de facto head of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, stated, "Romney is not a conservative," due to "Romneycare" and "indications" that Romney believes in "man-made global warming."

Granted, The New York Review of Books is the ideological opposite of the outlets mentioned above; still, Christopher Benfey discovered a familiar perception of Romney in Massachusetts:

When I ask locals about their impressions of Mitt, I get a recurring response: Nixonian. “The overriding passion of his life seems to be to become president,” a conservative economics professor tells me. “I can’t think of a single issue over which Romney would risk reelection in order to stick to a principle.”

The impression of Romney as driven by expediency, not principle, was confirmed when Perry accused him of hypocritically hiring illegal immigrants to work on his lawn. In a statement that may come back to haunt him, Romney responded, "I'm running for office, for pete's sake, I can't have illegals!" Watch:

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