In an interview with CNN, Eric Fehrnstrom, senior advisor to Mitt Romney, said better that I could why conservatives like myself are concerned about Mitt Romney as the nominee:
John Fugelsang: Is there a concern that Santorum and Gingrich might force the governor to tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election.
Eric Fehrnstrom: Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all of over again.
Here is the video for the entire interview so you can have the context.
Look, who wants an Etch A Sketch President? I sure don’t. This is what I’ve been saying over and over and over again is that Mitt Romney will tell you what you want to hear. He is not a man of firm convictions. The joke that’s been going around lately about Mitt Romney is so true: “A conservative, a moderate and a liberal walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, ‘Hi Mitt.’”
His record shows that he is a political chameleon. The only ones who are rallying around Romney contrary to what Fehrnstrom says are the Republican establishment. When he says they’ve won over the conservatives, what exit polling is he looking at? That’s simply not true. Romney’s problem is that he wins mainly among moderates. He also wins in urban areas. But he does not perform well among the bread and butter of the Republican Party. You can look at the Illinois Primary map and see that. If he had broad appeal he would have beat Santorum in downstate Illinois, but he didn’t. He out spends his competition seven-to-one to eek out victories. Do we really think Romney will beat Obama in urban areas? Do we really think Romney will be able to outspend Obama? Romney does not have the base of the Republican Party behind him. Will they rally around him? Some may, I would say it is very likely a large segment will not. I haven’t even made up my own mind in the matter. I don’t want to see Obama win sure, but nobody has convinced me that Mitt Romney will do better.
Because he says he will? His record is just as liberal as Obama’s. Right now he looks to me to be Obama’s Republican “mini-me.” Not inspiring. His rhetoric means nothing to me. I don’t care what you say show me what you’ve done. Some say they will vote for him because of his business experience. Look George Soros is obviously an experienced, successful businessman. Would we want him as President. Soros deems Romney to be a palatable candidate by the way because there is very little difference between him and Obama. Exactly.
Do you want big government and personal liberty eroded faster or slower? That is the choice you’ll face if you have to decide between Obama and Romney.
I was asked if a conservative running mate would help him. I frankly don’t know. Sarah Palin certainly gave John McCain a boost, but we also saw what Romney surrogates did to her during the general election. So this talk that Romney helped McCain is utter nonsense. I think any conservative picked to be his running mate would likely be marginalized so I don’t think that will necessarily sway me. I can’t speak for anybody else.
Romney has slightly over 500 delegates. He’s still a long way off. He doesn’t have it in the bag. Those of you who have yet to vote you can help turn this around. Romney is a consummate liar. The record is plain. He flip flops and he changes his message depending on who he is speaking to. He certainly doesn’t deserve your vote.
I think a brokered convention is much more likely than a coronation at this point.
Update: Rick Santorum caught studying Mitt Romney’s campaign strategy.
Update 2: Santorum’s response as reported by L.A. Times. Gingrich’s response at campaign stop see video below:
Update 3: And there is now a website devoted to this.
Update 4: Meet Mitt Romney’s newest adviser on Twitter – Etch A. Sketch (@ExecutiveEtch), the Karl Rove of Toys.
Update 5: Santorum Campaign’s official statement. Missed this earlier:
Verona, PA – This morning on CNN, senior advisor to the Romney Campaign, Eric Fehrnstrom, admits his candidate and their campaign is based on the "etch-a-sketch" model when asked by if the positions he’s taken in the Republican primary have been too conservative.
Hogan Gidley, National Communications Director, said: "We all knew Mitt Romney didn’t have any core convictions, but we appreciate his staff going on national television to affirm that point for anyone who had any doubts. With the two year anniversary of the signing of ObamaCare upon us, can voters really believe that the man who urged the President to use his healthcare plan in Massachusetts as a model would really repealObamaCare? Or is that promise just something they would ‘shake up and restart’ with when Romney hits the general election.
Voters can trust that Rick Santorum will say what he believes, and do what he says. They may not always agree with Rick Santorum, but they can trust him because they know he is a man of principle. Clearly, the same cannot be said of Governor Romney."
HT: Stacy McCain
Update 6: I’m obviously not a Daily Kos fan, but this was funny.