It appears that the meme "Romney Flip-Flops" may be setting in. It made several appearances today. On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Sam Brownback:

It turns out that one of your potential rivals for that mantle up there on the screen right now, Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, has apparently changed his positions on abortion, and now it turns out on gay rights, since the 1990s. …

WaPo (from AP) ran a story that, essentially, repeated the stories from the day before. However, they did have a killer opening sentence, [Mitt Romney] "promised to be a stronger advocate for gays than Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D)," which will surely find itself in a direct mail piece some day. That and, " When Ted says it, it’s extreme; when I say it, it’s mainstream." (from his 1994 Bay Windows interview)

And, the Concord Monitor (NH) paper expanded the story with some important local flavor. Again, the opening sentence is a little vicious:

The Mitt Romney who twice ran for statewide office in Massachusetts is a different politician from the Romney who will likely court New Hampshire voters in the 2008 Republican presidential primary.

The basic problem, as the article presents it ,is that:

As a Massachusetts candidate, Romney pledged to keep abortion "safe and legal." He called on the Republican Party to provide "more support" for the gay and lesbian community and won the support of many gay Republicans.

But now he’s changed his tune. A conservative leader is reported as not buying it:

And when it comes to conservative voters who focus on social issues, Romney’s past will haunt him, said Rob Thompson, director of the New Hampshire Coalition of Families, a Christian group.

"Was he weak on the life issue for the sake of getting elected? What’s he going to be weak on for the sake of getting elected president?"

As I said earlier, the danger for Romney is that he has this story emerges again and again on issue after issue. If the press, the voters, and conservative leaders settle on the theme that Romney’s another MA "flip-flopper", he’s in a world of hurt. As Hotline pointed out, what is the Iowa Christian Alliance saying?

2 Comments » Romney responds to Log Cabin letter criticism · December 11, 2006 at 3:23 PM

[…] Mitt Romney’s nascent campaign is beginning to respond to questions (here, here, and here) raised about a letter that he sent to the Massachusetts Log Cabin Republicans back in 1994. David Brody, from the Christian Broadcasting Network, got a response from the Romney press operation: Governor Romney believes Americans should be respectful of all people. Over the past four years as governor, Mitt Romney has not implemented new or special rights in this area and he has not advocated or supported any change in the military’s policies. As governor, he’s been a champion of traditional marriage. He’s fought the efforts of activist judges who seek to redefine marriage, and he’s testified before the U.S. Senate in support of the Federal Marriage Amendment. Governor Romney has been a leader in protecting marriage and in focusing this debate on the needs of children. […]

Straight Talk Alabama » Romney’s no Reagan; If you don’t believe, just ask him · December 12, 2006 at 9:12 AM

[…] More: Romney’s change in position sets in […]

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