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?