Mitt Romney has a problem with gun owners, and it is that he is like John Kerry.
Mitt Romney has a similar problem, his image on guns is a total Mitt-representation. He told Glenn and Helen (via the Boston Globe):
The Glenn and Helen Show," that he hopes states would continue to ease regulations on gun owners, and he expressed enthusiasm for guns and hunting. "I have a gun of my own. I go hunting myself. I’m a member of the NRA and believe firmly in the right to bear arms
Slowly those statements have been exploded. First, he didn’t really own a gun, from the same Boston Globe story:
Asked by reporters at the gun show Friday whether he personally owned the gun, Romney said he did not. He said one of his sons, Josh, keeps two guns at the family vacation home in Utah, and he uses them "from time to time."
So Romney went from having a gun, to not having a gun, to having two guns. Except they are his son’s. At (one of) their vacation homes in Utah. That’s "his" gun.
Next the point about hunting. Romney "fondly" describes two hunting experiences:
Romney also described himself as a sportsman who learned to shoot as a boy rabbit hunting in Idaho with a .22 rifle. … He fondly recalled shooting quail last year at a Republican Governors Association event in Georgia.
Now the AP reports that those are the only two hunting experiences he has had in his whole life:
Yet the former Massachusetts governor’s hunting experience is limited to two trips at the bookends of his 60 years: as a 15-year-old, when he hunted rabbits with his cousins on a ranch in Idaho, and last year, when he shot quail on a fenced game preserve in Georgia.
Then the NRA thing came out. Turns out Romney is a life member of the NRA… except that he joined in August. This was well lampooned today in Doonesbury:
And he says that he "firmly believes in the right to bear arms… sort of, again the Boston Globe story:
Romney says he still backs the ban on assault weapons, but he won’t say whether he stands by the Brady Bill. And after the gun show tour, his campaign declined to say whether he would still describe himself as a supporter of tough gun laws.
You see, Mitt Romney’s problem isn’t that he is a flip-flopper, although that is true. It is that almost everything that he says about base issues in the Republican Party is a Mitt-representation. And gun activists, a pretty committed bunch, just aren’t going to buy it.