The many Romneys

Libertarian Deroy Murdock writing at Scripps Howard News Service June 23 has a summary of Mitt Romney’s contradictory statements and positions over the years.

Will the real Willard Mitt Romney please stand up?

Republicans recently have watched multiple Romneys at war with each other over abortion, ethanol, global warming, and more. Alas, this is nothing new. Various Romneys have battled themselves on issues as old as the Vietnam War.

“I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there and in some ways it was frustrating not to feel like I was there as part of the troops that were fighting in Vietnam,” Hawkish Romney said in the June 24, 2007 Boston Globe while running as a conservative for 2008’s GOP nomination.

But Romney sang a softer song years before while campaigning for Senate in liberal Massachusetts. “I was not planning on signing up for the military,” Dovish Romney said in the May 2, 1994 Boston Herald. “It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam.”

Just last week, Romney spooked pro-lifers by refusing to sign the Susan B. Anthony List’s pledge to nominate anti-abortion judges and other federal officials. Romney properly noted that this promise might block, say, a pro-choice spy master from leading the electronic sleuths at the National Security Agency. Still, this dustup underscored Romney’s bipolarity on this key issue.

“I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother,” Pro-Life Romney wrote in the July 26, 2005 Boston Globe.

But less than three years earlier, in October 2002, Pro-Choice Romney disagreed: “Let me make this very clear. I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose.”

“Government under President Obama has grown to consume almost 40 percent of our economy,” Pro-Enterprise Romney said June 2. “We are only inches away from ceasing to be a free-market economy.”

-“I support the subsidy of ethanol,” Rent-Seeking Romney said May 27 in Iowa, however.

Four days earlier, former Minnesota Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty bravely opposed ethanol subsidies in Iowa. Nonetheless, Romney bear-hugged this boondoggle—weeks before the Senate voted 73-27 on June 16 to terminate the ethanol tax credit.

-“I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that,” CO2-Fighting Romney said June 3. “I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants, of greenhouse gases, that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and global warming that you’re seeing.”

“Good for Mitt Romney,” former Vice President Albert Gore, Jr. wrote June 15. “While other Republicans are running from the truth, he is sticking to his guns in the face of the anti-science wing of the Republican Party.”

“Governor Romney,” CNN’s John King asked at a June 13 GOP debate in New Hampshire, “constitutional amendment or state decision?” to ban gay marriage.

“Constitutional,” replied Traditional-Values Romney.

Conversely, Modern-Values Romney, said in an August 25, 1994 interview with Boston’s gay newspaper Bay Windows: “The authorization of marriage on a same-sex basis falls under state jurisdiction.”

Gun-Toting Romney called himself a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association in April 2007. (Actually that “lifetime” began in August 2006.)

Gun-Controlling Romney declared in 1994: “I don’t line up with the NRA.”

Outdoorsman Romney also said in 2007: “I’ve been a hunter pretty much all my life.” A spokesman clarified that Romney actually had hunted precisely twice: At age 15 and in 2006.

“Ronald Reagan is … my hero,” Reagan-Loving Romney said in 2005.

“I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush,” Reagan-Bashing Romney said in 1994, while running for the Massachusetts Senate seat against the late Edward M. Kennedy. “I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.”

For a change, Republicans should heed a top Democrat. Like the proverbial busted clock that is right twice daily, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada was correct Tuesday when he said about Willard Mitt Romney: “The front-runner in the Republican stakes now? Here’s a man who doesn’t know who he is.”

(Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at deroy.Murdock(at)

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Stewart W. writes:

While Mitt Romney’s statements may seem contradictory, I believe modern physics provides an explanation. We are now taught that there are an infinite number of Romneys in the multiverse, of course, but the miracle is that the Romney in each universe seems to encompass the beliefs of all the others. It’s like the Romneys are all quantum-entangled. Einstein would have called it “spooky Romney-action at a distance.”

Randy B. writes:

Here in Utah we have probably the widest spread of emotions and factual/historical Romney experience. Since a large majority of our population is Mormon, all too often that support structure will vote for the religion, often discounting the fiber and practice of the man. Very recent examples are Hatch, Bennett, Huntsman, Rob Bishop, Jim Matheson, and Mike Leavitt. Not one of those men supported the full doctrine of the LDS/Mormon Church, and few if any continue promote those ties except within the state of Utah. I am a Southern Baptist, so the only skin I have in the game is the effect they have on state and federal government, and associated policies, as well as an 18 year residency.

As we continue to see the corrosive effects of leftists on politics, the labor force (unions), the education system, churches, and other large and influential bodies, I am not surprised by Romney’s seemingly bipolar stances over the years. He is an imposing figure of a man, and a politician extraordinaire, but the shell over covers the gooey blob that makes up the other 97 percent, is in Romney’s case a corrosive goo. His only strong point, and claim to conservative values, seems to be his fiscal position on spending, but even that does not hold up against his voting record in Massachusetts.

As Bennett was recently shown the door in the State Convention, I expect to see Jason Chaffetz likewise upend Hatch for the Senate (in spite of Hatch’s newfound seemingly conservative stance on social issues—remember he was Ted Kennedy’s drinking buddy). [LA replies: Maybe buddy, but drinking buddy?] I caution anyone outside of Utah who believes we will blindly support Romney due to his once reared Mormon ancestry. The new Tea Party movement is very strong in Utah, and the Tea Party mindset was being promoted here long before it became an national movement. We (of many religious and social backgrounds) successfully fought anti-gun movements, asset forfeiture movements, limits on free speech, pro-life and gay pride initiatives. We are far from out of the water, as our political body is constructed of a majority of Progressive Republicans, but we are and will continue to be equipped for the fight.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 28, 2011 11:00 AM | Send

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