How does a presidential campaign stay on message when its candidate is a moderate conservative and there is no longer a governing center in your party? The answer is it doesn’t.
Thus far, the election campaign of presumptive GOP nomineehas morphed into whatever appears to be politically expedient at any given time and place.
When Governor Romney campaigns in Florida he sounds like a Marco Rubio Republican, courting undecided Latino voters with inclusive rhetoric; but, when stumping in a state like Arizona, he speaks with in the same divisive language as Sheriffand anti-hispanic members of the Freedom Works Tea Party.
Simply put, there is no consistency or uniform vision in the Romney campaign’s messaging from day to day, and the expanding list of chameleon-like changes by the campaign on many of the key policy positions of the 2012 election continues to the dismay of GOP loyalists. “Believe in America” simply doesn’t cut it as a slogan for Romney, it’s no different than “Country First”, and it can only be interpreted by those who are not die hard Republicans as a disingenuous and arrogant move to insinuate from your campaign slogan that over half of the American electorate does not believe in the present and future prosperity of their own country. But the question presented here is what exactly does Romney believe in
The so-called “Etch A Sketch” candidate has thus far lived up to the nickname given to him by his Republican foes in reaction to statements by Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom on CNN during the GOP primaries, where he eloquently stated while discussing the transition to the general election: “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 we start all over again.” With the latest addition of contradicting statements within the Romney campaign, pertaining to the individual mandate tax or penalty discussion, the flip flopping has now become so obvious and expected of the candidate and his staff that serious questions must be asked by conservative American voters regarding what version of Romney is the real thing and which version is simply pandering for votes at the expense of his personal beliefs and principals.
This most recent intra-campaign confusion seems to justify concerns over Romney’s ability to effectively message on health care reform and validate former candidatewho famously predicted that Romney would be the “worst Republican to run on the issue of Obamacare.”
Now that it has become obvious that Governor Romney’s campaign staff is often not properly briefed or clear on his current position on numerous major issues, expect grave concern and calls for firings from Republican sympathizers and donors who have poured millions into Romney’s campaign war chest and outside groups.
The delayed and inconsistent reactions by the campaign to the health care ruling and the recent immigration policy change declared by President Obama (Romney would not answer direct questions) are distinctive indicators of a campaign that lacks discipline and clarity at its roots. Simply put, no campaign can succeed without consistent messaging on the biggest issues that will swing voters and effect turnout, and the Romney campaign is obviously not on the same page given its recent blunders (which also include a slew of embarrassing typos and visible indecision from spokespersons when facing non-Fox News reporters).
The GOP and conservative independents must live with the fact that they have a nominee in Mitt Romney who vigorously defended the individual health care mandate as Governor of a blue state; indeed Romney has been captured on video stating his desire to test the Massachusetts plan at the national level and touting the mandate as a “personal responsibility” provision.
This same man as a GOP candidate for President of the United States has now said that he would act to repeal what is essentially his own vision for healthcare reform in the name of winning over anti-Obama right-wingers. He wants greatly to appeal to independents while not alienating far right Fox News Republicans. But this has become nearly impossible because it is a fact that the moderates in his party are a dying breed.
The result is that Romney has ultimately been forced to compromise his truly moderate conservative principles (based on his record as Governor of Massachusetts) in the name of winning an election. Unfortunately for Governor Romney, because of his own actions and the actions of his staff, he is now clearly vulnerable to the same kind of flip flopping claims that capsized John Kerry’s bid for the White House in 2004.