A fun new video surfaced yesterday in which the Mittster, unprompted, declares himself a “moderate” with “progressive views”. I know, big surprise. Phillip Klein wonders how a guy who called himself a progressive in late 2002 could turn on a dime and, just 27 months later, call himself a conservative Republican:
But a little more than two years later, Romney already had his sights set on higher office, and he changed his tune. “Being a conservative Republican in Massachusetts is a bit like being a cattle rancher at a vegetarian convention,” he quipped when speaking to South Carolina Republicans in February 2005.
That July, Romney declared himself pro-life for the first time in his political career, after running two campaigns as a pro-choicer. And so began the series of conversions we’re all familiar with.
Keep in mind, Romney was in his mid-50s when this amazing 180 began, so he wasn’t exactly a teenager struggling with his political identity. Klein concludes there are only three explanations for Romney’s astonishing transformation:
1) Romney was lying to citizens of Massachusetts about ideological views he held for decades. (Remember, in his 1994 Senate race, he claimed, “I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush” – which would bring us back to the 1980s.)
2) Between the ages of 55 and 58, Romney underwent a dramatic ideological change from a “moderate”/”progressive” non-partisan Republican to a solid conservative Republican. And that transformation coincidentally occurred around the time he was deciding not to seek a second term as governor of a liberal state and to seek the GOP presidential nomination.
3) He’s lying to conservatives now.
So, in other words, Romney’s either a liar, a chameleon, or both. Take your pick. In any event, each is disqualifying as far as I’m concerned. I was amazed last night when, while watching Hannity, I heard Ann Coulter declare with a straight face that Mitt was the most conservative Republican in the race (along with Bachmann). How, I thought, could someone I once respected say something so profoundly stupid? While I really don’t like any of the declared GOP candidates, they’re all more conservative than the Mittster (other than perhaps Huntsman, who’s no different). Video below: