Romney was at one of the nerve centers for the campaign to pass the Issues. CNN’s Peter Hamby asked a simple question: Did he support them?
Multiple Choice Mitt strikes again!
Mitt Romney, who many believe is the inevitable Republican nominee, just keeps burning bridges with conservatives. We’ve explained them here over the course of the last year, so there is no need to go back over them.
But with labor unions becoming a target for many conservatives, and rightfully so, after the reasonable measures pushed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker earlier this year and the Boeing debacle in South Carolina, it’s an incredibly dumb move to snub the party’s base. Yet Romney did just that yesterday by declining to endorse or even give a position on a ballot measure in Ohio that would limit the collective bargaining rights of public-sector workers:
Mitt Romney stopped in Ohio today, where polls show him competitive with Herman Cain in the March 2012 primary. He stopped by a Republican phone bank where volunteers were drumming up support for two ballot measures — one of them a national cause celebre for the left. Issue 2, if passed, would affirm the collective bargaining reform Republicans pushed through this year. The measure is on the ballot because unions want to beat it, and overturn the law, and polling suggests that they can. Issue 3, if passed, would prevent Ohio from participating in any health care mandate — federal, state, whatever.
Is that a “no?” This might benefit from a mathematical analysis. Romney supports “the Republican Party’s efforts here.” At the moment, the GOP’s efforts include a push for Issues 2 and 3. By the transitive property, Romney supports the Issues! But he won’t explicitly say so. “Gov. Romney believes that the citizens of states should be able to make decisions about important matters of policy that affect their states on their own,” explained his spox Andrea Saul in an e-mail.
“I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues,” said Romney. “Those are up to the people of Ohio. But I certainly support the efforts of the governor to reign in the scale of government. I am not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives. But I am certainly supportive of the Republican Party’s efforts here.”
As usual, Ohio figures to be a crucial battleground state in the election and Gov. Kasich’s well-founded proposal appears to be headed for defeat even though it’s supported by independents and voters overall support aspects of it. So Romney, already acting like the nominee, wants to be careful not to offend any particular voting bloc in the state. Oddly enough, Romney did support the measure back in the summer.
With the vote is just two weeks away, [Romney] appears to have forgotten his previous stance and has reverted to mealy-mouthed Generic Republican.
Governor Kasich and Ohio need support, and now is Ohio’s chance to win this fight. So thank you, Governor Romney, for displaying your lack of principle and pushing Issues 2 & 3 into the national spotlight.
The big problem many conservatives have with Mitt Romney is that he’s taken both sides of nearly every issue important to us. He’s against a flat tax, now he’s for it. He says he’s against ObamaCare, but was for the individual mandate and susbidies that are central to ObamaCare. He thinks that collective bargaining issues should be left for states to decide if he’s Ohio, but he took the opposite position when he was in New Hampshire. This is just another statement in a long line of statements that will raise more doubts about what kind of President Mitt Romney would be in the minds of many Republican primary voters.
Romney may think he is in good position to receive the nomination, and he may be, but that doesn’t change the fact that some 3/4 of the GOP electorate isn’t supporting him. It doesn’t change that they are increasingly skeptical because they see Romney as someone lacking any real core convictions or beliefs.
This lack of leadership may well cost Romney the nomination.