Etchin’ & Sketchin’ With Mitt

Gov. Etch-a-Sketch should take John Kerry's advice and have his first debate with himself, and then one with his running mate.  The three of them seem to be on different pages.

On Meet the Press Sunday Mitt Romney began by making a 180 from his vow to repeal Obamacare on Day One by saying, "I'm not getting rid of all health-care reform." It turns out he likes coverage for pre-existing conditions and for inclusion of children under 26 living with their parents, but then he got fuzzy when asked for details on what he really means.

Remember way back when he was opposed to the auto bailout?  That was before he saw it worked and he tried to take credit for it.

He also said he'd close tax loopholes for the wealthy by ending certain exemptions, but, again, he refused to disclose details.

It's like with his taxes.  He says that if he gives any details it will only provide material for the Democrats to pick apart. Ditto foreign policy, national security, transportation, the environment, energy, women's health, gay rights, and all the rest.  

Romney has said he rejects the Republican platform's call – long held by running mate Paul Ryan — for a total ban on abortion, no exemptions. 

Doesn't he owe it to voters to let them know where he stands on his party's core issues?

Romney says he wants to cut taxes for the middle classes, but again no specifics.  He won't even say who the middle class is.  I suspect it is those like Romney, millionaires between the upper class billionaires and the 99% rest of us.

As Romney modifies other positions, it will be interesting to watch whether Ryan (who already is being spoken of as a frontrunner for the 2016 nomination if Romney fails this year) follows suit or pursues his own course, sticking to the Tea Party line Romney espoused during the primaries when he wanted everyone to believe he was the "severely conservative" governor of the state whose name he doesn't like to remind people of.

With the conventions over, Romney seems to be following Richard Nixon's game plan:  run hard to the right for the nomination and switch back toward the center for the general election.

That means we can expect more etchin' and sketchin'.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.