While on an AmSpec linking fest, let me link to something that my pal Phil Klein wrote this morning about one of my and Andrew's most favorite people, Mitt Romney, seen here wearing some very fetching 1970's fashion.
Oh wait, that's a Ken doll. Well, moving swiftly on...
Romney's got himself in a spot of bother because, well, he says he's pro-life, but he ran (twice) as a pro-choicer in Massachusetts, and then right around the time he started contemplating running for President, magically became pro-life. Personally, I have never bought that all of Romney's various positions on abortion can have been real, and then yesterday, of course, he admitted that he'd made a political calculation to run as a pro-choicer, despite being pro-life. So we know he's made up positions for political gain before (which naturally will lead a lot of people to wonder if he's doing it again-- I won't even bother stating my view on that).
Sam Brownback's campaign has assailed him before for being a "convert" to pro-life-dom-- and now, he's not only running the line that what someone did doesn't matter, it's what they say that matters, but also that it's important that we just listen to candidates' views, not assess their records because it's early in the campaign.
Setting aside that it's patently absurd to suggest that six months out, records don't matter only words do, it's totally ridiculous that a guy whose conservative outreach guy was using McCain's record to argue that McCain wasn't really very pro-life at all (and, to touch on the "timing" point, Romney's camp evidently thought record-assessment was OK back in February, even though it's evidently not OK now) is making an argument against looking at records. It's even more ridiculous given that the Romney camp was, supposedly, actually telling conservative activists not just that McCain's record on "life issues" sucked, but that he was actually pro-choice-- and that back in January!
Ultimately, either records matter, or they don't. And if Romney is saying they don't, then I very much hope that in the run-up to the primaries, we will not be subjected to any attack-ads bashing his opponents for votes they have taken, bills they have signed and so on. If Romney is as good as his word (ha, ha, bad English major joke), all we will be seeing from him will be ads making him look wonderful and lovely, and attack-ads featuring only recent statements from the other candidates, with zero reference to their records.
Obviously, that isn't going to happen-- and the reason why, is because records matter. Romney knows this, he just doesn't like it, because a look at his record, whether it is on, er, taxes (CATO says he tried to raise them), abortion, gun s, gays or even his favorite book, Romney's record just isn't where the majority of Republicans are going to want it to be.
So, it's important to listen only to whatever words are currently coming out of the Presidential conteders' mouths, then...
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