Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney sent his campaign staffers into clean-up mode late Tuesday, when reports that he had softened his pro-life position began circulating.
"There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda," Romney told The Des Moines Register's editorial board, according to a story posted on the newspaper's website.
Meaning two things: 1) He's yet again stabbed Paul Ryan in the back, who has sponsored more than a dozen bills to ban abortion...nice jobs creation there, eh?, and 2) he's trying to tack yet again to the middle, and very clumsily.
This poor guy is spinning faster than a guy free-falling from 120,000 feet sideways (that's something like 220 rpm for those of you keeping score, or three times as fast as a 78 record.) It's no wonder he's blowing gaskets left and right.
Within the past ten years, Romney has gone from full-throated support for all abortions in the Senate race against Ted Kennedy to banning all abortions (except for rape -- legitimate or not-- incest or if the life of the mother is in jeopardy) and overturning Roe v. Wade (2007) and now he seems to have decided on this branch of the tree to alight upon.
Sadly for Romney, there's video, something the Obama campaign will make sure to utilize in the closing weeks.
Too, Romney's "resurgence" (read that as "bounce") has come as a benefit of talking about the economy. On social issues, he tanks miserably, particularly with working class women who are already distrustful of Republicans in general after the past four years. And sadly for Romney, in many swing states the economy is less of an issue than it is in redder states.
Curious, that: states that would tend to support Romney and conservatives in general are struggling economically. Odd.
This is all part of a grand strategy to "humanize" the Mitt-bot:
On a series of other issues, Romney has been moving to more moderate ground as Nov. 6 draws near. It’s part of a broader strategy by the Romney campaign that includes a concerted effort to humanize him. The emotional stories about dying friends that he now weaves into his stump speech and his unscheduled stops along the campaign trail to chat with voters and even school children are all part of that plan.
As ABC News Political Director Amy Walter notes, Team Obama’s strategy was to spend early and heavy on television ads defining Romney over the summer as unlikable and untrustworthy. By all accounts, it worked — at least until now.
What is it with reporters-- and this isn't even a report, but an aggregation which demands interpretation-- that they refuse to say what happens next? Yes, it's worked until now. Yes, last week's dynamic shifted slightly. And yes, idiotic comments like this by Romney can AND WILL shift the dynamic right back on track.
The Gallup organization even believes Romney's bounce could falter as early as tomorrow.
President Obama's lead among registered voters didn't budge an inch, meaning Romney's bounce among likely voters merely means that he made his rabble a bit more enthused about his chances. Comments like this, and the backlash they'll create, will snuff that out in a heartbeat.