Mitt Romney Flip-Flops His Way to the Top
by Alexander Cockburn
April 6, 2012
Eight years ago, Romney began his bid to win the Republican nomination, only to be crushed by John McCain. In that campaign, he was tagged as a crypto-liberal former governor of Massachusetts and author of a health plan derided by Democratic candidate Barack Obama.
Week after tedious week in his second bid, Romney has had to stab his own plan in the back, lashed by his Republican opponents as the true originator of "Obamacare," now under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Whatever tincture of liberalism he might once have exhibited has long since vanished. His conservatism is of a harshness way beyond the positions of the last Republican challenger to a Democratic president, Bob Dole, who was thrashed by Bill Clinton in 1996.
Romney's opportunism in junking previous positions when under conservative pressure has been unremitting. I
n February, president Obama trailed Romney in the top 12 swing states, 46 to 48 percent. Yesterday a USA Today/Gallup poll reported that in these same swing states a majority of registered voters now favor Obama by 9 points. According to the USA Today/Gallup pollsters, the biggest change came from women younger than 50, where the president now leads Romney by 2 to 1. Not long before the poll was taken, Romney, fending of attacks from Santorum, said he wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood and endorsed the Blunt amendment, which would have allowed employers to deny coverage of contraception on religious grounds.