The Truth About Mitt

He isn't the guy the Democrats attacked last week. In fact, he isn't even the guy he said he was at the Republican convention

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Rich-Joseph Facun – AP

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney attends a political rally in Virginia Beach, Va., on Sept. 8, 2012

Well, that didn’t take long.

Under questioning from David Gregory on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Mitt Romney reverted to type — the basically moderate Massachusetts Republican he was before he decided that he wanted to be the nominee of a party whose base has moved ever further rightward since the nomination of Barry Goldwater half a century ago.

(MORE: Meacham: The Real Difference Between Obama and Romney)

As the New York Times pointed out in a piece written off the interview, there was the allowance that perhaps President Barack Obama’s health care reform is not all bad. (“There are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place,” said Romney, though keep is a more accurate term in this context than put. “One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.”)

There was the acknowledgement that deficits could not be brought fully under control even in a single presidential term. And there was the admission that President Obama had made America safer with the execution of Osama bin Laden and the drone attacks on al-Qaeda targets.

Then came an exchange that got less notice but which I think is among the more revealing remarks Romney has made in a long time.

GREGORY: You know you could be a very unpopular President if you make tough choices that you say you’ll make. If it came to it, if the only way to achieve a deal on the debt, on this fiscal cliff, was to endanger yourself politically to the point that you were a one-term President, would you be satisfied with that?

ROMNEY: David, I could not care less about my political prospects. I want to become President of the United States to get this country on the right track again. America is at a critical crossroads. We have to strengthen the foundation of our economy, of our values, of our principles, so we have a military that’s so strong we can defend freedom for ourselves and for others. We’ve got to put Americans back to work. And politics, and — and whether I am highly favored, not highly favored just doesn’t enter into the equation.

GREGORY: Would you be — would you be satisfied with one term if you could get a deal on averting a fiscal cliff?

ROMNEY: Let me tell you, if I can get this country on track again, I’d be satisfied with anything.

GREGORY: As you know, there’re still questions — you acknowledged it — about, do people really know you? And I think the question is whether — Are you the … the moderate from Massachusetts who championed universal health care, who at onetime was for abortion rights, or are you the … the candidate who said he was a severe conservative? What will you be as a President?

ROMNEY: I’m as conservative as the constitution. I believe in the principles of this nation was founded upon. I understand how our economy works. I’ve lived in the economy. I also understand how to work across the aisle. You get elected in Massachusetts, where 87% of your legislature is in the opposition party, you’ve got to work with people across the aisle. I know how to do that. I’m going to work like crazy to break the deadlock in Washington and to get America on the right track. And I actually think that because we’re at this precipice economically, at the precipice fiscally as a nation as well, that there are going to be good Democrats and good Republicans who have shown respect and if they see a President that’s willing to work with them to share credit with them, to encourage them and pull them along, that we’re going to be able to deal with the challenges we have. And if — if not, I’m going to die trying because I’m going to do everything in my power to fix this country.

Those are not the words of a wild-eyed wing nut — or of a wing nut with any kind of eyes. The question for voters assessing Romney is whether they’re choosing between the President and a pragmatist or between the President and an ideologue. One wonders at this point if even Romney himself is clear which he is.

MORE: Paralysis Rules: Can Either Candidate Close the Deal?

525 comments
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Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

"Sixty-three percent of the registered voters surveyed say Romney hasn’t provided enough details about the policies he would pursue as president, compared with 31 percent who say he has."

AThoughtfulObserver
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Corporations and Private Equity: Finding legal ways to do illegal things!

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Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

Mitt is the guy that the Tea Party lets him be.  Not much of a leader; not much of a man.

1234i
1234i

have you seriously not figured out yet that Romney will say ANYTHING to

get elected? He switches his "positions" based on what he thinks people

want to hear at the time.  He's been doing that for years!  You think

he's just magically had a change of heart again?  How can you possibly

be that gullible?  He realizes he's behind in the polls and his chances

of being elected are looking grim in the electoral count, where he would

have to win almost every swing state, while Obama could win with just

two or three  of the swing states (depending on whether or not he gets

Florida).   Romney hasn't just suddenly gone soft.  These are

politically calculated statements to try to win more voters,  just like

every other time he's said what he thinks people want to hear.  If you believe otherwise, you are extremely naive.

Between the time Romney was Governor of liberal Massachusetts and when he started trying to appeal to the right-wingers in the GOP, he switched his positions on women's rights, gun control, immigration, health care, and a whole host of other issues. I suppose you think that was just a coincidence, too? WAKE UP. Romney constantly switches what he's saying depending on who he's talking to or who he wants to get votes from at the time, and it's unbelievable that there still are people who can't see through that.

i_am_confused
i_am_confused

The wealthy old men who grew up as spoiled little rich kids that control

the republican party today have really made a science out of

manipulating stupid Americans.  This group of cowards like to start

unnecessary wars (e.g. George W Bush's invasion of Iraq) and then they

send all of the poor trailer trash that make up their primary voting

base off to die in those wars.  Unfortunately bravery amp; intelligence

tend to be conflicting human characteristics and in MANY cases are

entirely mutually exclusive of each other.  This explains why so many of

our military today vote republican even though THEY ARE VOTING AGAINST

THE BEST PHYSICAL SECURITY amp; ECONOMIC INTERESTS OF THEMSELVES,

THEIR FAMILIES, amp; THEIR COMMUNITIES!!!!!!! 

Street_Wise
Street_Wise

Fresh Romney's  economy plan; Cut more taxes on the wealthy, start a new war in Iran... and don't forget to stick to the bill to the next W/H admin. and skip out with the US Treasury and stash it in the Caymen Isl. Oh, that's done before... well it worked for Dub'ya! LOL Middle Class...>>>>

David Beiler
David Beiler

Of course Romney's no "wing-nut."  He doesn't really believe in ANYTHING except making as much money as possible, no matter what.

HizGirl4ever
HizGirl4ever

I am almost approaching 60 years of age and have followed several presidential elections in my lifetime, but never as intense and crucial as this one election. I have not seen, nor heard, so much media negativity about a president before, as I have with this one president. And have had documentary films made about any president. "2016 Obama's America" and "The Hope and The  Change", which is about people who voted for Obama in ’08 and the  disappointment he brought to them. Stand USA is an online community-a network for American values. A movie “Last ounce of Courage”,  soon to be released, speaks of a father fighting for faith and freedom.   If I may, rephrase the title to: the truth about Obama?? My personal belief is if Obama is re-elected, we will lose our freedoms.America, please listen. God is speaking to us through different venues, but are we listening? thank you

ArnoldLayne
ArnoldLayne

AFAIK, Republicans, although wanting to repeal Obamacare, have like some of its provisions. We would implement them differently though. I don't see this as news. In 'Repeal and Replace' , obviously some of the Replace would mirror or address differently, valid issues addressed in Obamacare. That legislation was handled badly, by Reid and Pelosi.

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

Romney's campaign strategy: (1) blame Obama, (2) promise everything, and (3) avoid specifics.

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

There is no "real" Mitt Romney.  The man will say, do or become anything to get elected, with the Teapublicans in the background pulling the strings.

OldPat
OldPat

Ahhh, Jon, just more grits for your mill that WE the PEOPLE call the LSM(Lame Stream Media)?  Propaganda, perhaps? 

The unwashed masses in flyover country aren't buying what you're selling because we can get meet our garden's needs for free by simply paying a visit to the nearest cow pasture.   LOL.

Emerson_C
Emerson_C

This is a silly piece, particularly the last bit about Romney being experienced at working 'across the isle' with Democrats.  Apparently 'extreme wingnuts' like the Tea Pary couldn't do this.  This is nonsense.  For example, Sarah Palin is a Tea Party darling.  Yet when she was Governor of Alaska, she reached 'across the isle' and sought and got the massive bipartissan support from the Democrats for her reform programme.  The problem in Washington at the moment is not the Tea Party republicans but the ideological rigidity and extremism of Obama.  He is no Clinton, who was capable of reaching deals with Gingrich.

Andrea
Andrea

If the fish stinks, check the head.

This president is incapable of leading.  People can hold Congress responsible, but, in doing so, they cannot absolve this president of his responsibility to also lead.

A weak leader only makes our problems worse.  And repeating this cycle for another four years is just foolish.  

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 And if the Republican candidate stinks we should check the Republican voters heads. Romney isn't even strong enough to stand up to the Tea Party or special interests.

armyvet129
armyvet129

 What I just read was an intelligent person giving an honest assessment and answer to what was supposed to be a series of "gotcha" questions. To suggest that we the people aren't smart enough to make decisions based on this President's performance and listen to what both sides say their vision for the future is make the person suggesting this look like their Party's symbol.

Andrea
Andrea

Romney is an intelligent, reasonable and capable man.  

The Obama campaign team has spent millions of dollars trying to depict him as something else, but reasonable people who actually listen to him and read what he says -- versus what democrats put out there -- will come away impressed.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 As opposed to the millions spent by Republican attempting to paint Obama as a Marxist Muslim Anti-Colonialist? You Romney PR people really have no shame at all.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

So just because it was said during a heated primary makes what Perry and Gingritch said about Romney being a Vulture Capitalist untrue?

And getting back to the Tax Return issue should we just ignore the fact that to date Romney has only released a single incomplete tax return for 2010. Disturbingly the only thing missing from the 2010 Tax Return are the forms detailing Romney's UBS accounts(UBS is the bank that was involved in the Swiss Amnesty deal with the IRS in 2009)

Andrea
Andrea

How is what republicans said during a heated primary any different from what Hillary said about Obama?

Should we start quoting her here as well?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 I can freely admit that. The difference is that it's not just the Obama campaign trying to paint Romney as a vulture capitalist. Republicans such as Gingritch and Perry laid the ground work for it nicely.

The man made huge profits slicing and dicing companies. In many cases he promised to leave the companies intact collected government subsidies for doing so and the chopped them up afterwards. If that is not a textbook example of a vulture capitalist I don't know what is.

Andrea
Andrea

Doesn't change what Obama has done.  

Every time an unpleasant truth is mentioned about Obama, the response is to mention republicans.Can you admit that the Obama campaign has spent millions trying to define Romney as a vulture businessman?