Mitt Romney is a candidate without principles
In recent weeks, the direction of the Republican primaries has become ever more clear. Michele Bachmann, John Huntsman and Rick Perry have all dropped out and only Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum remain.
Paul, a candidate promising to end all foreign aid and curl the United States back up into its isolationist shell while cutting an incredible five federal departments, has amazingly finished strong in both Iowa and New Hampshire, with respectable showings in South Carolina and Florida. Despite his political agenda, I admire Dr. Paul because he has remained loyal to his principles regardless of how absurd they seem.
Rick Santorum has also fared well apparently because he represents the “average American” born from a family of coal miners. Listening to Santorum compare gay marriage to a paper towel would seemingly scare away voters, but it hasn’t.
On the other hand, Gingrich seems to have dedicated his campaign to barraging Romney with negative advertisements. Judging by his finish in Florida, it doesn’t look like Newt’s strategy is working.
That brings us to the Grand Old Party’s front-runner: Mitt.
After winning in Iowa (at first, anyway), New Hampshire and Florida, Mitt has become the primary target for negative advertisements from other Republican candidates like Gingrich and Paul. Romney is criticized for his constantly changing political agenda – otherwise known as “flip-flopping.” Desperate to appeal to conservative voters, Romney has abandoned the moderate rhetoric that won him the gubernatorial election in Massachusetts in 2003.
For Pete’s sake, Mitt, we know you’re running for office, but you can’t just flip your position on every single issue to get people to like you. This ‘adaptive’ strategy should keep you, Mr. Romney, out of the oval office.
On our nation’s most controversial issues, Romney has repeatedly changed his position.
Let’s focus on abortion. During the 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial race, Romney said in a debate: “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose.” In a historically liberal state like Massachusetts, a statement like Romney’s would appeal to voters.
Romney clearly did not realize though, that he would run for president years later and that conservative Americans would not be pleased with his stance on abortion. In recent years, Romney has become an opponent of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that allows women to have abortions.
Romney’s “Pro-Life Pledge” states, “I am pro-life and believe that abortion should be limited to only instances of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother … I support the reversal of Roe v. Wade. …”
To defend his changing opinion, Romney argues that abortion was a philosophical issue when he ran for governor, but when he became governor and was presented with real pro-choice legislature, he was forced to switch sides. This argument seems reasonable for a high school vice president but not quite for a governor of Massachusetts.
How can we believe that Romney will follow through with the promises he’s made during his presidential campaign?
Personally, I wouldn’t mind if Romney changed back to his previous political rhetoric like supporting abortion and gay rights and acknowledging the realities of global warming. What concerns me more is that Romney seems to lack principles. He has not maintained the same position throughout his political career, and there’s no evidence to show that he won’t continue to flip-flop.
Changing one’s position on a controversial topic isn’t necessarily a tragedy. However, Romney has done so on almost every issue (research for yourself). It seems he is willing to forgo any principles he had as a governor to win the nomination and eventually the general election in November.
For this reason, we cannot elect Mitt Romney.