Will the real Willard Mitt Romney please stand up?
Republicans re-cently have watched multiple Romneys at war with each other over numerous confrontational issues. Alas, this is nothing new. Various Romneys have battled themselves on issues as old as the Vietnam War.
“I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there and in some ways it was frustrating not to feel like I was there as part of the troops that were fighting in Vietnam,” a hawkish Romney said in the June 24, 2007, Boston Globe while running for the GOP nomination.
But Romney sang a softer song years before while campaigning for Senate in liberal Massachusetts.
“I was not planning on signing up for the military,” a dovish Romney said in the May 2, 1994, Boston Herald. “It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam.”
“Government under President Obama has grown to consume almost 40 percent of our economy,” a pro-enterprise Romney said June 2. “We are only inches away from ceasing to be a free-market economy.” However, a vote-seeking Romney said May 27 in Iowa,” I support the subsidy of ethanol.”
“I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that,” a carbon dioxide-fighting Romney said June 3. “I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants, of greenhouse gases, that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and global warming that you’re seeing.”
“Good for Mitt Romney,” former Vice President Al Gore wrote June 15. “While other Republicans are running from the truth, he is sticking to his guns in the face of the anti-science wing of the Republican Party.”
A gun-toting Romney called himself a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association in April 2007. (Actually that “lifetime” began in August 2006.) A gun-controlling Romney declared in 1994: “I don’t line up with the NRA.”
An outdoorsman Romney also said in 2007: “I’ve been a hunter pretty much all my life.” A spokesman clarified that Romney had hunted twice: At age 15 and in 2006.
“Ronald Reagan is ... my hero,” a Reagan-loving Romney said in 2005. “I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush,” a Reagan-bashing Romney said in 1994, while running for the Massachusetts Senate seat against the late Edward M. Kennedy. “I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.”
Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.