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Taking their anti-Newt ball and going home for the general election

Taking their anti-Newt ball and going home for the general election

There has been plenty of griping and talk by Tea Partiers that if Romney is the nominee, they’re staying home in November.

I don’t believe it for a second.  When push comes to shove, they will not choose four more years of Obama.

But I do believe that many conservatives and libertarians who hate Newt Gingrich will stay home, because their feelings are expressed in intensely personal, not just political, ways.

I’ve predicted that many in the conservative media and political establishment have so boxed themselves into the “Newt is crazy” or evil or morally bankrupt corner that they will be left with no face-saving way out:

I really don’t see how the Romney supporters using the strategy of crazy have left themselves an exit strategy if and when their candidate loses to Gingrich.  If they have convinced themselves that Newt really is crazy, then there is no way they could support him even over Obama.

We’re beginning to see the drip, drip of people coming out and saying they’d prefer Obama over Newt.  David Frum has threatened to leave the party.  Glenn Beck says he’ll support Ron Paul as a third party candidate.  James Joyner says he’d be “hard pressed” to vote for Newt over Obama because Newt is not morally fit.

Expect more.

Jed Babbin has a good column about the collective conservative punditry reaction to Newt:

Gingrich’s staying power has the Washington cognoscenti frustrated. When the Romney campaign launched its attacks on Gingrich, there was a flood of seemingly coordinated press promoting the attacks.

Jonah Goldberg also has an interesting column today in which he explains the visceral hatred of Newt and how it overwhelms “establishment” conservatives:

“How do we stop Newt?”

I’ve now been asked that question by a lot of conservatives.  It’s not that I’m the go-to guy for that sort of question. Rather, one gets the sense that many “establishment” conservatives are asking everybody that question
— in staff meetings, at the chiropodist, even at the McDonald’s drive-through….

As to whether he can beat Obama, opinions vary. But many feel that a Gingrich victory might be scarier than a GOP defeat.

Goldberg does not predict that the Newt-haters will stay home, but I do.

In fact, I predict they will do worse, trying to undermine Newt in a general election so that they can proclaim “I told you so.”


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huskers-for-palin | December 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm

If they do that, then I’ll quit the GOP and give them hell in the process.

Out of curiosity, which party did David Frum say he’d leave?

The same was said about Reagan, if I recollect the 1980 election. Establishment Republicans–losers who liked being the minority while incompetent progressives (I know, that is redundant) ruined the USA with their endless nitpicky schemes that even a 6th grader could circumvent.

Frum, Brooks, and the rest of those submissive pets of Democrats are exellent indicators of who to NOT vote for in the primaries. They will, of course, sabotage all Republican candidates in the general election so they can get petted by Democrats so who really cares what vile nonsense they spew?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to iconotastic. | December 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Exactly so. I remember it clearly – a vote for Reagan would be a vote for nuclear holocaust at the hands of the Russkies.

    Darkstar58 in reply to iconotastic. | December 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Brittan’s “Conservative” party made similar threats c1938/39 when there was talk of bringing Churchill back from his exile as well. History just keeps repeating itself it seems…

    That’s the thing with Establishments though – they cant stand when things are shook up; and they especially hate it when the person doing the shaking is promising to drastically limit the power of the Government.

    I don’t believe they will sit out anyway though – the prospect of 4 more years of Obama blaming absolutely everything on Republicans will end up bringing them back to the world of the sane.

    Besides, polling has Newt at a 48% to 43% lead over Obama in the general, if held today. People cant stand this bozo so much that we probably don’t need the whiny Establishment and unhinged Me-Party mouthpiece’s votes anyway…

      Darkstar58 in reply to Darkstar58. | December 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      humm, I don’t expect much from myself when typing quickly, but it would be nice if I could in the very least spell Britain correctly 😀

      (Sorry, all – I promise one of these days I will start proof-reading my posts so I get rid of some of these stupid, stupid typos typo’s!)

Let me be clear — I’m not trying to disparage professors. But anyone who wonders why the president is not crushing the weak Republican field only needs to examine how President Obama has behaved more like Professor Obama: ‘IDEA DISEASE’, ‘I’M RIGHT, YOU’RE WRONG’ and LECTURES vs. LISTENING

Becki-becki glenn-glenn can go fly. (Good luck with the Dallas revival, Brother Glenn! You make this Catholic want to puke.) I’m a Palin conservative who’s been sour on Newt since his ’94 sweet-talking that didn’t pan out. But would I sit home and let a Marxist get reelected? Good grief! On the hopeful side, if we get a win in the House and Senate, they’ll tend to keep Newt in check.

I will never understand how conservatives manage to fall for Alinsky tactics after those tactics were exposed. But they do it constantly. They not only fall for it, they do themselves.

Newt Gingrich managed to pull off the biggest conservative victory in a generation and it’s not at all surprising that he was taken down for it in less than four years. What should be surprising, and isn’t, is that so many conservatives today are hell bent on keeping him down. No, that’s not surprising at all. Newt has to pay for 1994.

Well Beck is backing Bachmann so I am not surprised. Frum should stop faking it and just come out and declare himself a dem anyway.
Newt is not my choice…. my choice isn’t running. but Obama has to be beaten.

In fact, I predict they will do worse, trying to undermine Newt in a general election so that they can proclaim “I told you so.”

We already have had the spectacle of one of John McCain’s advisers sending the word months in advance of the completion of the 2008 Democratic primaries that he would quit rather than campaign against Barack Obama. Who’s that guy? Mark McKinnon, Daily Beast columnist and along with cueball Steve Schmidt (who, unfortunately for McCain, didn’t quit his campaign) is one of the GOPpers that the MSM loves because they just love to bitch and moan about the base.

Well, we have to do what the Established Conservative media obviously knows what it’s talking about since they never get anything wrong; “Wednesday Dec 15th” is the date Jonathan Garthwaite of Townhall said in his solictation from Townhall today.

Well, guess I got that snarky comment about the CMSM incorrect, eh? Must have, right! Or, maybe not!

Maybe the rest of us will have to do what we feel is correct based on our views of the GOP field.

It is imperative that Obama be defeated. There has never been a perfect candidate and never will be. I have qualms about each one of the current contenders. I will support the Republican nominee, no matter who it is.

StephenMonteith | December 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm

So … what’s your point exactly? That Romney can win in the general election and Gingrich can’t? Well, normally, I’d be all for that, but you say it in such a … hard-to-read tone online.

    For Mitt Romney this December, it’s beginning to look a lot like Clinton. — Like the great, fallen front-runner of 2008, here is another well-funded, Establishment-blessed, presumptive nominee whose supposedly firm hold on his party’s greatest prize seems to be slip-sliding away.

I will hope the best possible outcome which will be that the twerps like David Frum, David Brooks, et al and their ilk go all out for Ron Paul as a spoiler and it doesn’t work. Newt wins anyway and nobody ever takes them seriously again.

Newt is being slimed by all the right people. Consider the article criticizing Newt’s concerns about radical muslims:
All of this continues to bolster my belief that he is the right candidate. He makes the establishment of both parties concerned that someone, Newt, may actually shake them loose from their comfortable perches.

    Darkstar58 in reply to Rick. | December 13, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    All of this continues to bolster my belief that he is the right candidate.

    That’s how I feel

    When people I don’t trust, or people with clear alternative motives and a tendency to run off the deep end, tell me I must do so&so because its whats best for me, well…

Mr. Jacobson, the reason why I fiercely oppose Newt isn’t because he is crazy or evil or morally bankrupt. It is because Newt is undisciplined, and dangerously so.

That this is so in evidence, in both his private and public life, it cannot be reasonably denied. The difference between Newt’s supporters and his opponents is this: The supporter thinks it is worth rolling the dice, the opponent does not.

If Gingrich were to become president, there is no telling what foolish, impulsive “couch” he would jump on (another partnership with Nancy Pelosi? Sure, why not?).

As far as being sabotaged by the Republican establishment, I believe they will do that to anyone that isn’t their pick. Last primary, they got their man (McCain), but they threw a huge hissy fit over Palin being the VP pick. And they sabotaged her. If anyone besides Romney gets the nomination, there WILL be sabotage from “our” side.

Frum reflects swing centrist opinion, not conservatives. Beck always was a loose cannon and it’s nice to see that conservatives are coming to recognize it.

I’d worry a lot more about Ron Paul. If the guy wins a couple of states and a bunch of delegates, he may feel he has enough of a base to launch a third party candidacy

“trying to undermine Newt in a general election so that they can proclaim “I told you so.”

That so reminds me of Karl Rove and his traveling buddies with the 2010 Tea Part Senate candidates. The so called professionals would rather lose than listen to the base. A pox on their houses. These are the same “professionals” who gave us Dole and McCain.

Yes, and the same anti-Newt ‘establishment’ conservatives expected all of us Tea Party conservatives to hold our noses and vote for Mitt. So how does it feel with the shoe on the other foot?

I firmly believe many in the GOP establishment would rather see Newt lose to Obama if he’s the nominee to clear the way for Jeb Bush. I think that’s always been the plan. Jeb in 2016.

BannedbytheGuardian | December 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm

What about poor Georgette Mosbacher who declared the GOP already has their candidate? She is in the marble ladies room weeping at this very moment. After you marry an old Texan oil billionare -what is left to do in life but potter & scheme around GOP HQ ?

Now Callista is set to sweep victoriously through the gilded halls – having trained up her old Centurian into a GLADIATOR. What is more piercing is that Callista might be a natural blonde ?

Oh the Pain.

Callista vs Michelle -bring it on.

Newt Gingrich is making angry the Obama Far Left, the Limousine Liberals and the Fringe Beck-Paul crowd.

So, we get a good glimpse as to who is not voting for
Newt or sitting home.

Good to know there are adults who understand the dire
situation the country and world is in and will be voting for Newt.

The only way I’ll vote for either Newt or Romney is if I can have their grandkids for hostages for four years. Neither one will cooperate in repealing Obamacare, neither one will do anything positive about illegal immigration, and Romney in particular will never set about prosecuting his Goldman Sach pals, who own him lock, stock, and barrel, just as they own Obama. We are once again being fed a candidate by the MSM and the Republican hogs who want to keep their places at the Washington trough. Obama or Newt/Romney, there won’t be any difference.

I’m not sure why some on our side are sooo ready to declare this a Newt or Romney race. The primaries haven’t even started yet and the talk of “electable” is going to work as well for us this time as it did in 2008.

Beck has been taken out of context HUGELY. While I think his word choice was his normal off the cuff flub, he’s made it very clear that he knows the TEA party is not racist and Newt has made it very clear over many years, and during this cycle, that he’s got a problem with being conservative. Beck is right about Newt and Romney. Sorry if that stings, but the truth does sometimes. While Beck did say he would consider Ron Paul if Newt was the nominee he also said that the choice is not here yet and he would have to pray on what his ultimate choice is. That might not be an answer one likes, but it is consistent and honest. I doubt any of my TEA party friends are that hick to not know a Communist second term would be worse than a Republican progressive term.


Bachman, Santorum and Perry – to the best of my knowledge – have not stopped campaigning yet. How’s about we consider some good wholesome conservatism for our menu instead of relying on the fast food “electable” menu?

    Astroman in reply to iambasic. | December 13, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    “I’m not sure why some on our side are sooo ready to declare this a Newt or Romney race.”

    Actually, according to Newt, it’s just Newt now. “Let’s face it, he’s going to be the nominee.” (snicker)

    Canusee in reply to iambasic. | December 15, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Good points. I would have liked the discussion among the candidates to go on quite a bit longer into the primary cycle before so many sites came out for one or the other. Sites, including this one (although only recently begun commenting here have been reading since old site first started)have become campaign headquarters for their chosen candidate and the comments are now in defense of each posters’ chosen guy/gal. It is tit-for-tat and no one has any intention of hearing/listening to the other. It seems to me, as a whole, voters have stopped listening and learning about all the candidates and have, prematurely, dug their heels in the sand with determine loyalty.

    I know, I know, if I don’t like it I don’t have to visit here. That being understood, Professor, since you have come out in total support for Newt, the comments and sharing has become divisive and lost some of the civility that was unique and happening here. I am not a RP fan but must say the level of snide, put downs, and just plain rudeness towards them is way over the top. I challenge any of you to go back and read through discussions and it is most of you would be correcting your junior high children if you became aware they were treating, in group accepted mockery, someone at school. People, who were respected and appreciated here prior to “exclusive pro-Newt”, who had built up a camaraderie with the rest of you, are now treated pretty poorly. Those for other candidates who repeatedly post their pitch are not treated the same as the Paul supporters, who post for post, are more consistent with sticking to the topic initiated and not resorting to negatively imaging those that are for a different candidate than RP.

    Although, I am not usually persuaded by RON Paul supporters’ comments and links, I do appreciate their civility. Yet, Republicans keep saying they are the opposite. Think of the Libs calling the Tea Party violent, when in reality, they themselves are the only violent ones. That is the best way to attempt to explain what I see going here (and elsewhere). All the imaging with name calling when reality shows different. This is ugly and uncomfortable for onlookers. When the price to pay for commenting is to be made fun of, group-mocked, and not extended the respect everyone else is afforded, those that are not invested in the discussion withdraw.

    As Mom always said, “Whether you respect someone or not is irrelevant to the fact that civility demands you ACT respectful.” Go, Mom.

I’m beginning to think the GOP might as well just save the country the money elections cost and let Obama be re-elected by fiat. Between the people who won’t vote for abc & those who won’t vote for xyz, those who think all the GOP potentials are crooks or immoral, those who think the Independents won’t vote for any of them – it sounds like BO is going to win anyway.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to katiejane. | December 13, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    In 2004 63.8% of eligible Americans voted. In 08 it was lower -63.7%.

    A lot can happen in 11 months but the trend is downward .

    BTW Australia has over 97% turnout ! Every citizen must show that they were able to reach a voting place . Voters get ticked off a prepared list of residents that is held by a national electoral commission for each district .. No voter id is required.

    The naughty 3% must explain why they did not vote or pay $60.

    In reality American elections are unorganised unsupervised & below international standards. And that is before the bags of votes in official’s carboots!

    But they are very entertaining& likely to get wilder.

    Darkstar58 in reply to katiejane. | December 13, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    then you look at the head-to-head match-ups though, and you realize both Newt and Romney are beating Obama by about 3-4%.

    In fact, the polls should that, I believe, 52% think Obama should “definitely not be re-elected”. A candidate cant survive that…

    (Baring some fluke recovery over the next 10 months) Unless we nominate Paul, I don’t think there is really any way we lose this election. Its just a matter of figuring out who we are going to put in the White House

    Plus, remember, 10 months from now we are going to have Muslim Extremists controlling 4 more countries then we do now, Iraq (and possibly even Afghanistan) will likely be in a civil war and there is still a strong possibility we will be in a cold war with either Russia or China now. Oh, and the EU is about to collapse, which is going to rile-up the world even more. Shoot, we could very well be in WWIII in 10 months, at the rate things are going now…

    Nah, we aint re-electing Obama. Everything being said now is the same stuff said when we monitored Reagan – and he won by 10%

You mean voting for a president is not the same process as “calling” a pastor? Golleeee! Who’d a thunk it? I could just cry!

If Paul is so st@pid as to consider a third party run he’s neither the politician nor Christian his bazillion supporters think him to be. I pray the vast majority of “establishment” type Repubs are defeated in the primaries.

I’d love to see Paul as Sec’t of Treasury in a Newt administration with a Tea Party congress and a neutered [no pun intended] senate. Man, would the beltway bunch do a slow burn over that result. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of idi@t @ggheads, imo. Like MLK, “I have a dream….”. Which includes a certain Ithica resident as Newt’s AG, don’t-cha=know?.

On the bright side, the usual hit against conservatives that they mindlessly follow conservative pundits is wrong.

And the track record of Brooks, Will, Frum, Noonan, Parker, etc., in the last election has made them even more powerless.

I think the number of people who won’t vote on our side compared to last time will be miniscule compared to the number of people who won’t vote on the other side (especially young voters) compared to last time. And we should be able to pick up a number of people with voter’s remorse.

This won’t be 2004 with whoever has the most dedication wins. Nor will it be 2008 with roll of the dice mentality in the face of financial meltdown. I think it will be much more like 1980 with a candidate with flaws (too old, thought to be extremist/crazy) up against a clearly failing president. George Will was not too hot on Reagan either, and the MSM carried warnings about the dangers of a second rate mind with crazy tendencies like Reagan having his finger on the nuclear trigger. Heh!

All the Newt angst is immaterial. He will not be the RNC nominee.

I note that you list David Frum and James Joyner as examples of those that prefer Barack to Newt. While both still claim conservative allegiance, both, just like many other ‘inside-the-beltway’ conservatives have been listing left for some time. They are functionaries of what Angelo Codevilla calls “The Ruling Class.” They are highly critical of Tea Party types for they viscerally fear the changes demanded; and they live in an insular world where the concerns and desires of main street Americans are alien. These types of folks have become indistinguishable from the ruling left – vanguards for the masses. They can not understanding why so many “vote against their best interests”; they are incapable of recognizing that those “best interests” are in fact, their own, contemptuously projected upon average America.

Neither Newt nor Mitt is Tea Party. I think it is a fools errand to try and make that case. That is not to say neither have strong points, but this acrimony developing in the “Anybody but ____” camps is utter foolishness – and understandable.

As I see it, the problem has arisen because the GOP is replete with really strong conservatives. It is just that none of them are running (or have traction). But just like Mitt and Newt, all have flaws. Before anyone declared, there were champions for Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Marko Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin… There is a latent anger that the best conservative is not in the race and it is manifested in the anger towards whom whoever feels is the biggest RINO.

But if any of those not running were in the race today, we would be having the same battles: who is a better conservative, whose RINO flaws are worse. Something to keep in mind while mulling over how Mitt was a blue-state Governor and Newt was a political mercenary for Fanny/Freddy. I will pull the lever for either because both (and any of the GOP nominees – yes, including Paul, Johnson, and Huntsman – are better that four more years of Obama.

Finally, only with strong down-ticket support can we really keep any in check.

_____The following should have been the lead paragraph, but I know that some could not have gotten past it to my main points.

For a blog that at its core is seemingly “Anybody but Mitt”, it is somewhat ironic that this site is perplexed why others would feel “Anybody but Newt”. That sounds harsh, and will likely be taken wrongly, but that impression is based daily reading. Also upon my own ambivalence towards both Mitt and Newt. (I will add that this site has done yeoman’s work in defending all GOP candidates against scurrilous attacks from any quarter.)

defeatism is setting in already ?!? if we are not going to support our candidates how on god’s green earth can we expect that independents and dems will ? should we just pack it in now and save a lot of time and money ? good grief ! this kind of talk makes me want to put my head through a plate glass window.

So, basically you impugn the motives of those who disagree with you, but dismiss any of those who impugn the motives of those who agree with you.

We’ve already seen articles that evangelicals won’t support Romney. And to be honest, I’m surprised the problems those “anybody but Romney” people will put up with. Bachmann’s wacky ideas, Perry’s constant flubs, Cain’s fidelity problems. People will gloss over, just so Romney won’t be the nominee.

Let’s not forget – we haven’t even begun the see the baggage that Gingrinch has. When Nancy Pelosi says “oh, I’d love to share some of the stuff that I know.” You know she’s going to wait for Newt to be the nominee – and then the floodgates will open.

Newt’s problem with this – is that he hasn’t learned from Cain’s mistake. Cain’s mistake was that he thought he could brush all his problems under the rug, and he apparently thought that they would never surface. Newt will have this problem by about a factor of ten.

Pelosi’s comment highlights all of this. Where is Gingrich’s explanation of the ethics charges? When Gingrich says Pelosi could be breaking House rules – she responds by saying “hey – it’s just the stuff in the report.” Why hasn’t Newt already put this stuff out there?

There’s already video of Newt agreeing with Nancy Pelosi on climate change. There’s video of Newt agreeing with John Kerry about global warming. He’s on record for mandating individual healthcare. He’s attacked Paul Ryan’s plan as “right wing social engineering”.

But hey, just so long as it’s “not Romney” – I guess it doesn’t really matter, huh?

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to bogopogo. | December 14, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Newt did reply.& Pelosi walked her threat back. SHE was up for a violation for she insinuated there was even more.that the wonderful ethics people knew but did not tell the American people. That is BLACKMAIL.

    It is not as if she is respected.

    As a non American -just an interested observer -i see Newt’s knowledge & intra congress battles & Executive /Congress warfare experience as a huge plus.

    They hated Churchill also.If war looms as it did for Britain I guess all the illegals can be given bayonets & sent out to slaughter muslims.
    After picking the fruit & veggies & cleaning houses & gardens that is 🙂

    Cheer up .

      You’re missing the point. Pelosi isn’t the point. The “dirty laundry” that Gingrich has yet to air – that is the point.

      I’m not a professional politician, or a political hack – but even I’ve read enough to know that if you’re going to run for higher office – the first thing you do is you hire somebody to do opposition research on yourself. See what negative information is out there about you.

      And then you deal with that information. Release it, spin it, talk to the people involved and see if they’ll keep their mouth shut – whatever. Because even I know that any bad information will come out at the most inopportune time for your campaign. Perfect example? George W. Bush’s drunk driving charge that mysteriously materialized on the eve of the 2000 election. Had that information not been leaked (and yes – I know it was a partisan hack job – that’s beside the point) Bush probably would have won the 2000 election easily.

      Sure, it might be a plus that Gingrich has experience in Congress, and as Majority Leader – but before you start counting on that too much – don’t forget, that Gingrich was essentially forced out as leader – by his own caucus. So basically his own party members didn’t think he did that great of a job as Majority Leader.

      And don’t even go there with Churchill – Gingrich is nowhere the leader that Churchill was.

The arguments that we use against Newt, Fannie/Freddie, global warming, that he revered FDR, that he believes in some government intervention, etc, etc, are the very reasons the “independents” or “moderates” will vote for him. I have a very liberal, and I mean very liberal, Jewish friend who is so happy to be voting for Newt because he is not “extreme right” in his eyes, and he can finally let go of his devotion to Barack given that he has endangered his relatives in Israel. My sister, who loves to consider herself a moderate in all things, is also enamored with Newt. It was unbelievable to me that she was ready to vote for Donald Trump whom she loves and faithfully watches every week.

The left cannot use the same arguments that the right does in vilifying Newt because they are all part of that system. He was cleared of all supposed violations, including the one he paid a fine for. The left cannot be slinging that mud, especially in the light of what is going on now, i.e. Fast and Furious to name just one. And we don’t have to worry about his indiscretions because I think that makes him even more attractive to some on the left, and the fact that he has asked forgiveness is a hallmark of Christianity, attractive to the right.

On the other hand, I myself remember Newt as being a powerful force in keeping conservativism alive during his stint as Speaker. It seems impossible but when you read the comments, you can see how he has somehow managed to keep both of those ideals (wrong as I believe the left is) in play. His Lincoln Douglas style debate with Huntsman was truly substantive and as Caroline Glick said, his view of the middle east is hopeful.

Let’s keep our eye on the ball. We must defeat the Marxists and then keep our choices with their feet to the fire.

One other thing, I myself was a lefty in my younger days, and I believed FDR was the greatest president who ever lived. And if I am not mistaken, Savage was a communist and Beck an alcoholic. Would they want to be judged on those years of their life now?

Sometimes we “ex-smokers” make the best preachers.

    bogopogo in reply to csd. | December 14, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Except for when it comes to Romney – because he apparently isn’t allowed to change his mind.

      Darkstar58 in reply to bogopogo. | December 14, 2011 at 10:13 am

      its not that he isn’t allowed to change his mind – its that he isn’t allowed to change it everyday, or solely to suit the desires of whoever he is talking to at the time…

      Then again, Romneycare, state support of abortion rights, attempted Cap & Trade (look up the 2006 CO2 regulations in MA – he bragged they were the first in the Country even if he now claims he was against C&T), opposition to a Traditional Marriages amendment, (lifetime, none the less) ban on “Assault Weapons” (whatever the heck those are, with it being so vague and all)… These are all things he openly bragged about; these are things he was passionate about just 5-9 years ago during the only time he has ever Governed.

      He Governed about as Left as Obama on a lot of stuff; and since it is the only record he has…

When a politician changes position on an issue – or “flipflops” – the most important, telling aspect is the *reason* for that change. In Romney’s case, most of his changes seem motivated by political expediency rather than core principles.