Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been dogged by an unflattering characterization as a flip-flopper. His greatest asset, as portrayed during his debate appearances, is his command of the issues, achieved through a fusion of political and private-sector experience.
With that in mind, consider the following timeline:
“My friends in Ohio are fighting to defend crucial reforms that the state has put in place to limit the power of union bosses and keep taxes low. I stand with John R. Kasich and Ohio’s leaders as they take on this important fight to get control of government spending. Please visit www.BetterOhio.org for more information.” – posted on Mitt Romney’s Facebook page on June 18
“I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues. Those are up to the people of Ohio, but I certainly support the efforts of the governor to reign in the scale of government. I am not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives. But I am certainly supportive of the Republican Party’s efforts here.” – Mitt Romney’s response when asked if he endorsed Gov. Kasich’s reforms, while standing in a volunteer phone bank dedicated to winning public support for those initiatives, on October 25
“Gov. Romney believes that the citizens of states should be able to make decisions about important matters of policy that affect their states on their own.” – statement from Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul, later in the day on October 25
“I’m sorry if I created any confusion in that regard. I fully support Gov. Kasich’s — I think it’s called Question 2. I fully support that…. What I was referring to is I know there are other ballot questions there in Ohio and I wasn’t taking a position on those. With regard to Question 2, which is the collective bargaining question, I am 110 percent behind Gov. Kasich in support of that.” – Mitt Romney as quoted by Politico reporter Reid Epstein, October 26.
Incidentally, the other ballot measure of keen interest to Ohio Republicans is Question 3, which would amend the state Constitution to say that “no federal, state or local law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer or health care provider to participate in a health care system.” You would think Romney would know all about that one.
So, if we take all of the statements on this timeline at face value, we must conclude the following:
1. Mitt Romney does not write his own Facebook page, and doesn’t really know what his campaign puts up there, even when the posts are written in the first person.
OR, 1a. Mitt Romney forgot that he strongly endorsed Gov. Kasich’s reforms on his Facebook page four months ago.
2. Romney visited a volunteer phone bank, one week before a major referendum, without having the foggiest notion what they were working on.
3. As of October 25, Romney believed presidential candidates should not offer their opinions on state issues, even when they have national repercussions.
OR, 3a. Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul strongly believed Romney felt that way.
4. Somewhere between October 25 and 26, Romney abandoned this belief (or had a heart-to-heart talk with his misguided spokespeople) and is now 110% behind the initiative he thinks is probably called Question 2.
Hopefully that clears everything up.