Like any good political prostitute, Mitt Romney is extremely flexible. His long history of purely opportunistic flip-flops—on everything from abortion, to immigration to gay rights to taxes—is legendary. Now, he’s contorting himself like a pole-dancer to service the skeptical Tea Party crazies he’ll need to get him nominated in 2012.
Somehow, in yesterday’s USA Today op-ed piece arguing against the Obama Tax Compromise, he tried to frame himself as fiscally responsible, while also griping that the problem with the tax deal is that it doesn’t make Bush Tax Cuts for the rich permanent.
That’s right, the zillionaire who has been described as resembling “The Guy Who Laid You Off” is defending his fellow plutocrats’ tax bonuses. And ignoring their utter fiscal irresponsibility.
Yet at the same time, Slick Mitty tells us a one-year extension of unemployment benefits is too expensive:
“One thing is certain: While we cannot rebuild our flawed system [unemployment insurance system] overnight, we are surely not required to borrow the funds to pay for it. In spending $56.5 billion to extend benefits, the deal is sacrificing the bedrock Republican principle that new expenditures be paid for with offsetting budget cuts.”
Romney also knocks the deal’s payroll tax reduction for adding to the deficit.
And what of making the tax cuts permanent, which all told could cost $4 trillion over the next decade? Romney claims that such an extension will actually increase revenues:
“In many cases, lowering taxes can actually increase government revenues. If new businesses, new investments and new hiring are spurred by the prospects of better after-tax returns, the taxes paid by these new or growing businesses and employees can more than make up for the lower rates of taxation.”
Tax cuts for the rich don’t make jobs. You don’t even need to consult the economists’ stats. Just look at the past decade of Bush Tax Cuts—and all the jobs they didn’t create.
To burnish his cred with the Religious Right, Rentboy Romney also used his editorial to remind us that he was a lay preacher with his church. Leaving out the Mormon part. But leaving in the “lay.”
These days Mitt’s also bending over backward and forward to distance himself from Romneycare, that worthy ancestor to Obamacare. When Mitt signed HCR into law as Massachusetts governor he hailed the individual mandate as the “ultimate conservative plan.”
Now, of course, he’s hailing Virginia Judge Henry Hudson‘s ruling against President Obama’s individual mandate. As his spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom said:
“The ruling supports Mitt Romney’s view that Obamacare is an unconstitutional power grab by Washington. We should repeal the law and return to the states the power to determine their own health-care solutions,” said Fehrnstrom in a statement.
So Mitt falls back on the old states rights argument to trash his own “ultimate conservative plan.”
How would he feel about the tax deal and the individual mandate under a GOP president? Or if he didn’t want the job himself? Or if his party hadn’t been shanghaied by extremists?
Just leave the money on the dresser.
Here’s an encore presentation of some of Mitt’s Greatest Flip-Flop Hits, culled from various sources, including the nice summaries on The Washington Post, FactCheck.org and Log Cabin Republicans sites:
Ms. Magazine Mitt:
During a senate campaign debate with Ted Kennedy in 1994 Romney declared: “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it.”
-(Boston Globe, March 2, 2006)
“I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose.”
-2002 Questionnaire for the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL)
Boston Globe, July 3, 2005
Moral Majority Mitt
“I am pro-life. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother. I wish the people of America agreed, and that the laws of our nation could reflect that view..”
– Boston Globe, Op-Ed, July 26, 2005
“Every decision I have made as Governor in a very liberal state has been on the side of favoring life.” – Robert Behre, “Romney Gets S.C. Support,” Charleston Post-Courier, January 30, 2007
2. STEM CELL RESEARCH
“At a campaign appearance at Brandeis University in June 2002, Romney strongly endorsed stem cell research.”
– Boston Globe, December 17, 2006 Read the article
“Governor Mitt Romney set off a storm of criticism yesterday after he declared in a published interview that he favored banning a specific type of stem cell research. Scientists and the leader of the state Senate accused him of trying to block a promising avenue of research, even as antiabortion groups assailed him for declaring that he did not object to stem cell research involving embryos from fertility clinics.”
– Boston Globe, February 11, 2005
Moral Majority Mitt II
” I became persuaded that the stem-cell debate was grounded in a false premise, and that the way through it was around it: by the use of scientific techniques that could produce the equivalent of embryonic stem cells but without cloning, creating, harming, or destroying developing human lives.”
– Governor Mitt Romney, Op-Ed, “A Stem-Cell Solution,” National Review Online, June 15, 2007
3. GAY RIGHTS
“All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual orientation. While he does not support gay marriage, Mitt Romney believes domestic partnership status should be recognized in a way that includes the potential for health benefits and rights of survivorship.”
– Romney’s 2002 campaign website
“Mitt and Kerry Wish You a Great Pride Weekend! All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual preference”
– A flier handed out at “Gay Pride” by the Romney/Healey Campaign
” I believe that [the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell] compromise was a step in the right direction. I am also convinced that it is the first of a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation’s military. That goal will only be reached when preventing discrimination against gays and lesbians is a mainstream concern, which is a goal we share…”
– Governor Romney letter to Log Cabin Republicans, October 6, 1994 Read the letter here
Moral Majority Mitt III
Questioner: “Wwhat about the 1994 letter to the Log Cabin Republicans where…seemed open to changing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military? Are those your positions today?
Gov. Romney: ” As for military policy and the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, I trust the counsel of those in uniform who have set these policies over a dozen years ago. I agree with President Bush’s decision to maintain this policy and I would do the same.”
– Interview with National Review, December 14, 2006 Read the interview
4. MARRIAGE AMENDMENT
In 2002 Romney denounced as “too extreme” the effort by pro-family groups to enact a preemptive state Marriage Protection Amendment prohibiting homosexual marriage, civil unions and same-sex public employee benefits.
– Boston Phoenix, May 14-20, 2004
Moral Majority Mitt IV
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough: “Do you support a national constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage?”
Governor Romney: “Boy, I sure do..”
– MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” September 17, 2007
5. MINIMUM WAGE
“The minimum wage is important to our economy and Mitt Romney supports minimum wage increase, at least in line with inflation.”
– Romney 2002 campaign website
The Mitt Who Laid You Off
Governor Mitt Romney yesterday rejected the Legislature’s plan to raise the state minimum wage to $8 an hour over two years, angering Democratic lawmakers and advocates who accused him of abandoning a 2002 campaign pledge to significantly boost the pay of low-wage workers.
– Boston Globe, July 22, 2006
Romney also said in the interview that it was not “practical or economic for the country” to deport the estimated 12 million immigrants living in the US illegally. “These people contribute in many cases to our economy and to our society,” he said. – Boston Globe, March 16, 2007 Read the article
Round ‘Em Up Romney
Q: You said that for a lot of illegal immigrants who are here, under your plan, we could deport many of them within 90 days. How could we do it that quickly?
A: My plan is this, which is for those that have come here illegally and are here illegally today, no amnesty. Now, how do people return home? Under the ideal setting, at least in my view, you say to those who have just come in recently, we’re going to send you back home immediately, we’re not going to let you stay here. You just go back home. For those that have been here, let’s say, five years, and have kids in school, you allow kids to complete the school year, you allow people to make their arrangements, and allow them to return back home. Those that have been here a long time, with kids that have responsibilities here and so forth, you let stay enough time to organize their affairs and go home. —Republican Presidential Debate, 1/30/08
BUSH TAX CUTS
Barney Frank’s BFF
Romney didn’t support President Bush’s tax cuts in 2003. That earned him praise from liberal Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA)
– Boston Globe, April 11, 2003.
The Guy Who Laid You Off II
ROMNEY: I have never opposed the Bush 2002 tax cuts. I supported them.
(2008 Presidential Debate, 1/6/08).
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