From a Newsweek article:
Referring to Romney's stance, McCain said: "Maybe I should wait a couple of weeks and see if it changes because it's changed in less than a year from his position before."
Then followed his "varmint" comment which was an obviously planned line fed to him from someone in the campaign.
So, what's so desperate about attacking a cheif rival? The attacks, on the surface, speak of an general unease in the McCain camp about their own failings and Romney's continued successes. But it's not just the attacks, but the substance of the attacks and the actual accusations being leveled. McCain's campaign aides are sensing the fear of a Rising Romney and have resorted to DNC-like charges at Mitt's apparent lack of core convictions.
From Newsweek recently regarding the varmint comment:
To which John Weaver, a top McCain aide replied: “It was a joke and, by the way, Mitt Romney should be mocked! There isn’t a single issue in politics he hasn’t flip-flopped on."
From a Mother Jones article another top McCain aid said:
"Mitt Romney has been consistent in one regard: that nearly every position he holds now is opposite of what it was when he was governor of Massachusetts."
That same article also had the following zinger:
He [Romney] previously held all of the same positions as Giuliani -- he's just trying to lie about them while Giuliani is standing for what he believes in.
This is a segue into the deeper theme they are trying to lay. A smattering of recent quotes is enlightening:
Foremost is the charge that he's a campaign convert to conservatism after running as a more moderate or liberal candidate in Massachusetts.
Even some conservative commentators like Deroy Murdock (a big-time Rudy supporter), get in on the game from time to time.
Romney is either a true, rock-ribbed conservative who played a Rockefeller Republican to get elected in Massachusetts, or he is a genuine, limousine liberal portraying a conservative to win the 2008 GOP nomination. This fine thespian has lost himself so thoroughly in both these roles that no one really knows where the performer ends and the characters begin.
Bill Maher recently said "If Mitt Romney were a movie, it would be "Say Anything." (I'm sure he wouldn't apply that same critical humor to his buddy Bill Clinton, eh?)
The overall image being portrayed of Romney (and don't ever think these lines of attack aren't driven by the media moguls of the MSM) is that he's a man with no convictions, who will say or do anything if it is politically expedient. However, their only other "dig" against Romney is not just his religious affiliation, but that he's unabashedly a devout and practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints--somehow implying that he's TOO dedicated and true to his core convictions, namely his faith and his family. It would be in their best interest to decide on one line of attack. If they keep pounding both of these drums even the average American voter will realize they are being sold a false bill of goods. We won't be buying it guys!
I've blogged before (here and here) that Romney was never close to being the liberal that some are claiming. He was actually far more of a conservative than even a moderate. Below I'll put in the image again of one of his 1994 campaign flyers and let you judge. Aside from the well documented, AND WELCOMED, shift on abortion he's been rock solid as a conservative then and now (BTW Romney vetoed the "employer mandate" portion of the MA healthcare plan)
I'd like to see McCain, his aides, and the DNC explain their position that Mitt has "flipped on every political issue" when he's been consistant on 23 of the 24 (or 96%) issues in this flyer. They're busy enough spinning their own problems, so I probably shouldn't "pile on" right now!
I have personally posted the above at Red State, Free Republic, My Man Mitt, and Elect Romney in 2008 (click on links to see the discussion threads).
It has also been "picked up" and broadcast at Race-4-2008, The Brody File, Hugh Hewitt's Townhall Blogsite, and who knows where next? Help spread around this message that debunks the "Romney was a liberal" or "He's flip flopped on every position" memes.