Governor Romney came off his successful debate fired up with new confidence and hoping to put his recent mistakes and problems behind him and to rest.
Then last Friday, to the surprise of many, he brought up his comment of last spring about the 47% of Americans, whom he practically called deadbeats, who pay no taxes (plainly and factually wrong). Perhaps he believed that the new post-debate Romney could bury the comment by saying, in plain English, "I was wrong."
Yes, I suppose everyone should have a chance to admit even a serious mistake and "change" their mind. But, in this case, at the time it was originally revealed, Romney defended the remark and tried to explain it away. And, given his history, particularly this year, of changeability and flip flops, one really has to wonder which Romney to believe.
The big question now is whether he actually made a mistake last spring (and then really believed what he said) and has now changed his mind. Or, was he simply hoping he could get people to forget about it and/or believe that he had truly changed his mind?
Which Romney was speaking last spring and which Romney spoke on last Friday? Last spring he spoke in private believing he was off the record and sounded like he was speaking from the heart. On Friday he spoke on the record for public consumption and in an obviously self-serving way.
Every citizen who cares at all about Romney's underlying beliefs (pro or con) that motivated his comment last spring should think and decide for her/himself which Romney is more credible today.
It is amazing to this writer that the TV talking heads, who attempt to lead public thinking, have not really picked up on this particular big question. Could they be, for their own self-serving reasons, trying to keep the race alive?
They continue to focus primarily on Romney's apparently new-found middle road stance and persona, as if they really believe it.
Let's give Romney the credit for a good showing in the debate. But, why are the pundits not questioning what a Romney in the Oval Office would really be thinking deep down about this issue? If they, and the country, risk finding that out by electing him, by the time the real Romney would finally be revealed, it would be too late.
Perhaps, that was why his father's famous brainwashing comments* after returning from Vietnam spelled the end of his George Romney's campaign for president then? Like father, like son?
From the September 15, 1967 issue of Time magazine:
Romney's judgment has never been noticeably clouded by the hobgoblin of little minds. He strongly endorsed the war in July 1965 (before he first visited Vietnam); he lent qualified support to the administration's policy at Hartford last spring (17 months after his return from Saigon); and, most recently, he unequivocally denounced the U.S. commitment as a "tragic" mistake. Last week, during a Labor Day interview on Detroit's WKBD-TV, Commentator Lou Gordon wanted to know how Romney squared his current conviction that the U.S. should never have got involved in Asia with the comment he made after a tour of the war zone in November 1965 that "involvement was morally right and necessary."
Replied Romney: "When I came back from Vietnam, I had just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get when you go over to Vietnam."
Gordon: By the generals?
Romney: Not only by the generals but also by the diplomatic corps over there, and they do a very thorough job, and, since returning from Vietnam, I've gone into the history of Vietnam, all the way back into World War II and before that. And, as a result, I have changed my mind.