The ‘new and improved’ Mitt is the same old anti-gay Mitt

Last month, via Boston Phoenix, Mitt Romney’s advisers wanted us to believe that this time around, Mitt was going to be different:

In retrospect, Team Romney believes their strategy was in error, according to some who are familiar with the campaign’s post-election brainstorming. Although exit polls showed that he did well among the most ideological conservatives — particularly those most adamantly opposed to McCain’s immigration-reform stance — he was not able to win over religious Christian conservatives. That left him unable to make up for sacrificing the votes of relatively moderate primary-goers.

In a nutshell, he made himself too conservative for blue-state Republicans, who opted for McCain, but wasn’t conservative enough for red-state conservatives, who opted for Mike Huckabee.

“He was a Massachusetts moderate who tried to be a hard-right conservative,” says one Republican strategist. “It turned out he probably would have been better off sticking with what he was — Mr. Fix-It.”

“He got himself caught up in the social-issues debate,” says Bill Achtmayer, chairman of business-strategy consultants the Parthenon Group and a supporter of Romney, his former colleague at Bain Consulting. “It diverted people’s attention from what he does bring to the table.”

As a result, the new Romney is now de-emphasizing social issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, and illegal immigration. He has made no public comment, for instance, about last week’s announcement that top military leaders intend to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, has scrupulously avoided association with the Tea Party movement, and has refrained from backing conservatives that other presidential hopefuls have endorsed, such as Doug Hoffman in New York or Marco Rubio in Florida.

That didn’t last long.

The new Mitt is already flipping and flopping. This past weekend, on FOX News, Romney put those social issues at the front and center of his 2012 campaign:

“Are you done being a culture warrior if you decide to go ahead and run in 2012?” Wallace asks.

“Well, first, I’ll take exception,” Romney answers. “I did change my view on abortion. I did not change my view on same-sex marriage.”

“But that being said, there’s no question in my view but that the social issues that this country considers and that are very much in debate today are very important to the nature of America and who we are.”

“And I continue to believe very deeply, as I have in the last campaign described, that marriage must be defended. I think it’s under attack. I speak at great length in the book about the importance of marriage prior to children.”

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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