Romney on the ropes for his indefensible duplicities—conservatives still unconvinced
“URBANDALE, Iowa, Aug. 9 — Mitt Romney is undergoing the stiffest test yet of his effort to win over conservatives wary of his ideological credentials,” writes the estimable duo of Nagourney and Luo of the venerable NYT in a story titled Romney Pushed on Conservative Credentials. (The crack journalist Jeff Zeleny contributed to the report from a bomb-proof bunker in Urbandale.)
… In the days leading up to the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames on Saturday, Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, has come under a furious assault from some of his rivals and the powerful network of abortion opponents in this state. He has been pummeled in videos on YouTube, in automated telephone calls, in daily barrages of e-mail to lists of Republican caucus voters and on the airwaves of the state’s conservative talk radio network.
In almost all cases, the attacks are built on the idea that because Mr. Romney became an opponent of abortion rights only relatively recently, he cannot be counted on as a committed social conservative.
“I’m amazed at the number of people who come to the conclusion to be pro-life when it comes time to run for president,” said Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, who is competing against Mr. Romney in the straw poll …
… In an interview, Mr. Huckabee said that should Mr. Romney do well in the straw poll, it would be a mistake to interpret that as evidence that he had overcome conservative wariness about him.
“He’s been able to advertise almost completely unchallenged,” Mr. Huckabee said, citing one way in which Mr. Romney’s fund-raising advantage is helping him. “So I don’t know if voters are going to have much of a contrast. Most of the message voters has seen has been his message.”
For Mr. Romney, the question about his past support for abortion rights has been a persistent problem. Although he has been questioned about his consistency on gay rights, gun control and immigration, abortion is the issue that his opponents have used more than any other to try to plant doubts about principles.
“You’re not going to find a YouTube moment of me where I’m saying something different from what I’ve said before,” Mr. Huckabee told voters in West Des Moines the other night … more [Emphasis ours]
As we predicted, the Romney SUDDEN CONSERVATISM line has become increasingly difficult to sustain. See:
Further, we agree with Huckabee: Iowa will not decide the issue of Romney’s claim to be a “conservative” candidate.