Romney: we can broaden our appeal by narrowing it—when you listen carefully to Romney, he makes no sense

“POLK COUNTY, Iowa – Romney this morning suggested that he believes the GOP primary is going to come down to Giuliani and a more conservative candidate,” writes NBC/NJ’s rising star, Erin McPike, in an MSNBC FirstRead post titled 2-MAN RACE: RUDY V. THE CONSERVATIVE?

… “I think it’s going to come down to two folks in my view if you look at what’s happening with the nomination on our side,” he said of the Republican primary race this morning in an answer to a woman, who said she had left the GOP and asked what the Republicans can do to appeal to a broader range of voters. “And one of the two is going to be somebody who has adopted social issues that are far more like Sen. Clinton’s. And someone who is in favor of or who has fought the line-item veto all the way to the Supreme Court.” He added, “I don’t think that’s the right course for our party. It might help us do better in states where we might lose by a smaller margin. But we would still lose” …

A woman says that she left the GOP and asks how Republicans can broaden their apeal. Romney passes over her question. More precisely, he reverses her question—he inverts it. The question he answers is how can the Republicans strategically narrow their appeal to target the traditional GOP base. Regard: Romney concludes that the GOP primary process will deliver two figures in direct opposition,

(a) a candidate who appeals across party lines although not enough to achieve victory in any blue states

-and-

(b) and a candidate who is more conservative

But Romney couldn’t deliver his lines with a straight face. Incredulous reporters forced him to back away from his laughable claims. Back to the estimable McPike’s account of the event:

… Later with reporters, he backed off a little on insinuating that he sees the race as a two-man contest between him and Giuliani. He said he hopes he becomes the choice of the Reagan coalition — the alternative to Giuliani. He pointed out that he has raised $5 million more than Giuliani, but his campaign later said it was closer to $3 million in primary dollars … etc., etc.

So Romney is already flip-flopping on his 2-man race theme?—Romney’s turn-around time from declaration to a flat reversal or complete retreat from his declaration grows ever shorter.

This is not the first time Romney has pressed his 2-man race theme with risible results.

Romney: Giuliani is distinct and enjoys the support of a coherent base, in which a confused Romney issues the formula, “We have to be distinct. We have to act like Republicans.” Translation: be distinct, like me. But isn’t this a contradiction? Worse: isn’t this a double-bind, like “be spontaneous”?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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