“Yes, I’m a flip-flopper,” said the Republican presidential front-runner in response to a question from Bret Baier of Fox News. “In fact, I come from a long line of flip-floppers. I’m proud of it.”
Asked by a clearly astonished Baier to clarify his answer, Romney said, “People want a president they can trust. When I look voters in the eye and tell them I’m going to change my mind whenever I think it’s politically necessary, I want them to know it’s coming from my heart. The American people are smart. They can spot a phony a mile away. I am what I am — a flip-flopper to the bone.”
Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute thinks Romney’s embrace of a flip-flopping persona could be “game changing.”
“To a certain extent, Romney has neutralized the charge that he has no principles,” says Ornstein. “Barack Obama can call him a flip-flopper all he wants, but so what? He won’t be able to take it much further, and they’ll have to get back to talking about the economy.”
But Paul Begala of CNN sees trouble ahead.
“Dollars to donuts Romney flip-flops on this issue, too,” says Begala. “Maybe three or four times before next November. You can’t get elected by giving voters whiplash.”
The White House had no comment.