Mitt Romney has been very quiet on the debt ceiling farce even though he's running for the GOP presidential nomination and many have asked him for comment. Some might say he's not leading on the issue. Some might say he's been trying to protect himself from the tea party faction of the GOP since many Conservatives don't trust him at all, but he finally was forced to weigh in on the issue...since it's been the #1 news story of the last few weeks.
Here's what he had to finally say.
Republican presidential primary front-runner Mitt Romney rejected the debt ceiling deal reached over the weekend, saying it will lead to tax increases and cuts in military spending.
"As president, my plan would have produced a budget that was cut, capped and balanced -- not one that opens the door to higher taxes and puts defense cuts on the table," Romney said in a statement.
"President Obama's leadership failure has pushed the economy to the brink at the eleventh hour and 59th minute. While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama's lack of leadership has placed Republican Members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal," Romney said.
Romney's statement came after critics -- including fellow Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman -- assailed the former Massachusetts governor for not weighing in sooner on the debt negotiations. Romney advisers said they were taking a cautious approach to avoid commenting before the contours of a deal became clear.
Romney could have spoken out a long time ago and staked a position on it instead of hiding behind a wall of silence all this time. Michele Bachmann, Mrs. "Pray away the Gay" wasn't afraid be attacked by the GOP gurus like BIll O and Krauthammer to say that she wanted the US to default on its commitments and would never vote to raise the debt ceiling. Even Herman Cain commented on it - even though he flopped around like Mitt usually does. In reality, Romney would never go for the Cut, Cap and Balance lunacy either, but it costs him nothing since that will be defeated and he doesn't have to vote for it.
Here's a video from C&L's most excellent archives back in Dec, 2007 from Meet The Press when Timmeh put together a mash up of many of Mitt's flip flops. This is going to be a tough hurdle for him to overcome in the Republican primary although his competition shouldn't be too difficult to defeat if we were dealing with normal people.
RUSSERT: Let me talk to you about your campaign. This is how it has been described in numerous cartoons, editorials, news articles: "A Changed Man. Many candidates change. Romney seems to have given himself a makeover. Which has prompted more than a few people to ask: Who is this guy?" Some of your opponents passed out these flip-floppers, that Romney flips and flops on the various issues. And it's become a real issue for you in Iowa. The Des Moines Register asked Republicans who aren't supporting you what's the major factor for not supporting Romney? And look at this: Shifting his position on issues like abortion, 51 percent of Republicans say that's why they haven't embraced your candidacy.
I want to take abortion first. I participated in your debate in 2002 when you ran for governor of Massachusetts. I asked you about that issue, and this was your response. Let's watch.
ROMNEY: My position has been the same throughout my political career, and it goes back to the days of 1970. There was a woman who was running for political office, U.S. Senate. She took a very bold and courageous stand in 1970, and that was in a conservative state. That was that a woman should have the right to make her own choice as to whether or not to have an abortion. Her name was Lenore Romney, she was my mom. I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard.
RUSSERT: "Devoted and dedicated" to honoring your word. When you ran for the Senate against Ted Kennedy, you were asked the same question. This was your response.
ROMNEY: Many, many years ago I had a dear close family relative that was very close to me who passed away from an illegal abortion. It is since that time my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter.
Offscreen Voice: Thank you, Mr...
ROMNEY: And you will not see me wavering on that.
RUSSERT: You--will not see you wavering on that issue. You now have said you support the 2004 Republican Party platform, which says this: "We say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We" suggest "a human life amendment to the Constitution." Such amendment would ban abortions all across the country. Why such a dramatic and profound change after pledging never to waiver on a woman's right to choose?