April 12, 2015

So much for being the party of personal responsibility. Former governor and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was invited on this week's Fox News Sunday to discuss the current crop of potential Republican presidential contenders.

Rather than admit that it's doing damage to his party to have to move so far to the right to get through the primaries, or that the so-called "religious freedom" laws like the one Indiana Gov. Mike Pence just had to back track on are making them look "out of touch" with voters, Romney blamed Democrats for taking political advantage of the poor helpless Republicans and he blamed... get this, the presidential debate moderators.

They're going to have the same problems during this primary season as they had the last time around because their base has done nothing but move even further to the right, no matter how hard Romney and his ilk try to spin it:

WALLACE: But, you know, there's a downside to that and you saw it to some degree in 2012 in which the long, drawn-out primary fight may have moved you and may have moved the party too far to the right for the general election.

In the last couple of weeks, there was a controversy over these religious freedom laws in Arkansas and Indiana. All of the Republican presidential candidates supported the law but there was a backlash that they had to fix the laws to explicitly -- to rule out any discrimination against gays.

And I guess the question I have is, do things like that, where you have Republican pieces of legislation and such a backlash that the Republican governors of Arkansas and Indiana had to, quote, "fix them," does that make this party or run the risk of making this party look out of touch?

ROMNEY: Well, there of course will be circumstances that arise, whether it's laws or events that happen in the world and each side is going to try to take advantage of those things politically. The Democrats did that. Those that were very concerned about some of these issues, made it a big issue. It's appropriately something that has to be considered.

I think Jeb Bush said it well. He said, look, we have a couple of principles in this country that are fundamental. One is people have the right to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscious. At the same time, we also oppose discrimination of any kind.

And so, legislatures are going to have to deal with both of those realities and harmonize them and it's going to be a process that will have some bumps and starts, and legislatures are going to have to make corrections from time to time. And I know that there will be people who try to take political advantage of that circumstance, but it's an important series of topics, and we're going to have to work at it and hopefully give people the benefit of the doubt as they try and wrestle with ways to try to protect both of those fundamental principles.

WALLACE: But I guess what I'm asking is, and you saw I think in 2012 on the issue of immigration, isn't there a danger that an appeal to the base to try to win the primaries, you're forced to say things or take positions that could end up hurting you in the general election.

ROMNEY: Well, I do think that people running for office whether in the past or in the future will stick to the principles that they have, but sometimes during these debates the moderators focus on issues that are highly with divisive issues and end up having people pull away from us.

So, I think the Republican national committee is probably wise to say, hey, let's have eight to 10 debates. Let's not have 20 or 22 debates like we had because at some point you just keep on rehashing some of the same attack lines that are coming from theleft.

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