Being a serial flip flopper can be hazardous to your campaign. Just ask Mittens. He visited Ohio where there is a ballot initiative fight over Gov. John Kasich's draconian legislation that stripped collective bargaining rights for unions. Also, there is a measure that is trying to a measure to bar Ohio from being forced to pay for health care mandates which is Romney's biggest obstacle since he had mandates passed in his own health care plan in Massachusetts.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stepped into the middle of the charged battle over organized labor in Ohio on Tuesday, but he avoided weighing in on the contentious legislation that would dramatically limit the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions.
The former Massachusetts governor visited an Ohio Republican Party phone bank in the suburbs of Cincinnati, where GOP volunteers were contacting voters about two hot-button measures that will be on the Nov. 8 ballot. One of them, Issue 2, would ratify Senate Bill 5 - the controversial legislation backed by Republican Gov. John Kasich that curbs collective bargaining rights for public employees.
Another measure, Issue 3, would amend the state constitution to forbid the state and federal government from imposing a mandate to buy health insurance. Romney expressed generic support for Kasich's efforts to curtail union rights, but he would not say whether he supports or opposes the specific measures.
"I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues," Romney said, only after repeated questions from reporters. "Those are up to the people of Ohio. But I certainly support the efforts of the governor to reign in the scale of government. I am not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives. But I am certainly supportive of the Republican Party's efforts here." Both topics are tricky for the Romney campaign.
He is no stranger to health insurance mandates, having passed one of his own in 2006 while governor of Massachusetts. Meanwhile, the Republican-backed union legislation remains deeply unpopular in the state, which is all but certain to be a swing state once again in 2012.
A Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday showed that Ohio voters support the repeal of Senate Bill 5 by a 57-32 margin. And crucially, independent voters in Ohio favor repealing the legislation by a 52-36 margin. It was no surprise, then, that the Romney campaign did not advertise the Ohio visit to reporters.
Tea party blogger Erick Erickson is beside himself over Mitt's lack of taking a stand to support Kasich and his hateful tactics.
Mitt Romney refused to endorse John Kasich’s reforms in Ohio. This is a huge freaking deal.
Playing it too safe is finally biting Romney in the rear end. He’s refused to call social security a ponzi scheme. He’s refused to offer bold economic reform plans. He’s refused to address significant changes in entitlement reforms. His whole campaign has centered around tapioca. And today, while at a call center where volunteers were calling people to support Governor Kasich’s reforms, Mitt Romney . . . well...
So in fairness, he’s been pretty consistent ever since he refused to support the Bush tax cuts.
But wait! What’s that you say? Romney is in Ohio supporting another ballot initiative? Well then I think we need to throw out three letters and a punctuation mark: W, T, and F, followed by a question mark and maybe an exclamation mark for good measure.
EE is pretty beside himself with anger since he's one of the 53 Percenters. Ed Morrissey of Hot Air writes:
I’m not sure that Romney’s statement really distances him from SB5, anyway. Simply making the appearance at a phone bank set up explicitly to defend SB5 certainly implies an endorsement of the activity taking place. But given that Romney appears to have selective principles about weighing in on ballot initiatives in Ohio, the lack of explicit endorsement will most likely hurt the campaign to defend Kasich’s PEU reforms. That’s an outcome practically guaranteed to enrage conservatives looking to break the political stranglehold unions have on state politics and budgeting.
If Romney wasn’t prepared to endorse the GOP’s efforts on this ballot initiative, then he should have found another venue for his campaign today.
Just as it appears that the entire 2012 GOP presidential candidates are doing everything they can to help Romney win the nomination, Mitt channels Mitt and flops once again.
UPDATE: And like clockwork, Mittens flips again: Romney: '110% Behind' Ohio Anti-Union Bill
Once again Romney shows weakness when he should have been strong. I doubt the tea party will give him a pass on this flip.