The Specter of Romney’s Flip-flops

Former Senator Arlen Specter knows something about being flexible in order to get elected. He was a Democrat until 1965, when he registered as a Republican in order to be elected District Attorney of Philadelphia. Then in 2009, facing a difficult Republican primary in his battle to be reelected to the Senate, he switched back to the Democratic party. Accordingly, The Hill‘s Alexander Bolton asked former Senator Specter if he would support Mitt Romney in the general election. Specter replied

I’m going to wait to see which Romney it is.

Romney’s campaign seems based on the premise that voters have no more memory than an Etch-A-Sketch. You can pander to whatever group you happen to be appealing to and not suffer any consequences later on.

Lately, Romney has said the Obama campaign is “on a mission to drive up the price of gasoline and all energy so that they can finally get their solar and their wind to be more price-competitive.” According to FactCheck.org this is no quite true of President Obama. However, according to Alec MacGillis, Romney is quite familiar with this concept since this was his plan when he was Governor of Massachusetts in 2006:

Romney went so far as to make high gas prices out to be a welcome reality for the foreseeable future, one that people needed to learn to live with. When lieutenant governor Kerry Healey, a fellow Republican, called for suspending the state’s 23.5 cent gas tax during a price spike in May 2006, Romney rejected the idea, saying it would only further drive up gasoline consumption. “I don’t think that now is the time, and I’m not sure there will be the right time, for us to encourage the use of more gasoline,” Romney said, according to the Quincy Patriot Ledger’s report at the time. “I’m very much in favor of people recognizing that these high gasoline prices are probably here to stay.”

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