Romney Backs Away from Supporting Same Sex Adoption Within 24 Hours (UPDATE)

I need to say it: in all my time as a political junkie I have never seen a candidate like the presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. It is mind-blogging. Yesterday he was WIDELY quoted as saying he supported same sex adoption. Now he has changed that position.

This issue here is increasingly not the actual issues. It is whether anything he says can believed or remain operative if it hits any speed bumps on the road to political expediency. It goes beyond mere pandering to one or more of these possibilities:

  • He is an utterly terrible, unskilled Velcro politician who says what pops into his head and changes it later when he realizes it could lose him some votes. But he can’t do the change without it looking like an a blatant walk-back.
  • He says what pops into his head but when advisers tell him it will hurt his marketing in however he is being marketed he has to then go back and take his comments back but won’t take them totally back — he’ll say he needs to clarify.
  • He is someone who will totally cave t0 an adviser’s advice or pressure from a group from which he wants votes — which raises the issue of whether he has any political backbone or courage at all. I now am concluding we have that answer in front of us — coming to us in stunningly plentiful examples in recent weeks.
  • Further, this latest shift further raises eyebrows when he says he can’t recall the bullying incident remembered by five now grown up people who went to school with them who sourced the latest Washington Post story.

    Here’s the key part of this latest development. Once more: the issue is NOT his position on an issue. The issue is whether anything he says can be a)trusted b)be trusted to last as his position at all:

    Among Mitt Romney’s timid responses this week after President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality was an admission that he was “fine” with same-sex couples adopting children, saying, “that’s something that people have a right to do.” But by Friday afternoon, he was already backing away from that position, suggesting that he merely “acknowledges” that many states offer same-sex adoption:

    His quote:

    ROMNEY: Actually, I think all states but one allow gay adoption. So that’s a position which has been decided by most of the state legislatures, including the one in my state some time ago. So I simply acknowledge the fact that gay adoption is legal in all states but one.

    Here’s what he said on same sex adoption on Fox News:

    I drove for about 4 hours yesterday. During that time I surfed the cable networks and heard network newscasts. Most of them had a sound bite from Romney on this and he was quoted on this.

    It lasted less than 24 hours.

    He is clearly now trying to back away from his comments. As he has been doing from most of his comments he has made over many years.

    As I have noted, this is now a pattern.

    UPDATE: My chronology was a bit wrong here. Later on Friday he “clarified” his position. The National Journal gives a nice summary:

    He said on Thursday: “And if two people of the same gender want to live together, want to have a loving relationship, or even to adopt a child — in my state, individuals of the same sex were able to adopt children. In my view, that’s something that people have a right to do. But to call that ‘marriage’ is something that, in my view, is a departure from the real meaning of that word.”

    On Friday,he was asked, in an interview with CBS affiliate WBTV in Charlotte, N.C., how his opposition to gay marriage “squared” with his support for gay adoptions. Romney told anchor Paul Cameron, “Well, actually I think all states but one allow gay adoption, so that’s a position which has been decided by most of the state legislatures, including the one in my state some time ago. So I simply acknowledge the fact that gay adoption is legal in all states but one.”

    Romney did remain consistent on one point: He said he does not intend to use President Obama’s flip-flop of same-sex marriage against him in the campaign. Obama, who opposed gay marriage when he ran for president in 2008, said this week he now supports it. Romney said, “I think the issue of marriage and gay marriage is a very tender and sensitive topic. People come out in different places on this. The president has changed course in regards to this topic. I think that’s his right to do that. I have a different view than he does. I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman, but I just don’t think that this becomes a hot political issue dividing our nation.”

    Two things:
    1. Let’s see how long the above assertion stands.
    2. Read my analysis above and the link. It all still stands.

             

    10 Comments

    1. I’m coming to believe Romney has no real center, no convictions that would give him leadership status beyond his family or corporate duties.

    2. I’ll add a fourth possibility to your list, Joe:

      Romney is so caught up in crafting the perfect political message to respond to any situation that he simply fails to notice when he’s being inconsistent.

      Today’s politicians are consulted, coached, and crafted to within an inch of their lives. Every statement is a recitation of talking points. Every “debate” is nothing more than a battle of carefully crafted statements. Every word is scrutinized by the campaign – not for it’s accuracy or truth – but for how well it conveys the message, whatever message that might be at that moment.

      The actual person is lost in this process.

      I saw it up close last year, when I had the opportunity to spend some time with our Governor, the infamous Jan Brewer. It was not a political event, and actually, she was very nice, warm, and personable…that is, until someone in the room brought up immigration.

      It was like someone had thrown a switch. The nice lady was gone, and in her place was a politician reciting talking points. At one point she threw her fist in the air and said “Mr. President, secure the border!”

      I thought to myself “but he’s not here!” It was weird.

      Mitt is this sort of thing taken to extremes. Maybe there’s a real guy buried underneath the workshopped words, and maybe he really does have a position, but it is lost in the translation from Mitt’s mind to his carefully controlled mouth. It is quite possible that in the decade or so that he’s been running for President, Mr. Romney has actually lost his ability to speak like a normal human being.

    3. Fifth possibility. Good traders are fast to dump a losing position. Bad traders hold on too long and often lose money.

      Good managers recognize when the train is going off the track and modify the course. Bad managers, too slow and the train wreck occurs.

      Then again, maybe he has flip-flopitis.

    4. dduck, good analogy. In Romney’s case he keeps the train on the right track according to the audience he is speaking to at that moment. Romney has no underlying philosophy, other than to win the presidency and enrich himself. If he does have an underlying philosophy I’d like someone to tell me what it is.

    5. Stock, then I guess Biden is one of Obama’s engineers, waking him and poking him when he needs to be on track.

    6. Somebody who caves right and left to pressure from various sources just is not fit to be president. You may disagree with Obama on issues but at least he has the courage to take a stand on controversial issues.

    7. BB, Obama certainly is willing to take a stand, although sometimes after someone else makes the first move (like Biden, like NATO).

    8. DD- I doubt that was planned– it forced Obama to make a stand– or look weak. Its definitely risky because it will galvanize the religious right to turn out their voters- where they might have stayed home

      At least you know that he won’t reverse himself on it in 24 hours!

    9. BB, I didn’t think it was planned. Yes it made him look like he is leading from behind. Although, that may not be a bad thing since it prevents one from being to impulsive and doing the wrong thing.
      And, all he really said was it’s up to the states. That he may reverse on some day.

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