I’ve warned conservatives for nearly as long as I’ve been blogging that to nominate Mitt Romney is to commit an act of electoral suicide. I’ve told you that when it comes time to run the general election campaign, Romney will abandon all of this talk about repealing Obamacare because he will be toast on this issue. Barack Obama knows this too, and it’s the reason every Democrat in Washington wants to see a Romney candidacy. For once, we got a little insight into the coming Romney betrayals, when his longtime Campaign adviser and Communications Director Eric Fehrnstrom on Wednesday likened Mitt Romney to an etch-a-sketch in terms of their ability to re-shape the campaign once the general election campaign begins. This was an admission of what would really happen to all of his talk about being a conservative should Mitt Romney secure the party’s nomination.
I’ve urged the other candidates to hammer Romney on this point, and to their credit, they have, but without debates lately, they’re not making much headway in the media that largely favors Mitt Romney, so the point isn’t being made. Consider it another gift, because now we get a little help from an unlikely source, who made mention of this issue, although not by name. The source? Barack Obama.
You see, he was being interviewed by Kai Ryssdal, for the Marketplace Morning Report for Thursday, March 22, 2012, and he was asked about his health-care reform, and I want you to pay close attention to what Obama implies about a Republican candidate, and says of a particular state:
From CNN, referencing the same interview, with a few pull-quotes, and a few explanations of context for Obama’s remarks:
“We designed a program that actually previously had support of Republicans, including the person who may end up being the Republican standard bearer and is now pretending like he came up with something different,” the president said.
The Massachusetts plan served as a model for the Affordable Care Act, signed two years ago Friday. Romney, the state’s former governor, has since said the legislation was the correct course for his state but not meant as a model for a national overhaul. But the plan has proved a focal point of criticism aimed at the GOP frontrunner.
In Thursday’s interview, Obama said Republican opposition to the plan, including the Supreme Court challenge, is politically motivated.
He said state governors will have a difficult time explaining resistance to the law to their constituents.
“When people see that in fact it works, it makes sense – as it’s, by the way, working in Massachusetts – then I think a whole bunch of folks will say ‘Why aren’t we trying it as well?’” Obama said.
It’s important to understand the meaning of this audio clip in context of the “Etch-a-sketch” comment. Twice, in less than two minutes, Obama goes out of his way to mention a unnamed candidate(Romney) and the state he governed (Massachusetts) as extensions of his healthcare law. Let that soak in, and realize that the one issue on which more than 60% of Americans agree, that Obamacare must be repealed, Mitt Romney will be completely neutralized in a general campaign.
Therefore, I believe that the Etch-a-Sketch is all about dumping his promise to seek the repeal of Obama-care. He can’t. He will be absolutely wrecked by Barack Obama and his campaign if he even tries that approach. Romney is the one candidate among all of the Republicans who is least able to make the case against Obamacare, and it is the one issue that has united the American people against Obama like no other. I cannot see how the Republicans defeat Obama without this issue, and yet if Mitt Romney is the nominee, this is precisely what he will be forced to do.
That “Etch-a-Sketch?” Yes, that got to be shaken as soon as Romney captures the nomination, and when it is, part of the picture that will be erased will be the promise to repeal Obamacare. Mitt Romney is being dishonest in this respect. It will ruin him if he tries, and without it, he cannot win. I think most of the readers of this blog have understood this all along, but there’s a segment of the conservative base that doesn’t follow the inside politics, and may not yet understand this. There is no candidate who will fare more poorly against Barack Obama than Mitt Romney. All of this talk about his electability is based on a very generic sense conveyed by the media, but does not represent what the voters will see in the last six to eight weeks of the campaign. This is just a sample of how Romney will be neutered on the Obama-care issue, and it’s going to mean Romney will simply drop all of the repeal talk once he has your nomination. Let me be blunt:
Nominate the Etch-a-Sketch, and you get four more years of Barack Obama.