Remember that taunting chant in grade school: "I'm rubber, you're glue whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you?" Well it seems to have made it's way into the 2012 GOP primary race.
To accompany his "career politician" attacks against opponent Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has embarked on his own sandbox-era strategy. Romney, the Republican often rapped for his vacillating positions, is now drawing attention to Perry's own flip-flopping tendencies.
Romney's campaign sent an E-mail to press late Sunday afternoon with the subject line, "RICK PERRY: CAREER POLITICIAN, CONSISTENTLY INCONSISTENT." It hit Perry for the times he's changed his positions on major issues, like energy subsidies, Social Security, and illegal immigration. "As Governor Perry has demonstrated throughout this campaign, career politicians will say and do anything to get elected," Romney Communications Director Gail Gitcho said in the E-mail. "The only thing he can say about his long career in office is that he is consistently inconsistent."
The flip-flop attack, though common in past presidential elections, is especially ironic coming from Romney, who has repeatedly been hit in this election and his 2008 presidential run for his back and forth on certain issues over the years. He's had varying positions on abortion, federal stimulus, the individual mandate for health insurance, labor unions, and global warming, to name a few.
Perry's campaign released an attack just this past Friday on Romney's flip-flopping. "Mitt Romney's positions change, often dramatically, depending on the audience or location," Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan said in a press release. "Voters need to consider the fact that Romney, in one week, changed positions on manmade global warming, capping carbon emissions, and Ohio's efforts to curb union powers."
The Democratic National Committee also has a website, WhichMitt.com, that quizzes visitors on Romney's policy positions. Most recently, the committee added an online ad bashing Romney's unclear stance on the causes of climate change.
And former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has also chimed in. The Huntsman campaign's new ad, titled "Backflip," depicts a backflipping toy monkey, alongside press clips of Romney contradicting himself. "Real leadership is taking a clear position on issues even if it comes at political risk," Huntsman campaign spokesman Tim Miller said in the ad's press release. "Backflipping is for toys and gymnasts, not presidents."
Even though he's been stuck with the flip-flopper label since the start of his 2012 campaign, Romney has more or less been able to bounce off the insults and retain his spot as presumed frontrunner. But with his latest attack on Perry's inconsistencies, the hypocrisy label might be more adhesive.
- Read: Romney's Campaign Goes on Offense With Career Politician Site.
- Check out our gallery of political cartoons on the 2012 GOP primary race.
- See our slideshow: Rick Newman: 10 Ways Romney and Perry Differ on the Economy.