Mitt Romney has made a career of trying to have it both ways. In Ohio this week, he remained consistent to being inconsistent. Classic Romney!
The Republican presidential candidate, visited a phone bank in Terrace Park, Ohio, where the state GOP is pushing Issue 2 and 3. Issue 2 would reduce collective bargaining to “collective begging” for over 300,000 Ohio workers, and Issue 3 is a Tea Party-backed nonsensical attack on the Affordable Care Act.
The candidate visited and shook hands with the folks helping the attack on Ohio public safety, workers’ rights, and health care access, but get this – Romney has “no opinion” on Issue 2 and 3.
“I’m not saying anything one way or the other about the two ballot issues,” Romney reportedly told Ohio GOP chairman Kevin Dewine.
This floppiness is extra ridiculous:
• As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney instituted a health care plan with an individual mandate, similar to the Affordable Care Act. Supporters of Issue 3 are attacking the Affordable Care Act.
• Issue 2 is the question of whether or not public workers have the right to bargain collectively and have a voice at the table, and for a presidential candidate not to have an opinion on that is irresponsible.
Romney’s reticence on Issue 2 is similar to his floppiness on “right to work.” He’s pushed for right-to-work legislation in New Hampshire in an effort to rally the support among conservatives in that primary state, but won’t say that he supports a federal version. “If there were a federal right-to-work law that reached my desk, I’d support it,” he said in August. Classic Romney!
On the other hand, can you really blame Romney for tip-toeing around Issue 2? He’s seeking the votes of Ohio Republican primary voters, and polling shows that only 59 percent of Ohio Republicans support Issue 2. Independent voters are even more repulsed by the attack on collective bargaining – a scant 32 percent want Issue 2 kept.
So as he has done for decades, Mitt Romney is doing something that makes no sense logically, but is probably best thing for his political career. As I’ve mentioned, it’s classic Romney.
But the fact that a Republican presidential candidate is afraid to embrace Governor Kasich’s anti-worker, corporate-backed agenda does not bode well for the 1%’s efforts in the Buckeye State.
Things are getting increasingly lonely for politicians and 1 Percenters who use public servants as scapegoats and punching bags. It’s working, folks. We’re getting to them.
UPDATE: Romney’s floppiness on Issue 2 is highlighting divisions between his campaign and the Koch Brothers’ front group Freedom Works.
This isn’t what Tea Partiers want to hear. FreedomWorks, Dick Armey’s grassroots group, has been working Ohio hard. They’ve put up a campaign site (YesForJobs.com), opened nine distribution centers for volunteers, and pushed out more than 120,000 door hangers and 18,000 yard signs, all “yes” on 2 and 3.
“I’m not happy with Romney about his silence on Issues 2 and 3,” said Brendan Steinhauser, FreedomWorks’s director of state campaigns, in an e-mail, “but then again, I’m not surprised. He doesn’t believe in what we believe in –- nor is he willing to fight for these ideas. We are working VERY hard in Ohio for these campaigns and he is only interested in his own ambition to be president. Kasich = Courage and Romney = Empty Suit.”
UPDATE 2: Plunderbund reports that Mitt Romney endorsed Issue 2 in June.