McCain’s Opposition Research – Part 39

Via or from BuzzFeed comes an opposition research file compiled by the McCain campaign in 2008.  The document is 194 pages long.  This post begins  at the  top of pg 175  and ends at the bottom of 178.

I have bolded the first word in each entry for ease of reading.


BBC’s Katty Kay: “[T]his issue of authenticity, he’s falling down on that. And if people are looking for something that’s authentic, and he has already flip-flopped on his social conservative values, then that’s going to be a problem for him.”

(NBC’s “The Chris Matthews Show,” 2/11/07)

WFXT-TV’s Joe Battenfeld:  “[B]efore you see the new Mitt Romney unveil himself here tomorrow, we want to give you a look at the old Mitt Romney.”

(WFXT’s “Fox 25 News At 10,” 2/12/07)

Battenfeld:  “[W]atch Romney squirm. It’s the most revealing look yet at Romney way before his transformation into a pro-life Ronald Reagan wanna-be.”

(WFXT’s “Fox 25 News At 10,” 2/12/07)

The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan:  “Romney makes John Kerry look immoveable.”

(Andrew Sullivan, “The Latest Romney Switcheroo II,”’s The Daily Dish, 2/8/07)

Sullivan:  “[Romney] makes Bill Clinton look like a rock of principle.

(Andrew Sullivan, “Romney’s Draft-Deferment,” The Atlantic’s The Daily DishBlog, 5/11/07)

Democratic Strategist Susan Estrich: “Mitt Romney makes [John] Kerry look like a model of consistency.”

(Susan Estrich, Op-Ed, “Rudy’s Game,”Creators Syndicate, 2/16/07)

Boston Globe’s Scot Lehigh: “Certainly Massachusetts’ former governor would present a broad target for the sort of flip-flop attacks that bedeviled John Kerry in 2004.”

(Scot Lehigh, “United In Ambivalence,” The Boston Globe, 5/25/07)

Boston Herald’s Howie Carr: “Mitt’s a lot more adept at doing the old soft shoe around his flip-flops than [John]Kerry.”

(Howie Carr, Op-Ed, “Mitt’s Game Plan Looking Like Flip Side Of Kerry’s,” Boston Herald, 2/9/07)

Carr:  “[Romney] was privately against George W. Bush’s early tax cuts before he was publicly for them. He was also for gay rights before he was against them, and he supported campaign finance reform before he denounced it.  Not to mention he was pro-choice before he was pro-life.  He wouldn’t sign the local no-new-taxes pledge in 2002 before he signed Grover Norquist’s national one in 2007.”

(Howie Carr, Op-Ed, “Mitt’s Game Plan Looking Like Flip Side Of Kerry’s,” Boston Herald, 2/9/07)

National Review’s Mark Hemingway: “Romney now claims to be pro-life … but many find his conversion story far from convincing.”

(Mark Hemingway, “Mitt Romney’s Endurance Race,” National ReviewOnline, 2/13/07)
American Spectator’s “Washington Prowler”:  “[Romney] appears willing to sell out his core convictions to win.”

(“Romney’s Abortion Positions,” American Spectator’sAmSpec Blog, 2/19/07)’s Bruce Wilson:  “Romney arrived at his pro-life decision in such a backwards manner that it’s difficult to take his explanation seriously.”

(Bruce Wilson, “Mitt Romney’s Flip-Flop: Like Father, Like Son?”,2/13/07)

Political Consultant Paul Begala: “[H]e’s not ready for prime time. … [O]nce again, Mitt stepped in it.”

(MSNBC’s“Imus In The Morning,” 3/21/07)

Amb. Richard Blankenship, Former Romney Supporter: “The changes in [Romney’s] core beliefs gave rise to some concerns. You have to have an anchor in life.”

(Adam Smith, “GOP Fundraiser Jumps From Romney To Giuliani,” St.Petersburg [FL] Times, 3/22/07)

Salt Lake City Mayor and Bush Impeachment Advocate Rocky Anderson (D): “I would fully expect Mitt Romney to distance himself from me, especially now that he’s changing his position on so many issues.”

(ThomasBurr, “Candidate Mitt: Rocky Who?” Salt Lake Tribune, 3/23/07)

National Review  Online’s Yuval Levin:

“Flip flops on abortion are a fairly common feature of political resumes in the past few decades. But Romney’s flip flops are both more recent and apparently more frequent than most.”

(Yuval Levin, “Will The Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up?” National Review’s The Corner, 2/19/07)

The New Republic’s Michelle Cottle: “In modern U.S. politics, it takes work to distinguish one self as an exceptional opportunist. Romney has met that challenge.”

(Michelle Cottle, “The Press Makes Too Much Of McCain’s Temperament,”  The New Republic Website, 5/25/07)

Human Events’ Matt Naugle: “[K]eeping track of Romney’s blunders is an overwhelming task.”

(Matt Naugle,“Romney Bungles Castro Quote In Miami,” Human Events Website, 3/19/07)

Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes: “[I] don’t think [Christian conservatives are] going to be a problem. He has other problems – being from Massachusetts and flip-flopping on issues, those are problems for him.”

(Fox News’“Special Report,” 2/8/07)

The Hill’s Dick Morris:  “Should the right seek a real alternative to Giuliani, Romney’s flip-flops will likely disqualify him.”

(Dick Morris, Op-Ed, “Hillary And Rudy Could Wrap It Up This Year,” The Hill, 2/7/07)

Boston Herald’s Shelly Cohen:

“[Romney] has a spotty record as a fiscal conservative. He has an even spottier record of flip-flopping on social issues.”

(Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” 2/13/07)

Boston Globe’s Joan Vennochi:

“How much trust can Republican primary voters reasonably invest in apolitician who changed so many positions?  How good is Romney’s word today?”

(Joan Vennochi, Op-Ed, “Mitt Romney’s Skeletons In The Closet,”   The Boston Globe, 5/27/07)

Roll Call’s Mort Kondracke:

“[F]lip-flopping is a big issue. [Romney], at one point, refused to sign the no-taxpledge, the Grover Norquist no-tax pledge, now he’s signed it. You know, there’s just all kinds of changes fromMassachusetts to running for national office as a conservative.”

(Fox News’ “Special Report,” 2/8/07)

Des Moines Register’s David Yepsen:

“He’s got to shake the implication he’s flip-flopped to make himself more appealing to the religious conservatives.”

(David Yepsen, “Romney Faces Meaty Questions On Social Issues,” Des Moines Register, 2/13/07)

National Review’s Rich Lowry: “For all the trouble the flip-flops have given him, let’s face it, we wouldn’t even be talking about him if he were a one-term pro-choice former governor of Massachusetts.”

(Rich Lowry, “Romney And The State Of The Race,” National Review’s The Corner, 2/15/07)

Lowry:  “[R]omney doesn’t yet have what a top-tier candidates needs, which is a compelling narrative for his candidacy (I didn’t hear it in his announcement speech yesterday). Instead, his critics are writing that narrative for him as an opportunist and every time Romney continues to do what he did to get here – move right on everything – it only plays into the negative narrative.”

(Rich Lowry, “Romney And The State Of The Race,” National Review’s The Corner, 2/15/07)

Washington Post:

“This posturing [on hunting] became a particular problem for Mr. Romney in large part because it reinforced the existing narrative of the governor as a politician willing to change his ideological stripes to fit the political environment of the moment.”

(Editorial, “Killer Rabbits,” The Washington Post, 4/10/07)

Politico’s Elizabeth Wilner: “[Romney] might just be smooth enough to survive this clumsy mess of inconvenient residency and conveniently timed changes of heart.”

(Elizabeth Wilner, “Romney Ducks And Dodges Over Mass.,” The Politico,5/29/07)

Wilner:  “Abortion. Stem cell research. Immigration. The drip-drip of Romney’s timely conversions toconservative positions goes on.”

(Elizabeth Wilner, “Romney Ducks And Dodges Over Mass.,” The Politico, 5/29/07)

Syndicated Columnist Deroy Murdock:

“With his angular jaw and slicked-back, dark hair, Romney is the GOP’s George Clooney. Who needs the White House? Romney should become a movie star. He already is a skilled actor.”

(Deroy Murdock, “Mitt May Only Act Part Of Reagan,” Boston Herald, 2/16/07)

Murdock:  “Romney is either a rock-ribbed conservative who played a Rockefeller Republican to get elected in Massachusetts, or a limousine liberal portraying a conservative to win the 2008 GOP nomination. This fine thespian has so lost himself in both these roles that no one really knows where the performer ends and the characters begin.”

(Deroy Murdock, “Mitt May Only Act Part Of Reagan,” Boston Herald, 2/16/07)

Murdock:  “Romney should warm up to Reagan. After all, Reagan made it big by moving from acting into politics. Romney’s best bet may be to make that same journey – in reverse.”

(Deroy Murdock, “Mitt May Only Act Part Of Reagan,” Boston Herald, 2/16/07)

New York  Daily News:  “Tough to beat GOP presidential aspirant Mitt Romney on sheer opportunism. After flipping his positions on abortion (he had a conversion after looking into stem-cell research), gun control (he’s been a life-long National Rifle Association member since August) and gay marriage (he liked gay Republicans fine when he was running for Massachusetts governor), now he’s flipped on immigration.”

(Editorial, “The Many Faces Of Mitt,” [New York] Daily News, 5/22/07)

Newsweek’s Evan Thomas and Jonathan Darman:

“…Romney’s turnaround on the burning social issues of gay rights, stem-cell research and abortion has raised questions about the candidate’s sincerity – a dangerous doubt at a time when voters seem to crave authenticity.”

(Jonathan Darman and Evan Thomas, “Mitt Romney: Too Good To Be True?” Newsweek, 2/26/07)

Washington Post’s Richard Cohen:

“I have been following the zigs and zags of Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and now Republican presidential candidate, watching him grow progressively less progressive, sort of making himself up as he goes along.”

(Richard Cohen, Op-Ed, “The Talented Mr. Romney,” The Washington Post, 2/20/07)

Cohen:  “[A] total flip from always legal to always illegal (the clear message he’s sending abortion foes) can have only one explanation: Potomac fever.”

(Richard Cohen, Op-Ed, “The Talented Mr. Romney,” The Washington Post,2/20/07)

Cohen:  “In fact, to watch Romney … was to see a thoroughly counterfeit man. If he were a coin, a vending machine would spit him out.”

(Richard Cohen, Op-Ed, “The Talented Mr. Romney,” The Washington Post, 2/20/07)

National Review’s John Podhoretz:  “Romney comes out of nowhere to rise into the first tier of candidates, raises $6 million in a night, gives a bad speech in his maiden appearance in the right-wing big leagues, chickens out on spelling out a firm position on Iraq,  gets tagged as a flip-flopper, loses steam, goes up on the air with an ad to shore up his declining support, and starts frontally attacking other candidates to bring up their negatives.”

(John Podhoretz, “Mitt Snit,” National Review’s The Corner, 2/21/07)

Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus:

“[I]t was also hard to see how a man with deeply held convictions on abortion rights – either for or against – could take a position so calibrated and inconclusive.”

(Ruth Marcus, “Mitt Romney’s Extreme Makeover, The Washington Post, 2/21/07)

Marcus:  “Listening to Romney that day was like watching a chameleon in the fleeting moment that its color changes to suit its environment.”

(Ruth Marcus, “Mitt Romney’s Extreme Makeover, The Washington Post, 2/21/07)

Newsweek:  “[Romney] seems to lack  good fingertips for the subtleties of politics.”

(Evan Thomas et al, “Is Mitt Romney Ready For Prime-Time Politics?” Newsweek, 4/16/07)

Associated Press’s Liz Sidoti:  “Republican Mitt Romney titled his book on how he saved the scandal-ridden 2002 Olympics ‘Turnaround.’ Now, as he runs for president, he’s trying to fight the perception that he’s committed a few too many turnarounds.”

(Liz Sidoti, “Romney Tries To Overcome Inconsistencies,” The Associated Press, 2/27/07)

Sidoti:  “The former Massachusetts governor’s equivocations on major issues – and outright position changes on others – threaten to derail his nascent 2008 campaign.”

(Liz Sidoti, “Romney Tries To Overcome Inconsistencies,” The Associated Press, 2/27/07)

Sidoti:  “As previous White House hopefuls have learned, once a candidate is perceived to have a pattern ofinconsistency, labels like flip-flopper and waffler are extremely difficult to shake.”

(Liz Sidoti, “Romney Tries To Overcome Inconsistencies,” The Associated Press, 2/27/07)

Slate’s Daniel Gross:

“For Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the transition from moderate, gay-friendly, abortion-tolerating Massachusetts governor to a certified social conservative isn’t going smoothly. You Tube and Google have exposed Romney’s shifting policy positions and relatively recent history of liberal behavior.”

(Daniel Gross, Op-Ed, “The CEO Candidate,”, 2/27/07)

Gross:  “Romney’s flip-flops have been aggravated by his clumsy responses.”

(Daniel Gross, Op-Ed, “The CEOCandidate,”, 2/27/07)

Gross:  “Disavowing his remarks in the 1994 Kennedy debate, [Romney] said: ‘Of course, I was wrong on some issues back then. I think most of us learn with experience.’  Yes, as an unformed man of 47, this CEO, father, and multimillionaire was in the thrall of foolish, immature ideas.”

(Daniel Gross, Op-Ed, “The CEO Candidate,”, 2/27/07)

Gross:  “It’s not surprising that Romney has fled from his public record and is running to the right. What’s surprising is that the man who has usually been so competent is proving to be rather poor at execution, and timing.”

(Daniel Gross, Op-Ed, “The CEO Candidate,”, 2/27/07)

New York Sun’s Ryan Sager:

“Mr. Romney, however, somehow got pegged by the national press as ‘the smooth one.’ They dubbed him Matinee Mitt. Clearly, it’s the hair that fooled them. In fact, a study of thecampaign so far shows that Mr. Romney is the most gaffe-prone of all the Republican candidates.”

(Ryan Sager,“Romney’s Energy Gaffe,” The New York Sun, 4/20/07)

The Hill’s A.B. Stoddard: “Romney thinks he has found a winner in campaign finance reform. … Unfortunately, one can readily access enough contradictory statements from Romney’s pre-conversion period of his career to find that campaign finance reform is indeed another one of Mitt’s Murky Issues.”

(A.B. Stoddard, “No Momentum For Mitt,” The Hill’s PunditsBlog, 4/26/07)

 Democrat Consultant Bruce Reed: “Mitt Romney is the Jay Gatsby of American politics – a fiction within a fiction who was born in the Midwest, made his fortune in the East, and never stops reinventing himself to impress those he meets along the way.”

(Bruce Reed, “Announcing The Mitt Romney Look-Alike Contest,” Slate’s “The Has Been” Blog,, 5/29/07)

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One Comment on “McCain’s Opposition Research – Part 39”

  1. […] This line was about 2/3 of the way down of Post 39 […]

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