Eric Rehrnstrom, Romney campaign advisor was asked whether Romney’s prolonged fight with Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum would force him to “tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election.” In a moment of unusual candor Rehrnstrom shared his feeling that voter’s are “almost like an Etch-A-Sketch,” and that they could just shake things up and start from a clean slate.
Everyone has suspected all along that Romney was trying to say the right things to appease the base and pander to whatever crowd he happened to be speaking to.
- Michigan: “I love this state. I seems right here. The trees are the right height…”
- Mississippi: “Morning, y’all… I got started this morning right with a biscuit and some cheesy grits.”
But it is surprising to see the campaign come out and brazenly share their plans to pivot into more moderate policies once they nail down the Republican nomination.
Just two days ago, we wrote about Mitt Romney’s evolution on healthcare. He now claims to be against “Obamacare”, but health reform was the signature achievement of the Romney administration in Massachusetts, and we presented three video clips where Romney advocated that Obama adopt a national insurance mandate similar to one he enacted in Massachusetts. Such a mandate is of course anathema in the Republican party and Romney is paying lip-service to the tea party by disavowing it.
Will this derail the Romney Express? It seems that when you think the coast is clear, Romney and his campaign make a gaffe which reverses the tide. Here are some examples from The Silver Foot In His Mouth: How Romney’s Gaffes Keep The Primary Going by Evan McMorris Santoro:
- After Iowa: “I enjoy being able to fire people.”
- After Florida: “I’m not concerned about the very poor.”
- After Michigan: “[I do not follow NASCAR] as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.”
This latest gaffe made political hay for Democrats and Republicans alike. One satirist created a website EtchASketchMittRomney.com with a picture of an Etch-A-Sketch giving examples of Romney’s flip-flops.
Press release by the makers of Etch-A-Sketch follows the jump.
Nicole Gresh, spokeswoman for Ohio Arts, manufacturer of Etch-A-Sketch:
Happy to see Etch A Sketch, an American classic toy, is DRAWING attention with political candidates as a cultural icon and important piece of our society. A profound toy, highly recognized and loved by all, is now SHAKING up the national debate. Nothing is as quintessentially American as Etch A Sketch and a good old fashion political debate.
We are pleased with the added attention being drawn to Etch A Sketch which is truly one of the most recognizable, iconic and fun toys ever developed. As one of the most classic toys of all time, Etch A Sketch has always sold particularly well with today’s consumer. It is too early to tell, but we are hopeful to see if there is an uptake in sales given this recent exposure.
The Ohio Art Company has been in the toy business for more than 100 years and Etch A Sketch for over five decades. Our company values bringing smiles to kids faces and providing hours of fun playtime for young kids.