11 Differences Between Primary and General Election Mitt Romney

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INTERACTIONS
Changes in Mitt Romney Platform
Credit: LA Times

On a Tuesday night in late April, GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, took the stage at Southern New Hampshire University. With his smiling wife, Ann, standing close beside him, the former Massachusetts governor stood behind a podium that read: A better America Begins Tonight. His victory in the 2012 primaries was official.

“Tonight is the beginning of the end of the disappointments of the Obama years,” Romney told the boisterous New England crowd. “I have a very different vision for America, and of our future.”

There is no doubt that the America Romney champions differs from the current Obama administration. However, these divergent values are not what seems to be perplexing American voters as Election Day approaches. More and more the question is, what exactly is Romney’s vision? For months Romney has been portrayed in the media as chameleon-like, constantly flip-flopping on core policies and values. Most are quick to point out Romney’s drastic value changes over the past decade. Over and over we are given the story of an open-minded, socially liberal governor, turned hardline arch-conservative 2012 GOP frontrunner.

Ultimately anyone is capable of changing their values over the course of a decade. What is more telling, however, is how Romney’s policies have evolved in the last six months on the campaign trail. Below are eleven explicit differences between primary and general election Mitt Romney.

1) Who to Tax

Then: Maximize financial returns for investors.
Now: Lower financial burden on middle-class and poor.

2) Foreign Policy

Then: Obama’s policy is weak and apologetic. Romney will lead the charge of an unapologetic and headstrong American diplomacy.
Now: Supports Obama’s current strategy.

3) Afghanistan Withdrawal Dates

Then: Obama should never have publicly stated a withdrawal.
Now: We will be out by 2014.

4) War in Iraq

Then: Romney supported the invasion.
Now: War tactics in Iraq were wrong and could have been avoided.

5) Taking Action on Iranian Nuclear Arms

Then: We will stand blindly by Israeli allies, bolster our military presence, and stop all nuclear development by threat of force.
Now: Peace is the objective, and Romney will encourage diplomatic negotiations with Iranian officials.

6) Bailouts

Then: Let Detroit go bankrupt. Government should allow creative self-destruction in a free marketplace.
Now: Job creation plans, pro-bailouts, save the American auto industry at all costs.

7) Immigration

Then: Encourage illegal immigrants in the US to ‘self-deport’.
Now: Grant green cards to illegal immigrants who enlist in military, and earn advanced degrees.

8) Job Creation

Then: Not a real priority. Focus is on benefiting the investor.
Now: Twelve million new jobs, especially in labor and manufacturing to help bolster the American worker.

9) Government Regulation

Then: America is the greatest nation in the history of our earth, because it is driven by free people, who create free enterprises that employ more and more Americans.
Now: His five point plan is a government-driven initiative that will interfere with the free market to creating enterprises that will jump start the economy.

10) Gun Control

Then: We should never regulate it by law. He’s an NRA member.
Now: No comment / whatever the Constitution says.

11) Abortion

Then: He’s always been pro-life, and as president Romney will work to repeal Roe v. Wade.
Now: Abortion is acceptable in cases of rape, incest, and health of the mother.

View the top ten ways Obama’s 2012 campaign message has changed from 2008.
The Independent Voter Network is dedicated to providing political analysis, unfiltered news, and rational commentary in an effort to elevate the level of our public discourse.


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  3. William Boardman And right you are -- as Heraclitus observed, m everything is flux.
  4. William Boardman That works -- I guess survival of the fittest means poor us.
  5. Kate Morris Also 'the poor' was a bit of a snarky use of the word, considering the flack that he's gotten over the infamous 47% remarks. I could have clarified that better as well. Thanks for your careful read!
  6. Kate Morris I have a lot of issues with the word "change," you know? What does that even mean? Very nebulous promising.
  7. Kate Morris Not BS, just calling it like it is. This isn't an Obama/Romney piece. It's just a Romney focus. It's still true if both candidates are guilty of it, no?
  8. Kate Morris Right on, Zachery. Here's to the dialogue!
  9. Kate Morris Thanks for your careful read here. My intention is not to tout Obama, but to actually provide more clarity on the flack Romney has experienced in the media as a flip-flopper. Ultimately I don't actually view him as any more inconsistent than anyone else currently operating within the political game. There is a reason 2008 Democratic voters are disillusioned as well. What I am is a big proponent of free, unmitigated information. My sources for the cheap shots include Rolling Stone, Slate and Salon magazine and a clip or two from the Daily Show (which is not a news source, but the documentation they use is accurately fact-checked and sourced). If you go to Romney's official campaign website you will see that #1. #8 is from his book No Apology, and from a Salon article that was released following his primary victory. #6 I did, I just believe you and I hold varying interpretations of what was said explicitly/implicitly in the piece. I appreciate your engagement here. I think differing perspectives is what makes the IVN such an engaging and essential platform to have. Consider it a level-headed place where our differing perspectives teach us more about this massive, beautiful nation we call America. I've learned a great deal from you. I hope you can say the same about me, and feel free to press me for more unanswered questions and I'm glad to elaborate.
  10. Kate Morris Hey William, ahh a debate over diction. One of my favorite ideals. I appropriate 'evolution' in its scientific definition: not an example of progress, but instead being best suited for a current environment. Does that clarify my intentions there? I'm 100% with you on the Romney message, however. Self-improvement. US-centric and congratulatory.
51 comments
target shooting clothing
target shooting clothing

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easiest factor to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed even as other folks consider worries that they just do

not recognize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and outlined out the entire thing with no need side effect

, folks could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.

Thanks

Rosaria
Rosaria

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loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster

then most. Can you recommend a good internet hosting provider

at a fair price? Thanks, I appreciate it!

Patrick McCarthy
Patrick McCarthy

This could be called "11 examples of Romney being full of Crap". The more I hear about Romney, the more I am appalled by the thought of him being President. (To be fair: Obama isn't much better.)

Joyce Cook
Joyce Cook

I'm an Independent from MI, I've already voted! Romney & Ryan....all the way!!

Barbara Chapman
Barbara Chapman

I'm from MA and an Independent voter. Romney was a good Gov. When he left us he left us with a surplus and we had low unemployment. We no longer have that surplus since our new Gov. Patrick (D) took office. We are now billions of dollars in the red plus the fact that Patrick up our sales tax from 5 to 6 percent. So if I had my choice Romney will be the man I would vote for.

Ben Logan
Ben Logan

Todd -- I am a proud independent. Thanks for your concern! What does a comment about Obama have to do about an article that was written about Mitt Romney, though?

Joyce Klimek
Joyce Klimek

Its not that hard to figure out who tells the most lies and the most serious lies. Try fact checks.

Todd Skelton
Todd Skelton

Hey Ben. This was posted by IVN, so walk away if you are not independent..,

Todd Skelton
Todd Skelton

Of course, then there is Obama who promised change, yet is completely incapable of change.

Scott Finley
Scott Finley

#8 is total B.S. they both will say anything to get elected! May not even vote for the 1st time in my life! SAME CIRCUS.. DIFFERENT CLOWNS.

Ben Logan
Ben Logan

Jerry -- This article was about Mitt Romney, not Barack Obama. Please stay on topic. Thanks.

Jerry Michael Mcneely
Jerry Michael Mcneely

Every word out of obamas mouth is a lie.we know it because of everything he promised last election which he has not done. and he has not fulfiled any of his promises. we dont need another 4 years of the same lies.....

Brenda Garner
Brenda Garner

Considering the alternative, I don't care... Romney Ryan all the way!

Bill Crotty
Bill Crotty

Was the page taken down on purpose? Link goes to ivn.com, but no story.

Roberta
Roberta

Many of these comparisons are like apples to oranges. For example, you can maximize financial returns for investors and lower financial burden on middle-class and poor. Where does it say you can't do both? And, his view that Obama’s policy is weak and apologetic and he will lead the charge of an unapologetic and headstrong American diplomacy does not mean he cannot support some of the strategies that Obama used. As evidenced by his time as Governor of Massachusetts, he accepts compromise is what his idea is when the two opposing sides come together and reach an agreement that satisfies both sides. The tax deductions he wants eliminated, he wants to come from talks between both parties until they compromise. He wants our government system to work the way it was suppose to work, not like the way it did when the dems had both houses and "you can read it when you pass it" attitude and the senate not having a budget for how long now? This article is so slanted it is pathetic.

Marion MG
Marion MG

I can't believe he is the best the GOP can offer. Atleast he doesn't cheat on his wife though

Robin Goodwin Collmorgen
Robin Goodwin Collmorgen

There is a vast difference between the typical political pandering by the playbook and the obsessively back and forth (even within a day!) the Romney campaign has participated in. In fact, it is so blatant it is unbelievable, so to many people, it just is. A practiced tactic is to come out quietly and issue an "official" campaign statement AFTER an interview is given earlier in the day with an opposite view. And right now, press is off limits to Paul Ryan and after the Richard Mourdock "even pregnancy from rape is intended by God" conviction, Romney will not talk to the press because he stated he still backs him up as a candidate! BTW folks, this "Frankenstorm" traveling up the East to hit our country, is God's plan to punish us for ______________ (fill in the blank with your pick). *sigh*

Kathy Jones
Kathy Jones

I find when politicians especially around election time speak they lie period, rather it's a D or a R behind their name you can bet its about even on the lie meter.

Brian Sparks
Brian Sparks

All candidates from both parties do this. They must appear to be the more radical to win a primary. They then turn more moderate to win the general election. Obama did this 4 years ago. I am beginning to think that nobody really sees the big picture. This article is just a partisan attack piece. No integrity in journalism anymore!

Pat Kennedy
Pat Kennedy

Newt said it all, etch-a sketch is Romney's playbook, tell them what they want to hear. Lincoln said in part, "you can fool some of the people all of the time."

Judy Ferro
Judy Ferro

Barbara, that seems to be the R philosophy---if a person can get away with it, we'll do it, lest they do it to us first. There is a big difference between an interpretation of data and an outright lie about the data. The first is democracy; the second is anti-democracy.

Barbara Buckley Short
Barbara Buckley Short

When you comment that someone lies what are you talking about. If you can't state a lie, shut up.

Jeffrey Clay Baer
Jeffrey Clay Baer

This piece of journalism is just as skewed as mainstream media. In many cases positions evolve and the best move now is different than 6 mos ago. In most cases these positions are not mutually exclusive. For example, you may have the opinion that no pullout date should have been publicly stated on Afghanistan...and at the same time agree with the stated date. By the way, Johnson probably has my vote but I don't think this slam-piece on Romney is accurate.

Barbara Buckley Short
Barbara Buckley Short

@var enyo And Obummer speaks the truth all the time. Right! Old Indian adage, Man speaks with forked tongue!!!! Big time.

Var Enyo
Var Enyo

@David He's a bull$hitter? He just flat out lied in Ohio about Jeep.

David Haney
David Haney

Whats funny is people dont wanna believe it. Mitts their savior. God help us all if he's elected......

William Boardman
William Boardman

The pattern that emerges here is shoot first, think later.

Like his outrageous outburst DURING the attack on Benghazi

(in which his asserted "facts" were plainly wrong).

Is this list in any way indicative of a presidential temperament?

Presidents don't get do-overs.

This is a list of do-overs.

William Boardman
William Boardman

Nice list (except maybe #1 -- the poor? really?)

To call Romney shifts "evolution" is a misuse of the word --

"evolution" suggests some sort of rational progression.

What Mitt Romney believes, if anything,

is as much a mystery now as when he was posing with

money running out of his pockets at Bain -- no, wrong,

then it was clear that he stood for ONE thing, self-enrichment.

And maybe that hasn't changed,

and all the campaign positions meaningless.

Lucas Eaves
Lucas Eaves

It is good to be able to compare the 2. At least Obama changed over 4 years, not a few months.

Matt Metzner
Matt Metzner

Challenger candidates are expected to play to the base in the general and run as fast as they can to the middle during the general. Luckily for them we tend to have short memories.

William Boardman
William Boardman

Quite so, but when a forced choice isn't a great choice,

it's still a forced choice.

Current New Yorker has an excellent, low-key, comprehensive editorial

about this election

that everyone at this site could benefit from reading

(unless you have already, bless you ;-)))

Kate Morris
Kate Morris

I have a lot of issues with the word "change," you know? What does that even mean? Very nebulous promising.

Kate Morris
Kate Morris

Not BS, just calling it like it is. This isn't an Obama/Romney piece. It's just a Romney focus. It's still true if both candidates are guilty of it, no?

Roberta
Roberta

Murdocks comment was about conception and that being Gods will and that a child should not be terminated because of the way it was conceived. Everyone is twisting it making it look like he thinks being raped is part of Gods will. I have not followed him or his campaign BUT, I did see the video of his statement. It is not whether I believe in abortion or not, I am just standing up for the way people twist the facts to villainize someone unfairly.

Denise
Denise

It wasn't Newt who said that. Get your talking points straight.

Denise
Denise

Obama's Indian name is Sitting Eagle because he's so full of Sh*t, he can' fly.

Also this article would be more believeable if the writer cited her sources for the cheap shots, but I doubt she will.

One thing that I can talk about is abortion. All of these "reasons" to justify abotiong are just that. First if a woman is raped, the rape kit at the hospital should include the morning after pill, that solves the rape problem; second, health of the mother has always been legal even before abortion was legallized. How do I know, because I personally faced that choice in 1971; it was not illegal for the doctor to abort a child, IF the mothers health was at risk; Finally, incest, IF a person is involved in incestrial relationship chances are, the child will be born without anyone knowing the crime has been committed. IF it is found out, than a choice can be made, but what are the percentages of people who actually would fall within this catalogy?

Gun control argument above isn't one. The governor hasn't changed his stance.

#9 is completely bogus both are the same thing except you add the word Interfere in the free market. I think interfere is what President Obama has done to the free market.

#8 Cite your source where Gv Romney said that the ecomony was " Not a real priority. Focus is on benefiting the investor" CITE THE SOURCE or stop spreading lies.

#6 Bailout of Detriot, read ALL of the op-ed

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html?_r=0

#5 Immigration, everyone of us has a different view on what should happen on our borders, he has his and I think he was right, if the borders are secure and money for American workers and our poor is not given to illegals, they will self deport. That doesn't mean they can not become citizens, they just need to do it like everyone else who has come here legally. You see I believe and s does Gov Romney IN LEGAL IMMIGRATION.

#5 I think he holds both posiions that same as the president

#4 NO one has even been discussing the war in Iraq, which George Bush drew down, not Obama.

#3 As far as the Afghantan war, all Romney said was that he wouldn't have PUBLICLY STATED the 2014 redrawal date.

#2 So what. He supports Obama's current positions

#1 HE DOESN"T WANT TO TAX ANYONE because we have a 2%GDP which isn't even keeping up with population growth of this country. Come n, Obama had this position went he decided not keep the Bush tax cuts last year because the GDP was %3, it's smaller now, why would you rise taxes.

STOP THE CLASS WARWARE.

Kate Morris
Kate Morris

Hey, David. Where are your questions here? Happy to elaborate!

Kate Morris
Kate Morris

Hey William, ahh a debate over diction. One of my favorite ideals. I appropriate 'evolution' in its scientific definition: not an example of progress, but instead being best suited for a current environment. Does that clarify my intentions there? I'm 100% with you on the Romney message, however. Self-improvement. US-centric and congratulatory.

William Boardman
William Boardman

Being independent (or even "an independent")

can, and usually does, mean whatever the user thinks it means,

but it doesn't have to mean "free from larger context."

William Boardman
William Boardman

And right you are --

as Heraclitus observed, m

everything is flux.

Kate Morris
Kate Morris

Thanks for your careful read here. My intention is not to tout Obama, but to actually provide more clarity on the flack Romney has experienced in the media as a flip-flopper. Ultimately I don't actually view him as any more inconsistent than anyone else currently operating within the political game. There is a reason 2008 Democratic voters are disillusioned as well. What I am is a big proponent of free, unmitigated information. My sources for the cheap shots include Rolling Stone, Slate and Salon magazine and a clip or two from the Daily Show (which is not a news source, but the documentation they use is accurately fact-checked and sourced). If you go to Romney's official campaign website you will see that #1. #8 is from his book No Apology, and from a Salon article that was released following his primary victory. #6 I did, I just believe you and I hold varying interpretations of what was said explicitly/implicitly in the piece. I appreciate your engagement here. I think differing perspectives is what makes the IVN such an engaging and essential platform to have. Consider it a level-headed place where our differing perspectives teach us more about this massive, beautiful nation we call America. I've learned a great deal from you. I hope you can say the same about me, and feel free to press me for more unanswered questions and I'm glad to elaborate.

William Boardman
William Boardman

That works -- I guess survival of the fittest means poor us.

Kate Morris
Kate Morris

Also 'the poor' was a bit of a snarky use of the word, considering the flack that he's gotten over the infamous 47% remarks. I could have clarified that better as well. Thanks for your careful read!