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11 Differences Between Primary and General Election Mitt Romney

by Kate Morris, published
Credit: LA Times

Changes in Mitt Romney Platform

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.

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