February 16, 2007


Romney explains '92 vote for Tsongas (Jonathan Greenberger, 2/16/07, ABC News)

Republican presidential candididate Mitt Romney offered a new explanation today for why he supported a Democrat in 1992.

That year, Romney, then a registered independent, voted for former Sen. Paul Tsongas in the 1992 Democratic presidential primary. He told ABC's George Stephanopoulos, in an interview that will air Sunday on "This Week," that his vote was meant as a tactical maneuver aimed at finding the weakest opponent for incumbent President George H.W. Bush.

"In Massachusetts, if you register as an independent, you can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary," said Romney, who until he made an unsuccessful run for Senate in 1994 had spent his adult life as a registered independent. "When there was no real contest in the Republican primary, I'd vote in the Democrat primary, vote for the person who I thought would be the weakest opponent for the Republican."

But 12 years ago, the Boston Globe reported that Romney was giving a different explanation for his vote for Tsongas.

"Romney confirmed he voted for former U.S. Sen. Paul Tsongas in the state's 1992 Democratic presidential primary, saying he did so both because Tsongas was from Massachusetts and because he favored his ideas over those of Bill Clinton," the Boston Globe's Scot Lehigh and Frank Phillips wrote on Feb. 3, 1994. "He added he had been sure the G.O.P. would renominate George Bush, for whom he voted in the fall election."

You've hit six feet...stop digging....

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 16, 2007 10:05 PM

The question then is who's feeding the press this stuff, McVain's people, or Rudy's?

(Can't be Hillary's since she must be chomping at the bit to get Romney in the general.)

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 16, 2007 11:24 PM

The beauty of open primaries is being able to "crossover" and vote in the other side's primary. In '92 I also voted for Tsongas. In '88 I voted for Gore.

Posted by: Dave W at February 17, 2007 12:08 AM

12 years ago answer was good enough, and was much better than the weaselly one he's making up now.

Posted by: ic at February 17, 2007 2:10 AM

Romney's explanation of why he voted for Tsongas shows that he is a flip-flopper

Reasons to agree

Reasons to disagree

1. There is nothing contradictory. We have a report from two Boston Globe employees as to why Romney voted for someone 15 years ago. There is no direct quote.
2. I bet if you asked Scott Lehigh, Frank Phillips, or Mitt Romney that those weren't the only reasons why Romney voted for Tsongas (the fact that Tsongas was from Massachusetts, and that he was better than Bill Clinton). Do you vote for someone because of only two issues? You might only give two issues, when you have limited time, but no one votes for a candidate because of only two issues.
3. Why don't we take Romney at his word. He voted for Paul Tsongas because he liked him better than Clinton, and that he didn't think that he would win the general election against Bush? Are these somehow mutually exclusive.
4. The democrats and MSM is going to take everything Romney ever said 10 years ago, tell us it, and then say "however today he says..." blank. They are going to use this tactic weather it contradicted the previous statement or not. They will use this tactic every time Mitt Romney does not repeat his previous statement verbatim.

Analysis from Mike

Mitt Romney should learn from this that he should not over simplify things. People didn't like John Kerry because he made things more complicated than they had to be. People won't like Mitt Romny if his explanations are over simplistic. If someone from the media asks you why you voted for Paul Tsongas, you might want to give him a quick answer and get onto the next issue. But you should totally explain all your reasons, because if you just give one reason, the media will search to see if you ever gave one of the other reasons why you voted for the guy. If they are not the exact same explanation they will accuse you of changing you mind.

It is the same stupid thing that the Democrats and the Media have done to George Bush. Bush gave lots of Reasons why we went to war with Iraq. They were a destabilizing force in the world, they invaded two of their neighbors in the last 50 years. All right democrats. Give us one other example besides Iraq of a large country invading it's neighbor? Iraq invaded Kuwait and Iran. But the only justification you hear the media bring up is WMDs.

George W. Bush needs to keep talking about the other non-WMD reasons to go to war with Iraq. Romney also needs to give a more thorough explanation of his decision making. In fact, I think he should use my format of Reasons to agree and Disagree with everything.

Every time Romney discusses the same issue more than once he better say the exact same thing verbatim, or the Democrats and the MSM will accuse him of changing, even when the two statements are not mutually exclusive.

Posted by: mike at February 17, 2007 8:17 AM

Never has seemed to bother all those Democrats who were pro-life in the 70's and 80's but fervently pro-choice now.

Posted by: Rick T. at February 17, 2007 2:11 PM