If Mitt Romney, who many Americans see as the Republican front-runner in the primaries, ends up facing President Barack Obama in the general election, the latter’s campaign will have a field day with the former’s political track record. Every major politician flip-flops to an extent, but Romney really takes the cake in that department.
Let’s start with the obvious: the Massachusetts health care law he signed in 2006. Although the plan did not raise taxes, it increased subsidies for all state residents who earned up to 150 percent over the federal poverty line. Furthermore, his plan set up a form of health exchange where individuals and businesses could shop around for plans. Finally, it established an individual and employer mandate to buy insurance, ensuring that most Massachusetts residents were required to have insurance. Any of this sound familiar? Well, the plan has many of the same basics that President Obama’s recent health care law has, something that Romney now so ardently and gleefully denounces.
Is that explanation insufficient? Once a supporter of a woman’s right to choose, Romney is now a staunch pro-life advocate. He also once expressed his empathy for Log Cabin Republicans and even argued that gays should serve openly in the military. Not anymore. In the past, he supported background checks for gun purchases and bans on certain assault weapons. So much for being a pro-gun candidate.
The old Romney looks more like President Obama and the Democrats than a conservative Republican. In fact, the 1990s Romney, even a Republican back then, said that he had no intention of following in the ideological footsteps of former President Ronald Reagan. Today’s Romney champions himself as a new Reaganite. You know, Mitt, changing political views is entirely reasonable. Changing them to fit the political climate of the day is not. Calling you a flip-flopper may actually make sense.
Guarav Dhiman is the President of UM’s Young and College Democrats.