Was Mitt Romney's Misstep Intentional?

By: Joe Johns Email
By: Joe Johns Email

10/27/2011 -- If Republicans didn't like Mitt Romney's position on the so-called union busting proposal in Ohio all they had to do is wait one day before he changed it.

On Tuesday outside Cincinnati when asked if he supports the ballot issue to restrict collective bargaining being pushed by the state's republican governor-- Romney gave the generic almost noncommittal answer even though he'd just visited a phone bank where conservative callers were selling the measure to the public.

'I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues. Those are up to the people of Ohio. But I certainly support the efforts of the governor to reign in the scale of government. I am not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives," said Romney.

But later Romney had a different answer..

"Oh, I'm sorry if I created any confusion in that regard, I fully support Gov. Kasich's-I think it's called Question 2 in Ohio, what I was referring to was I know there were other ballot questions there in Ohio and I wasn't taking a position on those, said Romney.

Among those other ballot questions one would ban government from forcing people to buy health insurance which might give pause to a health care reformer like Romney. Raising the question whether what happened was a mistake or a political tactic.

"He walked into a call center for these two ballots initiative and appeared to either not know what these ballot initiatives were about, or tried to dodge them to kind of protect his brand for general election. So it's one or the other," said political reporter Peter Hamby.

If it was a mistake, Romney is not alone among the contenders these days. Rick Perry's latest goof was stepping all over his big flat tax proposal rollout with off the cuff remarks dredging up long buried questions about the origin of President Obama's birthplace.

Then there was the sheer strangeness of Herman Cain's latest ad showing his chief of staff most of us never met before singing the candidate's praises and puffing a cigarette. Author John Avlon sees the ad as harmless, but not some of the other mistakes

"Its worth a reflection on whether that not only makes the candidates look bad, not only maybe makes the process look bad, but makes our country look bad," said Avlon.

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