Mitt Romney will have a hard time shaking this one off.
Less than three hours after a top Mitt Romney aide compared the Republican presidential hopeful to an Etch A Sketch, the internet responded with an ad, a website, and many more Twitter jokes about Romney's flip-flopping views on ultra-conservative stances -- a demerit to the good morning Romney was having after his success in the Illinois primary Tuesday night and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's endorsement on Wednesday.
The Democratic National Committee already had uploaded a video on YouTube by 2:30 p.m. EDT called Mitt Romney: Some Things You Can't Shake Off. (Above.) Through a montage of Romney clips in the frame of the popular drawing toy, the attack ad aims to out GOP hopeful as a flip-flopper.
Also, by midday, a website created by democratic operative Matt Ortega had popped up, the New York Times reported. http://www.etchasketchmittromney.com/ has the same idea as the DNC ad. With the click of a mouse, an Etch A Sketch will feed you two Romney quotes on the same policy (or food preference) that contradict each other.
At around 3:20 Etch A Sketch was trending worldwide on Twitter. By 4:30 p.m., someone created a fake Twitter account, @ExecutiveEtch
The onslaught of internet jokes and corny metaphors about Etch A Sketches came after a top Romney adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, responded to a question on CNN about whether or not the nastiness of the Republican primary race would alienate voters in the general election if he eventually wins the GOP nomination and goes against President Barack Obama. The interview largely focused on Romney's Illinois primary victory the previous night, but a clip with just the Etch A Sketch comment went viral with the help of liberal news site ThinkProgress.
I think he'll hit a reset button for the fall campaign. It's almost like an 'Etch a Sketch, Fehrnstrom said. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.
Romney's rivals and critiques immediately claimed that the quote was evidence that Romney constantly reinvents himself, changing his opinions to appeal to whichever voters he wants to win over.
Rick Santorum and his deputy communications director Matt Beynon tweeted a picture of Rick Santorum playing with an Etch-A-Sketch in the car.
@RickSantorum studying up on @MittRomney policy positions, Beynon wrote.
According to Politico's Juana Summers, the former Pennsylvania senator even held up the toy a campaign speech in Louisiana. Santorum says voters not looking for 'Etch-A-Sketch' candidate, they want candidate 'who writes what they believe in stone, she tweeted.
The gaffe also prompted the hashtag #RomneyToys, which came with some funny puns on popular games with an anti-Romney twist. The Huffington Post put together a gallery of many great tweets, but below are a few:
— IndyMuttMom (@IndyMuttMom) March 21, 2012
Romney has been attacked for being a flip-flopper since he began running for president six years ago. However, It's usually Romney himself who traps himself into a corner with awkward gaffes (like this, this, this and THIS) not his aides.
UPDATE: Etch-A-Sketch has released an official statement on Romney's comments:
Happy to see Etch A Sketch, an American classic toy, is DRAWING attention with political candidates as a cultural icon and important piece of our society. A profound toy, highly recognized and loved by all, is now SHAKING up the national debate. Nothing is as quintessentially American as Etch A Sketch and a good old fashion political debate.
We are pleased with the added attention being drawn to Etch A Sketch which is truly one of the most recognizable, iconic and fun toys ever developed. As one of the most classic toys of all time, Etch A Sketch has always sold particularly well with today's consumer. It is too early to tell, but we are hopeful to see if there is an uptake in sales given this recent exposure.
The Ohio Art Company has been in the toy business for more than 100 years and Etch A Sketch for over five decades. Our company values bringing smiles to kids faces and providing hours of fun playtime for young kids.