A newly discovered video made public this morning has many wondering: Has Mitt Romney always been a gaffe-machine?
In recent months, the Republican presidential hopeful has made a name for himself as the uncontested champion of regrettable utterances. I'm not concerned about the very poor, he said (twice!) during a CNN interview in early February. Corporations are people, my friend! he shouted to a man at the Iowa State Fair last year. And in an attempt to prove his devotion to the American car industry last week, he revealed that his wife Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually!
Now ABC reporters have unearthed a 10-year-old video proving that Romney's affliction is nothing new.
While running his 2002 gubernatorial campaign in Massachusetts, Romney actually boasted on film about being a Washington insider. It wasn't so bad back then, but in today's electoral atmosphere--where earmark is a bad word and every candidate is painting himself as a populist -- these rediscovered statements won't help things a bit.
Romney has criticized other opponents for scoring federal money to fund pet projects in their own states. But a decade ago, he was a big believer in getting money where the money is. The money is in Washington.
He also boasted about successfully managing the Salt Lake City Olympics. I have learned from my Olympic experience that if you have people who really understand how Washington works and have personal associations there, you can get money to help build economic development opportunities.
For a candidate trying to shed his image as a rich and powerful businessman with little in common with the average American, this video couldn't come at a worse time.
Will this latest discovery hurt Romney's chances to win the primary? We'll find out soon. The current GOP frontrunner is looking ahead to a tight race in Washington state on Saturday, followed by a potentially game-changing Super Tuesday on March 6, when 10 states will cast their votes.
Fortin is the IBTimes Africa Correspondent based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She joined IBT in February of 2012, and has previously worked as an editor and reporter for...