While conservative Republicans have begun to truly rally behind Mitt Romney as the Party’s official presidential nominee, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert (R) spoke bluntly about conservatives’ true opinion of the candidate on Tuesday when he implied Republicans are coming to his defense out of sheer desperation.
It may be far from the first time Romney has faced such criticism in a campaign where he has come out on top solely based on his perceived ability to best President Barack Obama in November, but Gohmert’s comments at Tuesday’s “Conversations with Conservatives” event on Capitol Hill’s betrayed the fact that even conservatives can’t deny a significant -- and for the Romney camp, annoying -- part of the candidate’s narrative: he’s a flip-flopper.
In a response to a question about whether Republicans are “excited” about Romney’s presumed nomination, Gohmert, who has not officially endorsed a presidential hopeful, basically conceded the point.
“If you’re not sure about whether to support Mitt Romney, whether you’re liberal of whether you’re conservative, you ought to be excited, because he’s been on your side at one time or another,” he said.
Romney's Position Revisions
Although the congressman was reportedly joking, he managed to highlight one of the main issues hindering Romney among conservatives and liberals alike. The one-time moderate Republican has famously changed his political stances on high-profile issues such as healthcare and abortion when it has been advantageous. Even recently, Romney was dubbed the “Etch A Sketch” candidate after his campaign aide said the candidate would be able to start fresh “like an Etch A Sketch” during the general election fight against Obama.
Gohmert took his criticism one step further when he attempted to correct the assumption that he may actually be a Romney supporter. “So I’m not completely misunderstood, I’m not as excited as I am desperate,” Gohmert said.
Conservative Texas Reps. John Carter, Pete Sessions and Mac Thornberry all endorsed Romney earlier this month following the backing of former President George H.W. Bush.
Romney has recently been bolstered by the endorsements of Republican heavyweights such as House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, all of whom held off on publicly supporting the candidate until his nomination essentially became inevitable.
However, that sense of inevitability may actually be helping Romney's image. A CNN/ORC poll released on Tuesday showed that Romney's popularity is beginning to rebound now that the divisiveness of the Republican nominating process is all but over, with 44 percent saying they have a favorable view of the candidate, up 10 points from February.
Ashley covers U.S. politics for the International Business Times, with a focus on civil liberties, women's issues and campaign finance. Her work has also appeared in The...