The Corner

Romney’s Past

Over the weekend, both Tony Perkins and Paul Weyrich criticized Gov. Romney. His 1994 remarks in support of gay rights made him look like a “hypocrite” today, said Weyrich. “He is going to have a hard time overcoming this,” said Perkins.

I don’t have a presidential candidate yet, but I wonder if social conservatives are doing themselves any favors here. Certainly Romney is going to have to offer an explanation of how his thinking has changed over the years. It may be that in some cases, it hasn’t changed all that much. He may still take some of the positions he took back then, and in other cases he may think that the same principles that led him to those positions now, in changed circumstances, lead him to different positions. Or he may simply have changed his mind.

Surely Weyrich and Perkins don’t mean to cast out anyone who has come over time to agree with them? That doesn’t seem like a recipe for the success of their causes.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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