The Campaign Spot

Adviser for President Expiration Date Demands Consistency

In today’s Morning Jolt, dramatic news about the Ground Zero mosque, a spotlight on a particular article in the latest issue of NR, and an excuse to link to the opening credits of an often-beloved 1980s television show . . . and then, of course . . .

Ax, You’re on the Wrong Candidate’s Team to Make the Flip-Flopper Charge

The chief adviser for President Expiration Date says that there’s a question as to what Mitt Romney’s core principles are.

“I think there’s this question about what his core principles are,” Axelrod said, citing changes in Romney’s positions from earlier in his political career when he was running for U.S. Senate and Massachusetts governor. “Then he was a pro choice, pro gay rights, pro environmental candidate for office. Then he decided to run for president. Did a 180 on all of that.”

“So time and time and time again he shifts – and you get the feeling that there is no principle too large for him to throw over in pursuit of political office,” Axelrod added.

Axelrod has recently turned a laser-like focus to Romney, holding a conference call last Wednesday to critique Romney’s record and his remarks at last Tuesday’s GOP debate.

“If I were Governor Romney I’d be worried about all these changes in position and  . . . what kind of message that sends to voters,” Axelrod told “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour.

Really? Governor Romney has to worry about being attacked for inconsistency by a president who attacked Hillary Clinton for supporting the individual mandate, who promised all of the health care negotiations would be on C-SPAN, that anyone making less than $250,000 wouldn’t see their taxes raised a dime, who now is a fan of recess appointments, who pledged to close Guantanamo Bay within one year, who pledged to renegotiate NAFTA, who pledged a net spending cut, who would press the Chinese on humany rights, who wouldn’t allow lobbyists to work in his White House, who pledged to avoid bringing “the same Washington players” into his administration, posting every law on the White House web site for five days before signing it, who pledged to end the income tax for seniors making less than $50,000, who pledged to end no-bid contracts above $25,000, who pledged to double federal funding for cancer research, who pledged to double the size of the Peace Corps, double funding for afterschool programs, to increase the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour, to support a human mission to the moon by 2020, to establish term-limit for the Director of National Intelligence, to enact a windfall profits tax, to create a cap-and-trade system, to recognize the Armenian Genocide, and to introduce a comprehensive immigration reform plan in his first year. (One long list of expiration dates here, PolitiFact’s list of Obama’s broken promises can be found here.) 

To be fair, we know what the core principles of Barack Obama are: blaming corporate jet owners and ATMS for job losses, shrugging his shoulders at scandals like Solyndra and Fast and Furious, fundraisers, telling the American people they’ve gone soft, and golf.

Still, at Legal Insurrection, William Jacobson feels like Obama’s right-hand-man’s arguments sound . . . familiar. “AxelPlouffe is going after Romney as a flip flopper.  Hey, that’s our gig! Axelrod says voters are unsure about Romney’s “core principles“.  No problem there for Obama, we know exactly what his core principles are.”

As Jeff Poor reports, the Obama team feels quite eager to get the general election started already: “Earlier in the program, chief Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod made it clear that the president’s reelection strategy was focused on attacking former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with little regard for the other GOP contenders, including Cain and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Will said that President Obama’s campaign strategy will be to go after the Republican candidate because his administration’s “record isn’t particularly appetizing.”

“They’ve clearly decided that Romney is the problem,” [George] Will continued. “And they have a problem with Romney because they’re not going to run on their record because the record isn’t particularly appetizing. Therefore they’re going to run on the fitness of the Republican candidate. And I think precisely because how do we say this, Romney showed a certain versatility of conviction over the years, it’s hard to nail him down.”

“Versatility of conviction.” Nobody does it like Will.