Wow. Over the last two years we’ve seen Mitt Romney offer every manner of flip-flop from reproductive rights to foreign policy—but they’ve all had one thing in common: Mitt has always denied ever having held a different position and adamantly insisted on his consistency in the face of flip-flops.
That changed last night—on Fox News, of all places—when Romney was asked what he would have said if confronted with his disparaging comments about the “47 percent” in Tuesday’s debate: “I said something that’s just completely wrong,” Mitt offered.
Clearly in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of question and answer sessions, now and then you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right. In this case I said something that’s just completely wrong. And I absolutely believe however that my life has shown that I care about the 100 percent and that has been demonstarted throughout my life. This whole campaign is about the 100 percent.
Immediately after the “47 percent” video leaked Romney threw a press conference to address them, where he said that though the comments were “inelegantly stated” they were “a message which I’m going to carry and continue to carry, which is look, the president’s approach is attractive to people who are not paying taxes.”
Romney’s about-face last night on Fox may be the strongest evidence we’ve seen yet that Obama was right in saying yesterday that he debated an altogether different guy on Tuesday night. Yes, Romney told some lies about his tax plan and about Obama’s health plan—that’s almost to be expected. But being self-effacing? That really is a Romney we haven’t seen before.
Mitt clearly brought in some different advisers to do triage on his brand messaging between last month’s press conferences and Tuesday’s debate. However the latest job numbers out this morning with unemployment dipping to its lowest since Obama took office in January 2009 could prove yet another game changer. We’re only 5 days in and we’ve already got two October surprises. This could be nail-biter.