Meet the New Mitt. Same As the Old Mitt.

by Joye Barksdale  |  October 14, 2012

AFSCME VotesWho is the real Mitt Romney? The last place you’ll want to look for an answer is Romney himself, because keeping up with the message he’s selling on any given day can induce whiplash.

It’s not simply that Romney is lying; it’s that he won’t come clean about what he really thinks. Esquire writer Charles Pierce sharply captured Romney’s approach in a piece this week, offering a confession that he imagines the candidate might make: “If I tell you what I’m going to do, you will vote against me….We are in agreement that if I lay out my policies in clear and unambiguous language, you will not vote for me….For that reason and that reason alone, I am declining to tell you what I will do as your president.”

As Pres. Barack Obama said recently, it’s as if Romney’s been through an episode of “Extreme Makeover” – politicians’ edition. Or as former President Clinton put it, there’s the “moderate Mitt” who performed at the first presidential debate, and then there’s the “severe-conservative” candidate who’s been campaigning for the last two years. 

Rest assured that whatever position you take on any given issue, Mitt Romney has probably taken the same position at some point. Don’t believe it? See for yourself at And start with the chart below:

Mitt Romney on the 47 Percent

“There are 47 percent of the people who…are dependent on government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.” -May 2012, private fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla.

“It’s not elegantly stated….But it’s a message that I’m going to continue to carry which is look, the President’s message is attractive to people who are not paying taxes…” – Sept. 18, 2012

I said something that’s just completely wrong….And this whole campaign is about the 100 percent.” -October 4, Fox News interview

Mitt Romney on S.B. 5, the Ohio Anti-Collective Bargaining Law

I stand with John R. Kasich and Ohio's leaders as they take on this important fight to get control of government spending," – Facebook, June 2011

"I fully support Gov. (John) Kasich's - I think it's called Question Two in Ohio. Fully support that.” –October 26, 2011, campaign appearance in Fairfax, Va.

I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues. Those are up to the people of Ohio.” – Oct. 25, 2011, campaign appearance near Cincinnati

Mitt Romney on Public Service Workers

[President Obama] wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government…” – June 2012

“Well, first, I love great schools…And the key to great schools, great teachers. So I reject the idea that I don’t believe in great teachers or more teachers.” – Oct. 3, 2012, first presidential debate

Mitt Romney on His Tax Cut Plan

“We're going to cut taxes on everyone across the country by 20 percent, including the top 1 percent.” – Feb. 22, 2012, Republican primary debate

"I will not reduce the share paid by high-income individuals. … I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans." – Oct. 3, 2012, first presidential debate

Mitt Romney on Reproductive Freedom

“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.” –Oct. 9, 2012, Des Moines, Iowa interview

“So when asked, will I preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose, I make an unequivocal answer: Yes.”  -2002, ABC News interview

I am pro-life. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother.” -2005, opinion piece for the Boston Globe

"We should overturn Roe v. Wade and return these issues to the states.” -2007 Presidential Republican primary debate

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