Huntsman for President - Mitt's Custom Clean-Up Act

Manchester – Jon Huntsman for President spokesman Tim Miller issued the following statement in response to Governor Romney’s decision to backtrack on his position on the Ohio ballot initiatives:

"The morning after Mitt Romney actually does a press conference usually means a clean-up day for his campaign. And today was no different.  Because polls, rather than principles, drive what he says, Romney spends a lot of time walking back and clarifying his statements.  Romney may have gotten better at repeating the poll-tested lines and dodging questions throughout his political career, but our nation's economic and foreign policy challenges call for real leadership.  Jon Huntsman is offering serious solutions with clarity and conviction. That's what Americans deserve."

(Click Here To Watch Governor Huntsman On ABC's "Top Line")


OHIO INITIATIVES: Romney Refused To Weigh In On Ohio’s Ballot Initiatives: “I Am Not Speaking About Particular Ballot Initiatives.” “Romney expressed generic support for Kasich's efforts to curtail union rights, but he would not say whether he supports or opposes the specific measures. ‘I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues,’ Romney said, only after repeated questions from reporters. ‘Those are up to the people of Ohio. But I certainly support the efforts of the governor to reign in the scale of government. I am not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives. But I am certainly supportive of the Republican Party's efforts here.’” (Peter Hamby, “Romney Avoids Weighing In On Ohio Union Fight,” CNN’s “Political Ticker” Blog, 10/25/11)

  • One Day Later, Romney Was Forced To Backtrack And Reiterate Support For Ohio’s Collective-Bargaining Law. “After declining to comment yesterday on Ohio's collective-bargaining law, Romney today said he apologizes for the confusion. … ‘I'm sorry if I created any confusion in that regard,’ Romney said at a rally in Fairfax, VA. ‘I fully support Gov. Kasich's, I think it's called Question 2, in Ohio. Fully support that.’” (Garrett Haake, et al, “Romney Backtracks, Says He Fully Supports Ohio Governor '110 Percent',” NBC News’ “First Read” Blog, 10/26/11)

HEALTH CARE: At A Republican Presidential Debate, Romney Claimed His Book Did Not Contain Reference To Spreading Romneycare Throughout The Country. “And Romney shot back last night, saying that that’s not what the line in the book meant and recalled a conversation with a reporter in which he was asked specifically about applying Obamacare on the national level. ‘I actually — I actually wrote my book, and in my book I said no such thing. What I said — actually, when I put my health care plan together — and I met with Dan Balz, for instance, of The Washington Post. He said, is this a plan that if you were president you would put on the nation, have the whole nation adopt it? I said, absolutely not. I said, this is a state plan for a state, it is not a national plan,’ said Romney.” (Emily Friedman, “Romney Book Changed To Remove Line About National Health Reform,” ABC News’ “The Note” Blog, 9/23/11)

  • After The Debate, Romney Senior Advisor Eric Fehrnstrom “Acknowledged That A Line About Spreading Health Care Reform Throughout The Country Was Changed.” “After the Republican presidential debate Thursday night, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney acknowledged that a line about spreading health care reform throughout the country was changed in the paperback version of Romney’s book ‘No Apology.’ … After the debate Romney’s staffer Fehrnstrom went into greater detail to explain what Romney was trying to say during the debate. Fehrnstrom said that line was indeed removed because there was more information when the second version of the book came out.  The line was originally written, according to Fehrnstrom, before Obamacare was on the books.” (Emily Friedman, “Romney Book Changed To Remove Line About National Health Reform,” ABC News’ “The Note” Blog, 9/23/11)

AFGHANISTAN: At A Republican Presidential Debate, Romney Claimed It Was “Time For Us To Bring Our Troops Home As Soon As We Possibly Can” From Afghanistan. “Mitt Romney’s hint in Monday night’s Republican debate that he’s eager to pull the plug on the war in Afghanistan left some of his GOP allies puzzled, Democrats sensing an opportunity, and his staff working to explain what he meant. ‘It’s time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can — as soon as our generals think it’s okay,’ Romney said. ‘One lesson we‘ve learned in Afghanistan is that Americans cannot fight another nation’s war of independence.’” (Ben Smith, “Mitt Romney's Afghanistan Remark Stuns GOP Pals,” Politico, 6/14/11)

  • Only Hours Later, Romney Foreign Policy Advisor Mitchell Reiss Was Forced To Walk Back Romney’s Claims About Afghanistan Withdrawal. “Mitt Romney’s hint in Monday night’s Republican debate that he’s eager to pull the plug on the war in Afghanistan left some of his GOP allies puzzled, Democrats sensing an opportunity, and his staff working to explain what he meant. … Romney foreign policy adviser Mitchell Reiss, a former U.S. Special Envoy for Northern Ireland and the president of Washington College in Chestertown, Md., told POLITICO that Romney wasn’t signaling support for an abrupt withdrawal from Afghanistan, but was making two points that Reiss described as complementary.” (Ben Smith, “Mitt Romney's Afghanistan Remark Stuns GOP Pals,” Politico, 6/14/11)

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: During A Presidential Debate, Romney “Denied Ever Having Hired An Illegal Immigrant.” “The fireworks emerged halfway through the first hour of the debate, when Perry accused Romney of having hired illegal immigrants as landscapers at one of his homes. Perry has been looking to reverse a slide in the polls driven in part by poor debate performances. … Romney denied ever having hired an illegal immigrant and heatedly insisted he have a chance to talk when the two bickered during Romney's response.” (Michael O'Brien, “Romney And Perry Spar At Nevada Debate,”, 10/19/11)

  • Later In The Debate, Romney Acknowledged That He Had Hired A Company That Employed Illegal Immigrants. “In response, Mr. Romney acknowledged that he hired a lawn company that had illegal immigrants working on the crew and ‘when that was pointed out to us, we let them go.’” (Seth McLaughlin, “GOP Front-Runners Hit Hard In Debate,” The Washington Times, 10/18/11)

DEBT CEILING: Romney Maintained “Relative Silence” On The Debt Ceiling Negotiations And Would Only Say He Supported “Cut, Cap And Balance.” “The statement by Romney is significant because of the relative silence he'd maintained throughout the virtual entirety of the debt-ceiling fight, which has dominated Congress for the better part of the last few months. … Romney had instead consistently voiced support for the ‘cut, cap and balance’ principles sought by conservative House and Senate members.” (Michael O'Brien, “Mitt Romney Opposes Compromise Deal On The Debt Ceiling,” The Hill’s “Blog Briefing Room” Blog, 8/1/11)

  • Romney Emerged At The Last Moment To Say He Opposed The Debt Ceiling Compromise. “Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) broke his silence on the congressional debt-ceiling fight on Monday, emerging to say he couldn't back the final deal announced Sunday. Romney, who had refused to weigh in during recent weeks on the specifics of various proposals to raise the debt ceiling, said he couldn't personally back the deal brokered over the weekend between congressional GOP leaders and President Obama.” (Michael O'Brien, “Mitt Romney Opposes Compromise Deal On The Debt Ceiling,” The Hill’s “Blog Briefing Room” Blog, 8/1/11)

LIBYA: Throughout His 2012 Campaign, Romney Has “Seemed A Bit All Over The Libyan Map” And Backtracked On His Position Multiple Times. “Have you had any difficulty discerning Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney’s precise position on the US involvement in the NATO mission in Libya? The one consistency has been criticism of President Obama. But beyond that, he’s seemed a bit all over the Libyan map.” (Jake Tapper, “Where Is Mitt Romney On Libya?,” ABC News’ “Political Punch” Blog, 10/20/11)

SECOND AMENDMENT: During His 2008 Campaign, Romney Was Forced To Admit He Had Only Been On Two Hunting Trips During His Life Only Days After Describing Himself As A Lifelong Hunter. “The former Massachusetts governor has called himself a lifelong hunter, yet his campaign acknowledged that he has been on just two hunting trips _ one when he was 15 and the other just last year. Campaigning in Indianapolis on Thursday, Romney said he has hunted small game since his youth. … In Keene, N.H., on Tuesday, Romney had said: ‘I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I've been a hunter pretty much all my life.’ The next day, the campaign said Romney hunted rabbits in Idaho with cousins as a teenager and shot quail with GOP donors at a game preserve in Georgia in 2006.” (Emily Udell, “Romney Aims Again To Explain Hunting,” The Associated Press, 4/5/07)

  • Romney Was Forced To Admit He Had Not Become A Member Of The NRA Until Right Before Running For President. “Mitt Romney, who has touted his support of gun owners since launching his presidential campaign, yesterday acknowledged he did not become a member of the National Rifle Association until last August, campaign officials said.” (David Abel, “Romney Joined NRA In August,” The Boston Globe, 2/19/07)
  • Romney Admitted That He Did Not Own A Gun Two Days After Claiming He Owned A Gun And Was A Hunter. “On Wednesday, Romney said on an Internet podcast, ‘The Glenn and Helen Show,’ that he hopes states would continue to ease regulations on gun owners, and he expressed enthusiasm for guns and hunting. ‘I have a gun of my own. I go hunting myself. I’m a member of the NRA and believe firmly in the right to bear arms,’ Romney said. Asked by reporters at the gun show Friday whether he personally owned the gun, Romney said he did not. He said one of his sons, Josh, keeps two guns at the family vacation home in Utah, and he uses them ‘from time to time.’” (Scott Helman, “Romney Retreats On Gun Control,” The Boston Globe, 1/14/07)

CLIMATE CHANGE: While Governor, Romney Changed Positions On His Commitment To A Regional Climate Change Agreement Within The Span Of A Single Day. “At a clean-energy conference in Boston on Nov. 7, Romney sounded exuberant about the Northeast state agreement, saying in his speech that it was ‘a great thing for the Commonwealth.’ ‘We can effectively create incentives to help stimulate a sector of the economy and at the same time not kill jobs,’ he said. Later that day, however, Romney outlined to reporters several fears he had about the proposed agreement.” (Beth Daley and Scott Helman, “Romney Doubts Seen Delaying Emissions Pact,” The Boston Globe, 11/22/05)

ABORTION: Romney Has Claimed That He Changed His Mind On Abortion “In A Single Revelatory Moment.” “On abortion, Romney says he simply changed his mind. He recalls that it happened in a single revelatory moment, during a Nov. 9, 2004, meeting with an embryonic-stem-cell researcher who said he didn’t believe therapeutic cloning presented a moral issue because the embryos were destroyed at 14 days. ‘It hit me very hard that we had so cheapened the value of human life in a Roe v. Wade environment that it was important to stand for the dignity of human life,’ Romney says.” (Karen Tumulty, “What Romney Believes,” Time, 5/21/07)