Tags: romney | etch | a | sketch

Romney Aide Unlikely to Lose Job Over Etch A Sketch Comment

Friday, 23 Mar 2012 09:58 AM

Eric Fehrnstrom, the man behind the Etch A Sketch gaffe, is unlikely to pay any price for embarrassing his boss Mitt Romney.

It is unlikely that the long-time trusted adviser to the former Massachusetts governor will be demoted or lose his job, The Washington Post reported.

The Post likened Fehrnstrom to a combination of President Barack Obama’s top aides David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs and noted Romney is “fiercely protective of his loyalists.” Regardless, Fehrnstrom's comments caused a world of hurt for Romney a day after his decisive win in Illinois.

Fehrnstrom was asked during a CNN appearance whether conservative positions taken during the primary might harm the former Massachusetts governor’s standing with moderates. “I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign,” he said. “Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.”

“Eric is the first guy to jump out there and defend Mitt,” Romney’s communications director Gail Gitcho told the Post, adding that Fehrnstrom provides “very careful counsel” to Romney. Fehrnstrom was there from the beginning with Romney, helping him in his run for Massachusetts governor and staying with him after he won. He also worked with Romney during his 2008 presidential campaign.

“It’s unusual for him to be that sloppy and that undisciplined,” Jeffrey Berry, a professor of political science at Tufts University, told the Post in the wake of the Etch a Sketch comment. “I’ve known nothing similar in his history in Massachusetts.”

For his part, Fehrnstrom noted he is not the only one who misspeaks. “I thought it was pretty clear with that Etch a Sketch comment I was referring to the race, and not the candidate, but such is politics,” he told the Post. “I’m expecting a call from Joe Biden thanking me for taking the heat off him for a couple of days.”

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