With the Republican presidential nomination now safely in hand, Mitt Romney has begun shifting his rhetoric toward the center to attract the moderate and independent voters he needs to win in November.
The change is noticeable on issues ranging from the auto industry, to student loans, to women’s issues, to immigration reform, The Hill
“Here’s the situation they [the Romney campaign] find themselves in: policy is politics, and they have much ground to make up among first- and second-time voters, Hispanics, working-class whites, working-class women,” GOP political consultant John Weaver told the news service.
Romney has to move away from the more conservative positions he took to win the nomination, Weaver said. “I guess this is what an Etch A Sketch really looks like,” he said, referring to a remark from a Romney aide several weeks ago that the candidate would quickly shift the tone of his campaign for the general election.
As for the auto industry, Romney has argued for years against the bailout for General Motors and Chrysler that was put into place by President George W. Bush and then President Barack Obama.
But over the weekend, Romney senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, the same one who made the Etch A Sketch comment, said Obama had followed Romney’s advice on the bailout.
When it comes to student loans, in February Romney adopted a strong stance against government subsidization of them. But last month, he voiced support for Obama’s proposal to have the government continue subsidizing loans for low- and middle-income students.
On the women front, Romney last month offered backing for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, despite opposition from some Republican senators.
As for immigration, Romney has stopped talking tough and urging “self-deportation.”
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