Is Mitt Romney a conservative or not? This is a question that will haunt the Republican presidential candidate from now until November (assuming he makes it to the general election). Some people have argued Romney is coming around to the conservative position, others think Romney is just a moderate in conservative skin. George Will went with the latter presumption on This Week today, likening Romney to a foreigner in a distant land where he doesn’t know how to communicate well with the locals.
George Stephanopoulos brought up Rick Santorum‘s clean sweep in the Midwest last week, and how much it may have damaged Mitt Romney’s candidacy in the process. Will stated quite plainly that the best candidate the GOP has right now “has the last name Romney and the first name Not.”
“Romney carried no counties in Minnesota. He lost 48 out of 64 counties in Colorado. In Missouri, where five times more people voted than in Minnesota and in Colorado combined, Romney loses 2 to 1 to Santorum.”
Stephanopoulos later asked if Romney would face any backlash if he goes negative against his rivals. Will noted that as of now, Romney is less popular in crucial states like Florida and Iowa, states where he had to go negative on his rivals. Liz Cheney thought by winning the CPAC straw poll, Romney was making a steady comeback in the party. And as for all the negative campaigning, Cheney predicted a lot more of that would start to pop up come the general election.
The panel had a good laugh over Romney’s “severely conservative” CPAC line, and Will noted that the line was probably ad-libbed in order to win over a crowd that he normally has a problem communicating with.
“He seems, around conservatives, to be like a well-meaning, earnest tourist in a country where he doesn’t speak the language. And he’s trying hard to connect with them and he says, ‘My father grew up poor.’ Please.”
Watch the clip below, courtesy of ABC:
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