Mitt Romney should be careful about making the election about the somewhat distant past.
In an attempt to shift the focus away from his gaffe about the 47 percent of Americans that act like “victims” who feel “entitled,” the Republican presidential nominee has brought up a recently published audio clip in which Obama can be heard saying he supports redistribution.
“I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level, to make sure everybody’s got a shot,” Obama said in the clip.
The problem, though, is the clip is from 1998. That is well over a decade ago, and well over a decade ago, Romney had many other beliefs as well, including redistributing wealth.
In his 2002 campaign for governor of Massachusetts, Romney’s official website stated he would “protect the current pro-choice status quo,” adding “women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not the government’s.”
Romney also had strong opinions on gay rights, saying while he didn’t support gay marriage, he did believe that there should be changes to the recognition of domestic partnership that “includes the potential for health benefits and rights of survivorship.” These are the two things that, at least economically, are the focal point of the gay marriage debate.
This year though, one of Romney’s staffers, Richard Grenell, had to resign because hard-line conservatives were upset that Romney would hire an openly gay man.
Perhaps most glaring of all, Romney instituted a mandatory health care law during his time as governor. Under the law Romney signed, those who fall 150 percent to 300 percent under the poverty line get government subsidies.
Romney went as far as to even offer advice to Obama as to how to go about the national health care law in a 2009 opinion article published in USA Today.
With a past that appears relatively liberal when compared to hardline conservatives, it’s surprising that Romney would want to make the debate about previous stances. Romney’s “47 percent” remark was made this year, not more than a decade ago.
And Obama’s redistribution comments include the phrase “at least at a certain level.” Not unilateral, but at a certain level.
A certain level. Like, for example, taking tax dollars from the public and redistributing them to subsidize statewide health care for those who earn less than 150 percent to 300 percent below the poverty line.