Democrats flip-flop on Romney, now say he’s out-of-touch

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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The Democrats’ public relations machine is increasingly trying to paint former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as an out-of-touch elitist, not merely as a flip-flopping, untrustworthy pol.

The new out-of-touch claim is being pitched to weaken Romney’s appeal to general-election voters, whereas the flip-flopper charges was primarily intended to damage Romney’s support among GOP ideological activists and base voters.

The Democrats’ new claim that he is out-of-touch with voters clashes with their continuing claim that he “flip-flops” on issues because of pressure from voters and advocates.

Romney’s team is countering with its own charges.

Democrats are running a “campaign of distortion and distraction because President Barack Obama’s policies have failed the middle class in America,” said a Dec. 16 statement.

To make their new out-of-touch case, Democrats are using the $10,000 bet offered by Romney during the Dec. 10 candidates debate, and Romney’s Dec. 16 comment that he learned about Medicaid after he got into politics.

Romney offered the theatrical bet to Texas Gov. Rick Perry during a TV debate, prompting an immediate wave of Democratic taunts via email and Twitter.

On Dec. 14, for example, when Romney was visiting New York, the local Democratic Party hired an aircraft to carry a banner reading “Bet You 10k Romney’s Out of Touch Mitts10KBet.com.”

On Dec. 16, Democrats started hammering at Romney’s Medicaid statement made earlier in the day that “I didn’t know what Medicaid was till I got into government.”

The DNC message that highlighted Romney’s statement was tagged, “Out of Touch Alert,” suggesting the DNC plans to make it a theme.

“One has to wonder how Mitt Romney thinks he can represent American workers, their families and seniors when his concern for the poor and the middle class comes across like an afterthought,” claimed a Dec. 16 e-mail from Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

Before Dec. 10, the Democrats’ line of attack was overwhelmingly focused on Romney’s changing political positions.

Romney’s team pushed back immediately, saying Romney’s comment simply said that “he wasn’t familiar with all of the intricacies of each program” until he ran for the Senate in the 1990s.

Their response also repeated the campaign’s primary message that Obama’s economic policies have hurt the country.

“President Obama and his allies do not want run against Mitt Romney and be forced to defend three years of failure,” said the message. “Instead of focusing on out-of-control spending and record unemployment, President Obama and his political machine are focused on campaigning to try and tear down Mitt Romney.”

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