Who is Mitt Romney? Really!

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This primary season has been particularly brutal. On the one hand we can listen to Mark Levin declaring that Mitt has damaged the Republican Party. We also have Stuart Rothenberg of Roll Call asking:

Is Romney such a mass of contradictions that voters can look at him and project their positions on him, allowing them to support him? Or is his credibility so shot that too many voters will simply conclude that they can’t trust him, making it impossible for them to support him?

Mitt at a Book Signing Event

Mitt has done damage to the party? Mitt’s credibility is shot? There is no doubt that the battle has been a bruising one, but whether the damage inflicted all around exceeds previous cycles or not is probably impossible to determine.

What I do remember very clearly from last time, however, was Mitt withdrawing fairly early and throwing his support behind John McCain in a major way. Unfortunately, what is happening this time? Based on what we have been hearing from Mitt’s chief opponents in the past couple of days, there is little likelihood of their following Mitt’s excellent example anytime soon. About the only game changer one can imagine in that regard might be for Santorum to become so scared of losing his home state of Pennsylvania, that he pulls out. A few days ago that seemed extremely unlikely, but one poll yesterday suggests that early withdrawal could definitely be a possibility, for no other reason than to avoid the embarrassment of losing the state he once represented in the US Senate.

Another thing I don’t recall seeing last time is the unbelievable level of personal attacks that have invaded the airwaves during this primary season. While the country has watched, Mitt’s opponents have gone after him with all guns blazing, many times firing off exaggerations and outright falsehoods, which, more often than not, have been rejected as untruthful by independent fact-check organizations. Taking just two examples, Rick Santorum recently won four Pinocchio awards from the Washington Post for one of his ads and Newt Gingrich has received “Mostly False” rating from PolitFact on several occasions: Here, here, and here as just three examples among others.

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