“My View” from the Oct. 24, 2012, edition of “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer.”
I have grown increasingly mystified that a presidential candidate we know so little about is now so close to rising to our highest office. The much mocked and derided Etch-A-Sketch strategy has actually worked. What began as a bad joke about a candidate without any substantial chance of victory has now turned into a path to the White House.
And I’m not sure who to blame. The voters? The media? President Obama? All share some of the fault for not calling Romney out time and time again. Perhaps as a nation, we have all failed to hold Mitt Romney accountable. We don’t know who he is or what he believes because we’ve never forced him to tell us. Every time he opportunistically re-creates his own platform or policy, he gets away with it.
Lucky for us, we now know who Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is. The Romney-Ryan endorsed Mr. Mourdock has added to the litany of outrageous and offensively backwards positions that make up the Republican War on Women.
But where is Gov. Romney? The former pro-choice moderate, who all but adopted a Todd Akin-like stance on “personhood” before asking Akin to drop out of his Senate race in Missouri for making a Mourdock-like gaffe, is trying to have it both ways here, disagreeing with Mourdock’s beliefs while still supporting him.
It should be the obligation of every voter out there to find out what Mitt Romney really believes on this issue. He has a choice. If he doesn’t agree with Richard Mourdock, he needs to rescind his endorsement. He needs to ask Mourdock to stop using his likeness in campaign ads to promote views that he disagrees with. He simply needs to denounce Richard Mourdock.
If Romney does not take any of these steps, it should be clear to every voter that he cannot be relied upon — that his positions are truly meaningless, that he has no core convictions he deems worthy of fighting for.
One of the dictums of connecting to the American voter is “shoot straight.” Americans are supposed to appreciate honest and straight talk. Mitt Romney makes a mockery of this core notion of American politics. The imperative for honesty in explaining one’s core views and values will be destroyed if he gets away with this.
That’s “My View.”