In 2004, Republicans painted John Kerry as a rich and out of touch wealthy Massachusetts flip flopper who was weak on national security. Four years prior, the GOP painted Al Gore as a craven politician that would say anything and lie about everything to get to the White House.
Those caricatures of Kerry and Gore stuck and hurt each candidate in their respective runs against George W. Bush.
In an odd turn of events, the Republicans in Tampa nominated real life versions of their cartoon versions of Kerry and Gore.
Perhaps these are the ghosts of elections past?
Republicans thought John Kerry should be criticized for changing positions. But Kerry is not in the same league as Romney who ran as a pro-choice candidate and promised to do more for gay rights than Ted Kennedy.
Senator Arlen Spector quipped that “Mitt Romney has changed positions more often than a pornographic movie queen.”
Romney was for Obama’s welfare policy before he was against it. As Governor, Mitt Romney held a very different position on states ability to administer welfare in ways that maximize employment.
There are so many Mitt Flops: Romney has changed positions on stem cells, choice, government, gay rights and more.
His biggest problem is that he called the health care mandates he imposed in Massachusetts a national model. Now he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
As for out of touch? Remember when Republicans lampooned Kerry for windsurfing during the Republican convention? I bet they threw up in their mouths when they saw W. Mitt Romney gassing up the motorboat for a spin on the Lake yesterday as the Democrats began their meeting in Charlotte.
For his running mate, Romney’s choice has made headline after headline for not telling the truth.
Paul Ryan (and Romney) were inconsistent after his selection about what budget they are running on. Ryan got himself in hot water over blaming Obama for an auto plant that shut down in Wisconsin – when George Bush was President.
Most recently Ryan raised eye brows over a very specific claim that when he ran marathons his best time was in the high 2 hours and 50 minutes. It turns out that he exaggerated running marathons (he ran one) and his time (it was over 4 hours).
Ryan has played fast and loose with the facts and is earning the reputation as a congenital liar.
It is ironic that the Romney/Ryan ticket so closely resembles the cartoon versions Republicans created out of the last two Democrats to run for President before Obama. It is hard for the Republican Party to make the argument that they were against flip flopping and constant lying…before they were for it.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.