and you can't make him.
Mitt Romney said it isn’t his role to “scold” the sometimes vocal audiences at Republican presidential debates — whether crowd members are booing a gay solider or applauding the number of executions of Texas prisoners.
“I would tell you that in these debates there has been a lot of booing and a lot of applause. Cheering and booing,” Mr. Romney said Monday during a 70-minute interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader, which was broadcast on CSPAN. “Now I have not made it my practice to scold the audience and say, ‘I disagree with this person. I agree with that person.’ Because it goes a lot of different directions.”
And specifically, on the booing of a soldier?
“I don’t know when they booed, and I don’t know why people booed. I will tell you that the boos and the applause has not always coincided with my own views.”
Putting aside, for the moment, the well-established fact that Romney doesn't actually have his own views—he just has moment-to-moment pander points—does he really think running to the right of Rick freakin' Santorum is a good strategy? Even Santorum—the guy whose hatred of gay people is so infamous that Googling his name is NSFW—was willing to condemn the audience's boos:
"I condemn the people who booed that gay soldier," Santorum said on Fox News Friday. "Certainly had I heard them, I would have said, 'Don't do that. This man is serving our country and we are to thank him for his service’."
Sure, Santorum tried to weasel out of it by claiming he didn't hear the boo that everyone else on the planet heard (except his fellow candidates on stage, apparently). But eventually he got to the obvious, seemingly indisputable point: that you're not supposed to boo soldiers.
But Romney can't even say that? Romney, the guy who once promised to be a better advocate for gay rights than Ted Kennedy? He can't bring himself to say, "You know what? Booing someone who's willing to put his life on the line for this country so the rest of us can enjoy our right to boo him is wrong."
Maybe Romney's problem isn't that he's a perpetual flip-flopper. Maybe his real problem is that he's completely amoral.