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Megan Kelly asks Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney about his 2002 claim to be a moderate with "progressive" views ... and in his answer, Romney essentially admits to being a complete fraud:

KELLY: Some conservatives will hear that, that you say look, I'm not a partisan Republican, I'm moderate, my views are progressive, they don't want to hear that from the guy that wants to be the GOP nominee. How do you put their minds at ease? Why did you say those things?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, that was ten years ago, and I'm more conservative than I was ten years ago. Having served as governor, having worked in a state where my legislature was 85 percent Democrat, having lived my life over those last ten years, I've become a little more conservative over time, and that's why I don't think people were surprised that in the 2008 campaign four years ago I stood very firmly for what we call the three legs of the Republican stool. Social conservatism, economic conservatism, and foreign policy conservatism. I still have those same views today. I've been tested time and again and I'm proud of that position.

Think about this timeline for a second. Romney says that he's more conservative now than he was during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, and that he's been consistent since the 2008 campaign. The 2008 campaign really began in the 2007, if not sooner, so if you take him at face value, in 2002 he was a moderate with progressive views, but by 2007 he was a full-fledged conservative.

According to Romney, this transformation had nothing to do with his political self-interest. According to him, it's just a coincidence that he was a moderate progressive when he was running for governor of Massachusetts and that he became a Reagan conservative once he decided to run for president. Politicial positioning had nothing to do with it.

He wants us to believe his views are always an honest reflection of his core convictions. But if that's true, then it is only true because his only core conviction is to pursue his own self-interest. And if Republicans end up nominating him, it won't be because they believe him: it'll be because they had no other option.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Tue Jan 03, 2012 at 12:39 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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