Via Andrew Kaczynski, another Mitt Romney 2002 flashback:
WOODRUFF: Aren't you connected to the Republican Party in the state of Massachusetts?So ... Mitt Romney wasn't really a Massachusetts Republican except for the part about him being a Massachusetts Republican because he'd indicated that he'd have been willing to consider doing something if a scenario were to unfold that didn't actually unfold. If that isn't classic Romneyspeak, I don't know what is.
ROMNEY: Well, the only connection is that I'm registered as a Republican, but I actually indicated that I was willing to run in a primary against the incumbent Republican governor. She decided not to run in that primary and I stepped in.
At the time, it must have seemed like magnificent parsing. He didn't explicitly knock Republicans in general, just the incumbent governor, so he wasn't really risking alienating the entire Bay State GOP. To Democrats and independents, however, it sounded as though he didn't really consider himself a Republican at all.
Ten years later, however, and that clip doesn't seem nearly as magnificent. Combined with the other clips of him in 2002 pledging to be pro-choice, calling himself a progressive, and rejecting "traditional Republicans," the clip is a jarring reminder of his reinvention as a hard-line conservative Republican presidential candidate.
And particularly in light of his campaign's Etch-A-Sketch comparison, clips like this will make it extremely difficult for Romney to move away from the right-wing positions that he's spent the last six years embracing. There's no doubt he'll try, but at this point Romney is going to find it impossible to win this election on his own merits. His only hope is that the economy turns south and that voters blame President Obama.
As with the primary, his path to victory won't depend on whether voters like him, but rather whether voters dislike his opponent.