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Mitt Romney
Here's five examples of Mitt Romney deploying his favorite political tactic—speaking out of both sides of his mouth—from a single speech, delivered yesterday in Washington, DC to the American Society of News Editors. (Watch the full video here.)

1. Mitt Romney says he is for and against cutting entitlements and says Obama is against and for cutting Medicare.

I talked about this in greater detail yesterday, but in the span of just six sentences Romney manages to take both sides twice:

Of course, no fiscal challenge is greater than the one we face with entitlements. As the President himself acknowledged three years ago, this is not a problem that we can kick down the road any further.

I’d be willing to consider the President’s plan, but he doesn’t have one. That’s right:  In over three years, he has failed to enact or even propose a serious plan to solve our entitlement crisis.

Instead, he has taken a series of steps that end Medicare as we know it.

He is the only President to ever cut $500 billion from Medicare.

My translation: "I think nothing is more important than cutting entitlements, Obama sucks because he has not cut entitlements, and Obama also sucks because he has cut entitlements, and if you elect me, I'll repeal Obama's entitlement cuts and I'll also cut entitlements."

2. Romney is against regulations and he's for them

Mitt Romney will take a stand against regulations:

I will repeal burdensome regulations, and prevent the bureaucracy from writing new ones.
Because regulations are bad for business. After all:
When the head of Coca-Cola says America's business environment is less friendly than that of China, you know we've got a problem.
Therefore:
What we're going to have to do is encourage enterprise.
And how to encourage enterprise?
Encourage it with appropriate regulation.
Ah. So he's against regulations. And yet he's for them. Is that nuanced? Or evasive?

3. Presidents should admit America's mistakes ... unless they're named Obama.

Mitt Romney was asked:

Is there a time when a president should apologize?
He answered:
Oh, when there are mistakes that occur, of one kind or another, you acknowledge the mistakes.
But, he hastened to add:
This is very different, however, than the President's "Apology Tour."
Actually, it's not. First, there was no "apology tour." President Obama didn't go around the world saying "I'm sorry" on America's behalf. But he did acknowledge that we have made mistakes. Apparently, the problem is that he did it while being Obama.

4. Romney says shrinking government will allow us to expand it

According to Romney, the reason the economy isn't stronger is that government is too large:

The truth is we’re struggling because our government is too big.  As President, I will get the government out of the way and unleash the power of American enterprise and innovation.
Therefore, in order to grow the economy, Romney says:
Instead of growing the federal government, I will shrink it.
And why is a strong economy a good thing? Because it allows us to fund government programs!
A strong economy allows us to do a lot of good things. One, have good jobs, rising incomes, a growing middle-class. It also allows us to have the revenue from all the taxpayers who now have jobs to pay for great schools, wonderful care for our seniors, a strong military to defend us, but at the heart of these good things is a strong and vibrant economy.
5. Mitt Romney is for protecting confidential sources. Unless he wants to know their identity.

Asked if he supported the principle of protecting confidential sources, Mitt Romney said:

Do I see a role for confidential sources? Yes.
Clear enough, right? Except:
Could I ever imagine a time when a source would need to be revealed? Yeah, I can imagine that too.
So, yes. And no. Which would be perfect lyrics for a Mitt Romney theme song.

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