WOW. From The New York Times's hot new piece Romney Is Attacked by His Father’s Longtime Aide:
A longtime aide to George W. Romney issued a harshly worded critique of Mitt Romney, accusing him of shifting political positions in “erratic and startling ways” and failing to live up to the distinguished record of his father, the former governor of Michigan.Again: WOW. That has got to sting Mitt Romney on a visceral level.
Continues the piece:
Walter De Vries, who worked for the senior Mr. Romney throughout the 1960s, wrote that Mitt Romney’s bid for the White House was “a far cry from the kind of campaign and conduct, as a public servant, I saw during the seven years I worked in George Romney’s campaigns and served him as governor.”This really hits to one of the core messages Obama's campaign has pushed from the beginning, namely that Romney is a candidate without conviction–which is one of the alleged biggest reasons for Obama's supposed personal disdain for Romney.
“While it seems that Mitt would say and do anything to close a deal – or an election,” he wrote, “George Romney’s strength as a politician and public officeholder was his ability and determination to develop and hold consistent policy positions over his life.”
Mr. De Vries’s stinging assessment was contained in a nearly 700-word essay that he distributed to a small group of journalists with whom he has spoken over the past year. He said it was an outline for a book that may or may not be published. A spokeswoman for the Romney campaign declined to comment.I can't imagine there's much Romney or his surrogates could say, other than try to discredit De Vries, which may encourage him to actually publish the book or more vocally/openly push his message. Not exactly a win-win for Romney at this stage in the election.
Here's something that raises an interesting question:
A registered independent, who said he voted for Barack Obama in 2008, Mr. De Vries has previously expressed reservations about Mr. Romney’s political postures in interviews, but never with such sweep.Would Romney Sr. have voted for Obama and not his own son, given the views and company Mitt Romney keeps?
In a telephone interview, he said he was motivated to write the essay by “an accumulation” of Mr. Romney’s actions, like his comment about 47 percent of Americans and his decision to campaign with Donald Trump.
Mr. De Vries said he was annoyed by Mr. Romney’s repeated references recently to his father as inspiration and influence on him.
“I just don’t see it,” he said. “Where is it? Is it on issues, no? On the way he campaigns? No.”
Mr. De Vries continued, “George would never have been seen with the likes of Sheldon Adelson or Donald Trump.”
Stepanie Cutter just dropped this beautiful tweet/left hook into the fray:
Mitt Attacked by Father's Longtime Aide, says Mitt will do anything to close deal while George held consist. positions nyti.ms/SYq0EM— Stephanie Cutter (@stefcutter) October 15, 2012
This thing could end up being a real headache (and heartache) for Mitt Romney. Spread it far and wide.
Hey dudes, seriously buried this nugget in my quote work earlier. I missed a teeny tidbit:Mr. De Vries, who said he wished to the see the Republican Party return to its moderate roots, said he intended to vote for Mr. Obama on Election Day.THIS MAN IS VOTING FOR OBAMA. It's like he's daring other sane, cool Republicans not to do the same.
By the way, this story has not yet picked up major MSM steam (The Detroit News is the 2nd paper to cover it, that I know of), but the NYT article is already a minor hit over on Twitter. Obama's National Press Secretary, Ben LaBolt, tweeted it and it's already been RT'd over a thousand times. Keep pushing this!