Mitt Romney's Biggest Flip Flops

Mitt Romney
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Mitt Romney
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Is GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney "a strong believer in stating your position and not wavering," as he once bragged? Or is he, as his onetime presidential rival Gov. John Hunstman called him, a "perfectly lubricated weathervane"? Take a read and decide for yourselves.

ABORTION

Flip
"I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it. I sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice." — Debate with Sen. Edward Kennedy, 1994

"I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard." — Massachusetts Gubernatorial Debate, 2002

Flop
"Look, I was pro-choice. I am pro-life. You can go back to YouTube and look at what I said in 1994. I never said I was pro-choice, but my position was effectively pro-choice. I changed my position." — Iowa Straw poll debate, 2007

"What I would like to see happen would be for the Supreme Court to say, look, we’re going to overturn Roe v. Wade and return to the states the authority to decide whether they want to have abortion or not, state by state. That’s the way it was before Roe v. Wade. So I am firmly pro-life." — Town hall meeting, Hopkinton, NH, 2011

HUNTING

Flip
"I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I've been a hunter pretty much all my life." — On the campaign trail in Keene, N.H., 2007

Flop
"Any description of my being a hunter is an overstatement of capability." — Comment to a reporter from the Austin American-Statesman, 2007

RONALD REAGAN

Flip
"I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush." — Debate with Sen. Edward Kennedy, 1994

Flop
"When I was running for office for the first time in 1994, I was trying to define who I was….  I’ve said since, and continue to reiterate, that one of my heroes is Ronald Reagan." — Q&A with Human Events, 2006

DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL

Flip
Romney once said he was in favor of  "gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly" in the military. — Letter to Log Cabin Republicans, 1994

Flop
"[Don't Ask Don't Tell has] been the policy now in the military for, what, 10, 15 years – and it seems to have worked. This is not the time to put in major change, a social experiment, in the middle of a war going on." — Presidential primary debate, 2007

VIETNAM

Flip
"I was not planning on signing up for the military. It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam." — Quoted by the Boston Herald, 1994

Flop
"I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there and in some ways it was frustrating not to feel like I was there as part of the troops that were fighting in Vietnam." — Quoted by the Boston Globe, 2007

GUN CONTROL 

Flip
"We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts. I support them. I won't chip away at them." — Gubernatorial debate, 2002

"Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts."  — Signing ceremony for bill banning assault weapons, 2004

Flop
"I don’t support any gun control legislation, the effort for a new assault weapons ban, with a ban on semi-automatic weapons, is something I would oppose." — Interview with conservative bloggers, 2008

HEALTH CARE REFORM

Flip
"I like mandates. Mandates work." — Presidential primary debate, 2008

"I'm proud of what we've done. If Massachusetts succeeds in implementing [Romneycare], then that will be a model for the nation." — Speech in Baltimore, 2007

Flop
"At the time I crafted the plan in the last campaign I was asked is [Romneycare] something that you would have the whole nation do, and I said no. This is something that was crafted for Massachusetts. It would be wrong to adopt this as a nation." — Presidential primary debate, 2011

Bret Baier: "Governor, you did say on camera and in other places, at times you thought [Romneycare] would be a model for the nation."
Mitt Romney: "You're wrong, Bret." — Fox News interview, 2011

CLIMATE CHANGE

Flip
"I believe the world’s getting warmer. I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. ... And so I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you're seeing." — Town hall meeting, Manchester, NH, June 2011

Flop
"My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us." — Q&A session, Pittsburg, PA, October 2011

BUSH TAX CUTS

Flip
"[R]omney spoke at the 10th annual legislative conference organized by U.S. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Lowell) and met with the Massachusetts delegation. ... Congressional sources said that a point of contention arose when Romney refused to take a position on Bush’s massive, 10-year tax cut plan.” — Boston Herald, 2003

Flop
"McCain opposed President Bush’s tax cuts, Romney noted. 'I supported them,' the former governor said." — Quoted in The State (SC), 2007

TAX PLEDGES

Flip
"I'm not intending to, at this stage, sign a document which would prevent me from being able to look specifically at the revenue needs of the commonwealth. " — Quoted in Union-News, Springfield, MA, 2002

"Signing the pledge now sends a very clear message to those in Washington who have voted against tax relief and for tax hikes that such actions will never grow our regional and national economies." — Romney spokesman quoted in the Boston Globe, 2007

FLIP-FLOPPING

Flip
"I’m a strong believer in stating your position and not wavering." — Comments to NARAL Pro Choice Massachusetts, 2002

Flop
"I changed my position." — Iowa straw poll debate, 2007

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