Romney: Dubya in Centrist's Clothing

Compassionate- conservative act just that, columnist writes
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2007 6:36 PM CDT
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, speaks to a group of supporters during a town hall meeting in Winter Park, Fla., Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007. (AP Photo/John Raoux)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Mitt Romney’s centrist past and anti-bigot pleasantries are belied by the hardcore conservative base he’s building, writes the American Prospect’s Garance Franke-Ruta. The Republican presidential hopeful's overtures to the middle echo those of George W. Bush's 2000 campaign—in which Bush ultimately won by relying on his social conservative base.

Liberals shouldn’t be fooled, says Franke-Ruta, by Romney’s credentials as ex-governor of left-leaning Massachusetts: His desire to “double Guantanamo” is closer to the mark. No politician elected by such a conservative base could truly buck it, so Dems should stop calling him “the least bad Republican contender”—and look at the dreams of those who want him in office.