Romney Gets Another Chance To Sketch Out Centrist Views

Monday night’s third and final presidential debate will be the latest opportunity for Mitt Romney to again use the Etch A Sketch that his campaign hinted at months ago.

The Republican nominee has taken advantage of the presidential debates and the giant television audiences they attract to change some stances, soften some positions and generally make the case that he is not the “severely conservative” candidate he appeared to be in the primary contests.

Some of the fall campaign’s Etch A Sketch moments include: Mr. Romney now calls for boosting Pell Grant funding — a reversal of his criticism of President Obama’s increases. Also, Mr. Romney now says there are parts of the national health care law that are worth keeping. He also has indicated more leeway on legalizing young illegal immigrants and has tried to assure voters that he will not lower the tax burden on the wealthy or be a crusader on abortion.

Republican strategist Ford O’Connell agreed, saying that Mr. Romney is trying to woo single-issue voters and to narrow Mr. Obama’s lead among the coalition of voters — women, Hispanic and young voters — that propelled the Democrat to victory four years ago.

“The president wants to make this a demographics election, but by keeping his original stances and moderating them a bit, Romney is trying to break apart the president’s coalition,” Mr. O’Connell said. “It is actually very smart, because what Romney is basically saying is, ‘I can’t win this election with voters by just touting the economy or just doing well with men over 35 years old.’”

Read more from Seth McLaughlin at The Washington Times

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