'This Week' Roundtable: Presidential Politics

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particularly the doctors think so. And he's been accused of being --

switching sides too much, and so he has to be at least somewhat

consistent.

WILL: That's precisely the problem. The Romney of 2012 cycle is

hostage to the Romney of the 2008 cycle. When he changed on an array of

social issues, stem cell research, gay marriage, right to life, all that

stuff. So, now, you can't win for losing here. And the tense of his

verb was everything. He said I did what I believe, present tense, I

believe was right for the people of my state, not that I believed.

WALTER: And even Nikki Haley jumped in--

AMANPOUR: I was going to say, yes.

WALTER: She made a comment in that interview with you--

AMANPOUR: She didn't think he'd gone far enough.

WALTER: You know what, we like candidates who are courageous and do

the right thing, but also admit when they've made some mistakes. But I

do think that George is exactly right, that it's the perception more

than the policy that's the issue.

ROBERTS: But you know, Mitt Romney's problem is not health care.

Mitt Romney's problem is that he's a very stiff candidate that voters

don't relate to. And that's something that he -- I don't think can

overcome.

AMANPOUR: So generally, we hear that in the Republican Party,

there's sort of a pecking order, and it's sort of viewed as so-and-so's

time next. Do you think that that will be the case next time?

WILL: No, this is the most open scramble on the Republican side

since 1940, when Wendell Wilkie came out of the woodwork and swept the

field.

I think people are complaining that this is not off to a brisk

start. I think that's wrong. I think we know with reasonable certainty

that standing up there on the west front of the Capitol on January 20th,

2013 will be one of three people. Obama, Pawlenty and Daniels. I think

that's it.

(CROSSTALK)

WALTER: But, let's just -- but we do have to remember, too, that

we're talking about Mitt Romney in a vacuum right now, without other

candidates around. So we can put the spotlight on him, but we also have

to put it in context, which is those other candidates and all their

baggage, and we'll get to that.

AMANPOUR: Let's talk about Daniels, because you heard Nikki Haley,

she couldn't say enough about him. Many people are urging him to jump in.

WALTER: Of course they are urging him to jump in. He is--

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: George.

WILL: Guilty.

ROBERTS: Mitch Daniels is a very appealing guy. He was in

Washington for years, which probably will work against him. But it was

something so that -- we all know him, and that sort of helps at this

stage of presidential, you know, wannabe. He's from a state that

matters, and much more quietly than other governors, he has done the

things that are going on in Wisconsin in terms of the public unions. He

has just signed a bill that's cut off aid to Planned Parenthood in his

state. So that even though he said he didn't want to put social issues

front and center, the truth is he's more out there on that issue in

terms of actual policy than anybody else.

WILL: The idea that he's the Hamlet of Indianapolis is absurd.

He's taking his time and he knows that, given the new fund-raising

reality, you can take your time.

He was in Washington recently, and someone said, do you want to run

for president? He says no sane person wants to run for president. But

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