ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:
CHARLESTON, S.C. — If a Democratic-allied super PAC has its way, Mitt Romney’s past statements on gay rights issues will come back to haunt him in South Carolina this week.
The group, American Bridge 21st Century, has produced an anti-Romney flyer designed to expose a series of Romney’s more sympathetic comments about the gay and lesbian community.
“We thought you’d like to see how much common ground there is between Mitt Romney and some of the great voices of the LGBT rights movement,” the top of the flyer reads.
What follows are four Romney quotes paired with similar comments by gay rights leaders Harvey Milk, Audre Lorde, Lt. Dan Choi and the gay Massachusetts congressman, Barney Frank.
“The gay community needs more support from the Republican Party,” reads one of Romney’s quotes on the flyer, which is printed on pink paper.
The group began distributing the fliers on car windshields in Charleston, S.C. on Saturday outside a Fox News forum with all of the presidential candidates moderated by Mike Huckabee and S.C. Congressman Tim Scott. They plan to continue handing them out all week long at selected venues throughout the state, including in church parking lots on Sunday morning.
American Bridge’s goal is to chip away at Romney’s support among conservative voters in the state, especially evangelical Christians.
“This isn’t about painting Romney as a liberal to voters in South Caorlina,” the group’s president, Rodell Mollineau, said in an interview with ABC News, “it really is about showing voters that this man has no core and he will say anything to get elected.”
Mollineau’s group, which has dispatched trackers to follow the GOP candidates over the course of the primary season, plans other attacks on Romney this week ahead of the state’s Jan. 21 primary. American Bridge will use video, social media and possibly newspaper ads to exploit what they see as the former Massachusetts governor’s vulnerabilities in at least two other areas: his position on abortion and his evolution as a conservative.
The hand-outs are meant to mirror fliers that were reportedly distributed by Romney during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign in Massachusetts that included a statement by Romney and his running mate, Kerry Healy, that read: “All citizens deserve equal rights regardless of their sexual preference.”
Romney campaign strategist Eric Fehrnstrom, who served as communications director for the candidate’s 2002 bid, recently told the Huffington Post that he never saw or approved the decade-old fliers.