'Etch A Sketch' Latest Gaffe From Romney Campaign
Romney could have a hard time shaking his campaign's latest gaffe.
March 21, 2012 -- intro: For a candidate who has spent months battling the title of "flip-flopper," perhaps the last thing he would want associated with his name is an Etch A Sketch, those do-over drawing boards that let you shake your scribbles away with the flick of a wrist.
Unfortunately Mitt Romney won't be able to shake away this comparison any time soon. When his campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom was asked this morning on CNN how the GOP frontrunner would make the pivot to the general election, Fehrnstrom compared Romney's primary campaign to an Etch A Sketch, a gaffe that spread like wildfire to Romney's rival's stump speeches.
"Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch A Sketch," Fehrnstrom told CNN's John Fugelsang. "You can kind of shake it up and restart all of over again. But I will say, if you look at the exit polling data in Illinois, you'll see that Mitt Romney is broadly acceptable to most of the factions in the party. You have to do that in order to become the nominee…"
Within hours, Romney's opponents seized on the comments, using them to reinforce the notion that the former Massachusetts governor will, as Rick Santorum said, "say anything to get elected."
"We're not looking for someone who's the Etch A Sketch candidate," Santorum said in a campaign speech just hours after Fehrnstrom's comments. "We're looking for someone who writes what they believe in stone and stands true to what they say."
Both the Santorum and Newt Gingrich campaigns made pit stops at the toy store to pick up Etch A Sketches of their own, deploying their new visual aids at speeches and rallies in Maryland and Louisiana today.
Though this latest gaffe came from Romney's spokesman, the candidate himself has made his fair share of unfortunate remarks on the campaign trail. Here's a look at some of the comments that have come back to bite Romney during this long primary slog.
ABC's Emily Friedman, Meg Fowler and Sarah Parnass contributed to this report.
quicklist: 1title: 'Great Friends' Are 'NASCAR Team Owners'text: While Romney's name will not be the one zooming around the Daytona 500 NASCAR race track tonight, his comments about having NASCAR team-owning friends were flying into inboxes and Twitter feeds everywhere.
During a tour of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress' facilities Sunday, an Associated Press reporter asked Romney whether he followed car racing.
"Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans," Romney responded, "but I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners."
The Democratic National Committee was quick to pounce on the comment, painting it as another example of Romney's being out of touch with everyday Americans.
"I don't know pilots, but I know people who own airlines," DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse tweeted as part of a string of jokes based off Romney's comment.
quicklist: 2title: 'A Couple of Cadillacs'text: Two days before he touted his NASCAR-team-owning friends, Romney had an awkward moment at the close of a Detroit campaign rally after he told the crowd of about 1,200 that his wife "drives a couple of Cadillacs." Ann Romney's two Cadillac SRX's sell new for between $35,000 and $50,000.
"I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck," Romney told his Michigan supporters at the end of what his campaign billed as a major economic speech. "Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs actually. And I used to have a dodge truck so I used to have all three covered."
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