Entries in Etch-a-sketch (4)


Former President Bill Clinton on Romney and Etch-a-Sketch 

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, currently faces a dynamic similar to the one President Bill Clinton faced during his first presidential run 20 years ago: a long, bruising primary, driving up his unfavorable ratings. Clinton turned it around. Can Romney?

“I doubt it,” the former president said.

“Mr. Romney has a different challenge than I did,” Clinton said. “Even though he had a bruising primary and higher negatives and I did too. Mine was just one long character attack. It was a personal attack on me. You know, ‘You shouldn’t have this guy be president.’”

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Clinton was able to turn it around, he said, because “the American people are inherently fair. I named Al Gore. We reintroduced our economic plan. Then we reintroduced ourselves to the American people. But we never had to change what we were saying from primary to the general. The problem that Governor Romney has is his character attack was ‘You don’t really know what he believes. He did this, he says that.’

“He started this campaign in the aftermath of that tea party victory in 2010,” Clinton said, “when all the people on the far right of the Republican Party actually believed a majority of the voters had embraced the specific things they were saying. So it created a horrible dilemma for Romney. And the poor man who got in trouble for the Etch-a-Sketch remark. That’s like the saying, ‘There is nothing more damaging in politics than telling the truth.’ I mean, the truth is, that’s what he’s gotta do.”

The former president was referring to a comment by Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, who — when asked by CNN if Romney had run too far to the right to win the primaries — said, “I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all of over again.”

Clinton said Romney has to “convince the swing voters that he’ll be moderate enough and open enough and inclusive enough to be an effective president, and effective on the economy. And hope that the Republican base voters say, ‘Well, okay, so he maybe wasn’t as right-wing as he claimed to be in the primary. Still more conservative than President Obama. I guess I’ll vote for him anyway and I won’t stay home.’ That’s a much harder job. So I doubt if he can do it. But it’s going to be interesting to watch.”

The former president made his comments in an exclusive interview on Good Morning America focused on the work of Clinton Global Initiative University.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Santorum Suggests Obama Beats an ‘Etch A Sketch’ Candidate

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rick Santorum played off of the Mitt Romney campaign’s Etch A Sketch gaffe Thursday when he told an audience that the country might be better off with President Obama than with a candidate who will shift his positions with ease and who he believes is not very different from the president.

“You win by giving people a choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there. If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future,” Santorum told a crowd at United Services Automobile Association (USAA).

Following the event, Santorum, who carried the Etch A Sketch during his speech, told the press that Romney knows he can’t win in the general election.

“All the things that allow Romney to win the primary are unavailable to him to win the general and that’s why you see these Etch A Sketch comments because he knows he can’t win,” said Santorum.

As he spoke to the crowd, Santorum stressed the weight the Texas primary will carry on the overall race, saying the race will continue through Texas, whose large delegate count of 155 offers him the “opportunity to reset this race.”

“You have a very important role to play in this election, here in the state of Texas. It’s the second-biggest delegate prize, and you’re going to have an important role. This race will not be over when Texas is coming around. And you’re going to have a choice, an opportunity to really, and I think we’ll have again this Saturday, to reset the race. We have Louisiana coming up and another opportunity to reset this race. And you’ll have that same opportunity here in the state of Texas.”

Santorum has repeatedly referenced the “two-man race” evolving in the campaign, but has yet to ask Newt Gingrich, who attracts many of the same type of voters, to drop out of the race. Asked if he has spoken to the Gingrich campaign, Santorum said he himself has had no contact with the candidate or his campaign.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Responds to Etch-A-Sketch Gaffe

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(ARTUBUS, Md.) -- Mitt Romney responded for the first time to comments made by his senior adviser that compared his campaign to an Etch-A-Sketch, defending his strength as a candidate and saying that the issues he’ll be running on in the general election will be “exactly the same” as those he’s discussed during the primary.

“I can tell you this, when the campaign moves to becoming a general election campaign, the nature of the campaign itself in terms of staff, funding, the states we’d go to will be different than today, obviously,” said Romney. “It’s a much larger campaign, fundraising numbers are very different, we now work with the Republican National Committee instead of apart from any committee of that nature. So organizationally a general election campaign takes on a different profile.”

“The issues I’m running on will be exactly the same,” said Romney. “I’m running as a conservative Republican, I was a conservative Republican governor, I’ll be running as a conservative republican nominee, excuse me, at that point hopefully, nominee for president. The policies and positions are the same.”

Romney was responding to a question about remarks made by one of his senior advisers, Eric Fehrnstrom, Wednesday morning during an appearance on CNN. Fehrnstrom had told CNN’s John Fugelsang, “Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch.”

“You can kind of shake it up and restart all of it 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,” he said.

Ferhnstrom’s remarks have been seized on by both the Democrats and Romney’s GOP rivals, Sen. Rick Santorum’s spokeswoman Alice Stewart even appearing outside of Romney’s town hall event with the Etch-A-Sketch toy in hand.

Romney initially appeared to be unwilling to discuss the controversy when asked about it by reporters after his town hall, growing irritated when the question was shouted over voters waiting in line to shake his hand.

“I’m not doing a press conference right now OK?” Romney said, turning to address the reporters.

Then, shortly after Romney had finished greeting supporters, a Romney aide announced that he would be holding a quick “Q & A” session with reporters.

After answering the question about the Etch-A-Sketch, Romney walked away from the microphone, despite reporters who continued to ask questions.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Etch-A-Sketch Comment Takes Hold of Campaign Conversation

ABC News (ARBUTUS, Md.) -- Rick Santorum’s campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart was dispatched to Toys R Us Wednesday morning to buy 20 Etch-A-Sketchs. She handed them out at a town hall for Santorum’s chief rival, Mitt Romney, in Arbutus, Md. to the press corps on Wednesday afternoon.

It's not every day that a presidential candidate’s aide finds herself at a toy store doing candidate business, but the campaigns of both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have seized on comments by Mitt Romney’s top spokesman that the former Massachusetts governor, who is far ahead in the race for the GOP nomination, would hit a “reset” button to face Barack Obama.

“Everything changes,” said Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom on Wednesday morning, describing how Romney would appeal to moderate voters during a general election. “It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”

By early afternoon, the Etch a Sketch comment had taken over conversations about the Republican race. Both Santorum and Gingrich had used them as props. And Stewart, fresh from Toys R Us, was handing out the red drawing toys for free in Maryland.

Santorum said the comment reflects Romney’s willingness to compromise his principles and become “a completely new candidate” who can “draw a new picture” simply to get elected.

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“That whoever you are going to vote for is going to be a completely new candidate, remove all trace of any kind of marks and be able to draw a new picture. Maybe a picture sort of like when he ran for governor of Massachusetts, not as a conservative. One thing you can say – even my staunchest critics will say – is what you see is what you get.”

Gingrich had similar comments in Louisiana, when he handed an Etch A Sketch from the stage to a child in the crowd, telling her she could now be a presidential candidate.

“It is such a perfect illustration,” said the former House Speaker. “How is anybody going to trust any pledge he makes if his, some people talk about making pledges that are in stone, but the idea that a Romney pledge is on Etch A Sketch.  This will just resonate.  It will remind everybody in the conservative movement why they are very worried about a Romney presidency and about a Romney candidacy.  And it really makes you doubt and wonder about his sincerity."

The Etch A Sketch theme threatened to overshadow a key endorsement Romney received from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who argued that Republicans should coalesce around Romney’s candidacy.

But Santorum believes he is that conservative candidate, not Romney.

“I agree, they should all start supporting me because I’m the strong conservative candidate,” Santorum said in response to a reporter’s question about Bush’s endorsement and the need for conservatives to coalesce around one candidate.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio