In his zeal to jump on Mitt Romney’s unwillingness to back Issue 2 at Issue 2’s regional campaign headquarters, Texas Governor Rick Perry endorsed it with this message:
Perry campaign Communications Director Ray Sullivan sends the following statement:
“Mitt Romney’s finger-in-the-wind politics continued today when he refused to support right-to-work reforms signed by Ohio Governor John Kasich – reforms Romney supported in June. Americans are tired of politicians who change their beliefs to match public opinion polls. Mitt Romney has a long record of doing this on issues like government-mandated health care and the Obama stimulus. Mitt Romney needs to realize that when you try to stand on both sides of an issue, you stand for nothing.”
[Source: Talking Points Memo]
Because Texas is a “right-to-work” (for less) State, Perry’s campaign may not see anything wrong with this statement. But Ohio is a pro-labor State, and Ohio Republicans have taken some considerable lengths to avoid Issue 2 and SB 5 from being publicly identified as “right-to-work” legislation. Kasich, himself, has tried to avoid this by disclaiming any interest in turning Ohio into a “right-to-work” State.
Perry’s zeal to save his struggling campaign by jumping on an opportunity created by Romney resulted in a gaffe that probably does more damage for Issue 2 than Romney’s non-endorsement did. As TPM points out, Romney’s decision is probably smart politics. Today’s Quinnipiac poll shows him the margin of error against Obama, the only GOP candidate to show to be competitive in Ohio. Romney cannot maintain that if he embraces a piece of legislation at appears to be on its way to being overwhelmingly crushed in the polls. Perry, too, is just playing smart politics, capitalizing on conservative anger over Romney’s waffling in an attempt to try to get traction and back in the game before Cain could take advantage.
Like I said, folks, get the popcorn out. It’s getting really interesting watching the Republican side of the aisle.