Politics Romney the Hunter
posted by April 6 at 11:17 AMon
Remember how much crap John Kerry got for this hunting photo-op? (For one example, see here.)
Well, what if John Kerry had compared himself to Jed Clampett?
That’s what Republican Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, is doing as he tries to tamp down a mini-controversy over his iffy hunting record.
Mitt Romney’s camp spent Thursday dealing with a dust-up over an Associated Press story that said Mr. Romney’s hunting experience was not what he had been making it out to be on the campaign trail as he sought to appeal to pro-gun Republicans, a powerful force in the primary races.
At a community forum in Keene, N.H., on Tuesday, when asked about his stance on guns by a man wearing an N.R.A. cap, Mr. Romney said twice that he’d been a hunter “pretty much all my life.”
By Thursday, his campaign was forced – following those news reports that he had hunted only as a teenager and then at a preserve last year in Georgia – to clarify his record.
Eric Fehrnstrom, a campaign spokesman, added that Mr. Romney had also done some small game hunting, “nothing bigger than a rabbit or quail,” on his Utah property. “This is all a little bit silly,” Mr. Fehrnstrom said in an e-mail message. “Governor Romney never said he was Teddy Roosevelt. He’s more like Jed Clampett.”
Silly only when it’s a Republican whose hunting cred is being questioned?
Romney already has a problem with the Republican base for shifting his positions on abortion and gay rights. And gun-rights advocates already view him warily (he only joined the NRA last year and has supported the Brady Bill as well as his state’s tough assault weapons ban). This latest contretemps puts Romney in even more danger of being tagged with the same label that Kerry was forced to wear throughout the last presidential race: A flip-flopping, liberal, pseudo-hunter from Massachusetts.