But for months, the threshold of support for the former Massachusetts governor [Mitt Romney] hasn’t inched above a quarter of Republican voters in national polls. For many GOP voters in early primary states, hesitation about Romney comes back to one thing: their perception that he has routinely molded his views to suit the political mood, with ambition his overriding principle.
“He’s not a person we could trust to lead our country,” said Angela Cesar, a 41-year-old Republican from Ypsilanti, Mich., who said Romney had changed his position on too many issues. “He’s going to be listening to voices outside. I want someone who can hear his own voice — a clear voice.”
Steve Holroyd, a 54-year-old chef from Rye, N.H., was initially attracted to Romney’s candidacy, but now describes him as evasive: “The more I listen to him, the more he just kind of flip-flops and doesn’t know where he stands on anything.”
Romney’s advisors say the argument that their candidate is a political contortionist will not resonate because voters are concerned about the economy — and little else. But in his failed 2008 bid, when the issue was raised — as now — by opponents, it hit its mark not because of the issues involved but because of what Romney’s flip-flops suggested about his character.
Published: Nov 25, 2011