When Mitt Romney was running for Massachusetts governor nine years ago, he assured activists for the environment, abortion, and homosexual rights that he was an unconventional Republican who would undermine his party’s hard-line opposition to their causes.
Not only did he espouse more liberal views at the time, but Romney presented himself as a change agent who could soften the GOP’s rough ideological edges.—Peter Wallsten and Juliet Eilperin
Romney also reassured the left back in 1994 when he ran against democrat Edward Kennedy for the U.S. Senate that he was cut from the same cloth as the state’s former RINO (Republican in name only) Governor William Weld.
“It’s a little like if Eugene McCarthy was arguing in favor of recognizing China, people would have called him a nut. But when Richard Nixon does it, it becomes reasonable. When Ted says it [speaks about homosexual rights], it’s extreme; when I say it, it’s mainstream.”—Mitt Romney in an interview with Bay Windows, a Boston newspaper geared to homosexuals
(H-T Quin Hillyer)
For more on the story, see As governor, Romney worked to reassure liberals.