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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

Exacerbating Distrust

Even Mitt Romney’s advisors will admit that they see what the rest of us see. In the Real Clear Politics polling average going back all the way to November of 2010, Mitt Romney has never gotten above 25.0% in the polling average. It is a real ceiling for him.The campaign had hoped that by encouraging states to escalate the time table and getting endorsements like Chris Christie’s they’d (1) build an air of inevitability, (2) get voters to start settling for him, and (3) keep the field against him so fractured that consolidation could not be possible before the clock ran out.It is still a viable strategy if the field does not consolidate. But there is also a problem driven home last night by one unguarded moment forced upon him by a surprisingly lively Rick Perry.

“So we went to the company and we said, look, you can’t have any illegals working on our property. ‘I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake. We can’t have illegals!’”

That statement, which I suspect we are going to be hearing a lot more of, says so much to so many who are deeply distrustful of Mitt Romney. Conservative voters have seen this guy running for President for six years and, in the course of his political career, taking every position on every issue known to man.Take, just as one example, Mitt Romney’s positions on abortion. In 2008, John McCain prepared a comprehensive opposition research book on Mitt Romney, a copy of which multiple people associated with the McCain camp sent to me. The book was prepared by the guy who is now Mitt Romney’s head of research. Look at just the pages on abortion.This is why people don’t trust Romney and it is Mitt Romney’s real weakness in the race. Conservatives do not trust Mitt Romney because they think he will say or do anything to get elected. And his unguarded, unscripted statement last night, which sounded like he couldn’t have illegals solely because he was running for office and how it might look, reinforces the view many conservatives have that he is an opportunist.

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