The flip-flops on issues by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have been a topic of discussion for months amongst GOP and conservative opinion leaders and pundits, but on Thursday's NBC Nightly News reporter Andrea Mitchell contended a critique in the Doonesbury comic strip is really what's the “worse” development for Romney this week. As if Republican primary voters care about the left-wing cartoonist's take.
Providing a rundown of the significant events this week in the presidential campaigns, Mitchell started with “a new Republican front-runner in the money race now facing new scrutiny. So when Mitt Romney cozied-up to the gun lobby,” -- Michell played a clip of him asserting that “I've been hunting pretty much all my life” -- “his campaign had to admit he's only been on hunting trips twice.” She then declared: “Even worse, Romney was lampooned in Doonesbury all week as a flip-flopper.” As she spoke, viewers saw a blow-up of a frame of Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury with a radio talk show fretting: “Say it ain't so, Governor Romney! Changed positions on abortion, gun control, and gay rights? What's next, immigration?”
Mitchell's decision to highlight Doonesbury says more about her, and how the Washington press corps apparently check the strip every day, than conservatives who largely ignore it.
To see and read this week's strips, check Slate's Doonesbury page and click on “previous” to go back to Monday, April 2. Then proceed forward.
From the start of Mitchell's April 5 NBC Nightly News update on the campaigns of the major presidential candidates:
“It's been a week that turned the presidential campaign upside down. A new Republican front-runner in the money race now facing new scrutiny. So when Mitt Romney cozied-up to the gun lobby-”
Mitt Romney at campaign event: “And I've asked for the NRA's endorsement. [edit jump] I've been hunting pretty much all my life.”
Mitchell: “-reporters asked questions. His campaign had to admit he's only been on hunting trips twice. Even worse, Romney was lampooned in Doonesbury all week as a flip-flopper...”
Mitchell then moved on to how the fundraising numbers announced this week show that Senator Hillary Clinton has new competion from Senator Barack Obama for the title of frontrunner.