Romney's Convenient 'No Comment'

October 25, 2011 4:50 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney is under fire from the conservative Club for Growth for refusing to weigh in on an Ohio ballot initiative to repeal anti-union legislation signed by Gov. John Kasich (R) earlier this year. Pointing out that Romney supported "right-to-work" legislation in New Hampshire a few months ago, along with some of his other famous reversals, the group says, "The big problem many conservatives have with Mitt Romney is that he's taken both sides of nearly every issue important to us."

Furthermore, Politico's Jonathan Martin reports that Romney previously voiced support for Kasich's rollback of workers' rights. His change of heart may have something to do with the fact that a majority of Ohio voters support the referendum; Romney doesn't want to take a pro-union stance, but he also doesn't want to alienate voters in a swing state. So he's come up with a convenient excuse:

"I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues," said Romney. "Those are up to the people of Ohio. But I certainly support the efforts of the governor to reign in the scale of government. I am not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives. But I am certainly supportive of the Republican Party's efforts here."

The big problem with Romney's professed respect for the states is that he only applies it for his own benefit. For example, Romney maintains that criticisms of the health care law he passed in Massachusetts are unfair because it's a state issue. But that logic goes out the window when it comes to Texas' law, signed by Gov. Rick Perry (R) and passed by with virtually no opposition, granting in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants. Perhaps the Club for Growth should add "states' rights" to its list of issues on which Romney can't be trusted.