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Say Anything Mitt Romney even misleads about an election he voted in 20 years ago

January 26, 2012 at 10:51 p.m.

Mitt  Romney will say anything to get elected- even mislead Americans about an election he voted in 20 years ago. After offering several contradictory reasons for why he voted for Paul Tsongas in the 1992 Massachusetts presidential primary- first saying he couldn’t remember who he voted for, then holding up his vote for Tsongas as proof that he wasn’t a “partisan politician,” and later saying that he was simply trying to elect the weakest general election candidate- Romney went even further tonight, saying that he had “never voted for a Democrat when there was a Republican on the ballot.” The only problem? President George H.W. Bush faced a challenge from Pat Buchanan in the Republican presidential primary that year and both were on the Massachusetts ballot. 

TONIGHT: Romney Defended His Vote In The 1992 Democratic Primary Saying He “Never Voted For A Democrat When There Was A Republican On The Ballot.” In a response to Gingrich attacking him for voting for Tsongas in 1992, Mitt Romney said: Just a short clarification. I never voted for a Democrat when there was a Republican on the ballot. And in my state of Massachusetts, you could register as an independent and go vote in which either primary happens to be very interesting and any chance I got to vote against Bill Clinton or Ted Kennedy I took. So, I am -- I have always voted for a Republican any time there was a Republican on the ballot. With regards to the Speaker’s involvement in the Reagan years, he can speak for himself, the Reagan diaries and other histories written at that time can lay that out as well. I think -- I think what he said speaks for itself and I'm proud of the things I was able to accomplish.” [Republican Primary Debate, 1/26/12]

 

1992: THERE WAS A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ROMNEY COULD HAVE VOTED IN

1992: President H.W. Bush Faced Pat Buchanan In The Presidential Republican Primary In Massachusetts. “The Bush campaign had been well-represented in Massachusetts over the past few days by Vice President Dan Quayle, who stumped through the state Monday; by Gov. Weld, who greeted commuters on behalf of the president at South Station yesterday morning; and by members of Bush's family who live here. Although Quayle said Monday that Weld had told him ‘not to worry,’ Buchanan had put some effort into Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The Buchanan campaign ran the same advertisements here that proved so effective in New Hampshire, mocking Bush for breaking his ‘no new taxes’ pledge. At the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Lt. Gov. Paul Cellucci declared the race for the Republican nomination essentially over. ‘Hasta la vista, Pat!’ Cellucci told the cheering crowd. ;The Republicans of Massachusetts have once again come through for the president,’ Cellucci said, recalling the 1988 Massachusetts primary in which Bush won a squeaker in the predawn hours.” [Boston Globe, 3/11/92]

 

1993: FIRST, ROMNEY DIDN’T RECALL WHO HE VOTED FOR IN THE 1992 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY

1993: Romney Admitted He Only Registered As A Republican In October 1993, And Also Voted In The 1992 Democratic Presidential Primary But Claimed He “Couldn’t Recall” Which Candidate He Voted For In The Democratic Presidential Race. “Two of the top three contenders for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate - W. Mitt Romney and Janet Jeghelian - registered as Republicans only a few months ago after learning they had to be party members to be nominated…Romney, a businessman from Belmont and son of 1968 Republican presidential contender and former Michigan governor George Romney, voted in the 1992 Massachusetts Democratic presidential primary according to town records - though he voted in GOP state primaries in 1984, ‘86 and ‘90. Registered as an independent until he switched to Republican in October, Romney said, ‘I also voted for the candidate against Joe Kennedy’ in a Democratic congressional primary once. But he couldn’t recall whom he favored in the ‘92 Democratic presidential race.” [Boston Herald, 12/15/93]

 

1994: THEN, ROMNEY SAID HE VOTED FOR TSONGAS BECAUSE HE WAS FROM MASSACHUSETTS AND LIKED HIS IDEAS 

1994: Romney Said He Voted For Paul Tsongas Because He Was From Massachusetts And Favored His Ideas To Those Of Bill Clinton. “Romney confirmed he voted for former US Sen. Paul Tsongas in the state’s 1992 Democratic presidential primary, saying he did so both because Tsongas was from Massachusetts and because he favored his ideas over those of Bill Clinton.” [Boston Globe, 2/3/94]

·         Gingrich: Romney “Voted For Paul Tsongas, The Most Liberal Candidate In The ‘93 Campaign.” [Associated Press, 1/5/12]

 

1994: LATER, ROMNEY TOUTED HIS TSONGAS VOTE AS PROOF HE WASN’T A “PARTISAN POLITICIAN”

1994: Romney Touted His Vote For Democrat Paul Tsongas In The 1992 Presidential Primary Saying “I’m Not A Partisan Politician.” “An Independent until last December, he publicizes his brief stint as a Democrat to support ex-senator Paul Tsongas in the 1992 presidential primary. ‘I’m not a partisan politician,’ he said. ‘My hope is that after this election, it will be the moderates of both parties who will control the Senate, not the Jesse Helmses.’” [Washington Post, 10/7/94]

·         Boston Herald: Romney’s Statement That He Voted For Tsongas In The 1992 Primary Was Made “With No Apologies And With A Certain Degree Of Pride.” “And - if such truths can ever be acknowledged in politics - the truth is that Tsongas has far more in common with Kennedy's Republican challenger Mitt Romney. (Romney has already acknowledged crossing over to the Democratic presidential primary in 1992 to cast a vote for Tsongas. It is a statement he makes with no apologies and with a certain degree of pride.)” [Boston Herald, 10/25/94]

 

2007: ROMNEY SAID HIS VOTE FOR TSONGAS WAS A TACTICAL MANEUVER AIMING TO GIVE INCUMBENT PRESIDENT BUSH THE “WEAKEST OPPONENT”

2007: Romney Said He Supported Tsongas As A Tactical Maneuver Aimed At Finding The “Weakest Opponent” For Incumbent President George H.W. Bush. “ABC News’ Jonathan Greenberger Reports: Republican presidential candididate Mitt Romney offered a new explanation today for why he supported a Democrat in 1992. That year, Romney, then a registered independent, voted for former Sen. Paul Tsongas in the 1992 Democratic presidential primary.  He told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, in an interview that will air Sunday on ‘This Week,’ that his vote was meant as a tactical maneuver aimed at finding the weakest opponent for incumbent President George H.W. Bush. ‘In Massachusetts, if you register as an independent, you can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary,’ said Romney, who until he made an unsuccessful run for Senate in 1994 had spent his adult life as a registered independent. ‘When there was no real contest in the Republican primary, I’d vote in the Democrat primary, vote for the person who I thought would be the weakest opponent for the Republican.’” [ABC News, 2/16/07]

 

2007: ROMNEY HAS BEEN CRITICIZED IN THE PAST FOR GIVING MULTIPLE JUSTIFICATIONS FOR HIS TSONGAS VOTE

Romney “Has Been Criticized For Voting In The Primary [For Paul Tsongas], And For Giving Multiple Justifications For His Vote.” “Romney also defended his decision to vote for Democrat Paul Tsongas in the 1992 Massachusetts Democratic presidential primary. ‘We have an open primary where we can vote for people other than Bill Clinton and I voted against Bill Clinton,’ he said. Romney has been criticized for voting in the primary, and for giving multiple justifications for his vote. Romney scoffed at the notion that he was giving rivaling justifications for his vote. ‘I pulled a Democratic primary ballot, and voted for Paul Tsongas as opposed to Bill Clinton. There was no Republican contest of significance at that time, as I recall,’ he said.” [Associated Press, 2/19/07]

·         Providence Journal Editorial: Romney’s Changing Explanation On Why He Voted For Tsongas In 1992 “Reeks Of Situational Political Pandering.” “Mitt Romney sank to a new low in comments about the late Democratic Sen. Paul Tsongas, who, after having been treated for cancer diagnosed in 1983, ran bravely for president in 1992. As Mr. Romney tells it, as a registered independent at the time, he took a Democratic ballot in the Massachusetts presidential primary, and cast his vote for Mr. Tsongas. In 1994 (as quoted in the press) Mr. Romney explained he had voted for Tsongas because he was from Massachusetts and because, in Mr. Romney's opinion, he represented the best of a Democratic field that included Bill Clinton. Paul Tsongas continued to live a useful post-political life until his cancer returned. He died in 1997, and is remembered as one of the most thoughtful politicians Massachusetts has produced in recent decades. Very few Republican partisans would begrudge Mr. Romney's vote for him in 1992. But in a recent appearance on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Mr. Romney had a different explanation: He liked to vote in Democratic primaries, he said, to vote for the weakest candidate to run against the Republican in the general election. In 1992, he judged Paul Tsongas to be the weakest potential challenger to President George H.W. Bush's re-election. It hardly matters what Mr. Romney's true motive was. The first explanation had a touch of nobility, the second reeks of situational political pandering.” [Editorial, Providence Journal, 2/24/07]

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