Campaign 2012: Mitt’s Etch-A-Sketch gaffe

March 22nd, 2012

Mitt Romney’s campaign is facing fallout from comments made by senior campaign advisor Eric Fehrnstrom. Fehrnstrom remarked that things would change in the general election. “It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You kind of shake it up and we start all over again.” Tom Fiedler is dean of BU’s College of Communication and a Pulitzer Prize winning former executive editor of the Miami Herald. He offers the following comment on the impact of this recent Romney campaign gaffe:

“This gaffe will dog the Romney campaign through the end of the primary and – if he succeeds in winning the nomination (even less certain now) – the general election. It lends itself too easily to mockery, just as the flip flops and windsurfing did in crippling Kerry.

“The wise move for all of us at this time will be to buy stock in the Etch-A-Sketch company because these things will fly off the shelves for the next several weeks.

“As has been noted, the irony is that Fehrnstrom now will be severely castigated for speaking an obvious and very inconvenient truth.

“For Romney to win a general election he must do what every GOP primary winner has done since Ronald Reagan, which is to pivot to the middle. This doesn’t necessarily mean changing positions. It simply means to stop talking about those issues that mattered only to the far right, such as contraception, guns, immigration, gay marriage, global warming, English only, and Obama’s country of origin.”

Contact Fiedler at 617-353-3488; tfiedler@bu.edu

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