Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

PolitiFact's guide to Mitt Romney's flip-flops

The New Jersey Democratic State Committee claimed recently that a study found that Mitt Romney's proposed tax plan calls for a middle-class tax hike to fund a tax cut for the rich.
The New Jersey Democratic State Committee claimed recently that a study found that Mitt Romney's proposed tax plan calls for a middle-class tax hike to fund a tax cut for the rich.

We created the Flip-O-Meter in 2008 to help you assess when a politician has changed positions on an issue.

With candidates often accusing each other of flip-flopping, the Flip-O-Meter tells you if there's been No Flip, a Half Flip or a Full Flop.

The purpose of the Flip-O-Meter is to examine candidates’ public statements and policy proposals over time. It’s important to note that the meter is not intended to pass judgment on their positions, or on their decisions to change their minds. It’s simply gauging whether they did.

For the 2012 presidential campaign, we're using the Flip-O-Meter to assess the statements of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. This article includes links to the Flip-O-Meter items we've published on Romney. We'll update it as we publish more in the future.

In the next few weeks, we'll be publishing a separate guide about Obama's Flip-O-Meter ratings.

Here are Romney's ratings:

On abortion -- Full Flop. From "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country" to "I am firmly pro-life."

On signing a no-tax pledge -- Full Flop. As a gubernatorial candidate in Massachusetts, he refused to sign a pledge that he would not seek tax increases. As a presidential candidate, he signed it.

On support for Ronald Reagan's policies -- Full Flop. As a Senate candidate in Massachusetts, he distanced himself from Reagan. As a presidential candidate, he's embraced the Gipper.

On whether humans contribute to global warming -- Half Flip. He said be believed humans contribute to climate change, but then hedged.

On gun policy -- Half Flip. Romney’s downplayed his signing of an assault weapons ban as governor in 2004, but it’s not clear that his policies have shifted as much as his rhetoric has.

On the economic stimulus -- Half Flip. Romney supported having a stimulus, but criticized the specific program Obama and congressional Democrats enacted.

On the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) -- No Flip. Romney’s view has been consistent -- TARP was necessary, but some of its operational aspects were bungled.

On support for gay marriage -- No Flip. Romney expressed some relatively liberal positions on gay rights while campaigning for senator in 1994, but he never went as far as backing same-sex marriage.